|Severe humanitarian crisis|
|Situation of concern|
- Severe humanitarian crisis
- Humanitarian crisis
- Situation of concern
- Watch list
Snapshot 27 January – 2 February 2016
Boko Haram in Nigeria, Cameroon, and Chad: 86 people were killed and 62 injured, with 15 missing after Boko Haram set fire to Dalori, near Maiduguri in Borno state. The past week also saw attacks in Chibok that left 13 dead and 30 injured. 40 civilians were reported dead after Cameroonian troops announced they were carrying out a search for BH militants in the area. In Cameroon, 52 people were killed in BH attacks in January. In Chad, two suicide bombings in Lac region left three dead and 56 wounded.
Namibia: The drought that has been affecting Namibia since the first months of 2015 is worsening, as several reservoirs are drying up. Over 380,000 people are reportedly in need of emergency food assistance and almost a quarter of the population suffers from food insecurity. Widespread loss of livestock has been recorded in pastoral areas.
Turkey: Stability has deteriorated in recent months as fighting between government forces and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party has intensified. An estimated 200,000 people have been internally displaced in by conflict and military operations since July 2015, and 240 civilians have been killed. At the same time, Turkey is hosting over 2.5 million Syrian, Iraqi and other refugees, straining its response capacity.
Updated: 02/02/2016. Next update: 09/02/2016.
See the Crisis Overview 2015: Humanitarian Trends and Risks 2016, ACAPS' overview of long-term trends in humanitarian needs for major crises, and scenarios outlining their potential evolution in 2016.
Afghanistan Country Analysis
27 January: Unknown gunmen killed four workers of a demining NGO in Abbazhai village, Nahr-e Seraj district, Helmand province. Another worker is reportedly missing (UNMACA).
- Over 1.1 million people are internally displaced because of conflict (ECHO 03/12/2015). Over 300,000 were displaced in 2015 (FEWSNET 31/01/2016).
- 8.9 million in need of humanitarian aid. Around 700,000 people are in need of emergency shelter and NFIs (Food Security Cluster 14/01/2016; OCHA 05/01/2016).
- At least 1.7 million people are in need of protection assistance (OCHA 05/01/2016).
- 1.76 million people are in IPC Phase 3 (Food Security Cluster 28/01/2016).- At least 3.1 million people are in need of health assistance (OCHA 05/01/2016).
- Food security is reported to be worsening due to increased instability and displacement, as well as slow economic growth and widespread poverty. Newly displaced people are at particular risk (FAO 15/10/2015; FAO 13/08/2015; FEWSNET 31/10/2015; WFP et al 30/11/2015).
- Health services are severely underequipped and understaffed, particularly in conflict areas (Medical Teams International 02/10/2015; OCHA 25/11/2014).
- Shelter needs for refugees as well as returnees are growing as winter unfolds (UNHCR 10/01/2016).- Protection: Nine in ten women are reported to regularly face physical, psychological, or sexual violence (Al Jazeera 03/07/2015). Civilians are often intentionally targeted by the Taliban (Amnesty International 14/05/2015).
Assistance needs due to armed conflict and frequent natural disasters include food, healthcare, and protection. 8.9 million are reported in need of humanitarian assistance.The Afghan government faces internal and external challenges to its capacity, legitimacy, and stability. The security environment is highly volatile and has deteriorated since the withdrawal of most international forces. The outflow of people from Afghanistan significantly increased in 2015, despite calls from the government to stay and contribute to the reconstruction of the country.
Politics and security
The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) withdrew from Afghanistan in December 2014, leaving only around 12,000 NATO personnel to provide training and equipment to Afghan security forces (Talk Radio News Service 22/06/2015). A steep surge in violent attacks was recorded in the first months of 2015, making them the most violent since ISAF was set up in 2001 (Brookings 26/05/2015). The Taliban gained control of an increasing number of districts in 2015, notably in Farah and Faryab, Badakhshan, Takhar, and Baghlan (UNSC 02/02/2015; ECHO 12/10/2015). They also attempted to seize control of provincial capitals over the last three months of the year (Long War Journal 16/10/2015, 14/11/2015). This change in strategy has pushed the US to stop the complete withdrawal of its troops, which was scheduled to take place over 2016 (BBC 15/10/2015).
President Ashraf Ghani and Prime Minister Abdullah Abdullah were sworn in in September 2014 (Reuters 29/09/2014). Rival presidential candidates in disputed elections, they have been struggling to maintain a unity government (Reuters 08/07/2015; AFP 26/09/2014). Leaders of ethnic groups have criticised Ghani for filling key government posts with Pashtun kin (Reuters 08/07/2015; AFP 26/09/2014). Parliamentary elections scheduled for April 2015 were postponed because of security concerns and disagreements over procedures (Reuters 19/06/2015; local media 01/04/2015). A second package of recommendations for the electoral reforms was presented by President Ghani on 29 December, as he indicated that the parliamentary elections will be held in the period between summer and fall 2016 (Tolo News 31/12/2015; Reuters 29/12/2015).
Afghan officials and Taliban met in July 2015 in Islamabad, Pakistan, for a first round of peace talks (AFP 08/07/2015). The Taliban pulled out at the end of the month, most probably to deal with uncertainty over the leadership after the public announcement that Mullah Omar had died in 2013 (AFP 24/07/2015; The Telegraph 30/07/2015; The Age 31/07/2015). Four-way talks between the governments of Afghanistan, Pakistan, China, and the US started on 11 January 2016 in Islamabad, Pakistan, aiming to revive peace negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government (VOA 02/01/2016; Reuters 07/01/2016). On 24 January the Taliban indicated that preconditions for their participation in the talks included their removal from the UN’s terrorist blacklist and the reopening of their political office in Doha, Qatar (AFP 24/01/2016).
Relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan have long been tense; both states have accused each other of harbouring terrorists (Journal of Political Studies 2015). At the beginning of September, Afghanistan accused Pakistan of organising insurgent attacks in Afghanistan, indicating in particular the December 2014 attack on an army school (The Tribune 03/09/2015).
In 2015, as of September, 8,346 civilians had been either killed or wounded in over 25,000 security incidents (OCHA 05/01/2016). 3,699 civilians were killed and 6,849 injured in Afghanistan in 2014 (UNAMA 18/02/2015).
Helmand: As of 21 December, after several days of fierce clashes between Taliban fighters and Afghan forces, the Taliban has reportedly gained control of Sangin district in Helmand, a strategic location for transport and for generating opium revenue (BBC 21/12/2015). As of 25 January, media sources report that Afghan security forces involved in operations against the Taliban in Helmand province are undergoing significant restructuring (CTV News 25/01/2016). On 27 January, unknown gunmen killed four workers of a demining NGO in the village of Abbazhai, in Nahr-e Seraj district. Another workers is reportedly missing (UNMACA 27/01/2016).
Kabul: On 20 January, at least eight people were killed and 25 were injured in a suicide attack on a minibus carrying media workers in Kabul (AFP 20/01/2016; UNAMA 21/01/2016). On 17 January, two people were injured in an attack on the Italian embassy in Kabul (La Repubblica 17/01/2016). On 4 January, at least 30 Afghan civilians, including nine children, were injured in an attack on Camp Baron, a residential compound for civilian contractors, close to Kabul’s international airport (Reuters 04/01/2016). On 1 January 2016, a 12-year-old boy was killed and 15 people were injured by a bomb targeting a French restaurant full of foreigners (Reuters 01/01/2016). On 28 December one civilian was killed in a bomb attack on a NATO convoy, near Kabul airport (AFP 28/12/2015).
Other incidents: On 17 January, at least 13 people were killed in a suicide attack on a gathering of tribal elders in Jalalabad, Nangarhar. No group has yet claimed responsibility (AFP 17/01/2016; NBC 17/01/2016). On 13 January, at least six people were killed and 11 were injured in a bomb attack on a house near the Pakistani consulate in Jalalabad (DAWN 13/01/2016).
The Taliban has regained strength, especially since ISAF forces withdrew in December 2014. The ultraconservative Islamic force’s activities have expanded from south and southeastern areas to northern provinces, especially Kunduz, Balkh, and Faryab (The Telegraph 30/07/2015; Daily Mail 28/09/2015). The Taliban is increasingly financed by criminal enterprises including heroin laboratories, illegal mining, and kidnapping (UNSC 02/02/2015). Media sources report that, in December, the Taliban leader Mansour was shot and wounded in Quetta, Pakistan, by one of the men belonging to his own group (AFP 11/01/2016).
Islamic State (IS)
Militants fighting under the IS banner in Afghanistan, including an unknown number of Taliban defectors and foreign fighters, have reportedly seized territory from the Taliban in at least six of Nangarhar’s 21 districts (Reuters, 29/06/2015). IS launched its first offensive against Afghan forces on 27 September, attacking a checkpoint in Nangarhar (The Tribune 28/09/2015).
International military presence
NATO’s combat mission in Afghanistan ended on 31 December 2014, leaving just 13,000 troops in the country. The focus of the current mission is on supporting Afghan forces’ fight against the Taliban, along with US counter-terrorism operations (NATO 06/2015). Its headquarters are in Kabul, with four other bases in Mazar-e-Sharif, Herat, Kandahar, and Laghman (NATO 27/02/2015). The US will maintain all its 9,800 NATO troops until the end of 2016 (BBC 15/10/2015). NATO troops from Germany, Italy, and Turkey have not set an end date to their presence (Fox News 11/10/2015).
Afghan National Security Forces
The Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) are composed of around 350,000 personnel, including troops and police.
In Khanabad district, Kunduz province, the membership of US-funded pro-government militias, also known as local police, grew to 3,000 in 2015, 1,000 more than in 2014, according to the district governor Hayatullah Amiri. The militia was founded with the purpose of mobilising rural communities against the Taliban. However, civilians have reported a rise in abuse by these groups, including extortion, theft, and assault (Daily Mail 03/06/2015; IRIN 07/09/2015).
Afghanistan is prone to earthquakes, floods, landslides, avalanches, and droughts. Landslides and flooding are particularly frequent (GNDR 04/06/2015; IOM and OCHA 02/07/2015).
A 6.3 earthquake struck the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan on 25 December, with the epicentre in Zardak district, Badakhshan province. 680 people were affected over 22 districts. Food and non-food items are the main priorities. The earthquake’s impact has been significantly less severe than initially thought (OCHA 26/12/2015; 03/01/2016).
The 7.5 magnitude earthquake that struck Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India on 26 October had greater impact. As of 15 December, over 141,400 people were reported in need of humanitarian assistance, particularly shelter and food. 117 people were killed in Afghanistan, and 544 injured. Over 12,700 houses were damaged and around 7,380 destroyed. Damage was reported in 15 provinces: Badakhshan, Baghlan, Nangarhar, and Kunar were the most affected (OCHA 12/11/2015; FSAC 15/12/2015).
Displacement in Afghanistan is triggered by conflict and natural hazards, with over 1.1 million displaced within the country as of November 2015 (IDMC 16/07/2015; ECHO 16/11/2015). Conflict-induced displacement increased throughout 2015 (ECHO 06/11/2015; IOM 05/10/2015). Afghanistan is also home to over 236,000 Pakistani refugees, and to around 130,000 documented and undocumented Afghans who returned from Pakistan in 2015 (ECHO 16/11/2015; HRW 18/11/2015). Around 68,600 among IDPs and returnees live in the Kabul informal settlements (KIS), enduring severe winter conditions and water, sanitation and hygiene shortfalls. 52% are children below 18 years of age (OCHA 31/12/2015).
As of 23 December, Kabul passport office still reported 4,000 applications per day after having peaked to 10,000 as of 24 September (Tolo News 23/12/2015; VOA 24/09/2015).
More than 1.1 million people were reported internally displaced due to conflict as of December, including more than 300,000 newly displaced in 2015 (FEWSNET 31/01/2016; ECHO 03/12/2015). Access to water, food, adequate shelter, and employment opportunities is very limited for people displaced in remote and inaccessible areas (IDMC 31/10/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
As of 31 December, around 237,000 Pakistani refugees were reported in Afghanistan, with at least 67,000 living in Gulan camp in Khost province. 67% are under 18 years of age (UNHCR 24/01/2016; OCHA 20/01/2016). Displacement from Pakistan to Afghanistan’s Khost and Paktika provinces began in mid-June 2014 due to military operations in Pakistan’s FATA region, and ended in 2015 as UNHCR started implementing its return plan for the displaced and refugees.
Between January and October 2015, over 54,700 registered and 95,700 undocumented Afghans returned from Pakistan. Over 2,700 registered and 260,500 undocumented Afghans returned from Iran. 20,000 of the undocumented returnees were deported from Pakistan, and around 200,000 from Iran (USIP 13/01/2016; Tolo News 19/12/2015). The number of documented Afghan refugees returning home from Pakistan under the UNHCR programme more than tripled compared to the 16,995 of 2014 (UNHCR 21/12/2015). Police abuse of Afghans in Pakistan is reportedly pushing many refugees to return (UNHCR 31/05/2015; HRW 17/11/2015; Reuters 04/09/2015).
Refugees from Afghanistan in other countries
Pakistan: As of 3 December, over 1,543,000 registered Afghan refugees, and an estimated 1,400,000 unregistered, are reported to be in Pakistan (ECHO 03/12/2015). In Sindh province, only 67,000 of an estimated one million Afghan refugees are registered (DAWN 31/08/2015).
On 12 January, Pakistan decided to extend the permit of residence (PoR) of registered Afghan nationals for six months, allowing them to stay in Pakistan until 30 June 2016. Human rights watch released a statement to advocate with Pakistani government for a further extension of PoRs up to end of 2017 (DAWN 14/01/2016; HRW 16/01/2016).
Iran: As of 3 December, 982,027 registered Afghan refugees, and an estimated 1,500,000 unregistered, are reported to be in Iran (ECHO 03/12/2015).
Europe: Overall 80,900 Afghans entered Europe as asylum seekers in 2015 (ECHO 16/11/2015; UNHCR 29/11/2015).
Access in Afghanistan deteriorated in 2015 as insecurity grew. The Taliban has historically targeted humanitarian workers, and the situation is expected to worsen further as the Taliban controls an increasing number of districts throughout the country (AFP 06/11/2015; The Guardian 04/06/2015; Humanosphere 03/06/2015). Access following natural disasters can be challenged by the terrain and lack of adequate transportation infrastructure (USAID 18/11/2015; OCHA 12/11/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Humanitarian presence is falling. Security fears are causing a reduction in applications to work in the country (AFP 06/11/2015). In 2015, 73 aid workers were reported to have been attacked: 39 national aid workers were killed, 21 wounded, and nine kidnapped; four international aid workers were kidnapped (Aid Workers Security Database 04/01/2016). On 3 October, a hospital run by MSF in Kunduz was hit by a US airstrike. 30 people were reported dead, and at least 37 injured (Reuters 05/10/2015; MSF 09/10/2015; 26/10/2015; BBC 05/10/2015).
On 28 December, a female health worker engaged in a polio vaccination campaign in Kandahar was shot dead, and another person was severely injured (Reuters 28/12/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Severe winter-weather conditions are affecting road access in snowbound districts of Badakhshan province (OCHA 26/12/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
Over 1.76 million people are reported to be in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis). 1.8 million are reported to be in need of food assistance. Overall chronic food insecurity is considered to be much higher. In January, 2016, 7.3 million people are moderately food insecure. Women and children are the most vulnerable (OCHA 05/01/2016; Food Security Cluster 31/01/2016; 28/01/2016; 14/01/2016). Female-headed households are 50% more likely to be food insecure than others, due largely to lower incomes and consequent poorer diet (FAO 10/09/2015).
Food security is reported to be worsening due to increased instability and displacement, as well as slow economic growth and widespread poverty. Newly displaced people are at particular risk of severe food insecurity (FAO 15/10/2015; FAO 13/08/2015; FEWSNET 31/10/2015; WFP et al 30/11/2015). Farmers in Kunduz have been unable to resume production since fighting in October due to insecurity and the contamination of fields with explosives (IRIN 24/11/2015).
The wheat and fruit harvests in 2015 were more favourable than in 2014, with improvements in market and household stocks. However, the wheat harvest remained below the five-year average (FEWSNET 31/10/2015).
At least 3.1 million people are reportedly in need of health assistance at the end of 2015 (OCHA 05/01/2016). Health services are severely underequipped and understaffed (Medical Teams International 02/10/2015). There is a shortage of trained surgeons, anaesthetists, and trauma capacity in conflict-affected areas (OCHA 25/11/2014). Gaps in health services also include lack of maternal care and problems in the delivery of treatment for victims of sexual and gender-based violence (OCHA 31/07/2015; Medical Teams International 02/10/2015).
Afghanistan and Pakistan are the two remaining countries where polio is endemic (DAWN 05/11/2015). 19 polio cases were recorded in 2015, compared to 28 in all 2014 (GPEI 30/12/2015).
Prevalence of diarrhoea, cholera, and malaria is high nationwide, due to poor WASH conditions (ACTED 10/11/2015).
Heroin and opium abuse
3.5 million people (11% of the population) are involved in abuse of heroin and opium-derivatives, according to the Ministry of Health. Between 650,000 and 890,000 are women, and 100,000 are children (IWPR 03/12/2015). High rates of unemployment are reportedly exacerbating issues of drugs abuse (IWPR 07/12/2015).
At the end of 2015, around 2.9 million people are reported to be in need of some kind of nutrition assistance (OCHA 05/01/2016). The nutrition situation is reported to be worsening, with over 500,000 children reportedly affected by severe acute malnutrition in 2015, compared to 360,000 in 2014 (UNICEF 12/09/2015; IASC 17/09/2015).
Approximately 65% of the urban population and 81% of people living in rural areas do not have access to clean drinking water (ACTED, 10/11/2015). Access to improved sanitation is also generally low, at an average value of 29%. No city in Afghanistan has a comprehensive and functional sewage system (government 22/09/2015). As of 31 December, around 1.5 million people were reported to be in need of WASH assistance in 2015 (OCHA 05/01/2016).
Shelter and NFIs
Shelter is among the priority needs, given the high number of people displaced and the harsh climate. (IOM 05/10/2015). At the end of 2015, over 700,000 people are reported to be in need of emergency shelter and NFIs (OCHA 05/01/2016).
So far, the winter has been milder than usual. As of 20 January 2016, 12% of the population is reported to be exposed to severe winter weather (OCHA 20/01/2016). As winter unfolds, shelter is a particular need for Afghan returnees, as well as refugees in Afghanistan (UNHCR 10/01/2016).
Despite enrolment rates having registered a steady increase over the last years, more than 4 million children are still out of school, with particular issues in terms of gender equality in access to education (BBC 02/11/2015; UNICEF 23/07/2015). IS has reportedly started teaching its ideology in schools in the districts under their control, such as Shaigal, in Kunar province (PBS 17/11/2015).
In Helmand province, more than 150 schools have been forced to close due to intensification of conflict, leaving around 100,000 students vulnerable to potential recruitment by militant factions (IRIN 16/12/2015).
The deterioration in security is bringing protection needs to the fore, as civilians are being targeted. At least 1.7 million people are reported to be in need of some form of protection assistance, with reported risks for over 6.3 million people (OCHA 05/01/2016). Violence against women is on the rise, including sexual violence (Tolo News 26/11/2015). Women’s life in Afghanistan, especially in territories controlled by the Taliban insurgents, is particularly hard. Nine women out ten are reported to regularly face physical, psychological, or sexual violence. Forced marriage, often underage, is also a severe issue (Al Jazeera 03/07/2015). Additionally, during Taliban offensives, civilians are often intentional targets, suffering severe injuries or death. (Amnesty International 14/05/2015).
Afghan local police have reportedly been involved in intimidation, physical abuse or violence, bribe-taking, salary fraud, and theft. Incidents of rape, drug trafficking, drug abuse and the selling or renting of local police weapons and vehicles have also been reported (ICG 05/06/2015).
Mines and ERW
Mines and IEDs pose a significant threat. 1,175 casualties were reported between April 2014 and March 2015, triple the number of the previous year (MACCA 15/09/2015; 08/09/2014).
22% of civilian casualties over January–June were caused by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) (US Ministry of Defense 04/09/2015). An average of 98 civilians per month are recorded as victims of mines or ERW (MAPA 14/09/2015).
Funding shortfalls might jeopardise demining operations (MAPA 16/09/2015).
UNAMA registered 44 cases of sexual violence between January 2014 and January 2015 (UN Security Council 15/04/2015). Sexual violence is underreported because of resulting social stigma as well as lack of access to Taliban-controlled areas. During fighting in Kunduz, women were particularly targeted, and experienced rape and harassment (AFP 17/10/2015).
40 reports of sexual violence against children, affecting 27 boys and 24 girls, were registered by UNAMA between September 2010 and December 2014 (UNAMA 24/08/2015). The Afghan national police, local police, and armed groups have been listed for recruitment and use of children (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict 02/05/2015).
When taking control of Kunduz the Taliban reportedly targeted and kidnapped several media workers, occupied the headquarters of some news agencies and destroyed equipment (RSF 29/09/2015).
28 January: Five women suicide bombers killed four people in Kerawa, in the Far North (AFP)
- 2.9 million people in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA 07/12/2015).
- 158,300 IDPs, mostly displaced by Boko Haram attacks in Far North region (IOM 27/11/2015).
- At least 341,434 refugees (UNHCR 21/01; UNHCR 01/02).- 2.3 million people are reported to be food insecure; 230,000 are severely food insecure (IPC Phase 3 or 4) (OCHA 01/12/2015; 24/09/2015).
- Food security, due to structural vulnerabilities exacerbated by population movements and general insecurity (OCHA 07/12/2015).
- Nutrition: More than 67,000 children under five were severely malnourished in 2015 (OCHA 07/12/2015).
Conflict in both Nigeria and CAR continues to displace vulnerable refugees to Cameroon; the Boko Haram conflict in Nigeria is also spilling over and causing insecurity in the Far North of Cameroon –1,200 people have been killed by BH in the Far North since 2013. Some 2.9 million people, 10% of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance, primarily in Far North, North, Adamaoua, and East regions.
Politics and security
The armed Islamist group Boko Haram (BH), based in Nigeria, began to intensify attacks in Cameroon in December 2014, focusing on the Far North region (ECHO 06/01/2015). Nearly 1,200 people have been killed since 2013, as the group has staged at least 315 raids and 32 suicide attacks in the Far North (AFP 15/01/2016). Since the end of 2014, the conflict has taken on a more regional dimension, with attacks in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, and a strengthened multinational force to counter the insurgency (UNHCR 22/05/2015).
The government denies BH holds any territory in Cameroon (Reuters 11/12/2015). Nevertheless, in mid-December, the government was reportedly urging men to join self-defence groups in the northern areas affected by BH. The same reports suggest the government has made provisions in its 2016 budget to support these groups (VOA 15/12/2015). National authorities have prohibited public gatherings in Far North region (UNICEF 21/10/2015).
Boko Haram (“Western education is forbidden”) is leading an insurgency to create an Islamic state in the predominantly Muslim regions of northeastern Nigeria. In the last two years, BH’s attacks have reached the whole Lake Chad region, affecting also Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Precise numbers are not known, but BH’s strength is estimated at around 15,000 (Amnesty 13/04/2015). Senior BH militants have originated from Cameroon (DIIS 05/01/2016). As of 16 September, between 3,000 and 4,000 Cameroonians were estimated to have joined the group (Amnesty International 16/09/2015).
Cameroonian Armed Forces
8,500 troops are deployed in the Far North (AFP 28/07/2015). Operations against BH so far have included air and ground offensives (Daily Mail 14/01/2015; New York Times 05/02/2015). There are reports that suggest the government has made provisions in its 2016 budget to support self-defence groups in the north (VOA 15/12/2015).
Multinational Joint Task Force
The Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) has 8,700 military and civilian personnel, including contingents from Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria (BBC 03/03/2015). The scope and remit of the force remains unclear (AFP 11/06/2015; 25/04/2015; 20/03/2015). Military forces from Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria began joint operations in January. Benin and Chad are still deploying troops (UNSC 22/12/2015).
On 14 October, the United States announced plans to deploy 300 soldiers to Cameroon to conduct intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance operations to help counter Boko Haram violence. The goal of this mission is to set up a drone base in Cameroon (International Media 14/10/2015, 15/10/2015). The US is also supplying equipment and logistics training to the Cameroonian military, aiding its efforts to counter BH (VoA 12/12/2014; Reuters 17/02/2015).
Central African Republic
Armed groups from CAR are reported to have conducted frequent incursions into Cameroon since the beginning of the crisis in Central African Republic in March 2013: kidnappings and harassment of the local population have been reported (IFRC 27/08/2015).
On 28 January, five female suicide bombers killed four people in Kerawa, in the Far North (AFP 28/01). On 25 January, 32 people were killed and almost 90 injured by four suicide bombers in Bodo, in the Far North (Le Point 26/01/2016). On 18 January, four people were killed in a suicide bombing at a mosque in the town of Nguetchewe in the Far North (AFP 18/01/2016). On 13 January, at least 12 people were killed and one was injured in a suicide attack on a mosque, in the village of Kouyape in Kolofata district (Reuters 13/01/2016; AFP 13/01/2016).
During November and December 2015, an increase in suicide attacks resulted in the deaths of at least 56 civilians (UNHCR 17/12/2015). In December 2015, 23 people were killed in seven BH-related incidents (ACLED 02/02/2016).
Cameroon hosts 158,300 IDPs, over 341,434 refugees, mainly from Nigeria and Central African Republic, and 30,000 returnees (UNHCR 21/01/2016; UNHCR 01/02/2016; IOM 27/11/2015). 35,000 Nigerian refugees are expected to arrive in 2016 (UNHCR 07/12/2015).
158,000 IDPs are in Cameroon as of 19 November 2015. 87% have been displaced by Boko Haram-related violence, and 13% by flooding and other natural disasters. 49% were displaced in 2015. The main movements have been within the Far North. An estimated 84% live in host communities, and the rest live in spontaneous settlements. In total, 553,000 people were hosting refugees and/or IDPs in December 2015 (OCHA 31/12/2015). Logone-et-Chari hosts the most IDPs (91,930), Mayo Danay 26,670, Mayo-Sava 18,094, and Mayo-Tsanaga 18,020. Some villages empty at nightfall, as residents flee to the bush in fear of BH attacks (IOM 27/11/2015). During October, over 38,000 IDPs were registered in Mora and more than 11,000 in Mozogo and Moskota (ACT Alliance 04/12/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
As of 30 September, the number of registered refugees in Cameroon is reported to be over 341,000(UNHCR 21/01/2016; UNHCR 01/02/2016).
Central African Republic: Cameroon is currently the country with the highest number of Central African refugees (OCHA 31/12/2015). 270,776 refugees from CAR are reported as of 21 January. The majority are in the East and Adamaoua regions and need lifesaving assistance (UNHCR 21/01/2016; UNICEF 30/10/2015). Over 138,000 have arrived since December 2013, most of them of muslim religion and of Peul (Fulani) ethnicity (UNHCR 29/01/2016). Many refugees have not been registered (UNHCR 13/10/2015).
More than 70,000 CAR refugees live in seven camps near the CAR border: 12,540 in Borgop 12,063 in Lolo, 11,344 in Mbile and the rest in Ngam and Timangolo (UNHCR 29/01/2016). The rest are scattered among host communities (IRIN 14/09/2015; UNHCR 31/10/2015, 01/11/2015). The Cameroonian government has reportedly arrested CAR refugees, put them in camps, and instructed families not to host CAR refugees, on the grounds that some have been involved in kidnappings and cattle theft (VOA 13/08/2015).
Nigeria: As of 1 February, 70,658 Nigerian refugees are registered in Cameroon (UNHCR 01/02). More than 60,000 have entered the country since July 2014 (UNHCR 24/01/2016). 15,000 live in host communities (UNHCR 07/12/2015). Minawao refugee camp (Mayo-Tsanaga), with a planned capacity for only 15,000, currently hosts 54,526 people (UNCHR 24/01/2016). Approximately 63% of camp residents are under 18 years of age, and 53% are female (UNHCR 07/12/2015). 20,088 new arrivals were recorded between January and the beginning of September 2015 (UNHCR 13/09/2015). Insufficient policing and lack of psychosocial support are reported (UNHCR 30/09/2015).
The limited number of humanitarian actors involved in the response in the Far North has made comprehensive humanitarian intervention almost impossible. Humanitarian access to people in need remains extremely difficult due to insecurity (UNICEF 30/11/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Security constraints have made access to vulnerable populations in the Far North and in areas close to the border with the Central African Republic extremely difficult (OCHA 10/04/2015; UNICEF 26/01/2016). Bad road conditions also delay the provision of assistance (USAID 21/08/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
The number of food-insecure people has more than doubled since June 2015, to reach a total of 23 million. Around 230,000 are in severe food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or 4) (OCHA 01/12/2015, 07/12/2015; FAO 27/10/2015).
In the Far North, the number of people in need of immediate food assistance has quadrupled since June 2015 (OCHA 27/01/2016). Food insecurity has spiked to affect one in three people: WFP estimates that 360,000 people are moderately to severely food insecure in the Lake Chad basin areas of the Far North, facing Stressed and Crisis (IPC Phases 2 and 3) food security outcomes (UN 14/09/2015; WFP 14/10/2015). Since January 2015, maize prices have increased by 24% since January (FAO 27/10/2015).
In the border departments of Logone-et-Chari, Mayo-Sava, and Mayo-Tsanaga, where there is a big concertation of refugees from Nigeria, food insecurity has affected 38% of the population (UNHCR 25/10/2015).
An EFSA assessment found that 32% of displaced people, and 22% of local populations in North and Far North regions have exhausted their food stocks, with the proportion of households depending on humanitarian assistance rising from 6% in 2014 to 33% in 2015 (FAO 27/10/2015).
According to an assessment conducted by WFP, security constraints are limiting land access for over 60% of farmers in North and Far North regions (FAO 27/10/2015). In addition, 4,200 cattle were stolen by BH in 2015, compared to around 1,200 in 2014 (VoA 18/01/2016).
Refugees in Minawao camp have limited opportunities to engage in income-generating activities. Approximately 25% of the refugee population were farmers in Nigeria, but access to land around the camp is very limited (UNHCR 07/12/2015).
Cameroon's Far North, North, Adamaoua, and East regions suffer chronic shortages of health workers 46% of health centres do not have access to electricity and 70% do not have piped water (Inter Press Service 19/08/2014). In Far North, 25 health facilities have closed because of insecurity, and around 85,500 people are without health services (OCHA 21/10/2015).Limited capacities of public health infrastructure around Minawao camp are reported (UNHCR 30/09/2015). Funding shortages are preventing health assistance (WHO 01/11/2015).
120 cholera cases, including five deaths (4.2% CFR) were reported in the Far North region in 2015, mainly in the North and Far North regions. 3,355 cases and 183 deaths were reported in 2014 (UNICEF 13/01/2015; 30/11/2015).
Global acute malnutrition (GAM) rates exceed 13% in Cameroon (WFP 11/01/2016). Estimates of acute malnutrition in the Far North and Adamaoua regions have drastically increased, as 2.2% of the children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) (UNICEF and Government of Cameroon 17/11/2015).
228,000 people were estimated to be acutely malnourished in 2015, including 195,000, in the priority regions of Far North, North, Adamaoua, and East. Some 33,000 are refugees (OCHA 05/09/2015).
At 30 September, around 69,865 children were reported with SAM in 2015 (UNICEF 21/10/2015).
IDPs are most in need of WASH assistance. In Logone-et-Chari, Far North, 62% of the population has no access to drinking water and an additional 319m3 per day are needed to fill the gap In Minawao and Gawar camps, 375 new latrines are needed due to new arrivals (UNHCR 08/11/2015).
220 water access points and 43 water pumps need repair or replacement across 62 host communities in Mayo-Sava and Mayo-Tsanaga in the Far North (ICRC 13/10/2015).
During the November–February dry season, as the Mayo Louti River dries up, supplying safe drinking water to Minawao camp and the surrounding communities requires seven water truck deliveries per day. A 27km pipeline and distribution network is planned (USAID 22/12/2015; UNHCR 17/12/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
IDPs families are renting rooms or living in the same property as their hosts.
The limited capacity of Minawao camp does not provide adequate shelter and NFIs for the average 100 to 200 new arrivals per week (UNHCR 07/12/2015).
152,000 children have suffered from interruption or disruption in education. 519 schools are open in the Far North, down from 737 before the conflict (IOM/UNHCR 29/06/2015). In Fotokol, Cameroonian armed forces have occupied several schools (OCHA 24/09/2015). In 2014, over 70 schools on the northern border with Nigeria’s Borno state were closed due to fear of attacks, and 100,000 students were relocated (VOA 07/09/2015).
In Minawao camp, there are only 24 classrooms for 18,000 children, so only 50% of primary school-aged children are enrolled. Lack of teachers and non-enrolment in the country of origin are also affecting school attendance (UNHCR 24/09/2015; OCHA 24/09/2015).
There are not enough classrooms or teachers nationwide (UNHCR 30/06/2015). Only 50% of primary school-aged children are enrolled in school.
2.4 million people are in need of protection assistance, predominantly in the Far North (OCHA 30/11/2015). Significant protection concerns have been raised over the circumstances of return of Nigerian refugees from Cameroon and mistreatment by allied security forces in Cameroon (UNHCR 05/11/2015).
The attacks in the Far North region have created an environment of suspicion towards Nigerian refugees and asylum seekers (UNHCR 30/09/2015). Cameroon decided in mid-2015 to increase deportations of undocumented migrants, leading to a surge in registration (USAID 21/08/2015). More than 20,000 Nigerian refugees have been forcibly returned to Nigeria (OCHA 31/12/2015). 12,000 Nigerians refugees are expected to be repatriated from Cameroon (local news 10/01/2016). Nigerian refugees are being forced to leave behind their belongings when returning from Cameroon (International Peace Institute 20/01/2016).
Since 2014, at least 1,300 people suspected to have links with BH have been detained. Most of those in custody are teenage boys and men. Overcrowding has led to poor conditions (IRIN 06/01/2016).
The whereabouts of 130 people arrested on 27 December 2014 in the villages of Magdeme and Doublé, are unknown. At least eight people, including a child, were killed during the operation, more than 70 buildings were burned down, and many possessions were stolen or destroyed. 25 people died in custody (Amnesty International 26/12/2015).
Boko Haram is using women and girls to carry out suicide attacks (UNHCR 07/12/2015).
Approximately 1,500 children have been abducted by Boko Haram in Cameroon since late 2014 (AFP 04/06/2015). Children in particular in the Far North are under serious protection threats, including family separation, exploitation, abuse, arbitrary detention, and abduction (UNICEF 27/01/2016).
In July 2015, families hosting IDPs and facing food shortages were reportedly using children to find food, exposing the children to dangers such as sexual exploitation and abuse (UN Human Rights Council 29/09/2015).
Central African Republic Country Analysis
29 January: Hundreds of demonstrators marched in Bangui calling for the results from the presidential elections to be annulled (Reuters, AFP).
29 January: A surge of LRA activity has been reported with LRA forces abducting 94 people and committing 16 attacks in the east in the first weeks of the year (OCHA, Invisible Children).
27 January: Less than one-third of children are enrolled in school, representing a 6.5% decline from the 2011-2012 levels (UNICEF).
25 January: The constitutional court ruled the legislative elections held on 30 December to be invalid (NYT).
- Conflict has caused over 6,000 deaths (Enough Project 02/09/2015).
- Around 2.3 million people are reported to be in immediate need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA 29/01/2016).
- 586,000 are severely food insecure and 1.36 million are moderately food insecure (WFP 31/12/2015).
- 469,300 IDPs, including 48,470 in Bangui (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
- 453,921 CAR refugees in neighbouring countries (OCHA 30/11/2015).
-Protection, particularly among the IDP population and enclaved Muslim communities.
-Humanitarian access is severely limited particularly outside Bangui, due to poor infrastructure, control of the roads by armed groups, and targeting of humanitarian actors.
-Food security is closely tied to displacement as farmers are unable to return home to harvest their crops.
Conflict has resulted in displacement, targeted killings along communal lines, and human rights abuses. Humanitarian needs in CAR continue to exceed available resources and delivery of aid is expected to decline because funding remains low. Protection, humanitarian access, and food security are priority needs, as continued violence, looting, and displacement cause further deterioration of an already dire humanitarian situation across the country.
Politics and security
The security situation in Central African Republic remains highly volatile. Sporadic violence has continued with hotspots in Nana Mambere, Ouham, Kaga Bandoro, Ouaka and Ombella M’poko prefectures (OCHA 30/12/2015).
September 2015 saw the biggest surge in violence since October 2014: at least 79 people were killed and 512 injured (OCHA 16/10/2015).
On 18 January, a MINUSCA peacekeeper was shot dead in Bangui by an unidentified assailant (MINUSCA 18/01/2016).
Presidential and legislative elections were held on 30 December (MINUSCA 31/12/2015). Voter turnout is estimated at 79% and no major incidents were reported (AP 07/01/2016; AU 02/01/2016; AFP 02/01/2016). 1.9 million people reportedly registered to vote (MINUSCA 12/12/2015). However, there have been reports of people not being able to register because they had lost identity documents (AFP 29/07/2015; IRIN 15/09/2015). 26% of Central African refugees in neighbouring countries registered to vote (AFP 10/12/2015).
On 25 January, the constitutional court ruled the results of the legislative election invalid due to illegible ballots and a lack of training for electoral workers. New elections were scheduled for 14 February, and the presidential run-off has been postponed to the same date (NYT 25/01/2016; AFP 28/01/2016). On 29 January, hundreds of demonstrators in Bangui called for the results of the first round of presidential elections to be annulled as well (Reuters 29/01/2016).
Earlier in December, a reported 30% of voters turned out in Bangui for a constitutional referendum, with preliminary results indicating that approximately 90% voted in favour of the new constitution (AFP 31/10/2015; 17/12/2015; UN News 18/12/2015). Violent clashes in Bangui’s PK-5 neighbourhood during voting killed at least five people and wounded 20 others (AFP 14/12/2015). Incidents of intimidation were reported in other parts of the country and voter turnout was particularly low in Ndele, Birao, and Kaga Bandoro (AFP 13/12/2015).
Ex-Seleka: Seleka was an alliance of parties based in the north of the country, created in 2012. It advanced south and took the capital in March 2013; Michel Djotodia took the presidency, and dissolved Seleka in late 2013. Many fighters remained active and were dubbed ‘ex-Seleka’. Most moved out of the capital, but remained in control of much of central and northern CAR in 2014, with Bambari, Ouaka, reportedly becoming their headquarters. 17,114 fighters were confined to three military camps in Bangui (IRIN 17/09/2014). Conflict among Seleka factions, involving in particular the Front Démocratique du Peuple Centrafricain (FDPC), grew over 2015, weakening the alliance significantly (IRIN 12/01/2015; international media 30/09/2014; Enough 17/06/2015). The Popular Front for the Renaissance of Central Africa (FPRC) is considered to be among the most vocal of the Seleka factions, FPRC is based in Kaga Bandoro town in Nana-Grebizi prefecture and is thought to have 500–700 fighters (AFP 05/12/2015). Its leader Nourredine Adam has declared an autonomous state in the north (Reuters 16/12/2015).
Anti-balaka: Many members of armed forces, the FACA, left to join the anti-balaka (anti-machete) militias that formed to counter the Seleka in 2013. There are around 75,000 anti-balaka, though the numbers are contested (IRIN 12/01/2015).
LRA: The Lord’s Resistance Army, a faction of Ugandan insurgents, is active in eastern CAR (Stratfor 26/08/2015; LRA Crisis Tracker 22/09/2015). LRA was responsible for 103 abductions in CAR in 2015, the lowest level of violent LRA activity in CAR since 2011. A surge of LRA activity has been reported in the first weeks of 2016 with LRA forces abducting 94 people and committing 16 attacks in eastern Central African Republic (OCHA 29/01/2016; Invisible Children 21/01/2016; 30/09/2016).
Interim government: A transitional government was installed in January 2014. Interim President Catherine Samba-Panza called for a more robust mandate for MINUSCA and for a disarmament process for all armed groups (Reuters 03/10/2015). On 4 November, she called for a loosening of the arms embargo against the national army (Reuters 02/11/2015).
UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA): MINUSCA officially took over peacekeeping operations on 14 September 2014. In March 2015, the number of peacekeepers was increased by 1,000, to better protect infrastructure and senior officials in Bangui, bringing the total to 13,000 uniformed personnel (Reuters 26/03/2015). 1,140 extra troops were sent to bolster security around the elections (AFP 10/11/2015). MINUSCA forces have been accused of sexual abuse, and being responsible for the death of two civilians in Bangui (UN 14/08/2015; Reuters, 12/08/2015; Aljazeera 11/08/2015). The head of the mission has been replaced, peacekeepers have been repatriated, and had their salary suspended (United Nations 11/09/2015). The unit from the Democratic Republic of Congo is being withdrawn following allegations of rape by DRC peacekeepers (Reuters 09/01/2015). New allegations of sexual abuse committed by members of units are currently being investigated (Reuters 09/01/2015; UN 11/11/2015; NYT 29/01/2016).
MINUSCA took over from African Union forces (MISCA) backed by France, who were deployed in December 2013. The African Union had already deployed troops to CAR prior to Seleka’s assumption of power, but they had been overwhelmed by the severity and scope of the conflict.
French forces: The French peacekeeping operation was formally handed over to MINUSCA on 19 May (French Ministry of Defence 22/05/2015). Around 900 French soldiers remain in the country (Reuters 09/01/2015; AFP 05/12/2015). French officials say that they intend to draw their troops down to pre-crisis levels of around 300 by the end of 2016 (Reuters 31/01/2016).
EU advisory mission: The EU launched its Military Advisory mission (EUMAM RCA) on 19 January, with the objective of reforming the security sector (Government 16/03/2015).
US forces: The US is providing logistical support, special forces, and advisers to African troops operating against the LRA (WP 29/09/2015.
Fighting persists between ex-Seleka and anti-balaka, Muslim and Christian communities, and pastoralists and farmers. December and January have seen an increase in attacks on IDP camps. About a million cattle have been reported killed or stolen, and around 1,000 livestock farmers belonging to the Mbororo ethnic group have been killed by anti-balaka since the start of the current crisis in March 2013 (AFP 02/09/2015).
Bangui: Violence in the capital over 26–30 September left at least 79 people dead and injured 512 (OCHA 16/10/2015). Violence rose again in mid-October, with clashes between armed groups and communities. Dozens of people were killed and hundreds of homes burned (AFP 16/10/2015, 27/10/2015, 31/10/2015, 02/11/2015; OCHA 02/11/2015). Hospital sources counted 232 people injured between 29 October and 11 November 2015 (Health Cluster 12/11/2015). At least 100 people have been killed in the predominantly Muslim PK-5 neighbourhood since 25 September (HRW 26/11/2015).
Ouaka: On 10 January, 1,500 shelters were burned down at a displacement site in Bambari. Three people died in the fire and 21 were injured. This was the secpmd fire in the camp in three weeks (OCHA 13/01/2016; 29/01/2016). An earlier fire on 22 December destroyed more than 200 huts (OCHA 12/01/2016). 13 people were killed during an attack on an IDP camp in Ngakobo town, near Bambari on 3 December, including eight residents and five ex-Seleka who led the attack. On the same day, an anti-balaka group attacked a commercial convoy travelling from Bangui to Bambari (AFP 04/12/2015; AP 04/12/2015).
Ouham: On 12 November 2015, an armed group reportedly affiliated with Seleka attacked an IDP camp in the town of Batangafo, in retaliation for the killing of two young Muslims in the camp earlier in the day (UNHCR 12/11/2015).
Ouham Pende: On 4 January, a group of armed men set fire to houses in the villages of Ndjore and Bedere-Elevage (OCHA 15/01/2016). About 87 houses were set on fire, causing the majority of the populations to flee to Paoua and in the nearby bush (OCHA 29/01/2016).
The LRA killed one person and abducted 30 during raids on a diamond mine near the village of Diya, about 600 km East of Bangui from 9-10 January. Six of the abducted have been released (Reuters 12/01/2016).
On 22 January the LRA killed 30 people in an attack in Bagawa village (OCHA 29/01/2016). Also in January, LRA forces abducted 15 people in Tamboura village in Haute Mboumou (Invisible Children 26/01/2016).
469,300 IDPs are estimated to be in CAR, an increase of 24% since early September, when the number of IDPs was estimated to be 378,400 (UNHCR 31/12/2016; 27/11/2015). An estimated 55% of IDPs have been displaced within the last year (WFP 31/12/2015). They are not likely to return home soon, as the security situation remains volatile. The majority are thought to be staying with host families (UNHCR 20/11/2015).
Priorities for IDPs include food security, healthcare, WASH, shelter, and basic household items (OCHA 31/08/2015). 53% of IDPs are thought to be with host families (FAO 14/01/2016). The host communities need shelter and NFI assistance (UNHCR 20/11/2015).
Bangui: As of December 2015 approximately 48,470 IDPs are in Bangui, up from 27,315 prior to the surge in violence in September (UNHCR 31/12/2015; UN 27/09/2015). The displaced are spread across 36 sites (OCHA 16/10/2015).
Mpoko IDP site at the airport still hosts an estimated 19,000 IDPs, about 7,200 of whom were displaced at the end of September 2015, despite the government’s intention to close the site (OCHA 27/11/2015; OCHA 01/10/2015). IDPs in other sites are also at risk of eviction.
Haute-Kotto: An LRA attack on 18 January along the Bria-Nzako route displaced at least 1,217 people (OCHA 29/01/2016).
Ouaka: Renewed violence in Bambari since September 2015 displaced 30,000 people to a spontaneous site 12km from the town (UNHCR 20/11/2015). On 30 November, an attack in the town of Ngakobo, about 60km south of Bambari, killed 10 people and injured five. An attack on the IDP site of Ngakobo on the night of 3 December killed an additional 8 people (OCHA 07/12/2015). According to local leaders at the site, approximately 2,850 people have arrived in Ngakobo since the beginning of November, the majority fleeing violence in the surrounding villages (ACTED 15/12/2015). On 13 December, about 536 households arrived in Maloum, the majority fleeing Sibut in Kemo prefecture in anticipation of attacks (OCHA 31/12/2015).
On 6 November, an attack on Awatche village, 25km from Bambari, caused 900 people to flee to a refugee camp for South Sudanese in Pladama Ouaka (UNHCR 13/11/2015).
Ouham: The presence of armed groups around the village of Kambakota on 6 and 7 January prompted the entire population of the village to flee to the bush (OCHA 15/01/2016). 4,100 people fled Batangafo following attacks by an armed group between 16 and 25 December.
An attack on an IDP camp in Batangafo on 12 November killed ten people, destroyed 730 shelters, and caused the majority of the camp population to flee. An estimated 10,000 IDPs sought refuge at a nearby hospital, 5,200 at an NGO office, 3,500 at a MINUSCA base, 4,300 at a Catholic Parish, and 900 at a local orphanage before returning to the camp (OCHA 25/11/2015; OCHA 16/11/2015; 12/11/2015). On 13 December, gunshots provoked an estimated 7,000 people to flee again (OCHA 31/12/2015).
About 3,340 people remain displaced from the town of Marali in the sub-prefecture of Bouca, following clashes between an armed group from Bogangolo and local militias (ACF 12/12/2015).
Ouham Pende: At least 710 people from the village of Pougol have fled to Paoua due to insecurity. An additional 6,000 displaced people are in Yelewa (OCHA 15/01/2016). On 21 November, fighting in the towns of Bouzou and Sangre prompted the inhabitants to flee towards surrounding villages of Mokonzi-Wali, Yade, and Mbikamba (OCHA 07/12/2015).
Nana Grebizi: There are 261 displaced households at a site in Oudanga, primarily herders fleeing inter-communal violence around the villages of Bukara, Grimari, and Bambari. Sanitation conditions on the site are poor, with only 18% of households having access to latrines. The local school has been closed for a year since the majority of teachers fled to Bangui (Solidarités International 04/11/2015). On 24 November, the village of Sango 2 in Mbres sub-prefecture was stormed by an armed group, causing the entire population to flee (OCHA 07/12/2015).
Nana Mambere: Clashes in Bouar have displaced 6,500 people since late November. IDPs are in urgent need of WASH and healthcare (OCHA 22/12/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
As of 31 December, 7,661 refugees are hosted in CAR (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
CAR refugees in neighbouring countries
As of 31 December, 453,921 CAR refugees were reported in neighbouring countries: the majority in Cameroon, followed by DRC, Chad, and Congo (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
Humanitarian access is severely limited, particularly for people in enclaves such as PK-5 and in affected communities outside Bangui, due to armed groups’ control of the roads and threats against humanitarian actors (UNHCR 31/12/2015; OCHA 20/10/2015). Truck drivers in Cameroon periodically refuse to transport food and humanitarian assistance into CAR during surges in violence (VoA 20/10/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
More than 200 attacks were perpetrated against humanitarian organisations in 2015 (OCHA 31/12/2015). Humanitarian organisations have been increasingly targeted since September 2015 (UNHCR 20/11/2015). However, 53 security incidents involving affecting humanitarian access were reported in December, down from 91 in November, as the overall security situation calmed. The main causes of insecurity are conflict/armed groups (13%), attacks on aid workers and the population (43%), and looting (23%) (OCHA 15/01/2016). UN, NGO, and private vehicles are regular targets on main roads (IOM 02/02/2015). Kidnapping of humanitarian workers is also frequent (USAID 27/04/2015; OCHA 20/10/2015). Many humanitarian actors have stopped delivering assistance to the 19,000 people estimated to be staying in Mpoko IDP camp on the outskirts of Bangui, due to security concerns (HRW 17/12/2015).
In the prefecture of Ombella-Mpoko, Yaloke sub-prefecture, roadblocks guarded by armed men prevent humanitarian access (OCHA 15/01/2016).
Access of affected populations to assistance
As of December 2015, around 36,000 Muslims are trapped in seven besieged communities (UNHCR 31/12/2015; UNICEF 30/12/2015). Anti-balaka fighters regularly carry out attacks on these communities and prevent access to the distribution of medical supplies, food, and humanitarian aid (UNICEF 31/12/2015; OCHA 30/11/2015; ODI 20/11/2015; Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect 15/09/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
586,000 people in CAR are estimated to be severely food insecure, or 15% of the total population, up from 3% in 2014. 36% of the population is moderately food insecure, up from 15% in 2014. 26% of the residents of Bangui are food insecure, or 216,000 people, 33,000 of whom are severely food insecure. The highest rates of food insecurity are found in the prefectures of Nana-Mambere (77%) Haut-Mbomou (75%), Mambere-Kadei (73%), Ouham (69%), Vakaga (64%), and Nana-Grebizi (61%) (FAO 14/01/2016; WFP 31/12/2015). Displaced people, returnees, and host families are considered to be the most vulnerable and are predicted to continue to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes through March 2016 (FEWSNET 30/11/2015). Livelihoods have been severely affected by fighting and looting of livestock, which has caused an increase in food prices and a decrease in household income (OCHA 31/08/2015).
75% of Central Africans rely on agriculture for their food and income. Agricultural production decreased in November 2015 due to insecurity (FEWSNET 01/01/2016).
Displaced populations are dependent on market purchase for 60% of their food. Food prices doubled in December in Sangha Mbaere prefecture due to insecurity and November flooding (FEWSNET 01/01/2016).
Two million people need access to health services (OCHA 22/12/2014; 31/08/2015). Malaria, acute respiratory infections, diarrhoea, and physical trauma are the biggest health issues among displaced people and in host communities (WHO 20/11/2015). Thousands of people in enclaves or cut off from services by violence are not able to securely access healthcare facilities and depend on visits from mobile clinics (Reuters 24/11/2015).
Nationwide, 28% of health centres are completely or partially destroyed (UNICEF 28/08/2015). 55% of health facilities are functioning, but only 25% of those offering services have functioning sources of energy, and 21% have access to water (WHO 27/04/2015; 31/12/2014). There are only 250 medical doctors in the country, which amounts to five for 100,000 inhabitants (WHO 20/11/2015). Logistical gaps in Bangui often hinder the timely transportation of injured people to hospitals (Health Cluster 12/11/2015).
Measles outbreaks were reported in Birao (Vakaga prefecture), Bangassou (Mbomou prefecture), and Kaga Bandoro (Nana-Grebizi prefecture) in 2015. 583 cases and six deaths were reported by the end of July (WHO 20/10/2015). The previous measles outbreak, in 2013, numbered 600 confirmed cases (OCHA 29/11/2013). Between 2012 and 2014, the proportion of Central African children vaccinated against measles fell from 64% to 25% (MSF 13/01/2015).
In 2015, 23,489 children were admitted for treatment for severe acute malnutrition, in similar numbers to the previous year (UNICEF 31/12/2015). A SMART survey of enclaves and IDP sites in Kaga Bandoro, Bambari, and Batangafo indicated in 2015 that global acute malnutrition was approaching 9.2%, and SAM at 2.2% (UNICEF 08/09/2015).
At 31 August 2015, less than 25% of the population is reported to have access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation facilities (OCHA 31/08/2015). Newly displaced people in sites in Cotonnerie in Bambari and PK-8 in Bangui have reported difficulties accessing water (ACTED 07/10/2015; OCHA 29/09/2015).
Assessments conducted in Bedaya 2, Bedogo 1, Bembo, and Bedam villages, in Ouham Pende, indicated that around 98% of the population practice open defecation. Only 5% of households have access to soap (Danish Refugee Council 06/08/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
Shelter needs increased in the second half of 2015. In particular, those displaced since the violence in September are in need of shelter (Shelter Cluster 31/12/2016; Reuters 29/09/2015). Over 40,000 houses are estimated to have been damaged or destroyed in Ouham, Nana Grebizi, Kemo, Ouaka, and Ombella Mpoko prefectures (Shelter Cluster 31/12/2105).
Shelter conditions are also insufficient in most IDP sites. In Cotonniere, near Bambari, 79% of the 10,019 IDP households are in abandoned factory buildings and 21% are in straw huts (ACTED 07/10/2015). IDPs with host families face lack of space and resulting tensions. IDPs tend to move to rental housing after being in IDP sites or with host families but struggle to keep up with rent.
The need for NFIs is reported to be particularly high in conflict areas (Solidarités International 01/09/2015).
On 10 September 2015, reports indicate that 78–88% of schools are open, however attendance remains low and intermittent (AFP 10/09/2015; NZ Herald 11/09/2015). Since 2012, 30% of schools in the country have been attacked and around 8.4% have been used as temporary bases by armed groups (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict 10/09/2015). There has been a 6.5% decline in the number of children enrolled in school from the 2011-2012 pre-crisis levels. In total, less than one-third of children are enrolled (UNICEF 27/01/2016).
Crimes against humanity and war crimes have been reported. Protection concerns are highest in Ouham, Nana-Grebizi, Ouaka, Mambere-Kadei, Haute Kotto, Ouham Pende, and Haut-Mbomou (OCHA 30/11/2015).
36,000 people are estimated to be trapped in enclaves and unable to move around freely, including 26,000 in PK-5 in Bangui, 8,374 in Boda, 523 in Carnot, 229 in Yaloke, 1,200 in Bouar, 115 in Dekoa, and 425 in Berberati (UNHCR 31/12/2015; UNICEF 30/12/2015).
Ex-Seleka and anti-balaka groups are both listed for child recruitment, killing, rape and other forms of sexual violence. The ex-Seleka are also listed for attacks on schools and/or hospitals (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict 03/12/2015).
More than 60,000 cases of sexual and gender-based violence were registered by the UN Population Fund during the first ten months of 2015 (UNHCR 10/12/2015). 9,685 cases of gender-based violence were reported in October 2015, up from 6,396 in September 2015 (OCHA 30/11/2015). Rape of women in Mpoko IDP camp by anti-balaka, for carrying out business with Muslim traders, has been reported (VOA 16/01/2016; HRW 17/12/2015). As of 15 September 2015, there have been 17 allegations of sexual abuse or exploitation perpetrated by UN personnel (UN 15/09/2015). At least nine allegations involve minors (AFP 11/09/2015).
Female genital mutilation is estimated to affect 24% of women and girls between 15 and 49 (Protection Cluster 24/07/2015).
At 2.4 million, children make up half of the population affected by crisis in CAR including food insecurity, protection, and access to basic services (UNICEF 31/12/2015). The number of children recruited into armed groups has risen to 6,000–10,000, from 2,500 at the beginning of the crisis (UNICEF 28/08/2015). Between August and October 2015, 369 children were released from armed groups (UNICEF 30/11/2015).
The administrative weakness of the transitional authority has resulted in many citizens not being able to access important documents including identity documents, property deeds, and birth certificates (OCHA 30/11/2015). Refugee children who do not have access to birth certificates are at risk of statelessness (OCHA 28/05/2015).
Democratic Republic of Congo Country Analysis
29 January: 70,000–82,000 people from Walikale have fled to Lubero territory since November 2015 due to clashes between FDLR and Mayi-Mayi groups (UNHCR).
27 January: Suspected FDLR kidnapped 50 families in Bushalingwa, Ikobo, in the border area between Walikale and Lubero (Radio Okapi 27/01/2016).
26 January: More than 75,000 people are still staying in schools and with host families in Isangi, Tshopo, after October flooding. Their most urgent need is safe drinking water (Radio Okapi).
26 January: Lubao, Haut-Lomami, reports lack of medicines for tuberculosis. At least ten people have died in the last four months due to the lack of medicine (Radio Okapi).
26 January: More than 56,000 children are not attending school in Mahagi, Ituri (Radio Okapi 26/01/2016).
- 7.5 million people need humanitarian assistance (OCHA 07/12/2015).
- 1.6 million IDPs (OCHA 27/10/2015).
- 2.5 million children under five are suffering from severe malnutrition (WHO 27/09/2015).
- 7.3 million school-aged children are not attending school (Radio Okapi 10/03/2015).
- 6.5 million people are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes (IPC 17/11/2015)
- Food security, particularly in Punia (Maniema), Nyunzu and Manono (Tanganyika), Irumu (Ituri), Beni and Walikale (Nord-Kivu) and Shabunda (Sud-Kivu)
- WASH in Tshopo, particularly in Isangi
- Protection, especially in the border areas between Rutshuru, Walikale and Lubero territories, Nord-Kivu
- Health; cholera epidemic response in health zones: Fizi (Sud-Kivu), Kipamba (Haut-Lomami), Ikela (Tshuapa) and Lubumbashi (Haut Katanga)
A complex emergency has persisted in DRC for more than 20 years. Ongoing conflict between foreign, self-defence, and other armed groups, mainly impacting the eastern provinces, has left the country in a state of prolonged, severe humanitarian crisis. Although the security situation has improved slightly since 2013, and M23’s defeat in Nord-Kivu, humanitarian needs remain at static levels and conflict continues to cause displacement. Clashes between armed groups and the DRC armed forces (FARDC) are affecting populations mainly in Sud- and Nord-Kivu, Ituri, Tanganyika, and Haut-Katanga provinces. Food security is a priority: the number of people in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) rose by a half-million in 2015. Health is a priority due to recurrent measles, cholera, and malaria outbreaks, and protection concerns are high because of serious human rights violations perpetrated by armed groups and the FARDC in the eastern provinces. Access remains volatile in the east, and lack of infrastructure is a general problem across the country.
Politics and security
President Kabila’s second term ends in November 2016, but the ruling coalition is attempting to prolong his presidency beyond the constitutional two-term limit. The ruling party is thought to be using the scheduling of elections to extend Kabila’s time in office: the majority is pushing for local elections – which have never been held in DRC – to take place before the presidential poll (RFI 10/08/2015). The ruling coalition claims that presidential polls must be delayed by two to four years, to enable the necessary measures to be put in place to meet the electoral timetable (International Peace Institute 27/10/2015; Reuters 01/11/2015). In November, Kabila announced a ‘national dialogue’ would be set up in order to facilitate organisation of the elections. Opposition parties are refusing to participate (ICG 01/12/2015).
Decentralisation became official in July 2015 (The National Law Review 07/10/2015). On 29 October, Kabila appointed special commissioners to administer the newly created provinces until governors are elected (Radio Okapi 29/10/2015). The opposition party criticised the appointments as anti-constitutional (Radio Okapi 31/10/2015). Decentralisation may cause tensions, particularly in the former Katanga province, where the new divisions mean that impoverished northern areas will not benefit from the redistribution of resources from southern areas.
Rwanda and DRC began a new round of security talks in September 2015. The two countries have said they are committed to cooperating on the repatriation of FDLR combatants as well as former members of M23 (Africa Times 27/09/2015).
At least 70 armed groups are operating in eastern DRC. Groups usually number less than 200 soldiers and recruit largely along ethnic lines (Congo Research Group 25/11/2015). They range from local militias set up initially as self-defence groups (including the Mayi-Mayi) to secessionist groups, and forces first set up by fighters from Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. The UN peacekeeping mission (MONUSCO) and an EU mission has been providing assistance to security sector reform since 2005 (EU 25/09/2014). Efforts to demobilise armed groups are ongoing (Radio Okapi 06/04/2015).
The armed forces of DRC (FARDC) comprise 120,000–130,000 fighters (Defence Web 2013).
Allied Democratic Forces/National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF/NALU) is a militant group founded in the 1990s in Uganda. Their main interest in DRC is to make use of gold mining and logging to support their activities.
Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) are Hutu Rwandans allegedly linked to the genocide. An estimated 1,500 fighters are active, primarily in the Kivu regions (IBT 13/07/2015). Despite an FARDC offensive since January 2015, FDLR’s positions in Nord- and Sud-Kivu have not weakened (Radio Okapi 28/10/2015).
Front of Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI) was set up in November 2002 from among the Ngiti ethnic group to fight for the region’s natural resources (TRAC 2015). Attacks increased in Irumu, Ituri, in 2015, after a failed disarmament programme at the end of 2014 (OCHA 19/04/2015). FARDC launched an offensive against the group in June 2015 (AFP 24/06/201).
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) was founded by Joseph Kony in Uganda in 1989 and spread to South Sudan, then to DRC and CAR (IBT 29/10/2015). Since October 2015, they have been active in Haut- and Bas-Uele (Radio Okapi 08/11/2015; 21/10/2015).
Mayi-Mayi: At least 20 Mayi-Mayi groups, formed by local leaders along ethnic lines, are active in Nord-Kivu, Sud-Kivu, and former Katanga. The number of fighters can range from 100 to 1,000 in one group. They target civilians and UN peacekeeping forces for looting (AFP 2013; Irin News 15/06/2010).
The Patriotic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (FPLC) has a few hundred combatants and is active in Nord-Kivu (IBT 29/10/2015).
The UN Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) is composed of over 19,000 troops, as well as military observers and police units (UN 29/12/2015). The initial mission, MONUC, was established after the 1999 peace agreement between DRC and five neighbouring countries. In March 2014 its mandate was expanded, and an Intervention Brigade was created, charged with fighting against armed groups, (RFI 20/10/2014). In March 2015, MONUSCO’s mandate was extended for another year and its force was cut by 2,000 troops (Reuters 26/03/2015; AFP 26/03/2015). At the end of January 2016, MONUSCO signed an agreement with the government to resume support to FARDC in the east, which had ceased for almost a year due to allegations of human rights abuses perpetrated by FARDC (Radio Okapi 28/01/2016).
Despite ceasefire agreements following conflicts of the 1990s and 2000s, many armed groups continue to exist and fighting between them, and with FARDC, continues. Regions most affected by conflict are Ituri, Nord- and Sud-Kivu, Tanganyika, and Haut-Katanga.
Beni territory: In October 2015, FARDC and MONUSCO launched a new offensive to destroy ADF positions that are used to attack civilians (Radio Okapi 29/10/2015). ADF clashes with the military since December 2015 have raised fears of an imminent attack on Beni town (UNHCR 29/01/2016).
Lubero territory: Ethnic violence between the Hutu and Nande left 17 dead in Miriki on 7 January. The communities are allegedly disputing over land. (AFP 08/01/2016; Radio Okapi 07/01/2016).
Walikale: The number and intensity of armed attacks on civilians and between armed groups have significantly increased since August 2015 (WFP 22/12/2015). FDLR have been fighting Mayi-Mayi groups since November 2015 (UNHCR 29/01/2016). At the end of January, presumed FDLR kidnapped 50 families and burned down their homes in Bushalingwa, Ikobo, in the border area between Walikale and Lubero. The FDLR has been occupying the village since mid-October (Radio Okapi 27/01/2016).
Rutshuru: Tensions between Nande and Hutu communities are being reported in Nyamilima, after eight Nande leaders were accused by the court in Goma of setting fire to a Hutu leader’s house in May 2015 (Radio Okapi 27/01/2016).
MONUSCO increased the number of troops along the border with Burundi due to the crossing of Burundian fighters from FLN to DRC (UN 29/01/2016). On 25 December, FARDC launched an offensive against Raiya Mutomboki (Radio Okapi 07/01/2016). Since mid-November, at least seven villages in Kalehe territory have been occupied by Raiya Mutomboki and RM Butachibera, who loot homes and extort ‘taxes’ (Radio Okapi 18/11/2015; 02/01/2015).
FRPI attacks on civilians have intensified since June 2015 in southern Irumu (OCHA 14/01/2016). Since the beginning of December, FARDC and MONUSCO have been attacking FRPI positions in the province (Radio Okapi 16/12/2015).
There is a risk of escalation of inter-communal conflict over cattle in the Lagabo area (OCHA 14/01/2016).
Haut-Uele and Bas-Uele
The LRA has been carrying out armed attacks on civilians along the Niangara–Nambia road and in Garamba Park, Niangara territory, since the beginning of October (Radio Okapi 21/10/2015; 06/12/2015). LRA has also been attacking villages in Ango territory, kidnapping young people and looting property, since December 2015 (Radio Okapi 06/01/2016).
Fighting between Luba and Twa resulted in 600 dead and more than 10,000 displaced in more than 7,000 reported security incidents between 2014 and 2015. Clashes are still ongoing (OCHA 14/01/2016).
In Tshopo, 250,000 people made homeless by flooding in October still need assistance. Of these, more than 75,000 people are staying in schools and with host families in Isangi. Their most urgent need is safe drinking water (Radio Okapi 20/12/2015; 26/01/2016; OCHA 14/01/2016). More than 25,900 houses have been destroyed. 67 schools and 49 health centres have been badly damaged (OCHA 09/12/2015; 14/01/2016).
Between 15 November and 20 December, more than 65,500 people were affected by flooding across Maniema. The majority lost shelters and their harvest. Heavy rains have been limiting access to the province (OCHA 08/01/2016). Another 55,000 people have lost shelter and harvest in Bumba territory, Mongala, due to floods. Authorities are asking for humanitarian assistance (Radio Okapi 20/11/2015; 17/12/2015; 03/01/2016).
Displacement in DRC occurs repeatedly and almost daily due to armed attacks and inter-communal clashes. At the end of September, 1.6 million IDPs were reported; more than half are in Nord-Kivu and the rest are mainly in Sud-Kivu and the former Katanga province. More than 90% have been displaced due to armed fighting. Displacement typically occurs when the FARDC conducts counterinsurgency operations (Congo Research Group 25/11/2015).
Over 1.2 million IDPs live with host families (OCHA 27/10/2015). IDPs are also sometimes inaccessible in the bush. Returnees often find their houses looted or burned down.
DRC hosts nearly 250,000 refugees (OCHA 21/10/2015).
Internal displacement can be short-term, but is frequent. From July to September, 260,000 people were newly displaced due to armed clashes, the majority in Nord-Kivu and Ituri (OCHA 27/10/2015).
Nord-Kivu hosts 744,000 IDPs as of October: 537,000 live with host families (OCHA 05/10/2015). 198,000 IDPs live in 52 displacement sites coordinated by IOM and UNHCR. They come mainly from the border area between Masisi, Rutshuru, and Walikale territories (IOM 25/12/2015).
Beni: 259,500 IDPs in Beni as of 25 September (OCHA 05/10/2015). The security situation has improved since mid-December. 60% (8,400) of the displaced from Eringeti to Ituri have returned (OCHA 08/01/2016).
Lubero: 70,000–82,000 people from Walikale have fled to the south Lubero territory since November 2015 due to clashes between FDLR and Mayi-Mayi groups (UNHCR 29/01/2016). They are in need of assistance: their main need is food and health. They are staying with host families that are already overstretched and urgently need food and drinking water. Some 900 families in a camp in Miriki have not received any assistance and are in urgent need of water and food. High tensions are reported between host and displaced communities (Radio Okapi 09/01/2016; OCHA 08/01/2016; Radio Okapi 16/01/2016). Local authorities closed the IDP site in Mokoto on 12 January and 4,000 IDPs were expelled (WHO 20/01/2016).
Walikale: 8,000 people have returned since October 2015 to find their houses, schools and fields destroyed by fighting between FDLR and Mayi-Mayi groups. Aid is being delivered by air (WFP 22/12/2015).
322,300 IDPs were in Sud-Kivu as of 30 September (OCHA 13/10/2015). 310,000 live with host families (OCHA 09/10/2015). More than 50,000 IDPs are living in the bush without any assistance (ACTED, 04/12/2015). In December, 12,500 people returned from Katanga village to Baraka, Fizi territory, due to improved security (OCHA 16/12/2015).
Ituri hosts 146,651 IDPs as of 30 September (OCHA 27/10/2015). Half are staying in temporary sites, and the other half with host families (OCHA 20/10/2015). Since the end of October, FRPI attacks have displaced 10,000 people in southern Irumu (OCHA 26/11/2015). IDPs from Nord-Kivu staying between Komanda and Luna, Irumu, claim that there has been discrimination favouring the local population in the distribution of international aid (Radio Okapi 28/01/2016).
Haut-Katanga hosts 84,140 IDPs (OCHA 27/10/2015). 1,750 people have been staying in a temporary site in Ngoy Kitwa, Kambowe territory, for one year, without any sanitation structures. Cases of diarrhoea and vomiting are reported (Radio Okapi 30/12/2015).
Fighting between Luba and Twa displaced more than 100,000 people between 2014 and 2015. The majority lives with host families (OCHA 14/01/2016).
Refugees and asylum seekers
DRC hosts nearly 250,000 refugees. 103,000 are in Nord-Kivu, over 90,000 in Sud-Ubangi, Nord-Ubangi, and Mongala, and Sud-Kivu hosts over 30,000 refugees (OCHA 21/10/2015). DRC provincial authorities insist that assistance should only be delivered within camps, making it difficult to support refugees in host communities. New arrivals are registered mainly from CAR, Burundi, and South Sudan. 117,300 Rwandan refugees are in DRC (UNHCR 28/02/2015; UN 30/12/2014).
From CAR: 105,750 CAR refugees (UNHCR 30/11/2015). In 2015, 10,000 arrivals were reported (OCHA 26/11/2015; WFP 09/12/2015). Refugees are staying in five camps established in Nord- and Sud-Ubangi and Bas-Uele.
At the beginning of December, anti-balaka militias crossed the border from CAR and attacked several villages hosting CAR refugees in Bosobolo territory, Sud-Ubangi (Radio Okapi 07/12/2015). More than 2,000 CAR refugees have been transferred from Zongo to Mole camp for their protection (UN 29/12/2015).
From Burundi: In 2015, over 20,280 Burundian refugees arrived in DRC. The majority are in Sud-Kivu (UNHCR 28/12/2015). Around 1,000 refugees arrive each month. Half are under 12 years old. Priority needs are WASH and health. Lusenda camp, Fizi territory, has reached full capacity, at 12,487 people (UNICEF 06/11/2015; WFP 19/11/2015; UNHCR 28/12/2015). Some 6,000 are staying with host families. The remaining refugees are in transit centres and temporary sites (WFP 16/09/2015). FDLR presence in hosting areas is a concern. Fighters from the Burundian National Forces of Liberation (FNL) have reportedly crossed to Uvira territory, Sud-Kivu. Their presence affects relations between the host community and Burundian refugees (WHO 20/01/2016).
From South Sudan: Nearly 7,000 people have arrived from South Sudan since mid-November including 4,160 refugees and 2,017 DRC returnees, in Dungu, Haut-Uele. They are fleeing clashes in Ezo. 90% are women and children. Most stay with with host families. They are in urgent need of shelter, food, NFIs, and medical care. Very few humanitarian organisations are present in the province (UNHCR 07/12/2015; Radio Okapi 05/01/2016; OCHA 14/01/2016; WHO 20/01/2016).
DRC refugees in neighbouring countries
Some 495,000 DRC refugees in neighbouring countries, mainly in Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Congo, South Sudan, Angola, Zambia, and CAR. 5,455 refugees returned to DRC in 2015 (UNHCR, 30/11/2015). Over 33,600 refugees mainly from Nord-Kivu and Ituri crossed into Uganda during 2015, the majority women and children (EastAfrican 21/11/2015; UNHCR 27/01/2016). 1,009 DRC refugees crossed to Kenya in 2015 (UNHCR 04/01/2016).
Insecurity is a major constraint in the east, and accessibility changes according to conflict dynamics. Most security incidents and attacks against relief agencies’ personnel and facilities occur in Nord-Kivu. Another major issue is lack of infrastructure and bad road conditions across the country. Access worsens during the rainy season.
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Kidnappings of humanitarian personnel and attacks on humanitarian convoys have been increasing in Nord-Kivu since 2015 (UN 22/01/2016). At least 20 international and local aid workers were kidnapped in 2015 in Rutshuru territory, Nord-Kivu (HRW 16/12/2015). 48 attacks on humanitarians were reported in Sud-Kivu between January and September 2015 (OCHA 21/11/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Nord-Kivu: Rain has made roads impassable and armed group activity is constraining access in all five territories. Several humanitarian organisations, including ICRC, have suspended operations. MSF suspended its activities in Mweso, Masisi territory, after armed actors attacked one of their convoys and abducted two staff members in mid-December (Radio Okapi 25/12/2015; MSF 20/01/2016). The road between Butembo and Beni has become impassable due to rain (OCHA 31/12/2015).
Sud-Kivu: Rain and insecurity have made roads impassable between Shabunda and Lulingu and between Luemba and Mwenga (OCHA 31/12/2015). The road connecting Kalehe territory with Goma is impassable due to flooding (Radio Okapi 17/12/2015).
Ituri: Roads in Irumu territory or barely passable owing to poor road conditions and insecurity (OCHA 31/12/2015).
Tanganyika: Severe security constraints have been reported on the road between Nyunzu, Mukembo and Kiambi (OCHA 31/12/2015).
Kasai Oriental: Traffic between Kinshasa and Kananga has been disrupted due to a collapsed bridge on the Lukula River. The local population fears food prices will increase (Radio Okapi 18/01/2016).
Food security and livelihoods
6.5 million people face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes as a result of armed conflict and displacement (IPC 17/11/2015). Irumu (Ituri), Punia (Maniema), Shabunda (Sud-Kivu), Manono and Nyunzu (Tanganyika), and Beni and Walikale (Nord-Kivu) are all in Emergency. Some 1.05 million people are in Emergency, 500,000 more than in January 2015 (IPC 17/11/2015).
Agricultural produce is becoming rare in Zongo, Sud-Ubangi, due to erratic rains. Supplies come from Bangui, CAR, where food prices have risen by 50% due to continued violence. Humanitarian assistance is needed (Radio Okapi 05/01/2016).
44,000 people in Mahagi territory, Ituri, have lost their harvest due to flooding and are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA 18/11/2015).
Food and NFI prices have increased sharply in Masisi, Nord-Kivu, and Shabunda and Kindu, Sud-Kivu, due to bad road conditions (OCHA 21/12/2015; Radio Okapi 25/11/2015; 22/01/2016). A bridge collapse over the Nduma River has left 18,000 people in Kalehe territory, Sud-Kivu, without food assistance (OCHA 07/01/2016).
Food security in Punia and Lubutu territories, Maniema, can deteriorate as little assistance is being provided. Both territories are already in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) of food insecurity (OCHA 08/01/2016).
Violence has negatively impacted agricultural output in the former Katanga region; 385,000 people cannot cultivate due to insecurity. Manono and Nyunzu in Tanganyika are most affected (OCHA 14/01/2016).
Cholera and measles outbreaks are ongoing. A lack of health services is reported, mainly in the Kivus, the former Katanga, and Orientale provinces. Malaria, intestinal parasites, acute respiratory infections, and diarrhoea are the most frequent illnesses detected among the arrivals from Burundi (UNHCR 17/11/2015). Malaria remains a main cause of illness in all CAR refugee camps (OCHA 20/11/2015). South Sudanese child refugees in Haut-Uele are suffering from respiratory infections and gastro-intestinal diseases (WHO 20/01/2016).
Healthcare availability and access
Sud-Kivu: 60% of the population in Uvira, Fizi, and Walungu territories do not have healthcare (OCHA 29/06/2015). There is a lack of medical supplies in all five health zones in the province (OCHA 09/07/2015).
Nord-Kivu: The health centre in Eringeti has re-opened. Lack of medicine, equipment and infrastructure is reported (Radio Okapi 05/01/2015). The hospital in Beni lacks capacity due to a quickly expanding population in the area (Radio Okapi 09/12/2015). Doctors have left Oicha city due to insecurity; the hospital has closed (Radio Okapi 15/12/2015).
Nord-Ubangi: Critical shortages of essential medicines are being reported in CAR refugee camps (OCHA 20/11/2015).
Tshopo: The general hospital in Ubundu lacks infrastructure, including radiography and echography services (Radio Okapi 31/01/2016).
Haut-Lomami: Lubao reports lack of medicines for tuberculosis. At least ten people have died in the last four months due to the lack of medicine (Radio Okapi 26/01/2016).
Mental health needs are high in Nord-Kivu with many patients displaying post-traumatic symptoms, but there is only one mental health centre in the province. There is a social stigma associated with mental health problems, and people seek traditional healers (Irin 05/01/2016).
Cholera persists in 12 health zones in Sud-Kivu, Lualaba, Haut-Katanga, Haut-Lomami, and Tanganyika. At least 50 new cases have been registered in Kipamba health zone in Haut-Lomami in the last two weeks (Radio Okapi 30/01/2016). Fizi health zone in Sud-Kivu is most affected, where an increasing number of new cases has been reported since mid-December. The spread is mainly due to lack of safe drinking water. Five cases have also been reported in Lubumbashi (WHO 17/11/2015; 20/01/2016). A high number of cases in Sud-Kivu is worrisome; the epidemic could spread quickly through the Burundian refugee camps (WHO 17/12/2015). In Maniema and Tshopo, cholera cases have been decreasing since the beginning of November (WHO 17/11/2015; 20/01/2016).
A disease with symptoms similar to cholera has caused 18 deaths in Ikela health zone in Tshuapa since the beginning of January. More than 300 patients have been admitted for treatment. Symptoms are diarrhoea, vomiting and muscle cramps; victims die within 4–12 hours if not admitted for treatment. The local hospital is overstretched and will run out of medicine soon (Radio Okapi 23/01/2015; 25/01/2015).
21,584 cases of cholera, including 329 deaths, were recorded in 2015, with a case fatality rate of 2% (WHO 20/01/2016). Maniema, Sud-Kivu, and Nord-Kivu accounted for two-thirds of cases (UNICEF 21/01/2016). The total number of cholera cases in 2015 surpassed that of 2014 (WHO 17/12/2015; OCHA 30/11/2015).
More than 190 cases of diarrhoea have been reported in Nundu health zone, Sud-Kivu. 75 cases come from Lusenda camp, where Burundian refugees are staying (WHO 20/01/2016).
As of September, 2.5 million children under five are severely malnourished (WHO 27/09/2015). Acute malnutrition is at 8% (OCHA 07/12/2015). The situation has been static over recent years.
In CAR refugee camps in Nord-Ubangi, severe acute malnutrition (SAM) is at 0.6% in Mole camp and 1% in Inke camp (OCHA 21/11/2015). In former Katanga, 100,000 children under five and 90,000 pregnant women expertience severe malnutrition every year (OCHA 14/01/2016).
7.5 million people are in need of WASH (OCHA 31/12/2015). Only 22% of the overall population has access to drinking water (Bond for International Development 31/07/2015; OCHA 07/12/2015). The situation is serious in Nord- and Sud-Kivu. 4.3 million people require WASH assistance in Nord-Kivu, nearly 80% of the population (OCHA 20/05/2015).
Only 22% of the population has access to drinking water (Bond for International Development 31/07/2015; OCHA 07/12/2015). 42% of the population (1.9 million people) of Sud-Kivu does not have access to drinking water (OCHA, 13/10/2015; 21/11/2015).
80% of the population (3.7 million people) of Sud-Kivu does not have access to toilets (OCHA 21/11/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
Over 3.3 million people are in need of shelter. This figure has remained stable for the past three years. Returning IDPs often find their houses burned or destroyed (OCHA 31/12/2015; 07/2014). Host families that provide shelter and basic NFI to IDPs are often living in vulnerable conditions themselves. A major gap in response is an insufficient number of shelter actors with a capacity to respond quickly with materials other than plastic sheeting (Shelter Cluster 25/12/2015).
More than 1,000 shelters have been burned during clashes in south Lubero territory, Nord-Kivu, since November 2015 (OCHA 08/01/2016).
Shelter needs have risen since October due to flooding: In Kinshasa, 8,480 people are living in crowded conditions with host families (IFRC 19/12/2015). In Tshopo, 250,000 people became homeless (OCHA 14/01/2016. 55,000 people lost shelter in flooding in Bumba territory, Mongala (Radio Okapi 17/12/2015). More than 50,000 people are without shelter since flooding in March 2015 in Malemba Nkulu territory, Haut-Lomami (OCHA 14/01/2016).
More than 7 million children aged 5–17 (28% of the school-aged population) are not attending school. Half are 6–10 years old (Radio Okapi, 13/01/2016). This number has remained stable over the past years. 19,000 children cannot go to school due to flooding in Tshopo (Radio Okapi 11/12/2015). More than 56,000 children between six and seven years old do not go to school in Mahagi, Ituri. The majority of them are working (Radio Okapi 26/01/2016).
Military, militias, and other armed groups are accused of abuse of civilians, including arbitrary arrest, extortion, looting, child conscription, sexual violence, and executions. The majority of protection incidents occur in the former Katanga region and the Kivus (OCHA 14/10/2015). Between January and November 2015, over 22,300 incidents occurred in the former Katanga. Half of the 1,370 reported protection incidents in November 2015 were related to property rights, including extortion and looting. Other incidents include torture, arbitrary arrests, killings and forced work. More than half of the incidents occurred in Pweto (Haut-Katanga) and Manono (Tanganyika) territories. Most were attributed to FARDC. However, most perpetrators of sexual violence were reported to be civilians (UNHCR 30/11/2015).
Between 1 January and 30 September, an increasing number of human rights violations were registered in relation to the electoral process. Summary executions, death threats, arbitrary detentions, restrictions on freedom of expression and freedom of assembly were reported. (UN 08/12/2015). Activists and political leaders speaking out against the President’s attempt for a third term in office are being subjected to arbitrary arrest and prolonged incommunicado detention. Protests calling for release of those detained have been systematically repressed (Amnesty International 25/11/2015).
The security situation in the former Katanga region worsened in 2015: 20,000 protection incidents were reported between January and October, compared to 13,000 in all 2014. These include rape, arbitrary arrest, child soldier recruitment, and torture. More than half of the incidents occurred in Tanganyika (Radio Okapi 11/01/2016).
Sexual violence is used as a weapon of war in eastern DRC. Between January and August 2015, 1,198 SGBV cases were reported in Ituri. SGBV response activities have been interrupted due to funding shortfalls (OCHA 17/09/2015). Reports of sexual violence in Ngandajika territory, Lomami, were three times higher in 2015 than in 2014 (Radio Okapi 11/01/2016).
29 January: Rainfall in June and July was 30%-35% below average and the coastal areas of Foro, Gel’alo and Massawa had almost no rain (FAO).
29 January: Between January and October 2015, more than 39,000 Eritrean refugees arrived in Italy by sea (IOM).
26 January: 1.5 million people are affected by the humanitarian crisis, including 725,000 children. (UNICEF).
- 1.5 million people, including 725,000 children under 18, are affected (UNICEF 26/01/2016).
- Over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported as undernourished between 2011 and 2013 (WFP).
- 320,000 Eritrean refugees: most are living in Ethiopia and Sudan (OCHA 20/04/2015; UNHCR, 30/06/2015 01/12/2014).
-Access: Operation and maintenance of established humanitarian systems remain a significant challenge (UNICEF 15/01/2015).
-Protection: Torture, arbitrary detention, and indefinite national service are reported (UNHRC 04/06/2015).
-Food Security: Satellite based monitoring suggests that much of the country is affected by drought. The food security situation is compounded by the fact that farmers are routinely absent during harvest periods due to mandatory national service (OCHA 10/11/2015; Economist 10/03/2014).
The Eritrean state severely restricts the access of humanitarian actors inside the country. Therefore, very little is known about the humanitarian needs inside the country, however UNICEF estimates that 1.2 million people are in need. UN operations have been restricted to health, water supply and sanitation (OCHA). An average of 5,000 Eritreans per month are thought to flee the country (OHCHR 08/06/2015).
Politics and security
Eritrea is a one-party state governed by President Isaias Afwerk and his party People’s Front for Democracy and Justice. No national elections have been held since Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia in 1993. Eritrea signed a peace agreement with Ethiopia 2001, but an ongoing state of hostility, characterised by the Eritrean regime as “no war, no peace” persists.
Military service is mandatory for all Eritreans. Since late 2014, government officials have asserted that mandatory service would be limited to 18 months. However, researchers have found no discernable change in practice (Amnesty 02/12/2015).
As of November 2015, there were 2,672 Somali refugees in Eritrea (UNHCR 06/01/2016).
Eritrean refugees in neighbouring countries
The entire Eritrean refugee population is estimated to constitute more than 321,000 people (Guardian 21/04/2015). UN estimates that some 5,000 Eritreans, among them hundreds of unaccompanied minors, are fleeing the country every month to escape government repression (OHCHR 08/06/2015). The majority of Eritrean asylum seekers cite mandatory indefinite military conscription as the primary reason for fleeing (Amnesty 02/12/2015). The high proportion of unaccompanied minors who cross from Eritrea to Ethiopia is a priority concern (UNHCR).
Eritreans constitute the biggest group of migrants arriving in Italy by boat (IOM 10/10/2015). From January to October 2015, more than 39,000 Eritrean refugees sought refuge in Europe, the vast majority arriving by boat across the Mediterranean (IOM 29/01/2016).
Ethiopia: At the end of December, there were 81,078 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia (UNHCR, 31/12/2015), mainly settled in four camps in the northern Tigray and Afar regions (UNICEF 21/04/2015).
Sudan: Sudan reportedly hosts at least 119,980 Eritrean refugees (UNHCR 01/12/2014).
Djibouti: As of 1 January, there were 1,240 Eritrean refugees in Djibouti (UNHCR, 30/01/2015).
Kenya: As of 31 December, there were 1,625 Eritrean refugees in Kenya; the majority are in Nairobi (UNHCR, 31/12/2015).
According to satellite-based monitoring, there are significant soil moisture deficits in most eastern coastal areas, impacting food security and livelihoods (OCHA 10/11/2015). El Niño weather patterns are contributing to drought conditions (UN 07/01/2016). Since the government of Eritrea has not released data on food security for the year and restricts access, it is difficult to know the full impact and scope of the drought (NS 11/01/2016). However, FAO reports that the coastal areas of Foro, Gel’alo and Massawa have had almost no rain in June and July, and that rainfall throughout the country was 30-35% below average (FAO 29/01/2016). Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki has denied any food crisis and continues to reject UN food aid (AFP 23/01/2016).
It is estimated that Eritrea produces only 60% of the food it needs, and markets appear to be dysfunctional. Due to extensive national service, farmers are routinely absent during harvest periods (Economist 10/03/2014). In addition, local food and fuel prices are likely to be high, putting severe pressure on household coping mechanisms.
According to FAO in 2013, over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported to be undernourished between 2011 and 2013.
Grave human rights violations are widespread. Eritreans are deprived of fundamental freedoms by the authorities, and are routinely and arbitrarily arrested, detained, and tortured. Disappearances or extrajudicial executions were also reported (UNHRC 04/06/2015). Eritreans are subject to systems of national service and forced labour in which individuals are effectively detained indefinitely (UNHRC 04/06/2015). Eritrea has the highest number of imprisoned journalists in Africa (22 known cases) and has not allowed international journalists into the country since 2007 (CPJ 27/04/2015).
Mines and ERW
Landmines and ERWs continue to have a serious impact on the population, including causing deaths, injuries and disabilities. More than 650,000 people currently live in areas contaminated by landmines and ERWs (UNICEF 26/01/2016). Humanitarian mine action programmes in the country have been scaled down because of limited access (UNICEF 15/01/2015).
Iraq Country Analysis
January: Over 1,600 civilians were killed or injured in January (UNAMI).
- 22,370 civilian casualties recorded in 2015 (UNAMI 31/01/2016).
- An estimated 10.1 million people need humanitarian assistance, including 3.3 million IDPs (OCHA 14/12/2015; IOM 19/01/2015).
- 245,022 registered Syrian refugees are in Iraq; 42% are children (UNHCR 15/01/2016; 31/12/2015).
- Health is a priority sector, with over 10 million people in need (OCHA 14/12/2015).
- Protection in Iraq is a major concern: human rights abuses by all armed groups proliferate (UN 26/10/2015).
- Access continues to be severely constrained in large parts of Anbar, Salah al Din, Diyala, Kirkuk, and Ninewa (OCHA 26/07/2015).
The Islamic State insurgency has compounded an already fragile political and humanitarian situation, leading to a level 3 humanitarian crisis and international military intervention. Iraq now hosts one of the largest internally displaced populations in the world. Priority needs are food, water, shelter, fuel, and access to healthcare. Access constraints and human rights violations, particularly in areas controlled by armed groups, are of major concern.
Politics and security
Islamic State (IS) advanced into Iraq in January 2014 and has gained control over swathes of Anbar, Ninewa, and Salah al Din governorates. IS maintains a stronghold in Mosul, the country’s second largest city, having seized it in June 2014. Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), Shia Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), and Kurdish fighters have all responded to IS advances. The conflict has left 10.1 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, induced the displacement of 3.3 million Iraqis, and inflicted high civilian casualties (OCHA 14/12/2015; IOM 19/01/2015). 22,370 conflict-related civilian casualties were recorded in 2015, and over 1,600 civilians were killed or injured in January 2016 (UNAMI 31/01/2016). The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to underreporting (UNAMI/OHCHR 11/01/2016).
2014 recorded more than 35,400 casualties, including 12,280 deaths, in the worst violence since 2006–2007 (OHCHR 13/07/2015; UNAMI 01/01/2015).
Iraqi politics are increasingly tense, as the country’s deep sectarian divisions are stoked by frequent violence against both Shia and Sunni civilian populations.
In 2015, support for Prime Minister Abadi, which rested on his anti-corruption drive, waned as his reforms have stalled (ISW 02/11/2015). Weekly protests against corruption and rising unemployment began in July and continued throughout 2015 in Baghdad, Babil, Basra, Dhi Qar, Diwaniyah, Karbala, Maysan, Muthanna, Najaf, and Wasit (ISW 21/12/2015). On 16 December, parliament approved the 2016 budget, which envisions a deficit of USD 20 billion and remains heavily reliant on oil revenue (AFP 16/12/2015).
Saudi Arabia’s execution of Shia cleric al Nimr on 3 January 2016 prompted protests in a number of cities. Attacks on Sunni mosques were also reported (ISW 06/01/2016).
Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I): KR-I President Masoud Barzani’s extended term expired on 20 August, however he continues to rule, leaving KR-I in a legal vacuum that parties are still trying to resolve (ISW 20/08/2015; UNHCR 31/12/2015). An economic reform package was announced in December 2015 in order to tackle the region’s budget crisis (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
Islamic State (IS): In June 2014, IS declared the establishment of a Sunni caliphate, covering the area between Aleppo in northern Syria and Diyala in eastern Iraq. Abu Bakr al Baghdadi was declared caliph and leader for Muslims worldwide. IS controls nearly 300,000km2 of territory in Syria and Iraq, and enjoys substantial support in Sunni areas under its control (AFP 01/06/2015). It has attracted up to 30,000 foreign fighters (Reuters 29/09/2015).
Government forces: Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) number around 48,000 troops, down from pre-crisis estimates of 250,000 (Vox 17/11/2015; Foreign Policy 28/03/2015). Falling global oil prices have led to significant budget deficits, hampering the government’s capacity to undertake military operations (ODI 10/2015). Having lost vast territory in 2014 and early 2015, ISF have begun to recapture key territory, including Ramadi (ISW 28/12/2015).
Shia militias: Three militias have been supporting government forces on all major fronts against IS since the beginning of the insurgency, as part of the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF): Asa’ib, Kita’ib Hezbollah, and the Badr Brigades. PMF number between 80,000 and 120,000 fighters (Foreign Policy 28/03/2015; Al Jazeera 23/01/2015). While the PMF operationally support Abadi’s government, they also describe themselves as loyal to Iran’s supreme leader (Reuters 21/10/2015).
KR-I forces: The Kurdish Peshmerga, supported by Kurdish fighters from Syria and Turkey, are engaged in a counter‑offensive against IS. Divisions are reportedly widening between forces loyal to Barzani’s ruling Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) forces operating in both Turkey and northern Iraq, which has hampered operations against IS (ISW 09/11/2015).
International forces: The role of international forces in Iraq is a fiercely political issue, constraining PM Abadi’s ability to call on support (ISW, 21/12/2015). Since August 2014, a US-led Combined Joint Task Force of over 30 countries has been conducting airstrikes against IS locations in support of Iraqi government forces (BBC 21/10/2015, Business Insider 09/12/2014). The US announced the deployment of additional special operations forces in November (ISW 02/12/2015). France launched its first airstrikes on IS targets in Iraq in November, in response to attacks in Paris (France24 23/11/2015). In late July 2015, Turkey joined the coalition, but also stepped up airstrikes in northern Iraq against the PKK (The Economist 01/08/2015). The presence of Turkish troops near Mosul has caused tensions with Baghdad. In December, Turkey removed some troops in response to an ultimatum from Iraq (AFP 14/12/2015). Iran has dispatched members of its elite Revolutionary Guard and reportedly carried out airstrikes against IS (The Economist 03/01/2015; The Guardian 05/01/2015; 04/12/2014).
2015 was marked by stalemate, compared with IS’s rapid advances in 2014. By the end of 2015, ISF had retaken some key targets, including Ramadi, but continued battling IS in Haditha and Falluja (ISW 28/12/2015; ICG 01/01/2016). Anti-IS forces in 2015 also regained populated areas of Diyala; Al Baghdadi in Anbar, and Baiji (AFP 26/01/2015; 08/03/2015; ISW 02/11/2015). In November, Kurdish forces re-took Sinjar and surrounding villages (AFP 14/11/2015; ISW 19/11/2015). IS retains control of large territory in Anbar and Ninewa, including Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. Its continued use of spoiling attacks and strong defences have offset or delayed the progress of major offensives (ISW, 21/12/2015).
Baghdad: At least six people died and 26 were wounded in three blasts across Baghdad in the last week of January (Iraqi News 26/01/2016; 28/01/2016; 31/01/2016). On 11 January, at least 18 people died when a car bomb exploded and gunmen stormed the al Jawhara shopping mall (BBC 11/01/2016). On the same day, a car bomb exploded in the Nahrawan area, killing five civilians (Reuters 11/01/2016).
Anbar: An estimated 3,500 people have become displaced in January as a result of increased insecurity (IRCS 25/01/2016). IS has largely lost control of Ramadi following an ISF offensive (ICG 01/01/2016). ISF and IS continue to clash around Haditha and Falluja (ISW 25/01/2016).
Babylon: Three Sunni mosques across the province were attacked on 3 January, leaving at least two civilians dead and stoking sectarian tensions (UN 04/01/2016; AFP 04/01/2016).
Diyala: ISF control most areas in Diyala, with a heavy presence of Shia militias (ISW 30/10/2015). However, IS attacks – most often bombings – are frequent (ISW 19/11/2015). On 11 January 2016, over 20 people were killed and more than 50 wounded in bomb attacks on Baquba and Muqdadiyah (Reuters 11/01/2016). Shia militias have reportedly directed retribution attacks against Sunni populations following the January violence (HRW 31/01/2016).
Kirkuk: Peshmerga and PMF have been conducting operations to dislodge IS from areas of southwestern Kirkuk since February 2015 (ISW 18/03/2015; IOM 13/09/2015). US special forces reportedly carried out raids on Hawija in December 2015 and January 2016 (ISW 06/01/2016).
Ninewa: IS continues to control large areas south of Mosul (ISW 30/10/2015). Intense fighting between IS and Peshmerga is reported southeast of Mosul. US-led coalition airstrikes are reportedly targeting IS-controlled oil refineries in the area (ISW 25/01/2016). 17 civilians were executed after attempting to flee IS territory (National Iraqi News Agency 30/01/2016).
There are approximately 3.3 million IDPs and 245,000 Syrian refugees in Iraq. Conflict-induced internal displacement has been ongoing since January 2014. Most Syrian refugees are in KR-I. Another 1.1 million people remain displaced from pre-2014 conflict (ECHO 30/09/2015).
As of 19 January 2016, there are approximately 3.3 million IDPs in over 3,600 locations (IOM 19/01/2016). Displacement has mainly occurred in waves since January 2014. Between September and November 2015, IOM noted a slight decrease in the number of IDPs due to return movements (IOM 18/12/2015). Between December and January, displacement increased, primarily due to military operations in Ninewa and Salah al Din governorates (IOM 07/01/2016). The number and spread of IDPs pose a major challenge to needs assessment and assistance
Baghdad hosts around 598,000 IDPs, Anbar 572,000, Dahuk 410,000, Kirkuk 377,000 and Erbil 352,000. 76% of IDPs (2.5 million) have fled from or within Anbar and Ninewa (IOM 07/01/2016). As the crisis enters its third year, social tensions over access to services and assistance continue to mount in areas hosting high concentrations of IDPs and refugees (UNDP 06/01/2016).
71% of IDPs live in private accommodation. 17% face critical shelter arrangements, while 10% live in camps. The shelter arrangements of 2% of IDPs is unknown (IOM 07/01/2016).
IDP returnees: As of 7 January, 485,000 IDPs have returned to their locations of origin, predominantly in Salah al Din and Diyala (IOM 07/01/2016). Returnees often lack livelihood opportunities, food and NFIs; many find their property destroyed and damaged and their documents lost. Health, education, and infrastructure are typically lacking in places of return (UNHCR 30/11/2015). 11% of returnees are unable to return to their homes, instead living in unfinished buildings, informal settlements, or rental accommodation in their places of origin (IOM 07/01/2016).
Refugees and asylum seekers
245,022 Syrian refugees and 41,700 non-Syrian refugees are registered in Iraq (UNHCR 15/01/2016; 23/04/2015).
Syrian refugees: KR-I hosts an estimated 97% of Syrian refugees, with 113,349 in Erbil, 93,495 in Dahuk, and 29,828 in Sulaymaniyah. 4,510 were last known to be in Anbar and 1,459 in other areas (UNHCR 15/01/2016).
39% of refugees live in nine camps. There are 47,343 in Domiz camp in Dahuk, 10,309 in Kawergosk, and 10,941 in Darashakran in Erbil (UNHCR 31/12/2015). 1,519 Syrian refugees were last reported in Al Obaidy camp, in IS-controlled Al Qa’im in Anbar, but information is limited due to access constraints (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
Arrivals in 2015 surpassed 61,000, slightly higher than in 2014. The number of refugees returning to Syria has fallen sharply since October. Almost 25,000 refugees returned to Syria in 2015 (UNHCR 31/12/2015). The number of Syrians crossing to Turkey also decreased between September and 14 December 2015, when the border was closed. Over 16,000 Syrians crossed to Turkey in 2015 (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
Iraqi refugees in neighbouring countries
Around 180,000 Iraqi refugees are thought to be residing in neighbouring countries, mostly in Turkey and Jordan (UNHCR 04/06/2015). As of 15 January, 53,334 Iraqis were registered in Jordan (UNHCR 15/01/2016). 45,000 Iraqi refugees are registered in Iran (WFP 30/09/2015). An estimated 39,500 Iraqi refugees are estimated to be living in Syria, mostly in the greater Damascus area (USAID 11/12/2015).
Access is severely constrained in Iraq. Around five million people live in areas under control of armed groups and are inaccessible to relief actors. Populations are frequently prevented from accessing humanitarian aid, as access between governorates and across borders has been restricted. Road closures, mines, booby traps and snipers are among the most concerning security and physical constraints.
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Access to the estimated five million people in areas under armed opposition groups’ control is limited (OCHA 12/08/2015; 04/10/2015). Large swathes of Anbar, Ninewa and Salah al Din are inaccessible to most INGOs, although limited aid is channelled through local partners (ODI 10/2015). Access to populations in Ramadi remains limited due to ongoing fighting and bomb and booby-trap clearing operations (ECHO 29/12/2015; Reuters 10/01/2016).
Access of affected populations to assistance
Baghdad, Babylon, Kirkuk, and Diyala have implemented strict security policies and have been accused of coercing returns and obstructing IDPs’ access to assistance (OCHA 01/08/2015). The Bzibz bridge linking Anbar to Baghdad has frequently been closed (OCHA 20/10/2015). Scrutiny of people seeking to enter Baghdad increased in December (ECHO 11/12/2015). IDPs attempting to enter KR-I by land require a local guarantor (UNHCR 29/05/2015). The situation is also worrying for more than 80,000 people who have limited access to services and commodities in Haditha, including food, safe water, health, and electricity (OCHA 20/10/2015). Populations fleeing Hawija must trek for two days across mountainous terrain to reach safety: 60 people were reported to have died on the journey between November 2015 and January 2016 (AFP 10/01/2016).
Border crossings: Most Syrian refugees enter via the Peshkabour crossing. In 2015, only 20% entered as asylum seekers. New registration procedures mean most Syrians must now enter on 15-day visas and apply for asylum later (UNHCR 31/12/2015). The Ibrahim Khalil border crossing between Turkey and KR-I has been closed since December 14 due to the deteriorating security situation on the Turkish side (UNHCR 31/12/2015). Insecurity prevents most civilian movement at the IS-controlled Al Qa’im and Al Waleed crossings, as well as at Rabia (Reuters 23/11/2014; UNHCR 28/02/2015; 15/01/2015).
Security and physical constraints
High insecurity and unexploded ordnance (UXO) hinder access to affected populations (OCHA 05/12/2014).
Road closures are blocking supply lines, especially in Anbar, Kirkuk, Salah al Din, and Ninewa governorates (FAO 18/01/2016; OCHA 04/10/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
2.4 million people need food assistance (OCHA 14/12/2015). Funding shortfalls caused WFP to reduce assistance to IDPs and refugees on multiple occasions in 2015: food rations for IDP families have been cut by up to 50% since April (WFP/FAO/REACH 26/11/2015). One in four IDP households is using negative coping mechanisms (FAO 18/01/2016). In a multi-cluster needs assessment, 72% of displaced households reported food as their top priority (REACH 30/09/2015). The increasing number of IDPs and refugees is putting pressure on host communities with already limited resources, in particular in KR-I (FAO 18/01/2016).
Food insecurity is most prevalent in Duhok and Ninewa governorates, where 5% and 6% of households report inadequate consumption, compared to the national average of 3% (WFP 20/01/2016).
Agricultural productivity and crop yields have been severely affected by conflict (WFP/FAO/REACH 26/11/2015). Heavy rains since October have also damaged wheat crop supplies and disrupted autumn planting and fieldwork (FAO 18/01/2016; WFP 26/11/2015).
Access to markets is severely restricted in the most conflict-affected areas (FAO 18/01/2016).
Consumption and dietary diversity has worsened for camp-based IDPs since September, and nearly one-third of all IDPs (30%) reported negative food-related coping mechanisms (WFP 26/11/2015). Food prices are particularly high in areas where road closures are severely disrupting supply lines – mainly in Anbar, Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Salah al Din governorates. Wheat and sugar prices are 50% higher in Anbar than in Baghdad (FAO 18/01/2016).
3.4 million people are in need of emergency livelihood support, compared to 800,000 end February 2015 (OCHA/UNCT 04/06/2015; UN 18/02/2015). Displaced populations face major difficulties accessing the Public Distribution System (WFP 31/10/2015). 72% of IDPs report access to employment among their top three needs, while 22% are unable to meet basic needs (OCHA 04/10/2015).
Security concerns, lack of access to fields, and disrupted procurement and distribution systems continue to affect farmers in the most conflict-affected areas (FAO 18/01/2016).
More than 10.1 million people need health support (OCHA 14/12/2015). Key concerns include the lack of specialised services, shortages of essential supplies, disruption of treatment for chronic illnesses, mental health support, and the risk posed by communicable diseases (OCHA 04/08/2015; WHO 04/06/2015). As the public health system collapses, NGOs and other providers are increasingly struggling to support the heavier caseload (Reuters 15/12/2015). Polio and cholera broke out in 2014 and 2015 respectively (WHO 22/11/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
Across Iraq, 14 major hospitals and more than 170 other health facilities are non-functional or destroyed, and 45% of health staff have been displaced (WHO 13/10/2015). In some areas, 80% of health facilities are non-functional (Health Cluster 13/09/2015). Medical facilities in Sinjar are virtually non-existent, having been destroyed by conflict (AMAR 04/12/2015).
For 25% of IDP households, medical care was among the top three priority needs (REACH 30/09/2015). The leading causes of morbidity in refugee and IDP camps are acute respiratory infections, acute diarrhoea, and skin diseases (WHO 20/12/2015).
Refugees: 20% of the non-camp population has difficulty accessing health services, due to cost and perceived availability (WHO/UNHCR 30/06/2015). Departures of health staff to Europe continue to pose a challenge (UNHCR 31/12/2015). In KR-I, 527 refugee children were identified as malnourished in December (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
6.5 million people need WASH assistance in Iraq (OCHA 14/12/2015). WASH conditions worsened in 2015, particularly after IS captured dams near Ramadi and Falluja and halved rates of water flow along the Euphrates in the summer (WHO 28/06/2015). Deteriorating WASH conditions fuelled the rapid spread of cholera from September–November 2015 (WHO 02/11/2015).
Refugees: Camps continue to face critical WASH needs (UNHCR 30/11/2015). 100 toilets and 63 sewage tanks are needed in Domiz camp, Dahuk governorate (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
1.9 million people require shelter and NFI support (OCHA 14/12/2015). 660,000 IDPs are living in critical shelter conditions, including in informal settlements, religious buildings, schools, unfinished and abandoned buildings. Shelters are generally overcrowded and lack adequate WASH facilities (Amnesty International 20/01/2016; IOM 29/09/2015). Overall, the percentage of IDPs in informal settlements remained stable in 2015, while the percentage in collective centres decreased 33% (CCCM 17/01/2016). The number of formal IDP camps doubled in 2015 (CCCM 17/01/2016).
In KR-I, the number of informal IDP sites has increased substantially since October 2014 (REACH 26/11/2015). Eviction and threats of eviction for IDPs are on the rise, particularly in Dahuk governorate (OCHA 17/11/2015).
Over 250,000 planned winterisation beneficiaries had not been reached as of end December 2015 (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
Refugees: 3,604 new or improved shelter plots are required in Gawilan, Kawergosk, Basirma and Qushtapa camps, and a further 719 shelter units are required in Erbil (UNHCR 31/10/2015). Non-camp refugee populations require urgent shelter upgrading and community infrastructure support (UNHCR 31/10/2015). A missile hit the edge of Al Obaidy camp on 15 December, destroying the roofs of some structures in the camp (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
3.3 million people are in need of education assistance (OCHA 14/12/2015). More than two million children are out of school, and 1.2 million aged 5–14 risk dropping out. 70% of displaced school-aged children have lost a full year of education. Over 5,300 schools have been destroyed, damaged or converted for shelter or military purposes, including 1,500 in Anbar province (UNICEF 31/12/2015; AFP 03/08/2015). Shortages of space and resources are major learning barriers (UNICEF 31/12/2015; UNHCR 30/09/2015; OCHA 29/09/2015). Many schools continue to operate at least two shifts per day (UNICEF 31/12/2015).
Refugees: 76% of school-aged refugee children in camps and 63% outside camps are attending school (UNHCR 31/10/2015). Schooling challenges in camps include overcrowded classrooms, and shortages of teachers and support personnel (UNHCR 30/11/2015). The KR-I government is reportedly unable to pay teachers’ salaries (UNHCR 30/11/2015). Only 5% of 15–17-year-old refugees attend formal education (UNHCR 31/10/2015).
8.2 million people are in need of protection assistance (OCHA 14/12/2015). Conflict in Iraq has been marked by grave human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law from all sides. Attacks targeting civilians, killings, abductions, rape, sexual violence, child conscription, and destruction of civilian property and looting have all been reported (UN 26/10/2015). Indiscriminate bombings have resulted in major civilian casualties; ISF bombardments alone have killed over 2,800 since 2014 (Minority Rights Group 30/11/2015).
Deep sectarian divisions in Iraq have manifested themselves in attacks between opposing groups. IS in particular has targeted all those opposed to its ideology (UN 26/10/2015). Sharia courts have been established in IS-controlled territories, carrying out extreme punishments against men, women, and children (UN 19/03/2015; 20/01/2015). IS is reported to have executed over 2,000 people in Mosul (UN 26/10/2015). IS reportedly extorts money from Iraqis who need to leave IS territory to seek medical assistance (IRIN 29/10/2015).
Reports of pro-government armed groups and militias exacting human rights abuses also proliferate. ISF, Kurdish forces, and other militias have reportedly abducted Sunni civilians, including in Diyala and Salah al Din, as well as in Sinjar after retaking the city from IS in November (UN 04/12/2015; 26/10/2015).
Forced demolitions by Peshmerga forces have been reported in northern Iraq, targeting Arab households (Amnesty International 20/01/2016).
Yazidis: Between 1,500 and 3,700 Yazidis have been held captive since IS took Sinjar in June 2014 (UN 26/10/2015; Reuters 09/10/2015; AFP 30/12/2015). 16 mass graves were found in Sinjar after Kurdish forces re-took the city from IS in November 2015 (AFP 04/12/2015). Yazidis have reportedly carried out retribution attacks against Sinjar’s Muslim population, looting and burning Sunni houses and mosques (AFP 15/11/2015). Yazidi returnees face barriers recovering property in Sinjar due to lost documentation (IOM/UN HABITAT 29/11/2015).
Journalists: Iraq is one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists. Two journalists were shot dead while reporting in north Baghdad on 12 January 2016 (AFP 12/06/2016). In Mosul, at least 48 journalists have been abducted, 13 of whom were executed, since IS took control of the city in June 2014 (RSF 27/10/2015). There are also reports of security forces and unidentified gunmen threatening journalists covering regular protests (ISW 14/09/2015; Reporters without Borders 12/10/2015).
Refugees: In August, humanitarian agencies received increasing reports of people smugglers operating in camps in Iraq to facilitate departures of heads of households to Turkey and Europe (UNICEF 31/08/2015). Some refugees already in the resettlement process are reportedly opting to travel to Europe independently due to delays in processing (UNHCR 30/09/2015). Refugees in Al Obaidy camp face major protection challenges since assistance was suspended in June 2014. Information is extremely limited due to access constraints. In September, UNHCR reported that medical patients were leaving the camp for Syria to seek treatment (UNHCR 31/10/2015).
An estimated 1.3 million IDP children are in need of protection services (OCHA 19/11/2015). Approximately 1,400 children have been abducted in Iraq and 3,000 child casualties have been recorded since January 2014 (UNSC 09/11/2015). Grave violations against children, including sexual violence, maiming, and forced recruitment, are regularly reported (UNAMI/OHCHR 11/01/2016; UN 26/10/2015). IS has reportedly sold children as sex slaves, is using minors as suicide bombers, and providing military training to schoolchildren in Syria and Iraq (AFP 08/06/2015; OCHA 06/02/2015). Over 100,000 Syrian refugee children need assistance in Iraq, more than double the number in January 2013 (UNICEF 19/11/2015).
IDPs: Lack of documentation among IDPs is a key concern. Without a nationality certificate, civil identification card, housing card, and food ration card, vulnerable Iraqis struggle to access essential public services and compensation schemes, including food distribution (PDS) (ODI 10/2015). IDPs have had identification documents confiscated at checkpoints, limiting their ability to circulate freely and access services (OCHA 17/11/2015). 80% of displaced children lack documents and registration, leaving them at risk of statelessness, abuse and exploitation (OCHA 30/11/2015).
Refugees: The proportion of Syrians entering KR-I as asylum seekers has dropped since January 2015, from 50% to 3%. Most are entering as visitors (UNHCR 30/11/2015). Complex and lengthy procedures make it difficult for refugees in KR-I to access residency permits (UNHCR 31/10/2015). Conversion of 15-day visas into asylum-seeker claims is no longer possible at the Peshkabour border, where most Syrians arrive (UNHCR 31/10/2015). Refugees who had previously returned to Syria and de-activated their cases now report difficulties in accessing documentation and residency permits upon returning to KR-I (UNHCR 31/10/2015). Parents face difficulties obtaining birth certificates for their children from KR-I authorities, resulting in a growing number of stateless Syrian children (Independent 30/11/2015).
Reports show an increase in sexual violence, abduction, trafficking, and forced recruitment of women. IS has reportedly carried out systematic sexual violence against Yazidi women and girls in northern Iraq (HRW 15/04/2015). Early marriage is a predominant SGBV concern in KR-I (UNHCR 31/10/2015). The number of female-headed households among Syrian refugees is growing as male family members return to Syria or move on to Europe (3RP 31/10/2015).
Mines and ERW
The government estimates there are approximately 25 million landmines in Iraq (UN 26/10/2015). In addition to explosives from the current conflict, pre-existing minefields remain along borders with Syria, Turkey, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, and between Iraq and KR-I. Explosive remnants of war (ERW) remain from airstrikes in the 1991 and 2003 Gulf wars (MAG 30/11/2015). Landmines present a major danger to people returning to homes that have been affected by conflict (UNHCR 31/10/2015).
Libya Country Analysis
1 February: The local council in Misrata and affiliated militias are preventing 40,000 internally displaced people originating from Tawergha, Tomina, and Karaeem from returning to their places of origin (HRW).
- 3.08 million people affected by conflict (OCHA 01/10/2015).
- 435,000 IDPs (OCHA 01/10/2015).
- 250,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in need of assistance (OCHA 01/10/2015).
- Protection: Indiscriminate shelling and targeting of civilian areas (UNSMIL 04/09/2014).
- Humanitarian access is a major concern (OCHA 01/10/2014).
An estimated three million people have been affected by conflict between various armed groups, which has generated shortages of food, fuel, water, medical supplies, and electricity, as well as reduced access to healthcare and public services.
Much of the fighting takes place in urban centres, posing serious security concerns for civilian populations. An estimated 20% of hospitals and 18% of primary healthcare facilities are not functioning. 60% of hospitals were closed or made inaccessible at least once during the six-month period from April to October 2015 due to the conflict.
Politics and security
Libya has had two rival parliaments and governments since mid-2014 when the Islamist-dominated General National Congress (GNC) refused to step down for the newly elected House of Representatives (HoR) (WP 20/10/2015). UN-brokered peace talks between the rival parliaments have been ongoing since March 2015, effectively stalling at several points (AFP 06/03/2015; 11/03/2015). A renewed push by regional and international powers led to representatives of the GNC and the HoR signing a unity accord on 17 December in Morocco. However, leaders of both groups have denied the legitimacy of the signatories (AFP 08/01/2015). A national unity government of representatives from both the HoR and GNC announced it was being formed on 19 January, but six days later the HoR voted to reject the unity government (AFP 19/01/2016; Reuters 25/01/2016). Officials in charge of the negotiations have given the HoR ten days to propose a new cabinet (AFP 26/01/2016).
A struggle over resources and a sharp drop in oil production have exacerbated the crisis (Financial Times 19/03/2015). Militias now exert much control on the ground. Some areas, notably Sabrata and Zuwara towns near the Tunisian border, have been taken over by smugglers, who are making use of official ports for their operations (BBC 29/04/2015). Islamic State (IS) has exploited the volatile security situation to establish a presence in Libya (AFP 26/01/2016 WSJ 26/01/2016).
The conflict in Libya is being fought by between 1,000 and 1,700 armed groups, comprising a complex web of allegiances to the main stakeholders.
The Libya Shield brigades, tied to the city of Misrata, are allied to Islamist political forces, as are the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries, a Benghazi-based alliance including Ansar al Sharia, Libya Shield units and other armed groups. Together with insurgents from Tripoli and other towns including al Zawiya and Gheryan, these groups make up Libya Dawn. Some factions are wary of the threat of IS to regional and local interests; others are willing to cooperate with IS to defeat Haftar and the Libyan National Army (ACLED 03/2015).
Libyan National Army
Former General Khalifa Haftar launched Operation Dignity in May 2014, in support of the House of Representatives. Operation Dignity and its supporters have since been renamed the Libyan National Army (LNA), with Haftar as army chief (ICG 05/01/2014; Middle East Eye 24/02/2015). 40-80% of the supporting forces are thought to be neighbourhood militias (NYT 02/10/2015). Support also comes from the Al Qa’qa’ and Al Sawai’q brigades, allied with the city of Zintan, and fighters from the Warshefana region west of Tripoli. The House of Representatives has repeatedly appealed to the international community for more weapons (Reuters 06/06/2015).
Islamic State and allies
The Shura Council of Islamic Youth operates under the direct control of IS’s central command (NYT 28/11/2015). IS has an estimated 2,000-3,000 fighters in Libya and their numbers are reportedly growing, as new recruits and seasoned militants from Syria and Iraq join their ranks (AFP 14/12/2015; Reuters 16/11/2015; IBT 19/10/2015). IS, backed by local militias and militias from Misrata, reportedly seized control of Sirte in March, and is estimated to control 250 km of coast near Sirte (NYT 28/11/2015; BBC 29/05/2015). On 14 November, a US military airstrike killed the group’s leader in Libya (Guardian 14/11/2015). Since December, IS military action in Libya has concentrated on oil ports along the coast, to the east and west of Sirte (CSM 11/01/2016).
Abu Salim Martyr’s Brigade
Abu Salim Martyrs Brigade, linked to Al Qaeda, are among the militias fighting IS, and they have been joined by civilians (VoA 15/06/2015).
United Nations Support Mission in Libya
UNSMIL was established in 2011 as a political mission to help restore state institutions. In September, its mandate was extended until 15 March 2016, with a focus on supporting the political process towards the creation of the government of national unity (UNSC 11/09/2015).
Prime Minister Al Thani announced in October 2014 that Egypt would help to train the Libyan army. The Egyptian Air Force carried out airstrikes against IS in February in response to the beheading of 21 Coptic Christians from Egypt. The airstrikes targeted IS, particularly in Derna (Reuters 23/02/2015).
Experts see links between Islamist fighters in the south, who have been pushed out of Mali, and Islamist militias in the north and east (AFP 26/10/2014). Palestinian, Sudanese, and Syrian nationals have been banned from entering Libya (Libya Herald 05/01/2015). Tuareg from Mali and, reportedly, Tebu from Chad have joined their respective Libyan tribe members in fighting over Ubari (Al Jazeera 05/12/2014).
2,700 deaths were reported in 2015 compared to 2,383 in 2014 (ACLED 16/01/2015; ACLED 15/01/2015). Civilians accounted for an estimated 75% of people injured or killed by explosives in the first half of 2015 (OCHA 23/09/2015).
Tripoli and Western Libya: Tripoli is largely under the control of Libya Dawn. In March, the LNA announced an assault to recapture Tripoli, but have not been successful (Reuters 23/03/2015). The intensity of violence has reportedly decreased as of early October (ACLED, 09/10/2015). A helicopter carrying Libya Dawn military officials was shot down on 27 October, killing at least 19 passengers (NYT 27/10/2015). The LNA both claimed and denied responsibility (Libya Herald 28/10/2015; ICG, 02/11/2015). After the attack, militias from Zawiya city, which support Libya Dawn, fought militias from Washafana town (Reuters 27/10/2015). On 24 November, a car bomb east of Tripoli killed five GNC guards and wounded 16 people. No group claimed responsibility (Reuters 24/11/2015). On 7 January, two suicide bombs targeting a police training school and a checkpoint in Ziltan, 170km east of Tripoli, killed 56 people and wounded 100 (AFP 07/01/2015). IS affiliate Tripoli Province has claimed responsibility for the attacks. IS also launched attacks on the oil ports of Es Sider and Ras Lanuf in the week of 4 January and took the nearby town of Bin Jawad, about 34km West of Es Sider (Daily Star 18/01/2016; WSJ 08/01/2015).
Sirte: On 4 January, two guards were killed and an oil storage tank was set on fire in an IS attack on the Es Sider oil export terminal, in the district of Sirte (Reuters 04/01/2016).
Benghazi: IS entered Benghazi in mid-2015, joining the fight against the LNA (Reuters 15/06/2015). Fighting between the LNA and IS-aligned armed groups is ongoing (Reuters 25/10/2015). On 19 October, an attack claimed by IS struck Al Jalaa hospital, killing five people (AFP 19/10/2015). On 23 October, demonstrators protesting against the proposed peace deal were hit by a missile: 12 were killed and 39 injured (AFP 25/10/2015). 16 people were killed during heavy fighting between LNA and IS on 11 November (Reuters 11/11/2015). On 9 January, unidentified forces fired four rockets at two IDP camps. Three civilians were killed and seven were injured (HRW 24/01/2016).
Ajdabiya: Since September, IS has been conducting an offensive on the city of Ajdabiya which is strategically positioned in relation to key oil ports (Guardian 06/12/2015). Five Sudanese were killed and 15 others were injured in Libyan Air Force bombing over Ajdabiya at the end of December (Dabanga Sudan 28/12/2015). Clashes between armed residents and fighters of the Al Qaeda affiliate Ansar al Sharia killed eleven people and wounded dozens more on 16 December (The Daily Star 18/12/2015).
Derna: IS was pushed out of Derna in June by Abu Salim Martyr’s Brigade and the LNA. IS maintains a presence in parts of the city and in August launched an offensive to retake Derna (Al Arabiya 21/12/2015; Reuters 13/08/2015; ISS 02/10/2015). Abu Salim Martyr’s Brigade and other militias continue to control the city, but clashes with IS fighters continue (AFP 16/11/2015).
Southern Libya: Tebu and Tuareg tribes have been fighting since September 2014, particularly around Ubari, Sabha, and Kufra (OHCHR 16/11/2015). On 23 November, representatives of both tribes signed a peace deal brokered by Qatar that includes a ceasefire and withdrawal of armed forces from Ubari (Reuters 23/11/2015). However, reports indicate that the agreement has been breached and that clashes in Ubari continue (Middle East Monitor 30/11/2015).
The Libyan economy contracted over 23% in 2014, and is expected to contract an additional 10% in 2015, depending on domestic stability as well as international oil prices. Oil production is down to 400,000 barrels a day, compared to 1.6 million before mid-2014 (Bloomberg 03/11/2015). The HoR seized the key oil-exporting port of Zueitina in early November and has threatened to cut off all oil exports if foreign companies do not start wiring payments to its Central Bank in Tobruk (Bloomberg, 03/11/2015; AP 04/11/2015).
Libya hosts an estimated 685,000 displaced people, including IDPs, refugees and asylum seekers, and migrants. Over 40% of IDPs have been displaced multiple times due to conflict, as have 66% of refugees and 30% of migrants (OCHA 01/10/2015). According to data collection conducted by IOM, approximately 79% of internally displaced people have been displaced since mid-2014 (IOM 27/01/2016).
435,000 people are estimated to be internally displaced, up from 63,985 in April 2014, before the political crisis began. The majority live with host families in urban areas but over 100,000 are estimated to live in schools or other public facilities (OCHA 01/10/2015). At least 56,544 IDPs have been displaced since 2011 (IDMC 23/09/2014).
IDPs’ physical security has been seriously threatened by indiscriminate shelling, attacks on IDP camps, and sieges.
Tripoli and its surroundings hosted 269,000 IDPs at end March (IDMC 30/03/2015). Near Tripoli, an estimated 83,270 people are living in settlements, schools and abandoned buildings (UNHCR 16/01/2015).
Benghazi hosts about 105,000 IDPs (UNHCR 30/06/2015).
Misrata: Militia groups are preventing an estimated 40,000 IDPs from Tawergha, Tomina, from returning to their places of origin. IDPs from these localities are targeted based on their perceived support of the former Gaddafi regime (HRW 01/02/2016; 20/03/2013).
18,492 people from Ubari are displaced in six towns: Sabha, Wadi Shati, Jufra, Ghat, Murzuq, and Lewenat (IDMC 30/03/2015; UNHCR 16/01/2015). Services have been severely disrupted by fighting: Schools, hospitals and markets are completely inaccessible (UNHCR 16/01/2015; ALJ 22/06/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
An estimated 100,000 refugees and asylum seekers are in Libya, and 150,000 other migrants (OCHA 01/10/2015).
Third-country nationals face extreme difficulties leaving the country, as passage through Libya’s borders with Egypt and Tunisia is restricted. Migrants continue to embark on unseaworthy vessels to reach Italy. More than one million people tried to cross the Mediterranean in 2015, about 120,000 using Libya as their starting point. More than 3,000 people died trying to reach Europe from Libya (IOM 06/11/2016). The Libyan Naval Coast Guard intercepts many boats, which has increased the number of migrants in need of urgent assistance in Libyan ports (IOM 12/05/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Since July 2014, most humanitarian agencies have relocated out of Libya, the majority to Tunisia. Armed groups often limit access. The national agency tasked with leading the humanitarian response evaluates its own response capacity as almost non-existent (IRIN 07/08/2014). Fuel shortages are further limiting access (OCHA 23/11/2015; AFP 19/05/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Indiscriminate fighting has led to movement restrictions. Since September 2014, conflict in Ubari has blocked off the main road to Ghat, where a number of displaced people are staying (IRIN 02/12/2015). The Salloum border crossing between Libya and Egypt has been closed indefinitely (Libya Herald 21/01/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
1.28 million people are thought to be food insecure, including 175,000 IDPs, and the prices of staples such as flour, rice, and sugar have tripled since May 2014 (OCHA 01/10/2015).
Insecurity is affecting the food supply chain, and there has been a substantial decline in food imports as foreign shippers fear making deliveries (Reuters 31/07/2015). The HoR has reported that it has started tapping into the country’s strategic wheat reserves to ensure bread supplies. Some bakeries in Tripoli and Benghazi have closed or reduced production (Reuters 04/02/2015).
Warehouses (both public and private) are situated in conflict areas, and fuel shortages are aggravating food access (Save the Children 18/06/2015). Basic food items in Benghazi are only available in areas controlled by the LNA (Save the Children 18/06/2015). 600 displaced households in sites near Ubari in southern Libya face severe food shortages (IRIN 02/12/2015).
1.9 million people are in need of healthcare. An estimated 20% of hospitals and 18% of primary healthcare facilities are not functioning. 60% of hospitals were closed or made inaccessible at least once due to the conflict between April and October 2015 (OCHA 01/10/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
In a June assessment 24% of households reported having little or no access to health facilities (UN 31/07/2015). The situation is worse for refugees and migrants, with 44% of refugees and 33% of migrants reporting limited or no access to health facilities, and those without documents often being denied healthcare. Civilian access to secondary care is particularly limited in conflict-affected areas such as Sirte, Zintan, Sabha, Kikla, and Al Kufra due to influxes of wounded civilians and fighters requiring priority treatment (OCHA 01/10/2015). Incidents of armed groups entering hospital premises and threats against medical personnel have been reported (OCHA 16/11/2015).
Large numbers of expatriate medical personnel have left Libya, and such staff make up 80% of all medical personnel, according to the Ministry of Health. Severe shortages of medical supplies are also reported throughout the country (OCHA 01/10/2015).
Disruptions to the main water network has led to an estimated 680,000 people needing water and sanitation assistance (OCHA 01/10/2015). Lack of adequate WASH facilities has been reported in detention centres in and outside Tripoli where refugees and migrants are held (Human Rights Watch 21/05/2015). Inadequate sanitation and hygiene conditions are reported in the nine displacement camps hosting Tawerghas (UNICEF 01/06/2015).
Extended rainfall in Tripoli the weekend of 16 January has led to flooding in the Tawerghan refugee camp (Libya Herald 17/01/2016).
An estimated 104,160 IDPs are in need of shelter support: 65,100 are residing in schools or other public spaces and 39,060 are in unfinished houses and apartments. An additional 200,000 people are estimated to be in need of NFIs (OCHA 01/10/2015).
An estimated 150,000 children are at risk of no longer having access to education (OCHA 01/10/2015). Benghazi is particularly affected, with enrolment rates as low as 50%. Only 65 out of 239 schools in the city are functioning, with 110 schools inaccessible due to insecurity, and 64 occupied by IDPs (UNICEF 02/09/2015; OCHA 01/10/2015). Many schools in the northeast and south are occupied by IDPs (Save the Children 18/06/2015).
Much of the fighting takes place in urban centres, putting civilian populations at risk. 2.44 million people are estimated to be in need of protection from violence, violation of human rights, and other forms of abuse (OCHA 01/10/2015).
Abductions, looting, burning of homes, and other acts of revenge have all been frequently reported (UN Security Council 05/09/2014). In some districts of Benghazi, civilians have reported movement restrictions (Human Rights Watch 26/05/2015). Human rights defenders and justice sector officials are targeted, intimidated, and frequently attacked (UNSMIL/OHCHR 25/03/2015).
626 people are reported to have been abducted between February 2014 and April 2015, including an estimated 378 whose whereabouts continue to be unknown. 508 were abducted in Benghazi (Amnesty 04/08/2015). In the first half of 2015, IS kidnapped and executed Ethiopian Christians, Coptic Christians, and foreign oil workers (AFP 19/04/2015; HRW 24/02/2015; BBC 09/03/2015). On 8 November two Serbian embassy staff were abducted in the coastal city of Sabratha, which is controlled by militias loyal to the GNC (AFP 08/11/2015). Serbian officials assert that the captives are still alive and that negotiations for their release are ongoing (local media 25/11/2015).
Mines and ERW
Incorrectly armed fuses or faulty ammunition have resulted in large quantities of unexploded ordnance in conflict areas (UNSMIL 04/09/2014). In a June assessment, 57% of informants reported landmines/UXO in their communities (UN 21/09/2015).
An assessment in May found a high incidence of child recruitment, with over 67% of informants in western Libya reporting recruitment of children from their communities, and 90% of informants in southern Libya (OCHA 01/10/2015). Children as young as 14 are imprisoned alongside adults in GNC-controlled detention facilities (HRW 03/12/2015).
Third-country refugees and asylum-seekers, including unaccompanied children, face arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention for migration control purposes by both state and non-state actors. Torture, including whippings, beatings and electric shocks, has also been reported (Human Rights Watch 21/05/2015). As of May 16,000 people, mainly African migrants, were reported to be in detention, mainly in the Tripoli region and in Misrata (Reuters 24/05/2015). There are 18 government-run detention centres and 21 operated by armed militias (PI, 05/2015; Save the Children 18/06/2015). The centres are reported to be overcrowded and lack adequate WASH facilities (HRW 03/12/2015; OCHA 16/11/2015). Access to medical care is either non-existent or inadequate (OCHA 16/11/2015).
Journalists and media professionals in Libya are subject to attack and threats (OCHA 16/11/2015). At least 31 attacks on journalists have been reported so far this year and five have been detained, held hostage, or disappeared (RSF 15/12/2015; 11/11/2015). Health workers are also sometimes targeted due to perceived political allegiances based on who they treat (OCHA 16/11/2015). Five health workers were killed and 20 injured between August 2014 and January 2016 (WHO 28/01/2016).
Many women fear moving around unaccompanied (OCHA 23/11/2015).
Over 86% of households reported having lost legal documentation due to conflict and displacement, and 77% reported difficulty registering newborn children, including over 90% of IDPs (OCHA 01/10/2015).
Nigeria Country Analysis
30 January: At least 86 people were killed, 15 are missing, and 62 injured after Boko Haram set fire to Dalori, near to Maiduguri (AFP 01/02/2016; Guardian 01/02/2016).
27 January: 13 people were killed and 30 were injured by three suicide bomb attacks in Chibok during the weekly market (AFP 27/01/2016).
25 January: 40 civilians were reported dead in Gwoza village after Cameroonian troops announced they were carrying out a search for BH militants in the area (Antiwar 31/01/2016).
24 January: BH killed a civilian and set fire to his house during a raid in Babban Gida village. The insurgents attacked the police station and stole two vehicles (AFP 25/01/2016)
- 7 million people in need of humanitarian aid, including 2.15 million IDPs (OCHA 06/12/2015; IOM 23/12/2015).
- 2.73 million children are in need of protection (OCHA 11/01/2016).
- 4.6 million people in the northeast are food insecure, including 3.5 million severely (OCHA 08/06/2015; WFP 25/09/2015).
- 2.5 million are in need of nutrition assistance (OCHA 11/01/2016).
- 1.6 million in need of shelter and NFIs (OCHA 11/01/2016).
- Displacement: 84.5% of IDPs have been displaced due to BH.
- Food security: 4.6 million people in the northeast are food insecure, including 3.5 million severely (OCHA 08/06/2015; WFP 25/09/2015).
- Protection: Over 8,200 civilians died in BH-related incidents in 2015; 1,5 million women and girls are affected by gender-based violence (GBV) (OCHA 11/01/2016).
- WASH: 6.2 million people are in need of WASH assistance (OCHA 11/01/2016).
Violence in the northeast has caused massive displacement while at the same time restricting movement: it has disrupted food supplies, seriously hindered access to basic services, and limited agricultural activities. Around 8,290 deaths from Boko Haram-related violence between January and October 2015, including over 5,200 in violence against civilian. The entire population of northeast Nigeria – 24.5 million people – is indirectly affected; some 9.7 million people, including IDPs, are staying in the 34 areas worst affected by the Boko Haram insurgency. People affected by violence in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, and neighbouring Bauchi, Taraba, and Gombe states are in urgent need of protection, shelter, food, and access to health services and education
Politics and security
Armed Islamist group Boko Haram’s (BH) insurgency in the northeast began in 2008 but started gaining momentum in 2013, as BH seized territory and occupied towns and villages (DIIS 05/01/2016). Since the end of 2014, the conflict has taken on a more regional dimension, with attacks in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger, and a strengthened multinational force to counter the insurgency (UNHCR 22/05/2015). Military offensives in 2015 regained territory in Nigeria from BH, but the group has retained strongholds in areas that are hard to access, including the Sambisa forest, the Mandera mountains, and the Lake Chad islands (AFP 23/10/2015). Since President Buhari came to power in May, several more towns have been taken back from BH, and hostages have been freed, though much of the northeast remains dangerous and attacks against civilians continue (AFP 19/09/2015, 22/09/2015, 24/09/2015, 28/10/2015).
President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in on 29 May 2015, succeeding Goodluck Jonathan, whose party had led the country since 1999. Buhari is a former president and military ruler from northern Nigeria (local media 29/05/2015; AFP 02/04/2015). On 11 January, the army announced that an independent board of inquiry has recommended action to be taken against nearly 100 officers and soldiers accused of acting to influence the 2015 general and presidential elections in favour of Jonathan (ABC News 11/01/2016). Overall, however, the transition of power was peaceful.
Boko Haram (BH)
Boko Haram (“Western education is forbidden”) is leading an insurgency to create an Islamic state in the predominantly Muslim regions of northeastern Nigeria. The Nigerian authorities have been fighting BH since 2009. In the last two years, BH’s attacks have reached the whole Lake Chad region, affecting also Cameroon, Chad and Niger. Precise numbers are not known, but BH’s strength is estimated at around 15,000 (Amnesty 13/04/2015). The group is thought to be based in the Lake Chad region and the Sambisa forest (AFP 31/07/2015).
Recent successes in the fight against BH are reportedly improving morale among Nigerian troops, which had been low. Changes in command and improved equipment are thought to have increased the army’s capacity (This Day Live 10/09/2015; Information Nigeria 24/08/2015).
The Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) has 8,700 military and civilian personnel, including contingents from Chad, Cameroon, Niger, and Nigeria (BBC 03/03/2015). The scope and remit of the regional force remains unclear (AFP 11/06/2015, 25/04/2015, 20/03/2015). Military forces from Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria have commenced joint operations. Benin and Chad are still deploying troops.
BH has changed tactics, sporadically attacking areas it had not previously targeted and reverting to village raids, abductions, bombings, and suicide attacks, increasingly targeting civilians (AFP 23/03/2015, 05/10/2015; US Institute of Peace 09/01/2015; BBC 03/10/2015). Raids tend to follow a similar pattern, with houses set on fire, food and cattle seized, and a number of villagers killed (AFP 20/07/2015).
During November, 187 people were killed in 24 BH-related incidents, (ACLED 14/12/2015). Nigerian troops overran over a dozen BH camps, mainly in Borno state, and freed a number of captives (ICG 01/12/2015). During December, there were at least 350 fatalities in 29 BH-related incidents, of which at least 15 were violent attacks against civilians (ACLED 31/12/2015). On 24 December, President Buhari stated that Nigeria had technically won the war against BH militants (BBC 24/12/2015). However, BH attacks continue in Borno and Adamawa (ICG 04/01/2016). There are often discrepancies between the number of deaths reported by media and hospitals, and government agencies (AFP 23/10/2015).
There are several reports of Cameroonian armed forces razing villages across the border in an attempt to create a no-go area. Nigeria is reported to have refused requests to evacuate border villages and create a zone where troops could shoot freely (Washington Post 19/01/2016). On 25 January, 40 civilians were reported dead in Gwoza village after Cameroonian troops announced they were carrying out a search for BH militants in the area (Antiwar 31/01/2016). On 18 January, Cameroonian troops pursuing BH fired rocket-propelled grenades, which killed four people, and shot dead two civilians in Ashigashiya village in Borno state (Washington Post 19/01/2016). On 20 December, Cameroonian troops searching for BH militants killed about 70 civilians in the Borno state village of Kirawa-Jimni (Voice of America 23/12/2015).
Borno state: On 30 January, at least 86 people were killed, 15 are missing, and 62 injured when BH set fire to Dalori, near to Maiduguri. The militants also tried to get into an IDP camp in the area which hosts 25,000 people. Three female suicide bombers blew themselves up among people who managed to flee to neighbouring Gamori village (AFP 01/02/2016; Guardian 01/02/2016). On 27 January, 13 people were killed and 30 were injured by three suicide bomb attacks in Chibok during the weekly market (AFP 27/01/2016). On 5 January, BH killed seven people in a raid and suicide bombing in Izgeki village, which has been abandoned, but to which civilians had recently started returning (France 24 06/01/2016).
Adamawa state: On 10 January, BH gunmen killed seven people and burned down ten houses in a raid in Madagali (News 24 12/01/2016; AFP 12/01/2016).
Yobe state: On 24 January, BH militants killed a civilian and set fire to his house during a raid in Babban Gida village. They also attacked the police station and stole two vehicles (AFP 25/01/2016)
On 25 January, at least 20 people were killed in four villages in northern Nigeria by suspected Fulani herdsmen, in conflict between the herdsmen and farmers over land and grazing rights (BBC 25/01/2016). In the Middle Belt area (Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nassarawa, and Taraba states), inter-communal clashes flare regularly, fuelled by ethnic and religious tensions, as well as competition between farmers and pastoralists (IDMC 12/2014).
Islamic Movement of Nigeria
On 12 December Nigerian troops carried out an attack against the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), killing members and arresting its leader Ibrahim Zakzaky. The IMN seeks to establish an Islamic state (AFP 14/12/2015). The Army alleges the attacks were triggered by an IMN attempt to assassinate the army chief of staff; the IMN denies the charges (ICG 04/01/2016). On 15 December, at least four protestors were killed when police opened fire on hundreds of IMN supporters in Kaduna who were demanding the release of their leader (AFP 15/12/2015). Human Rights Watch reports that during attacks carried out by the Nigeria army during 12–14 December, at least 300 Shi’a were killed and hundreds more were injured. Soldiers buried the bodies in mass graves (HRW 22/12/2015). On 14 January, IMN claimed that more than 700 of its members were still missing after the clashes (AFP 14/01/2016).
Pro-Biafran rallies sparked by the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of separatist organisation Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), swept through Delta and Rivers state in December. Demonstrators were forcefully dispersed and arrested by police. The police denied allegations of extrajudicial killings (ICG 01/12/2015). On 2 December, during demonstrations in Anambra state by pro-Biafra separatist youth demanding the release of the IPOB leader, thousands of protesters were blocked on the Niger bBridge at Onitsha, and at least eight protesters and two police were killed (ICG 04/01/2016).
On 11 January, militant from the opposition political parties killed two soldiers and four police officers, after the governon of Bayelsa state was re-elected on the 5 December elections (ABC News 11/01/2016). A woman was shot dead during the 5 December elections (AFP 05/12/2015).
More than 2.15 million have been displaced internally, and more than 170,000 have fled abroad. The continued repatriation of Nigerian refugees, in particular from Cameroon, and ongoing counter-insurgency operations are likely to increase the number of displaced in need of assistance by up to 100,000–250,000 (Inter-Agency Standing Committee 02/11/2015). A large number of IDPs have been returning to Borno state, but there has also been new displacement in Borno and Adamawa (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
As of late December, more than 2.15 million IDPs have been identified in Adamawa, Bauchi, Benue, Borno, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, Nasarawa, Plateau, Kaduna, Kano, Zamfara, and Abuja states (IOM 23/12/2015). 84.5% have been displaced by the BH insurgency, while 12.8% have been displaced by communal clashes and 2.6% by natural disasters (IOM 23/12/2015). The slight decrease in the number of IDPs from October to December 2015 can be attributed to the movement of return observed in some locations (IOM 23/12/2015). However, the registration of IDPs in Nigeria is self-selecting: only those who are in need of assistance register. The total number of people who have fled their homes is unknown (OCHA 10/11/2015).
Around 92% of IDPs are staying with host families; the other 8% are staying in camps and camp-like sites. More than 1.4 million (67%) are in Borno, which is the state of origin for 74.8% of IDPs. 136,000 (6.3%) are in Adamawa and 131,000 (6.1%) in Yobe. In all the states affected by communal clashes (Benue, Kaduna, Nasarawa, Plateau, Taraba and Zamfara), the majority of IDPs are relocating within their own state (IOM 23/12/2015).
About 61.5% of IDPs were displaced in 2014, and 34.2% in 2015 (IOM 23/12/2015). Many people have been displaced several times (OCHA 24/09/2015).
IDPs report food as a priority need, followed by shelter and NFIs. Among host families, 83% declared that food was their primary need (IOM 03/09/2015, 31/10/2015). Conditions in IDP sites are deteriorating, and needs are unmet in WASH, education, health, and shelter (UNHCR 17/08/2015).
Returns: 332,000 IDPs returned in northern Adamawa state. Most returnees were originally displaced in Adamawa (32.1%), Kano (13.2%), Nasarawa (11.7%), Gombe (7.6%), while 6% of returnees came from Cameroon (IOM 23/12/2015). Shelter and food are reported as priority needs. Other priorities include restoration of WASH and transport infrastructure, and repair of schools and health facilities. Farming inputs, including equipment, fertiliser, and seeds, are also needed. Returnees face sporadic attacks (UNICEF 01/09/2015).
The Nigerian government has announced plans to start closing IDP camps in Adamawa and Borno. There is a risk that IDPs will be forced to return (IRIN 17/11/2015). The vast majority of IDPs (94%) want to return to their place of origin, while 6% have no intention to do so (IOM 23/12/2015). However, people are not yet confident to return to recaptured areas. Most recaptured areas remain inhabitable as housing and infrastructure have been destroyed. Returning IDPs have also found their houses and land occupied by others (IFRC 21/01/2016; Reuters 03/12/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
As of October, there were 2,190 refugees and asylum seekers in Nigeria (UNHCR 29/10/2015).
As of December, more than 20,588 Nigerians have been forcibly returned from Cameroon since November 2015 (OCHA 31/12/2015). Deportations began after a series of suicide bombings by BH in Cameroon’s Far North region, as authorities fear links between Nigerian nationals and BH (UNHCR 11/12/2015; 14/12/2015). A further 12,000 Nigerians are expected to be repatriated soon (local media 10/01/2016). A smaller number of returnees have arrived from Chad (UNHCR 05/11/2015).
Nigerian refugees in neighbouring countries
184,540 Nigerian refugees are in neighbouring countries. 100,000 are in Niger, 70,378 registered refugees are in Cameroon, and 14,162 are in Chad (UNHCR 24/01/2016).
There are 3 million people in need in areas that are extremely difficult to access. In 2015, only three out of the 26 LGAs in Borno were accessible to humanitarian actors (OCHA 11/01/2016).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Humanitarian assistance is very limited in remote areas, rural areas and areas that are or were formerly under BH control (UNHCR 30/06/2015; FEWSNET 31/10/2015). Host communities receive very little assistance, as access remains difficult and needs are hard to assess (OCHA 31/07/2015). The sweeping operations carried out by the Nigerian military have a disruptive effect on everyday life and further disrupt humanitarian actors’ activities in the region (UNHCR 17/12/2015).
Security and physical constraints
The security situation in the northeast continues to impair access to affected populations, especially in remote areas (ACF 30/06/2015). IDP camps in the city of Maiduguri are becoming increasingly unsafe (UNHCR 17/12/2015).
Media access has also often been prohibited, with BH having destroyed communication and media infrastructure (Reporters without Borders 05/02/2015). Infrastructure damage reaches 80% in some areas controlled by BH (IRIN 05/06/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
Over 8.3 million people are affected by food insecurity in northern states. According to the Cadre Harmonisé analysis, 4 million people are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and 875,000 people are in Emergency and Catastrophe (IPC Phases 4 and 5) and require urgent humanitarian assistance (OCHA 19/12/2015). Food assistance needs in northeast Nigeria will continue to grow in mid-2016, as populations affected by the BH crisis along with flood victims will require assistance until July. Food availability and access will remain constrained by poor 2015/16 agricultural production, limited income-earning opportunities, and restricted market access (FEWSNET 31/12/2015; 24/01/2016).
Most areas outside the northeast will be facing Minimal (Phase 1) food security outcomes between October 2015 and March 2016 (FEWSNET 31/10/2015).
The harvest for staples in most areas across the country is expected to be average to slightly below average. But in the northeast, conflict has negatively affected the area planted and farmers’ ability to look after their crops. Households in flood-affected parts of Adamawa, Yobe, Bauchi, Kaduna, Jigawa, Kebbi and Niger states are harvesting below average for both staple and cash crops (FEWSNET 24/11/2015).
Market and trade activities in the northeast remain disrupted (FEWSNET 31/10/2015). Access to markets is restricted for households affected by conflict (FEWSNET 26/09/2015). In addition to the conflict’s impact, the government has advised to close some major markets, as they are targets for attacks (FEWSNET 31/10/2015).
Staple food prices are much higher on markets in Maiduguri, Borno, and Mubi, Adamawa, than in neighbouring markets (FEWSNET 31/10/2015). 24% of IDP households declared that most of the food items they consume come from humanitarian assistance, while 26% declared that half of the food items they consume comes from humanitarian assistance (IOM 23/12/2015).
Cattle rustling and inter-communal conflict in the Middle Belt affects households’ access to income and markets, limiting their access to food (FEWSNET 31/10/2015).
Business activity is estimated to have decreased by 80% in areas affected by violence (OCHA 25/09/2015). Communities in northeastern rural areas largely depend on farming for their livelihoods, but families returning from displacement will not be able to support themselves, as staple crops have not been planted (INGO Forum 17/07/2015). Insecurity prevents those who remain in the northeast from carrying out typical farming activities, limiting their opportunities for wage labour. Fishing and cross-border trade, particularly with Niger, have also fallen due to insecurity (OCHA 24/09/2015; FEWSNET 31/10/2015).
Income opportunities for IDPs remain very limited (FEWSNET 31/10/2015). Only 11% of registered IDPs have a regular source of income, compared to 55% prior to displacement, while 49% do not have any source of income (IOM 23/12/2015).
In northeastern Nigeria, 3.7 million people need health support (OCHA 11/01/2016). Mortality rates are increasing and vaccination programmes are severely hit. There is an increased risk of children dying from malaria, measles, and diarrhoea due to the disruption of health services (Inter Press Service 26/08/2015). A nationwide cholera outbreak is ongoing (UNICEF 14/11/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
Routine health services, including immunisation and maternal and child care, have been disrupted in areas affected by the insurgency. Many health workers have fled and those who remain are not able to access people in need (UNICEF 30/09/2015). Less than 40% of health facilities are operational in areas affected by the conflict (Inter Press Service 26/08/2015; IRIN 02/11/2015). In Adamawa, 59% of assessed health facilities were damaged and 37% were non-functional (UNICEF 26/01/2016).
IDPs lack access to adequate healthcare and medicine, which is resulting in high mortality rates for common illnesses (ECHO 18/09/2015). Malaria is the most prevalent health problem in the majority of IDP shelters, followed by fever. In 51 shelters, IDPs reported not having access to medicine (IOM 23/12/2015).
As of 24 January, at least 83 people have died from Lassa fever, with the death toll expected to rise as the number of cases steadily increases. 115 suspected cases and 57 laboratory-confirmed cases have been reported in 18 states. A number of suspected cases tested negative after laboratory results. The case fatality rate is reported at 48%. The most affected states are Niger, Bauchi, Edo, Oyo and Taraba. The outbreak was announced on 8 January 2016 and is considered to have started on November 2015 in Bauchi state (NCDC 24/01/2016; WHO 27/01/2016; AFP 13/01/2016; ABC News 08/01/2016).
In early 2015, 13 of 36 states recorded cholera cases, with Anambra, Kano, Rivers, and Ebonyi states the worst affected (Red Cross Movement 30/11/2015). In 2015, 5,913 cholera cases had been reported, with 188 deaths countrywide (3.2% CFR) (UNICEF 21/12/2015). In 2014, there were 35,996 reported cholera cases, but with a much lower fatality rate, of 1.9% (UNICEF 14/11/2015, 20/10/2015).
2.5 million people are in need of nutrition assistance, of which 550,000 are IDPs, 1.49 million are part of vulnerable host population and 500,000 are inaccessible (OCHA 11/01/2016). An estimated 461,000 children under five suffered from severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in 2015, in addition to 1.7 million suffering from moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) (OCHA 17/09/2015).
A survey in Chibok, Askira, and Uba in Borno state, and Michika in Adamawa, showed 32.4% global acute malnutrition (GAM), which far exceeds the WHO critical threshold, and 3.0% SAM (FEWSNET 31/10/2015). Malnutrition is thought to be worse among IDPs in host communities, as they lack access to nutrition services (OCHA 19/08/2015). The proportion of children found with SAM among screened children in IDP camps is 3.2%, which is similar to the overall estimates in the host community (UNICEF 11/2015).
6.2 million people are in need of WASH assistance, of which 2 million are IDPs, 3,9 million are vulnerable host populations and 300,000 people are inaccessible (OCHA 11/01/2016).
WASH conditions in IDP host communities are critical (IDMC 16/04/2015). The majority of IDPs are outside official camps, where access to WASH facilities is severely limited (ECHO 18/09/2015; MSF 17/09/2015). In the northeast, only 46% of the population have access to improved sources of drinking water and 21% to latrines (UNICEF 13/01/2015). In 29 shelters, less than 50% of water sources are functional (IOM 31/10/2015). More than 75% of IDP camps lack handwashing and drainage facilities. The number of people sharing a toilet far exceeds the Sphere standard (USAID 23/07/2015). In Gombyo, one of the camps outside Maiduguri, each latrine is shared between around 100 people (IRIN 02/11/2015). In 57 shelters, the toilets are in poor condition. In eight shelters, toilets are not usable. In most shelters, there are no separate male and female toilets (IOM 31/10/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
1.6 million people are in need of shelter and NFIs (OCHA 11/01/2016). Serious lack of resources is resulting in very limited humanitarian assistance to IDPs living in host communities. IDP sites are often overcrowded (IRIN 05/06/2015). IDP sites include schools, government buildings, self-made tents and community centres (IOM 31/10/2015).
The number of IDPs in formal camps has increased since April, and shelter and other basic needs have risen (OCHA 08/06/2015). IDPs are moving to camps, adding to overcrowding and stretching basic services in the camps (OCHA 19/12/2015).
45% of registered IDPs report that their houses have been completely burned down or destroyed, while 24% report that their houses are partially burned down or damaged (IOM 03/09/2015). As IDPs return to their home state, new informal camps are emerging in Borno and Yobe states. Conditions in these camps are extremely basic, with urgent need for emergency shelter assistance (OCHA 19/12/2015).
The needs for shelter and NFIs are increasing as seasonal Harmattan winds have started blowing across the north and the temperature is dropping (IRIN 05/01/2016).
One million children are in need of education, of which 830,000 are displaced, 150,000 are within the vulnerable host population and 30,000 are inaccessible. 600,000 children have lost access to learning since 2013 and 825,700 children have been made vulnerable through displacement (OCHA 11/01/2016). Schools and universities have been particular targets of BH (USAID 17/06/2015). 1,200 schools have been destroyed (UNICEF 26/01/2016). Between 2009 and October 2015, BH murdered more than 600 teachers, with half of these deaths in Borno State. More teachers have been threatened, injured or kidnapped. Another 19,000 teachers have fled their posts because of the violence (IRIN 07/12/2015).
Almost 450 schools have reopened in Borno state for the first time in a year and a half, though many teachers and pupils are reluctant to return because of persistent violence (Reuters 01/12/2015). Teachers and students have been deliberately targeted by attacks (UNICEF 30/09/2015). Classes are held just two days a week, and when school is in session armed guards stand at the entrance (IRIN 07/12/2015).
In Yobe, school enrolment rates have fallen by between 2% and 59% (UNICEF 09/11/2015). Low numbers of qualified teachers, scarcity of teaching materials, and fear of sending children to school are main concerns for IDP children’s access to education (UNICEF 01/06/2015).
5.45 million people are in need of protection, of which 2 million are IDPs, 2 million are vulnerable host populations and 1.5 million are inaccessible populations (OCHA 11/01/2016). Reported protection incidents include killing of civilians, forced displacement, destruction of property, exploitation and abuse, family separation, arbitrary detention, restrictions on freedom of movement and insecurity. Priorities for IDPs are the denial of access to assistance and family separation (UNHCR 31/08/2015; UN 29/09/2015; OCHA 11/01/2016).
IDP camps are facing a significant threat from militant infiltration; cases of BH militants disguised as IDPs have been reported from Maiduguri (UNHCR 29/05/2015). BH has forcibly recruited young men, and carried out executions (Amnesty 13/04/2015).
In Taraba, returning IDPs have been attacked in disputes over land, as land and property had been taken in their absence. In some cases IDPs are facing stigma, discrimination, and isolation (UNHCR 31/08/2015).
Cases of extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, detention, and torture have been documented among Nigerian forces in the course of security operations against BH (Amnesty International 03/06/2015). Amnesty has raised concerns about the tactics used by security forces in the offensive against BH. More than 8,000 people are said to have died in detention as of June (Reuters 23/06/2015).
Large-scale demolitions and evictions in an informal housing settlement in Badia, in Lagos, have made thousands of people homeless. More than 30,000 people are expected to lose their homes, businesses and livelihoods, if demolitions continue as planned. There are reports of people forced to leave their houses without prior notice in the middle of the rainy season, with police sometimes resorting to violence (UN HRC 23/11/2015).
1.5 million people are affected by gender based violence (GBV) (OCHA 11/01/2016). Women and girls kidnapped by BH have experienced physical and psychological abuse, forced marriage and labour, and sexual slavery (OCHA 24/09/2015). 30% of women in the northeast have experienced GBV since 2013 (OCHA 11/01/2016). Women are at particular risk of sexual violence and trafficking in displacement sites (OCHA 30/04/2015).
Women and girls have been used by BH to carry out suicide attacks. BH has also started using young boys (Action on Armed Violence 10/08/2015; International News 05/12/2015).
2.73 million children are in need of protection, out of which 1 million are displaced, 1 million are within the vulnerable host population and 700,000 are inaccessible (OCHA 11/01/2016). Physical and emotional abuse of children is reported in many IDP sites. The majority of unaccompanied and separated children are in Borno state, followed by Yobe and Adamawa (IDMC 16/04/2015; UNICEF 13/04/2015; OCHA 07/07/2015; Protection Sector Working Group 17/07/2015). 20,000 unaccompanied and separated children have been identified (OCHA 11/01/2016). The increasing use of children and women for suicide bombings is of great concern (UNHCR 29/05/2015; OCHA 25/09/2015).
Somalia Country Analysis
28 January: Political leaders in Somalia announced how the upcoming elections will proceed. No dates were announced (VoA 29/01/2016).
26 January: After the attacks in El Adde, Kenyan forces withdrew from two towns in southern Somalia, which hampers Kenya’s efforts to create a buffer zone between Al Shabaab and its border (BBC 22/01/2016; CSM 27/01/2016).
21 January: Puntland issued an appeal for assistancein aiding the drought-affected people in the region (OCHA 26/01/2016).
- 4.9 million people in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA 02/12).
- 1.1 million IDPs, with high concentrations in Mogadishu (UNHCR 04/11/2015).
- 3.2 million are estimated to need emergency health services (OCHA 11/09/2015).
- Over 1 million people are facing Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) food security outcomes (FSNAU 04/11/2015).
- 380,000 people face acute water and pasture shortages in drought-affected parts of Puntland and Somaliland (OCHA 26/01/2016).
- Food security: one million people face Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) food security outcomes and 3.9 million people will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. (OCHA 30/12/2015 FSNAU 04/11/2015, 02/10/2015).
- Health, particularly in Bay, Bakool, Galgaduud, Middle Juba, and parts of Gedo. Children under five are a priority group (OCHA 09/11/2015; UNICEF 31/08/2015).
- WASH infrastructure requires maintenance, particularly in displacement settlements and areas affected by drought (OCHA 09/11/2015).
- Humanitarian access: restricted access continues to affect aid delivery in south-central Somalia (OCHA 30/12/2015).
Protracted conflict, as well as 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, around 4.9 million people, is vulnerable to external shocks and lacks access to basic goods and services. Insecurity and bureaucratic impediments hinder humanitarian access.
Politics and security
Somalia suffers from a chronic fragility of state institutions as a result of two decades of civil war. 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 within the state (UNSC 25/09/2014; ICG 01/11/2014). The government’s mandate expires in September 2016, but government and parliament agree that it will not be possible to hold a full election (AFP 28/07/2015; UNSOM 03/08/2015). On 28 January, political leaders announced that the 275 seats in the lower house of the parliament will be divided among the country's clans. 30% of seats will be reserved for women. The lower house will be elected by clan elders and the upper house by the regional assemblies. No dates for the elections were announced (VoA 29/01/2016).
Armed Islamist group Al Shabaab continues attacks on civilians, humanitarian personnel, and government officials. In 2015, Al Shabaab has made substantial advances in Lower Shabelle region, taking control of Kurten-warey and Janale after withdrawal of government and African Union troops (FSNAU 04/11/2015; Horseed media 18/09/2015; Reuters 06/09/2015). In Middle Juba, military forces do not have control over major commercial and administrative towns (FSNAU 04/11/2015).
Bakool, Banadir, Bay, Gedo, Hiraan, and Shabelle regions are all affected by violence. In 2015, more than 1,100 incidents involving Al Shabaab were reported, causing almost 3,000 deaths (ACLED 26/01/2016). Nearly 20% of all reported incidents were attacks against civilians: in 2015, an average of 16 attacks against civilians were reported each month (ACLED 28/11/2015). However, for many incidents no number of casualties is confirmed, and the actual number is likely much higher than what is reported.
On 13 December, fighting broke out in the Hawl-wadag neighbourhood of Beledweyne, Hiraan region, with more than 30 people killed and more than 50 injured. Several houses and business places were damaged and schooling was disrupted (international media 13/12/2015, 14/12/2015; local media 13/12/2015, 14/12/2015; 15/12/2015).
On 22 November, fighting erupted between Puntland and Galmudug armed forces, over disputed land. At least 20 people were killed, 120 injured and over 90,000 were displaced, including 40,000 IDPs who fled from displacement settlements (UNSOM 28/11/2015; local media 09/12/2015; OCHA 08/12/2015). In December, a ceasefire agreement was signed and most of the displaced returned. Returnees lack access to adequate food and nutrition and latrines and shelters have been destroyed. Public sanitation and water facilities such as elevated water tanks were destroyed or damaged during fighting. Education was disrupted and the school syllabus delayed by three weeks (OCHA 24/12/2015).
Al Shabaab is a militant Islamist group and off-shoot of the Islamic Courts Union. It took over most of southern Somalia in 2006, seeking to establish an Islamic state. Numbering 7,000–9,000 militants, Al Shabaab typically targets Somali government officials, AMISOM forces, and perceived government allies. Attacks in urban centres and along transport axes are common, although a shift in tactics in 2015 has seen Al Shabaab concentrate attacks on small and remote AU bases (CNN 03/09/2015). Al Shabaab has also carried out a number of attacks in Kenya.
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) force counts 22,000 troops. Its mandate has been extended until 30 May 2016 (UNSC 28/07/2015). The Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF) and AMISOM started a military offensive against Al Shabaab-held areas in March 2014 (OCHA 05/2014). New offensives began in July (AMISOM 19/07/2015; OCHA 20/08/2015). Al Shabaab was forced out of Mogadishu in 2011 and Kismayo in 2012, and lost Barawe, Lower Shabelle, in October 2014.
The government’s inability to pay soldiers threatens to undermine military gains. Soldiers may defect or set up checkpoints to extract bribes. Corruption at higher levels of the military is reportedly one of the reasons for non-payment of soldiers (Reuters 08/10/2015).
On 15 January, Al Shabaab attacked an AMISOM base in the town of El Adde, Gedo region, and claimed that it had killed more than 60 Kenyan soldiers (ALJ 15/01/2016; Reuters 15/01/2016). After the attacks in El Adde, Kenya’s military forces withdrew from two towns in the area on 26 January, which hampers Kenya’s efforts to create a buffer zone between Al Shabaab and its border (BBC 22/01/2016; CSM 27/01/2016).
On 4 January, Al Shabaab took control of Warmahan village, in Lower Shebelle region, following an attack on the village's military base that left at least ten people dead. Government troops are likely to regroup in the area to attempt to retake the village, increasing the risk of further casualties and violent clashes (News24 04/01/2016).
Mogadishu: On 21 January, 20 people were killed in an attack on a restaurant in the Lido beach area (AFP 22/01/2016). On 7 January, one civilian was killed and another seriously wounded when Al Shabaab fired mortars close to the presidential palace (AFP 07/01/2016). On 2 January, a suicide bomber blew himself up and injured three people at the Village restaurant in Mogadishu, an establishment popular with journalists and government officials (AFP 02/01/2016).
El Niño conditions have led to drought in Somaliland and heavy rains in other parts of the country (WFP 01/12/2015). 380,000 people face acute water and pasture shortage in drought affected parts of Puntland and Somaliland.220,000 people are affected by drought in Puntland (OCHA 26/01/2016).
An estimated 65% of Puntland face drought conditions. On 21 January 2016 authorities issued an appeal for assistance for the drought-affected (OCHA 26/01/2016). The most affected areas of Puntland are Bari, Nugaal, Sanaag, and Sool. The most affected regions of Somaliland are Awdal, Togdheer and Waqooyi Galbeed (OCHA 26/01/2016).
Some people in the affected regions are to migrating with their livestock to Hawd livelihood zone, in the south of Somaliland and the southwest of Puntland, which has received good rains (OCHA 26/01/2016).
An estimated 145,200 people have been affected by floods and tropical cyclones since mid-October (OCHA 04/12/2015). An estimated 60,000 people have been displaced due to flooding (OCHA 20/11/2015). In areas of Lower Shabelle region, moderate rains have led to river floods and flash floods (FAO, 08/12/2015) 28,000 people have been affected in areas along the river, including Balcad, Mahaday, and Jowhar. IDPs are particularly affected (OCHA 06/11/2015, 27/10/2015).
The flooding has led to outbreaks of acute watery diarrhoea and cholera, and loss of crops and property in parts of south and central Somalia and Puntland. (OCHA 22/12/2015).
There are 975,670 Somali refugees in neighbouring countries and an estimated 1.1 million IDPs in Somalia as of June 2015. As of 20 January, 30,000 people had arrived from Yemen since April; the arrival rate has fallen significantly since August.
An estimated 893,000 IDPs are in the south-central region, 129,000 in Puntland, and 84,000 in Somaliland (UNHCR 06/01/2016). 369,000 IDPs live in makeshift camps in Mogadishu (UNHCR 04/11/2015).
Between September and November 2015, an estimated 77,789 people were newly internally displaced: 32% due to military offensives, clan conflicts and general insecurity, 28% due to evictions, 24% due to floods, and 4% due to cross-border movements (World Vision 21/01/2016).
Between 8 December 2014 and 24 January 2016, 7,532 Somalis have returned from Kenya, including 2,994 to Kismayo, 1,873 to Mogadishu, and 1,083 to Baidoa. 50% are women. 97 separated children have been reported (UNHCR 24/01/2016).
Returnees and refugees from Yemen
As of 20 January, 30,566 arrivals from Yemen have been registered since April, mainly through Bosaso, Puntland, and Berbera, Somaliland. 88% are Somali returnees, 11% Yemeni refugees, and 1% third-country nationals (IOM 21/01/2016). Somali returnees and Yemeni refugees have access to onward transportation to their final destination, while individuals of other nationalities are supported to return to their home countries (UNHCR 31/12/2015). Many Somali returnees intend to go to Mogadishu (UNHCR 09/11/2015). The arrival rate fell significantly in October, as information on living conditions reached people who intended to leave Yemen, and the conflict affected the two main ports of departure to Somalia (IOM 15/10/2015; UNHCR 05/10/2015, 15/10/2015). In the beginning of 2016, as Aden was recaptured by forces supporting the government, the number of arrivals slowly began to rise again (UNHCR 18/01/2016). 61,600 arrivals from Yemen are expected in Somalia by the end of 2016 (UNHCR 15/12/2015).
Somali refugees in neighbouring countries
There are almost a million Somalian refugees in neighbouring countries (UNHCR 06/01/2016). 418,723 are in Kenya, 251,797 in Ethiopia, and 249,061 in Yemen, with the rest in Uganda, Djibouti, Eritrea, and Tanzania (UNHCR 06/01/2016; ECHO 20/01/2016).
Humanitarian access remained a challenge in 2015, due to increasing insecurity, limited infrastructure, and funding constraints. Non-state armed actors continued to impose bans on commercial activities in some areas in Bakool, Bay, Gedo, and Hiraan regions thereby disrupting the delivery of humanitarian supplies and basic commercial commodities (OCHA 26/01/2016).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Restricted humanitarian access continues to affect aid delivery to affected populations in south-central Somalia (OCHA 30/12/2015). Even in areas where there is no active conflict, illegal checkpoints, banditry, and demands for bribes are common (OCHA 09/10/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Road access remains severely constrained in 28 districts in south-central Somalia and in Buuhoodle district in the north. While there was progress in negotiating access to areas such as Xudur in Bakool. Baidoa (in Bay), Bulo Burde (in Hiraan), Garbahaarey (in Gedo) and Wajid (in Bakool) are only accessible via an airstrip secured by AMISOM (FSNAU 02/10/2015; OCHA 26/01/2016).
In 2015, attacks and threats against humanitarians increased. More than 140 violent incidents directly impacted humanitarian organisations, including 17 deaths, 18 injuries, 11 abductions, and 38 arrests (OCHA 26/01/2016).
In 2015, the humanitarian community registered over 80 incidents, 80% of which included interference related to administrative and bureaucratic impediments and 20% were direct interferences with humanitarian activities, mainly in Puntland and Southern and central Somalia (OCHA 26/01/2016).
Food security and livelihoods
One million people face Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) food security outcomes (OCHA 30/12/2015). Food insecurity is due to below-average production in July and August, the dry season, and intensified conflict in southern Somalia. 3.9 million people will face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes. The increase is a result of revised population figures (FSNAU 04/11/2015, 02/10/2015). More than half of severely food insecure people are in Banadir; the majority are IDPs. Overall, IDPs make up 62% of the severely food insecure (FSNAU 04/11/2015).
The overall number of people in IPC Phases 3 and 4 is expected to remain stable or increase slightly in the first half of 2016, particularly in drought-affected areas of the north. Poor households in Guban Pastoral livelihood zone in the northwest Somaliland, and Northern Inland Pastoral livelihood zone in northeast Puntland will need assistance throughout most of 2016. Most rural livelihoods are likely to be classified as Minimal or Stressed. IPC Phase 3 is expected to persist in urban areas affected by trade disruptions in Huduur, Wajid, Bulo Burto and across most of the main IDP settlements (FSNAU 22/12/2015; FEWSNET 02/01/2016).
Rangeland conditions remain poor in Guban pastoral livelihood zone in Somaliland, where unusual livestock deaths are reported, and in Bakool, Gedo, and areas of Lower Shabelle. Livestock body conditions are poor in northeastern and central regions, and in most southern regions (FEWSNET 31/10/2015).
Tropical storms have killed around 3,000 livestock in Berbera, Somaliland. Damage to crops and fisheries was reported in Somaliland and Puntland (IFRC 14/11/2015).
23–49% of households that receive remittances have reported that remittance receipts have declined since May 2015, as the bank accounts of Somali diaspora have been closed in measures aiming to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism (OCHA 10/11/2015; UN 18/01/2016).
Livelihoods is one of the main challenges reported in IDP settlements (DRC 24/10/2015).
In Buaale and Sakoow districts, Middle Juba, flooding has destroyed 40 hectares of crops, affecting over 1,000 people. Crops have also been damaged in Afgooye district, Lower Shabelle (OCHA 13/11/2015).
Around 3 million people are in need of emergency health services, particularly in Bay, Bakool, Galgaduud, Middle Juba, and parts of Gedo. Children under five are a priority group (OCHA 09/11/2015; UNICEF 31/08/2015).
Serious crude death rates (CDR of over 0.5 deaths/1,000 people/day) have been recorded in agropastoral areas of the Shabelle regions, among IDPs and urban populations in Mogadishu, and among IDPs in Dolow and Dhusamareb in Galgaduud. The highest CDR was observed among IDPs in Dhobley, Gedo (1.18), where diarrhoea, malaria, and pneumonia are the main causes of death for children under five (FSNAU 16/10/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
Overall, 3.2 million people are in need of health services (OCHA 09/11/2015). 1.5 million people are without access to primary or secondary health services due to funding shortfalls, including 300,000 children under five. Ten hospitals have closed or significantly scaled down services since May. Basic health posts and clinics are struggling to meet primary health needs. Many aid agencies have withdrawn health workers due to lack of funds (WHO 23/07/2015).
After the flooding, in Jowhar, Kismayo, and Mogadishu, several cases of cholera have been confirmed (UNHCR 20/11/2015). 462 cases of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) have been reported in Baidoa, Bay region and 521 in Kismayo since December 2015 (OCHA 26/01/2016). In Banadir region, cases of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) were reported in Hamarweyne and Hawl Wadaag districts of Mogadishu in December. Three children under age five reportedly died in Hamarweyne and a number of patients were admitted to Banadir hospital. In Middle Shabelle, three people reportedly died and nine others were affected by AWD in Baqdad and Sabun villages (OCHA 18/12/2015).
There are concerns that the cholera outbreak in Dadaab camp and other neighbouring areas of northern Kenya might spread to Somalia (OCHA 26/01/2016).
308,000 children under the age of five are acutely malnourished (OCHA 28/01/2016). The most affected areas are Togsheer. Awdal, and North Galbeed in Somaliland and Middle Shabelle, Bay, and Gedo in south-central Somalia. Data in insufficient for Sanag and Sool areas and for the most part of Nugel and Galgaduud (UNICEF and Nutrition Cluster 23/11/2015).
In south-central and northeast Somalia, 85% of livelihood areas show a serious or critical nutrition situation, with more than 10% GAM. In south-central, priority groups for nutrition, where GAM is more than 15%, are pastoral, agropastoral, and riverine populations in Gedo region; people in Belet Weyne and Mataban districts in Hiraan region; coastal pastoral areas and the cowpea belt in Mudug; Bay region; and IDPs in Dolow, Baidoa, Dhobley, Garowe, and Galkayo (FSNAU 16/10/2015). 20.6% GAM and 15.7% SAM ware observed in Hudur, Bakool, in September (FSNAU 02/10/2015). In Galgaduud, region, an increase in admission of malnutrition cases in nutrition centres was reported in Dhusamareb district, in part due to an increase in diarrhoea cases (OCHA 18/12/2015). In Somaliland, GAM was 22.3% and SAM 5.9% in pastoral areas of northern Awdal and Woqooyi Galbeed, as of September (FSNAU 02/10/2015).
Malnutrition among IDPs is particularly critical. In Garowe, Galkayo and Dolow, acute malnutrition has been above 15% over the past two years. Among Dhobley IDPs, GAM has nearly doubled since the last assessment (October–December 2014), from 11% to 20.7%. SAM levels are above 4% in Baidoa, Galkayo, and Dolow (FSNAU 08/09/2015, 16/10/2015).
A rapid deterioration has been noted among Bossaso IDPs, in the northeast, with GAM levels rising from 12.5% to 16.8%. Alert levels of GAM (between 5% and 10%) were seen among IDPs in Burao and Berbera (FSNAU 30/11/2015). Critical levels of SAM were reported in two IDP settlements, Dolow and Baidoa, in the south-central region (FSNAU 30/11/2015).
2.8 million people are estimated in need of safe water. There is a need for maintenance of WASH infrastructure, particularly in displacement settlements and areas affected by drought (OCHA 09/11/2015).
Poor WASH conditions are reported in 12 IDP shelters affected by floods on 29 November as latrines were destroyed and assistance is required to treat and drain stagnant water (OCHA 04/12/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
An estimated 1.1 million people are in need of shelter. Needs have increased due to forced evictions and conflict. IDPs in Mogadishu are living in makeshift shelters (OCHA 09/11/2015; UNHCR 07/09/2015).
20,000 IDPs in Galgaduud affected by heavy rains live under poor shelter conditions and risk having to leave their homes (OCHA 13/11/2015). 1,500 IDPs in Galkayo are in urgent need of shelter. According to latest estimates available, around 42,000 IDPs are thought to be living in Galkayo. Over 50% are at risk of flooding and live in makeshift shelters under very poor conditions. IDP settlements in Baidoa district, Bay, were affected by heavy rains (OCHA 06/11/2015).
1.7 million children aged 5‑17 do not have access to education in south-central Somalia because of the humanitarian crisis (OCHA 30/12/2015). Children of displaced families remain the most vulnerable and neglected regarding access to education (OCHA 02/06/2015). There is a lack of teachers and learning materials, and learning facilities are inadequate (OCHA 20/07/2015).
1.11 million people are considered in need of protection, mainly due to the physical insecurity resulting from the SNAF-AMISOM offensive and inter-clan fighting, SGBV, including cases of sexual violence during inter-clan conflict, child protection violations, separation of children, and forced/secondary eviction (UNHCR Protection Cluster 10/2014; OCHA 29/09/2015; UNFPA 31/08/2015). AMISOM forces have been accused on several occasions of killing civilians in their homes (HRW 13/08/2015). In November and December, around 350 protection incidents were reported among displaced populations. The violations include physical assaults, domestic violence, illegal arrest and detention, female genital mutilation, torture, kidnapping/abduction, recruitment and use of child soldiers, forced marriage, disappearances, forced family separations and forced eviction (UNHCR 31/12/2015). On 3 December, a Somali journalist was killed in Mogadishu when a bomb detonated under her car (AFP 03/12/2015).
Forced evictions of IDPs surged in 2015, as the appreciation of land is driving land-grabbing. Between January and September, 116,000 IDPs and urban poor were forcibly evicted from private and public buildings in Mogadishu, Kismayo, Baidoa, Bosaso, Galkayo, Hargeisa, and Luuq. They live on the outskirts of the city in IDP settlements where they face risks of exploitation and abuse, and scarce basic services and livelihood opportunities (OCHA 09/11/2015). 77,314 evictions have taken place in Mogadishu since January 2015 (UNHCR 31/10/2015).
SGBV is of particular concern for women and girls living in IDP settlements. From January–August, 84% of reported SGBV incidents involved rape, physical and sexual assault. 75% of victims are IDPs and 93% are female (UNFPA 31/08/2015).
Somali National Army and Al Shabaab, have been accused of killing and recruiting children (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict 01/01/2016). Nearly 746 ‘grave violations’ were recorded from September 2015 (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict 01/01/2016). Grave violations include recruitment or use of children, killing, maiming, rape, or other sexual violence, and abduction (UNICEF). Boys are more affected than girls (OCHA 03/06/2015; UNICEF 31/05/2015, 30/06/2015).
South Sudan Country Analysis
1 February: Clashes between government forces and the SPLM-IO were again reported in the Mundri area of Western Equatoria (Sudan Tribune).
30 January: Unknown armed actors attacked civilians in Upper Nile. 24 people were killed and 25 others injured (Sudan Tribune 01/02/2016).
24 January: Sudanese President Omar al Bashir ordered the reopening of the border with South Sudan for the first time since its secession (Reuters 28/01/2016).
21 January: 6,000 people have been displaced by recent fighting between government forces and armed groups in Yambio, Western Equatoria (OCHA 25/01/2016).
- 6.1 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2016 (OCHA 31/12/2015).
- 3.9 million people are estimated to be in Crisis (IPC phase 3), Emergency (IPC phase 4), and Catastrophe (IPC phase 5) food security outcomes. 40,000 are in Catastrophe (ECHO 18/12/2015).
- An estimated 250,000 children are severely malnourished (OCHA 13/06/2015).
- 1.69 million IDPs since December 2013 (OCHA 25/01/2016).
- 265,700 refugees in South Sudan, mainly from Sudan (>80%), DRC, Ethiopia and CAR (UNHCR, 01/12/2015).
- 640,400 South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries (UNHCR 16/10/2015).
Food security: Ongoing violence, market disruption, and crop failures have resulted in record food prices, and hunger has spread to areas that were previously stable.
Health: The crisis continues to trigger major public health risks and disease outbreaks. Malaria has reached unprecedented levels and is the biggest cause of morbidity in almost all states.
Shelter: Ongoing violence continues to cause widespread displacement particularly in Unity, Upper Nile, Jonglei, and more recently Western Equatoria.
Violence spread across eastern and northern South Sudan in December 2013. A ceasefire agreement was signed in August 2015, but clashes continue. 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.
The conflict is concentrated in the Greater Upper Nile states of Jonglei, Upper Nile, and Unity, with the central counties of Unity state most severely affected. The capital of Unity was transferred from Bentiu to Mankien (Mayom county) in April. Food insecurity and malnutrition rates are alarming. Insecurity is hampering the delivery of assistance. The UN reports widespread violation of human rights and targeted violence against civilians.
Politics and security
President Kiir’s Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA), who are predominantly Dinka, have been fighting a loose alliance of military defectors loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, the Sudanese People’s Liberation Army-In-Opposition (SPLA-IO), and ethnic Nuer militia, since December 2013. Fighting has killed thousands and displaced over two million people. Armed violence is mostly concentrated in Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile.
Security in Western Equatoria has also deteriorated in recent months. An unconfirmed number of armed groups have emerged in the area; some are aligned with the SPLM-IO, including the Revolutionary Movement for National Salvation (REMNASA) and the youth militia group known as the Arrow Boys (Al Jazeera 21/11/2015; Sudan Tribune 29/10/2015).
A peace deal was signed in August between Machar and President Kiir, but the agreement has not been implemented and ground fighting and aerial bombardment continue. There are reports that both the government and opposition are stockpiling arms and ammunition (New York Times 01/02/2016). The AU has warned that the peace deal is at risk of total collapse and has urged all parties to uphold their commitments, including a permanent ceasefire (News24 29/11/2015). Juba is, however, preparing for dry season offensives in anticipation of the peace talks collapsing. An increasing number of armed groups are neither aligned with the government nor the opposition (AFP 25/12/2015).
Progress of the peace agreement
In late December a delegation of at least 150 SPLM-IO members arrived in Juba to work towards implementation of the peace deal (Al Jazeera 21/12/2015). On 8 January President Kiir appointed 50 legislators from the SPLM-IO. The government will retain 16 ministries while the opposition will have ten. No date has been announced as to when the new ministers will assume their role. Riek Machar, who is due to resume the position of vice president, is yet to arrive in Juba (Deutsche Welle 09/01/2016; AFP 08/01/2015).
The SPLM and the SPLM-IO missed the 22 January deadline for a transitional government causing concerns that implementation of the peace agreement will be further delayed (Sudan Tribune 24/01/2016; UN 25/01/2016). This is in part due the deadlock caused by President Kiir’s recent decision to restructure South Sudan in to 28 states from 10 states. At the end of 2015, 28 new state governors were appointed, six of whom are members of the SPLM-IO. During peace negotiations, the SPLM-IO pushed for the creation of a 21-state federal system. President Kiir rejected this, on the grounds that the plan ensured a Nuer majority in many areas. The final peace deal established power-sharing on the basis of the existing 10-state structure. The decision to bypass this arrangement has been recognized internationally as a violation of the peace agreement (AFP 25/12/2015; Radio Tamazuj 01/01/2016). Armed groups in Eastern Equatoria, Unity, and Bahr el Ghazal have rejected these measures, warning that they will incite ethnic conflict over border demarcation (Sudan Tribune 26/01/2016; 02/01/2016; Radio Tamazuj 02/01/2016).
The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (JEMC), responsible for overseeing the process, has said that discussion regarding whether to confirm or revoke the 28 states is ongoing. President Kiir gave an ambiguous announcement suggesting that if he is forced to revoke the decision, he will leave his position (Sudan Tribune 11/01/2016; 12/01/2016).
Relations between Sudan and South Sudan have been poor since South Sudan’s independence in 2011. The violence in South Sudan since December 2013 has exacerbated tensions, with additional concerns in Khartoum regarding an influx of refugees and arms, as well as disruption of oil flow. Sudan has accused South Sudan of using Sudanese militia groups to fight insurgents. South Sudan has made similar accusations.
On 25 January, President Kiir announced that he had ordered his army to withdraw to 8km from the border with South Sudan in an effort to help normalise relations between the two countries (Sudan Tribune 25/01/2016). On 24 January Sudanese President al Bashir ordered the reopening of the border with South Sudan for the first time since its secession (Reuters 28/01/2016; AFP 27/01/2016).
International military presence
The mandate of the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has been extended until 31 July 2015. Force levels have been increased to 13,000 troops and 2,000 police personnel, up from 12,500 uniformed personnel (UN Security Council 15/12/2015; All Africa 20/21/2015). In August it was announced the mandate of the mission would be updated to include helping with the implementation of the peace deal (All Africa, 29/11/2015).
On 15 December the Security Council also extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) until May 2016 (UN Security Council 15/12/2015). The peacekeeping force was deployed to the disputed border region in 2011.
The ceasefire is not holding and violence and human rights violations continue, most significantly in Unity, Jonglei, and Upper Nile. Fighting has recently escalated in Western Equatoria (The Guardian 08/12/2015; Sudan Tribune 09/12/2015).
Unity: 1,000 civilians were killed in Unity state over a six-month period in 2015, and 1,600 women and children were abducted between April and September. Witnesses have said the SPLA were the main perpetrators (UNHCR Protection Cluster 25/09/2015). Fighting intensified again in October, with hundreds killed and displaced (Protection Cluster 22/10/2015; IRIN 09/10/2015).
Western Equatoria: Tensions escalated in Western Equatoria in the final quarter of 2015 after armed cattle herders brought their livestock to the state, destroying crops and threatening livelihoods. 30,000 people were displaced from Ezo, Yambio and Tambura counties at the end of November (OCHA 25/01/2016; UNHCR 08/01/2016). Over 7,000 people fled to DRC. A further 6,000 have fled to Uganda since the start of 2016 (UNHCR 20/01/2016). An unknown number of people have fled to CAR (UN 07/01/2016; UNHCR 08/01/2016). Around 7,000 people from Tambura remain displaced in neighbouring counties (OCHA 25/01/2016).
On 21 January, a new wave of fighting between the Arrow Boys and government forces began close to Yambio town. At least 6,000 of people have fled their homes (OCHA 25/01/2016; Sudan Tribune 21/01/2016).
On 1 February, clashes between government forces and the SPLA-IO were reported in Mundri East county. The opposition has accused the government of using chemical weapons against them (Sudan Tribune 01/02/2016).
Upper Nile: Over 18-20 December the village of Khor Tumbak in Maban county was hit by an aerial bombardment. An estimated 3,000 people fled to nearby forests. Maban county has accused the Sudanese Air Force of launching the attack (Radio Dabanga 21/12/2015).
Violence between communities is frequent, but underreported. Ownership of cattle is a common source of tension, particularly among pastoralists (Protection Cluster 25/09/2015; IRIN 15/01/2015). Cattle herders are often heavily armed and closely connected to armed groups. Cattle moved on to fertile farmland often leads to clashes between the herders and the local population (Al Jazeera 21/11/2015). Inter-communal violence is of particular concern in Unity, Central Equatoria, Lakes, Warrap, and Western Equatoria.
Violence is reported in IDP camps. Overcrowding and inter-communal tensions threaten safety. UNMISS has responded to at least 3,000 security incidents at PoC sites (All Africa 29/11/2015).
On 30 January, unknown armed actors attacked civilians in the Upper Nile. 24 people were killed and 25 others injured: the majority women and children. Nine children are reported missing. Livestock was stolen (Sudan Tribune 01/02/2016).
As of September 2015, around 2.27 million people have been displaced, both internally and to neighbouring countries, since December 2013 (IOM 21/09/2015). Fluid displacement patterns and limited access to rural areas make numbers difficult to verify and registration problematic (UNHCR 18/09/2014).
As of 25 January, there are an estimated 1.69 million IDPs in South Sudan (OCHA 25/01/2016). Around 50% are children (UNICEF 14/01/2016). This is an increase of over 35,000 since 16 August (OHCA 15/09/2015). Confirming the location of people is difficult, but reports suggest the following number of IDPs in each state:
Western Bahr el Ghazal
(MSF 30/12/2015; OCHA, 08/10/2015).
Unity: There are around 600,000 people displaced by conflict in Unity state. There was a dramatic increase in November due to heavy fighting. Although there is renewed humanitarian presence in Leer county, many people have not received humanitarian assistance since April (MSF 30/12/2015).
Western Equatoria: Since late November around 30,000 people were displaced by clashes between the SPLA and the Arrow Boys in Ezo, Yambio and Tambura counties. While more than 14,000 people fled to neighbouring countries, at least 7,000 people remain displaced inside Western Equatoria. On 21 January, fresh clashes in Yambio displaced around 6,000 people: they are reportedly sheltering in the NGO ADRA compound, close to Yambio UN base (UNICEF 28/01/2016; OCHA 25/01/2016).
Lakes: Over the past month, around 36,000 IDPs have arrived at Mingkaman settlement in Lakes state, possibly from Bor South and Twic East in Jonglei state (WFP 08/01/2016).
Protection of Civilian sites
As of 28 January, 199,200 people are in UNMISS Protection of Civilian sites (PoCs). Over half are in Bentiu, in Unity state, where the population has more than doubled to 122,300, since April 2015 (UNMISS 28/01/2016). In December, almost 11,000 people arrived: the majority were from southern Unity state and cited food insecurity as their main reason for coming to the site (IOM 06/01/2016). Elsewhere, nearly 46,000 people are in Malakal, and 700 in Melut, Upper Nile; 28,000 in Juba UN House; and 2,300 in Bor, Jonglei (UNMISS 28/01/2016) and 61% are children (OCHA, 04/01/2016).
Refugees and asylum seekers
There are around 263,000 refugees are in South Sudan. 101,500 registered refugees are in Unity and 129,600 in Upper Nile (90% of total refugee population). 2,300 in Jonglei, 20,200 in Central Equatoria, and 9,400 in Western Equatoria (UNHCR 30/12/2015).
88% of refugees are from Sudan. The rest are from DRC, Ethiopia, and CAR (UNHCR, 30/10/2015). Local media reported the arrival of 600 Burundi refugees in mid-November, who are scattered in host communities (Radio Tamazuj 13/11/2015).
Over 69,900 refugees are in Yida, Unity state, although the number is fluid as people move across the border depending on safety and needs. 14,589 have arrived from South Kordofan since December 2014 (UNCHR 07/10/2015; PI 03/07/2015).The South Sudan government wants to close Yida camp and relocate refugees further from the border to Ajuong Thok camp, also in Unity, which has a population of 31,280 (All Africa 18/12/2015; UNCHR 16/10/2015; 07/10/2015). Ajuong Thok anticipates an increase in the number of arrivals now that the rainy season has ended and access is easier (UNHCR 28/12/2015).
South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries
Nearly 90,000 South Sudanese have fled the country since the beginning of 2015, bringing the total of South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries to around 648,000. 68% are under 17 (OCHA 25/01/2016; UNHCR 16/10/2015).
Sudan: As of 12 November, 198,888 South Sudanese nationals have arrived in Sudan since December 2013 (ECHO 19/01/2016). The Sudanese Government refuses to recognise them and instead considers them to be Sudanese citizens (UNHCR 03/04/2014). UNHCR declared this constitutes an obstacle to accessing humanitarian assistance.
Ethiopia: 226,638 South Sudanese refugees (ECHO 19/01/2016).
Kenya: 50,244 South Sudanese refugees (ECHO 19/01/2016).
Uganda: 172, 411 South Sudanese refugees (ECHO 19/01/2016).
The delivery of aid is restricted by fighting, logistical constraints, and administrative impediments (Sudan Tribune 12/01/2016). The rainy season (now ended, although some flooding has not yet receded) and insecurity has forced humanitarian organisations to deliver aid via air drops (WFP 24/11/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Threats against humanitarian staff and facilities are common, particularly in Unity and Upper Nile, (Al Jazeera 15/12/2015; PI 11/09/2015). Since mid-2015, attacks on NGO compounds and humanitarian convoys have increased dramatically (IOM 05/01/2016). Assault, burglary, harassment, arrest, and detention were reported in 2015 (OCHA, 23/11/2015; 18/09/2015). Overall, 41 aid workers have been killed since conflict began in December 2013 (All Africa 11/12/2015).
Access of affected populations to assistance
Aid workers have managed to regain access to Leer County in recent weeks, however logistical restrictions and ongoing insecurity continue to hinder response (AFP 12/01/2016).
Security and physical constraints
Major roads in Jonglei and Upper Nile are closed. Roads are passable but with difficulty across Unity, Lakes, and Greater Equatoria. Western and Northern Bahr el Ghazal, and Warrap states remain passable only with light vehicles (WFP 29/01/2016).
In Western Equatoria the delivery of humanitarian assistance remains hindered by the presence of armed groups, particularly in Bari, where access was denied on several occasions in December and January (OCHA 25/01/2016).
Vessels transporting fuel up the River Nile are vulnerable to attacks (UN 29/10/2015; Reuters 02/11/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
As of December 2015, 3.9 million people (or 34% of the population) are estimated to be experiencing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes (IPC 10/12/2015). This is a drop from the peak of 4.6 million during the lean season, before the harvests began, but is an 80% increase compared to the same period last year (UN 09/11/2015). In October 40,000 people in the central counties of Koch, Mayendit and Leer in Unity were reported to be facing Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) (IPC 10/12/2015). Many people in Unity state have been surviving on water lilies and fruit. Coping mechanisms will be exhausted in the upcoming dry season (FAO 26/01/2016).
Food security has also significantly deteriorated in the Greater Equatoria region due to market disruption, economic downturn, insecurity, and crop failures. It is the first time that such poor indicators have been reported for the Greater Equatoria region (IPC 10/12/2015).
Planting across the country has been affected by conflict, displacement and erratic rainfall. Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei states have been most affected. Significant soil moisture deficits have affected crop yields and pasture is declining (FAO 29/10/2015; WFP 30/09/2015). Most households are expected to exhaust their food supply sooner than usual this year due to the poor harvest and early onset of the lean season (WFP 31/12/2015).
Increasing insecurity around the town of Mundri, Western Equatoria, has caused local markets to close, placing further strain on food availability (Protection Cluster 10/12/2015).
Food prices remain at a five-year high. Throughout November and December the prices of staple food and fuel continued to rise: this trend is expected to continue throughout 2016. In December fuel prices recorded the highest ever monthly increase (WFP 15/01/2016). Parts of Eastern Equatoria, Greater Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei have suffered most from severely limited fuel availability (WFP 31/12/2015).
4.7 million people need health assistance (OCHA 31/12/2015). Health services are overwhelmed and there is a severe shortage of medical personnel and medicine. Malaria continues to account for almost half of all medical consultations and is the major cause of morbidity in both conflict- and non-conflict-affected states. Acute respiratory infections and acute watery diarrhoea remain the second and third most common causes of morbidity (UNICEF 14/01/2016; IOM 06/01/2016).
Healthcare availability and access
There is a severe lack of medical supplies in Malakal PoC in Upper Nile, and Bentiu PoC in Unity. This is largely due to overcrowding (Sudan Tribune 28/10/2015).
Malaria reached unprecedented proportions in 2015 (UNICEF 03/12/2015; WHO 11/09/2015). Over two million cases of malaria, including 1,340 deaths, were reported in 2015 (OCHA 25/01/2016; WHO 25/10/2015). Over 80% of cases were among children under five (UNICEF 31/12/2015). Malaria remains at epidemic level in 31 of 79 counties and there is still a severe shortage of antimalarial medicine in the country (UNICEF 26/01/2016). Bentiu, Malakal, Warrap, Western and Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Lakes are most affected (WHO 13/12/12015; UNICEF 03/12/2015).
Measles is the fourth most common cause of death. 1,280 suspected cases were reported in 2015 (OCHA, 01/12/2015). Bentiu PoC has reported 487 confirmed measles cases (UNICEF 19/11/2015). Only six of 79 counties have the minimum 80% vaccination coverage (OCHA 01/12/2015). Children under five in conflict‑affected states are the most affected (WHO 06/12/2015).
An estimated 4.1 million people are in need of nutrition assistance (OCHA 15/10/2015). Global acute malnutrition exceeds the emergency threshold of 15% in over half the country (UNICEF 14/01/2015; World Vision, 03/11/2015). More than 230,000 children are suffering from SAM (ECHO 25/11/2015). SAM rates are above the 2% emergency threshold in all PoCs (WHO 25/10/2015; UNHCR 02/10/2015). Pregnant and lactating women are among the most malnourished, with an average 26.6% GAM recorded in IDP camps (UNHCR 18/09/2015).
In the first two weeks of January GAM rates between 20% and 48.5% and SAM rates of 14.3% were recorded in Bentiu PoC, Rubkona and Bentiu Town, Unity state. This shows an increase in malnutrition rates recorded in December 2015: this may be due to an increase in access to screening children outside of the PoC site. The nutrition situation inside the PoC remains critical (UNICEF 14/01/2016).
For the first time, six cases of oedema have been reported inside Bentiu PoC. Oedema is the retention of fluid in the body, often associated with malnutrition. It has a high fatality rate (UNICEF 14/01/2016).
Screenings in Upper Nile in December found 7.7% GAM and 1.4% SAM (UNICEF 31/12/2015).
In Warrap state, the highest prevalence of GAM recorded was in Twic, at 36.9% (UNICEF 14/01/2015).
In September 24.8% GAM and 3.9% SAM were recorded in Jonglei (WFP 30/09/2015). In January 2016 the highest prevalence of malnutrition was in Bor county (UNICEF 14/01/2016).
Nutrition rates in Mingkaman camp, in Lakes state, are expected to worsen due to lack of food and inadequate living conditions, following a recent influx of IDPs (WHO 13/12/2015).
4.7 million people are in need of WASH assistance (OCHA 31/12/2015). Almost half of South Sudan’s population does not have access to clean water.
Bentiu, and Malakal PoCs’ water coverage is not meeting emergency standards (15 L/p/d) (IOM 13/11/2015). In Yida and Ajuong Thok refugee camps, water coverage is higher, but also not meeting emergency standards at 14 L/p/d. and 12 L/p/d respectively (UNHCR 13/11/2015).
Increasing cost of fuel has led to a dramatic increase in the price of water causing more people to get drinking water from unsafe sources. Only 13% of Juba residents can access the municipal water supply. (Sudan Tribune 27/12/2015). In Wau county, Western Bahr el Ghazal, the municipality is no longer able to afford to run the urban water supply so residents are drinking from an unsafe supply (UNICEF 27/01/2016).
An estimated 3,500 IDPs and host community households in Canal county, Jonglei, have dire WASH conditions. Coping mechanisms are severely strained after an influx of IDPs (IOM 20/11/2015).
1.9 million people need shelter and NFI assistance (OCHA 31/12/2015).
An estimated 1.1 million people need education assistance (OCHA 31/12/2016). Over 50% of primary and lower secondary age children do not have access to education. Since the outbreak of conflict in 2013 more than 800 schools have been destroyed across the country (UNICEF4/01/2016).
Access and learning environment
Around 400,000 children have been forced out of school by conflict; 70% of schools in Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile are non-functional; 33 schools being used for military purposes (EWEA 01/2016; UNICEF 26/01/2016).
The recent escalation of violence in Western Equatoria has led to the closure of an estimated 44 primary schools, affecting almost 16,000 children (UNICEF 31/12/2015).
Teaching and learning
There are reports of classes large as 100. This falls well short of the UNHCR standard of 40:1 (UNMISS 12/11/2015). One-third of teachers in South Sudan are untrained or unqualified (UNICEF 31/12/2015).
4.7 million people need protection assistance (OCHA 31/12/2015). Reports of torture, rape, censorship, and targeting of civilians are widespread. Journalists are vulnerable: seven have been killed in 2015 in allegedly targeted attacks (Reuters 20/08/2015; AFP 05/08/2015).
On 29 September, the African Union announced the creation of a court to look into suspected war crimes in southern Unity (BBC 29/09/2015). On 1 February it was reported that government forces have been accused of suffocating 50 civilians in metal containers in Unity state (01/02/2016; Al Jazeera 01/02/2016).
Rape is used as a weapon of war by government and opposition forces (HRW 21/07/2015). More than half of young women aged between 15 and 24 have suffered from some form of gender-based violence (UNHCR 27/11/2015). In the last two years, the reported number of incidents of gender-based violence has increased five-fold (OCHA 01/12/2015). Between late September and early December over 50 women and girls were raped and 25 women abducted. This brings the total number of women raped and abducted to 1,430 and 1,630 respectively, since May 2015 (Protection Cluster 19/12/2015). The abduction of IDP women from outside PoCs continues to be reported (UNHCR 12/06/2015).
Early and forced marriage, rape, and domestic violence have been reported in and around PoCs (MSF 08/09/2015).
It is difficult to obtain SGBV figures as people collecting information on SGBV face intimidation and threats (UNHCR 14/07/2015).
A UN Security Council report stated that all parties to the conflict since December 2013 were responsible for grave violations against children, including killing and maiming, recruitment and use, abduction, rape, and other forms of sexual violence (UN 30/12/2014). In the second quarter of 2015, at least 166 incidents of child rights violations affected 4,184 children (OCHA 01/07/2015). Child marriage has increased since the outbreak of conflict in 2013. Families facing economic difficulty have used it as a negative coping mechanism (OCHA 01/12/2015).
In the third quarter of this year the number of children reported to be in psychological distress has risen by 46% (Protection Cluster 22/11/2015).
15,000–16,000 children have reportedly been recruited by armed groups since the conflict began. This has increased from 13,000 at the start of June (Protection Cluster 22/11/2015). Waterboarding has reportedly been used to torture children who resist joining armed groups (Reuters 08/12/2015).
As of 8 January there are around 11,600 separated or unaccompanied children. The majority are in Jonglei and Unity states. This is an increase of over 3000 since the figure reported in early December (UNICEF 14/01/2016; UNICEF 03/12/2015; Protection Cluster 31/12/2015).
27 January: 15,000 people fleeing violence in Jebel Marra have arrived at the UNAMID base in North Darfur. A further 5,000 have arrived in the town of Tur in Central Darfur: over half are children (UNAMID; Radio Dabanga 29/01/2016).
24 January: President al Bashir ordered the reopening of the border with South Sudan for the first time since the 2011 secession (Reuters 28/01/2016; AFP 27/01/2016).
6.6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance (USAID 30/09/2015).
3.1 million IDPs (OCHA 20/12/2015).
4.4 million people in Darfur need humanitarian assistance. This is half the region’s population (OCHA 31/10/2015).
1.29 million people face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes (IPC 01/07/2015; FSNWG 26/05/2015;).
1 million children under five are acutely malnourished; 550,000 are estimated severely acutely malnourished (OCHA 09/08/2015).
Protection: Civilians continue to be at risk due to insecurity across Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile.
Food security outcomes are expected to deteriorate when the lean season begins in March, two months earlier than usual. South Kordofan is of particular concern.
WASH: The affects of El Niño are depleting the water supply across many parts of the country.
Health: Dengue fever continues to be of concern across Darfur; cases have also been reported in Kassala and the Kordofan states. The 2015 measles epidemic saw five times the usual number of cases per year.
Numerous, protracted insurgencies are being waged by several armed groups across Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile. Darfur has been the scene of conflict for over a decade, while violence in Blue Nile and South Kordofan increased significantly after South Sudan gained independence in 2011. Humanitarian access to conflict zones is severely restricted.
Water shortages are expected across many parts of the country as the dry season begins, after a below-average rainy season. Violence, food insecurity, malnutrition, lack of access to basic services, and recurrent natural disasters have caused large-scale internal displacement.
Politics and security
Profound divisions within Sudan have persisted since independence in 1956. The government’s exploitation of inter-communal differences has aggravated the situation.
Conflict has been ongoing in Darfur since 2003, when a number of groups took up arms in protest over perceived political and economic neglect of the region. In response, the government armed militia groups in order to defeat the uprising. In the Two Areas (Blue Nile and South Kordofan), violence has been ongoing since the 1990s, and has worsened since South Sudan’s independence and the discovery of oil inside the border states. The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), a group founded by the SPLM following South Sudanese independence, currently controls areas in Blue Nile and South Kordofan.
Violence levels decreased after 2005 and then increased dramatically at the end of 2014 after the government began an extensive military operation aimed to end armed opposition in Darfur and the Two Areas.
On 18 October 2015, the Sudan Revolutionary Front, made up of armed groups from Darfur and the Two Areas, declared a six-month unilateral ceasefire (Sudan Tribune 18/10/2015). The government had announced a two-month ceasefire in September, which was extended by one month on 31 December the ceasefire was extended by one month (AFP 03/01/2016). Nonetheless, fighting between government forces and armed groups continues. In December the government deployed more troops to Darfur and the Two Areas (Times Live 07/12/2015; All Africa 05/12/2015). The SPLM-N also mobilised more forces in anticipation of an offensive (Radio Dabanga 11/01/2016).
Talks between government delegations and the SRF failed in November and negotiations were suspended. Informal discussions between the government and the SPLM-N (one faction of the SRF) resumed on 22 January, but once again the parties failed to reach agreement. Priority issues are cessation of hostilities in the Two Areas; and facilitating delivery of humanitarian aid (Radio Dabanga 15/01/2016; Sudan Tribune 20/12/2015). A round of discussions took place between the government and the JEM and the SLM-MM (also SRF members) on 23 January. The results were inconclusive (Sudan Tribune 28/01/2016).
The SPLM-N insists on a comprehensive, all-inclusive approach to peace negotiations that will provide a framework for a new constitution that guarantees cultural diversity and pluralism. The Darfur faction of the SRF also supports a comprehensive solution but first demands separate talks are held in order to reach agreement on Darfur (Sudan Tribune 21/01/2016). The SLM-AW refuses to join any mediation unless the situation on the ground is secure (Radio Dabanga 11/01/2016).
The government has scheduled a referendum on Darfur for 11–13 April, to determine whether the region will remain split between five states or revert to being one entity. The splitting of Darfur into five states was one of the reasons for the outbreak of conflict in 2003 (Reuters 12/01/2016).
Tensions between Khartoum and Juba have persisted since South Sudan gained independence in 2011. Oil production is of key concern to both countries. Sudanese forces moved towards the border with South Sudan’s Unity and Upper Nile states in July, reportedly in an attempt to protect Sudan’s interest in the oil-rich territory that straddles the border (World Bulletin 13/07/2015). Borders disputes have not been resolved, but on 24 January President al Bashir ordered the reopening of the border with South Sudan for the first time since it seceded, in an attempt to improve economic links (Reuters 28/01/2016; AFP 27/01/2016).
In November, Sudan sent 850 soldiers to join the coalition ground forces supporting the government in Yemen (Sudan Tribune 09/11/2015; Reuters 18/10/2015).
Government of Sudan: The government is led by the National Congress Party (NCP). In June 2015 President al Bashir appointed a new cabinet following his April election victory (The Economist 12/2015).
Pro-government forces: The Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) are the government forces of Sudan. The Rapid Support Force (RSF) is an additional armed force created by the government in 2013 to help defeat the opposition armed groups across the country. The RSF is under the command of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) and is primarily active in the conflict regions of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile (Human Rights Watch 09/09/2015).
Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF): The Sudan Revolutionary Front was established in 2011 after Sudan’s main opposition armed groups formed a loose alliance, with the shared goal of overthrowing the National Congress Party (NCP).
The SRF includes the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement - North (SPLM-N) (initially the northern wing of the SPLM/A, which led the political uprising in the south during the 1983-2005 civil war) that controls areas in Blue Nile and South Kordofan, and Darfur’s three largest opposition groups: the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM); the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al Nur (SLM-AW); and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Arkou Minnawi (SLM-MM).
UN peacekeeping mission: The hybrid African Union and UN mission in Darfur, UNAMID, consists of 17,750 personnel (UNAMID 2015). Despite protests from the Sudanese government, the Security Council has extended UNAMID’s mandate until June 2016 (Firstpost 29/06/2015). Relations between the government and the UN peacekeeping mission deteriorated following the government’s refusal to allow UNAMID to investigate mass rape in North Darfur at the end of 2014 (AFP 30/11/2014).
On 15 December the Security Council extended the mandate of the United Nations Interim Security Force in Abyei (UNISFA) until May 2016 (UN Security Council 15/12/2015). The peacekeeping force was deployed to the disputed border region in 2011.
Large-scale violence by pro-government militia against the IDP population in Darfur continues, and airstrikes by the Sudanese Air Force (SAF) remain frequent. 70% of all security incidents recorded in Sudan in 2015 were in Darfur (OCHA citing ACLED 10/01/2016).
Violence between government forces and the SLM-AW has intensified dramatically in Jebel Marra since mid-January. Heavy ground and aerial fighting has been ongoing in the east and southwest of Jebel Marra since 15 January. Local media report that as many as 100,000 people may have fled their homes. In Rokoro locality over 100 villages are reported to have been abandoned and many have been burned down. There are reports of high levels of sexual violence against IDPs and an unknown number of people have been killed. Shops and markets are reported to have closed (SUDO 31/01/2016; UNAMID 27/01/2016; Radio Dabanga 25/01/2016; 24/01/2016).
The Two Areas: Blue Nile and South Kordofan
Information on Blue Nile and South Kordofan states is difficult to obtain, as government authorities severely restrict access.
On 7 January it was reported that the government-aligned Rapid Support Force (RSF) had killed six people and raped five women in the El Abbasiya locality of South Kordofan (Radio Dabanga 12/01/2016). In December the Sudanese government warned it will take back control of Kauda, South Kordofan’s state capital (Times Live 07/12/2015). The government is reportedly making extensive preparations for a major offensive in South Kordofan and the SPLM-N is ready to counter an attack (Radio Dabanga 11/01/2016).
In Blue Nile, clashes between the SPLM-N and the Sudanese army were reported throughout December and early January (Sudan Tribune 09/01/2016; Sudan Tribune 03/01/2016). On 28 January, government forces carried out an aerial bombardment of SPLM-N-controlled territory in Bau county, Blue Nile. No injuries were reported, however farms were destroyed and livestock lost (Sudan Tribune 30/01/2016).
Conflict over resources and ethnic tension is common throughout Sudan. Clashes between Rizeigat and Ma’aliya tribesmen in East and South Darfur led to over 117 deaths and more than 24,000 displaced families in 2015 (Sudan Tribune 13/12/2015; Radio Dabanga 27/10/2015). In North, South and Central Darfur, reports of herders raiding farms, physical assault, arson and rape are common (Radio Dabanga 14/12/2015; 07/10/2015; 25/10/2015).
On 10 January tensions between the Beni Halba and Massalit pastoralists resulted in looting of villages and property burned in Mulli village, West Darfur. Over 5,000 IDPs reportedly fled to El Geneina, the state capital (OCHA 17/01/2016). Both tribes are reportedly preparing for further confrontation (Sudan Tribune 10/01/2015; OCHA 10/01/2016).
People living along the Sudan–Ethiopia border are calling for its re-demarcation. In recent months at least 45 Sudanese have been killed by militias from Ethiopia in a conflict concerning pasture on disputed land (Radio Dabanga 25/12/2015). Ethiopian militias reportedly occupy more than 50 villages and approximately 400,700 hectares of farmland in Gedaref state (Radio Dabanga 15/11/2015).
There are water shortages across many parts of the country as a result of El Niño and a below average rainy season. Darfur, North and South Kordofan, Blue Nile Kassala and Red Sea states are particularly affected (FEWSNET 05/01/2016).
3.1 million IDPs are in Sudan. 2.5 million are in Darfur, and 1.5 million of these are children (OCHA 06/12/2015). 538,000 IDPs are in Blue Nile and the Kordofan states (OCHA19/01/2016). 73% of displaced households in 2015 were female-headed (IOM 31/08/2015). 20,000 IDPs are in Abyei (OCHA 31/10/2015).
223,000 people were displaced by conflict in 2015 (OCHA 20/12/2015). IDPs reside in 46 camps and 68 settlements, according to a survey conducted by the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) from December 2013 to April 2014. Government policy preventing the creation of new camps is obstructing verification and registration of IDPs, according to OCHA (IRIN 02/06/2015). The government has also reconfirmed plans to close IDP camps in Darfur in 2016, claiming the security situation is stable. The change is yet to be implemented (Sudan Tribune 29/12/2015).
Central Darfur: As of 31 August, 17,976 IDPs are verified and 47,712 are reported as having been displaced in 2015.
Fighting between government forces and the SLM-AW in Jebel Marra has caused mass displacement since 15 January. Local media reports as many as 100,000 IDPs: most are reported to be hiding in caves in the mountains. Road closures imposed by armed groups are preventing people from reaching IDP camps. At least 32 children are reported to have died from exhaustion and lack of food (Radio Dabanga 28/01/2016; 24/01/2016). Around 5,000 people are reported to have arrived in the town of Tur, south of Nierteti in Central Darfur: people are sheltering in schools or staying with host communities. Many are suffering from chest infections and diarrhoea (Radio Dabanga 29/01/2016; 28/01/2016).
North Darfur: As of 31 August, 82,702 IDPs are verified and 16,197 are reported but not verified as being displaced in 2015. Zamzam is the state’s largest camp, hosting 150,000 IDPs (OCHA 20/11/2015). There are up to 9,000 newly displaced people living on the outskirts of Tabit town. Most are women and children who fled militia attacks during the first week of December. They are living in the open and need shelter, food, water, and medicine (Radio Dabanga 24/12/2015).
Around 3,000 people fleeing violence in Jebel Marra are reported to have arrived at Rwanda IDP camp in Tawila: they are in need of food and shelter (OCHA 24/01/2016). As of 27 January, around 15,000 people are reported to have fled to Sortoni UNAMID base in North Darfur: over half are children. They are in need of WASH, shelter, food, and health assistance (UNAMID 27/01/2016; OCHA 24/01/2016).
East Darfur: As of 31 August, there are 17,976 verified IDPs and 6,197 reported but not verified as displaced in 2015 (OCHA 31/08/2015).
West Darfur: As of 31 August, 2,250 people are reported but not verified as displaced in 2015 (OCHA 31/08/2015).
The 5,000 people who fled the village of Mulli and surrounding areas on 10 January are in El Geneina town. There are reports that more are leaving Mulli (OCHA 21/01/2016).
Refugees and asylum seekers
There are over 379,000 refugees in Sudan. Up to 75,000 are thought to be in Khartoum (OCHA 10/01/2016).
As of 12 January there are 194,888 South Sudanese refugees. 60% are in White Nile, 18% are in Khartoum, and 10% are in South Kordofan. 2% are in Blue Nile (OCHA 21/01/2016). 2,500 displaced South Sudanese are living in the disputed area of Abyei (UNHCR 26/11/2015). 91% of households are female-headed (UNHCR 29/01/2015). Around 134,100 of the refugees are children (UNHCR 01/10/2015; UNICEF 31/08/2015).
There are over 173,400 refugees of other nationalities (OCHA 03/01/2016).
Some 30,000 returnees from Chad have arrived in Central Darfur’s Um Dukhun locality since June, a response to the Chadian government’s demand that refugees integrate into camps or return home. The returnees need emergency shelter, household supplies and WASH facilities. There are concerns of inter-communal conflict in Muradaf village, where returnees are currently located. The government has pledged to relocate the 22,600 Salamat returnees to three areas in Um Dukhun (OCHA 20/12/2015; 01/12/2015).
Between September and November 2015, 13,700 returnees arrived in Labado village, East Darfur. They remain in need of WASH, nutrition, and education assistance (OCHA 24/01/2016).
As of 3 December there have been around 5,700 arrivals in Sudan from Yemen. The majority are returnees (IOM 03/12/2015).
Jordan has begun deporting over 800 Sudanese back to Khartoum, claiming they were not refugees and were only in the country for medical treatment (Al Jazeera 18/12/2015).
Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries
As of 30 November, there are 298,673 Sudanese refugees registered in Chad, 264,247 in South Sudan, 37,952 in Ethiopia, and 1,943 in Central African Republic (OCHA 19/01/2015).
Humanitarian access is a major problem for international relief organisations. Humanitarian operations are hampered by insecurity, mines and ERW, logistical constraints, and government restrictions. Access to areas of active conflict remains largely denied Radio Dabanga 10/09/2015). The government has banned humanitarian access to areas controlled by opposition groups (IRIN 02/06/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
There has been no humanitarian access from Sudan to opposition-held areas in South Kordofan since October 2013. Between 90,000 and 250,000 people in SPLM-N areas of Blue Nile state and South Kordofan are without access to humanitarian assistance (OCHA 31/09/2015). The government has said it will not allow direct cross-border delivery of aid from South Sudan or Ethiopia, as opposition groups could potentially use aid vehicles to transport weapons (Radio Dabanga 26/11/2015; 24/11/2015).
Since 14 October all Tearfund offices have been closed and their activities suspended (UNICEF 31/12/2015). Two other INGOs (Islamic Relief Worldwide and INTERSOS) have closed their offices in West Darfur due to a lack of funding (OCHA 21/01/2016).
Food security and livelihoods
Linked to the impact of El Niño, food security is expected to deteriorate in the coming months, resulting in more people requiring food assistance during the lean season, from March (which is two months earlier than usual). The 2015/16 harvest was well below average across most of Sudan: consequently food prices are high. In Kassala state, unprecedented price hikes have been recorded (Radio Dabanga 29/01/2016). In conflict-affected areas of South Kordofan, food security outcomes will likely worsen from Crisis (IPC Phase 3) to Emergency (IPC Phase 4) by March (FEWSNET 31/01/2016; OCHA 27/01/2016).
Poor rainfall at the start of the 2015 cropping season delayed planting and affected crop quality (FEWSNET 02/09/2015). The amount of cultivated land decreased from 714,000 hectares in 2014 to 504,000 hectares in 2015 (OCHA 16/08/2015). Some areas may lose 30–50% of crops (OCHA 29/10/2015). Pasture deficits are estimated to be particularly severe in North Darfur, North Kordofan, Kassala, and White Nile states (FEWSNET 30/01/2016). Shortage of rainfall has contributed to a deterioration in agricultural productivity in eastern Sudan, particularly El Gedaref state (Radio Dabanga 14/01/2016).
5.2 million people are in need of health assistance (OCHA 28/10/2015). Many people in Darfur have no access to healthcare (Radio Dabanga 28/07/2015). Shortages of medicines have been reported country-wide and prices of essential medicines have increased by up to 100%: medicine has become unaffordable for many (Radio Dabanga 22/01/2016).
Healthcare availability and access
Darfur: Health services are deteriorating in Darfur. In South Darfur there is an acute shortage of doctors (OCHA 10/01/2016; All Africa 27/01/2015). In North Darfur’s ZamZam camp there are a lack of medical supplies (Radio Dabanga 22/11/2015). In Bedia town in West Darfur, the only health clinic is closed; there are no medical staff in the area (OCHA 22/11/2015). In Fanga Suk in Jebel Marra, no routine vaccination has taken place since 2011 and the nearest health facility is 100km away (OCHA 15/11/2015).
Eastern Sudan: Health services are also deteriorating in parts of eastern Sudan. In Aroma locality, Kassala state, there are no specialist doctors in either of the two rural hospitals (All Africa 20/12/2015). In Red Sea state, conditions in Port Sudan hospital are worsening (Radio Dabanga 27/01/2016).
Two Areas: In areas controlled by the SPLM-N, 162,000 children have not received routine vaccinations since 2011 (OCHA 22/11/2015).
An outbreak of what is suspected to be severe dengue was declared in October 2015. 573 suspected cases were recorded between 29 August and 8 January, including 104 deaths. Darfur accounts for 92% of the overall caseload, with West Darfur worst affected. 65% of cases have been among children under 15 years old. At least 40 cases have been reported in the three Kordofan states and six cases in Kassala state (OCHA 10/01/2016; UNICEF 30/11/2015; Dabanga Sudan 08/11/2015).
As of 1 November, 3,438 confirmed measles cases and 71 deaths (2.1% case fatality rate) had been reported in 2015 (OCHA, 04/12//2015). This is five times the usual number of confirmed cases per year (UNICEF, 30/09/2015). 50% of cases were in West Darfur, Red Sea and Kassala, although the highest number of deaths (23) was reported in North Darfur (OCHA 18/10/2015). The outbreak began in late 2014. 73% of cases are among children under 15 years old. Vaccination coverage is below the 95% needed (OCHA 04/12/2015).
An outbreak of hepatitis has lasted for more than two months in White Nile. In December, 11 cases were reported. At least one person has died (Radio Dabanga 18/01/2016).
Two million people are in need of nutrition (ECHO 27/11//2015). National GAM is 16.3%. 550,000 children are believed to suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). 59 out of 184 localities are facing GAM rates at or above the emergency threshold of 15%: these include localities in Red Sea, Kassala and El Gedaref, which are not affected by conflict (UNICEF 26/01/2016). GAM rates above 25% are recorded in the North Darfur localities of El Sireaf, Ailliet, Dar El Salam, and Kalimendo (OCHA 04/10/2015). 22.7% GAM and 3.4% SAM have been recorded among host and IDP communities in North Darfur’s Kutum locality (OCHA 04/10/2015).
3.8 million people are in need of WASH facilities (OCHA 28/10/2015). An estimated 73,000 people, including IDPs, refugees and members of the host community are in need of WASH assistance in South Darfur (OCHA 10/01/2016). Most refugee sites remain below the UNHCR emergency standard of 20 liters of water/person/day and 20 people per latrine (OCHA 21/01/2016).
75% of drinking water in South Darfur has been declared unsafe by government officials (Radio Dabanga 17/09/2015).
In Red Sea, North Darfur, and North Kordofan more than 200 dams have dried up. In Darfur boreholes have either dried up or have extremely low water yields. In the Abyei area, the River Kir has dried up in most places. Limited rainfall is exacerbating the likelihood of contaminated water, waterborne diseases, and malnutrition (Radio Dabanga 29/01/2016; WASH Cluster 31/12/2015).
A severe lack of water has affected 3,300 IDPs in Mosey camp, in Nyala, South Darfur, since August (OCHA 11/10/2015). Otash camp, also near Nyala, has reportedly faced a severe water shortage since early December (Radio Dabanga 03/01/2016).
The population of 20 villages in Tendelti, White Nile, have left their homes for Khartoum and other towns because of a lack of drinking water (Radio Dabanga 10/12/2015). In Darbeti camp in El Leri locality of South Kordofan, water needs have reached critical levels, with 12,600 people using a water source meant for 5,000 (OCHA 13/12/2015).
In Fanga Suk, North Jebel Marra, there are currently no latrines: 1,500 are needed in the town plus a further 5,000 in surrounding villages (OCHA 13/12/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
Three million people are in need of shelter and NFI assistance (OCHA 28/10/2015).
40% of children aged 5–13 are out of school in Sudan (OCHA 27/09/2015). The highest percentages of children not in education are in Blue Nile (47%), Kassala (45%), and West Darfur (46%) (OCHA 13/09/2015). 70% of school closures are due to insecurity on the route to school (Education Cluster 13/10/2015). Schools are also frequently used as IDP shelters (UNICEF 30/06/2015).
In Fanga Suk, in Jebel Marra, only 243 out of 3,200 school-aged children are enrolled in a school in the area (OCHA 15/11/2015). In Et Tibbun village in Babanousa locality, West Kordofan, almost all children are not attending school, mainly because they cannot afford school fees (OCHA 06/12/2015).
17,560 children are at risk of not receiving schooling after humanitarian organisations operating in Zamzam camp withdrew at the end of December due to a lack of funds (Radio Dabanga 03/01/2016).
3.5 million people are in need of protection (OCHA 28/10/2015). Human rights violations including torture, targeting of civilians, rape, censorship, and arbitrary arrest are widespread. In November 80 incidents of human rights abuses were reported, including the murder of 56 civilians and attacks on 25 civilian villages (SUDO 30/11/2015).
Mines and ERW
250 locations covering an estimated 32km2 are contaminated by mines and ERW, with the greatest concentrations in Kassala, Gedaref, Red Sea, Blue Nile, South Kordofan, and Darfur (UNMAS). South Kordofan is the most heavily mined area, according to the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor.
The use of rape as a weapon of war is widespread. IDPs are especially vulnerable. Rape of IDPs by pro-government militia was frequently reported by local media in North, South, and Central Darfur and Jebel Marra in 2014. In October and November of 2015, 38 and 51 incidents of rape were documented respectively. Nine of these cases were minors (SUDO 30/11/2015; 31/10/2015).
In Tawila locality in North Darfur, a government order has been issued stating any citizen who failed to obtain a ‘national number’ by the end of 2015 would not be considered Sudanese and will be denied a permit to travel outside the locality. A national number allows people to register for a passport or identity card, but many people cannot afford the fee (Radio Dabanga 27/12/2015).
Since March 2014, the Sudanese government has refused to recognise South Sudanese nationals as refugees and instead considers them Sudanese citizens (UNHCR 03/04/2014).
Syria Country Analysis
29 January: Six months of peace talks between government and opposition groups began in Geneva (BBC).
27 January: Almost 500,000 people live in 18 besieged areas, mainly in Deir-ez-Zor, Idleb, and Rural Damascus – up from 400,000 in 15 areas in early December (UNSC).
26 January: More than 7,000 people have become displaced in Dar’a governorate after government forces launched an offensive in the governorate and seized Sheikh Miskeen town (AFP 26/01/2016; OCHA 27/01/2016).
- 13.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria (OCHA 31/10/2015).
- 6.6 million IDPs (OCHA 31/10/2015).
- 4.5 million people live in hard-to-reach areas (OCHA 31/10/2015).
- Protection is the highest priority need. 13.5 million people, including 6.5 million children, are estimated to be in need of protection assistance (OCHA 29/12/2015).
- 12.1 million people lack access to adequate water and sanitation facilities; 70% of the population lack regular access to clean drinking water (OCHA 07/12/2015).
- Only 43% of health facilities are fully operating: 11.5 million people lack access to adequate healthcare. The conflict has caused significant damage to health facilities, and fuel shortages further hamper access to health services (OCHA 29/12/2015).
13.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including 6.6 million IDPs.
The conflict has killed over 260,000 people and caused large-scale displacement. Protection concerns are widespread. WASH and access to food are high priorities, as well as access to health services. Humanitarian needs in areas under prolonged and ongoing siege are particularly high because access is obstructed.
Politics and security
The conflict in Syria has been ongoing since 2011, when fighting broke out between pro-government and opposition forces. Widespread conflict and high levels of violence continue, including indiscriminate aerial bombing by government forces and indiscriminate shelling by armed opposition (UNSC 23/06/2015). Civilians have been subject to direct and indiscriminate attacks, including the widespread use of barrel bombs and other explosives in populated areas (UNSC 18/06/2015).
According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 55,000 people were killed in 2015, including 21,000 civilians (SOHR 31/12/2015). More than 260,000 people have been killed since fighting began in March 2011 and more than one million people have been wounded or suffered permanent disability (SOHR 31/12/2015; UNICEF 03/2015). An average of 25,000 people are injured every month (OCHA 29/12/2015). 2014 saw the highest annual death toll since the war began, with 76,000 people killed in conflict, including 18,000 civilians (SOHR 02/01/2014).
In mid-November 2015, the International Syria Support Group (ISSG), which includes all main international stakeholders, met in Vienna. The talks resulted in agreement on establishing a transitional government within the next six months, and elections within the next 18 months. UN-led peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition groups, not including Jabhat al Nusra (JAN) or Islamic State (IS), began in Geneva on 29 January, and will continue for six months. The Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) has not been invited, after pressure from Turkey (BBC 29/01/2016; Reuters 26/01/2016; Al Jazeera 14/11/2015; Government of Austria, 14/11/2015).
Government forces aim to regain territory taken by various armed groups since the conflict broke out in 2011, and to strengthen President Assad’s position. By December 2014, the Syrian Arab Army consisted of an estimated 150,000 troops (ISW 12/2014). Government forces have control of the western parts of Syria bordering the Mediterranean and Lebanon, including Damascus, Tartous and most of Lattakia, in addition to areas in Al-Hasakeh, Aleppo, As-Sweida, Dar’a, Deir-ez-Zor, Hama, Homs, and Idleb governorates (ISW 01/2016).
Islamic State (IS, formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) aims to build a caliphate in Iraq and Syria – and eventually a global caliphate, and to hold and extend the territory it currently holds. According to US officials, IS has an estimated 30,000 troops in Syria and Iraq, with foreign fighters accounting for about two thirds (NBC 28/02/2015). Ar-Raqqa governorate is IS’s stronghold in Syria, and has been under IS control since October 2014. IS holds significant swathes of territory in Aleppo, Al Hasakeh, Deir-ez-Zor, and Homs governorates (ISW 01/2016).
Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People’s Protection Units (YPG): The Syrian Kurdish groups are fighting to establish an autonomous or independent region in the majority-Kurdish areas in northern Syria. YPG claims to have 40,000 fighters (Reuters 14/08/2014). The Kurdish groups have been in de facto control of Kurdish zones in the north since government forces withdrew mid-2012. This includes large areas of the northern parts of Al Hasakeh, Ar-Raqqa, and Aleppo governorates (ISW 01/2015).
Other armed groups are predominantly fighting to overthrow the Assad government and establish a new government, although the various groups differ in their view of this new state. Islamist groups like the Al Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al Nusra (JAN) seek to establish a state based on Shari’a law, while other groups seek a secular state. Various alliances between armed groups have been formed, both militarily and politically. In October, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was formed by an alliance including YPG and the Syrian Arab Coalition (ISW 29/12/2015; Reuters 12/10/2015).
International intervention: Hezbollah forces are present in government-held areas bordering Lebanon and have been a key actor in military operations against armed groups in the border areas (ISW 14/09/2015). As of early November, an estimated 4,000 Russian military personnel are in Syria, according to US officials (Reuters 04/11/2015). An unknown number of Iranian troops are also present in Syria (ISW 01/10/2015; Reuters 01/10/2015). In late October, US announced the deployment of up to 50 special operations forces to Syria (CNN 30/10/2015).
A US-led coalition began airstrikes on IS and JAN military installations in September 2014. Russia launched its first airstrikes in Syria on 30 September (ISW 19/10/2015; BBC 12/10/2015). Russian ships have also been deployed to the Caspian Sea (ISW 07/10/2015).
Since late November, airstrikes have intensified in northwestern Syria, including Aleppo, Idleb, and Lattakia governorates, causing widespread damage to civilian infrastructure and new waves of displacement (OCHA 22/12/2015; OCHA 01/12/2015). Over October, government forces launched renewed military offensives in Aleppo, Idleb, Homs, Hama, and Lattakia governorates, supported by Russian airstrikes (ECHO 19/10/2015; BBC 15/10/2015; ISW 14/10/2015).
Aleppo: Clashes between government and opposition forces have intensified around Al Bab along the Turkish border, and frequent airstrikes are reported in the governorate (AFP 28/01/2016; ECHO 27/01/2016).
Dar’a: On 26 January, government forces seized the town of Sheikh Miskeen, located on a key supply route for opposition groups (AFP 26/01/2016). More than 7,000 people have been displaced: protection, food, and water are reported as priority needs (OCHA 27/01/2016).
Deir-ez-Zor: On 16 January, IS launched a new offensive in Deir-ez-Zor city, and now controls an estimated 60% of the city (AFP 17/01/2016). The offensive has been met with heavy government and Russian airstrikes. Ground fighting between IS and government forces continues (AFP 24/10/2016; 22/01/2016).
Homs: Clashes are ongoing between IS and government forces west of Palmyra (SOHR 24/01/2016; 18/01/2016).
Lattakia: On 23 January, government forces seized control of the strategically important Rabia town. Government forces have now regained control over almost all of Lattakia governorate. Clashes are ongoing. More than 12,000 people have been displaced in the governorate since mid-November (OCHA 30/01/2016; Reuters 29/01/2016; SOHR 25/01/2016; AFP 24/01/2016).
There are 6.6 million IDPs within Syria, with the largest numbers reported in Rural Damascus, Aleppo, and Idleb governorates (OCHA 31/10/2015).
Over 1.5 million people were internally displaced in 2015 (OCHA 03/01/2016). Many have been displaced several times (OCHA 16/10/2015). The largest numbers of newly displaced are reported in Idleb, Ar-Raqqa, Al Hasakeh, and Dar’a governorates (OCHA 22/09/2015).
Palestinian refugees in Syria (PRS): Over 95% of the 450,000 Palestinian refugees who remain within Syria are dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet their basic needs (UNRWA 14/01/2016). Two-thirds (280,000) are internally displaced (UNRWA 14/01/2016).
Iraqi refugees: An estimated 29,000 Iraqi refugees live in Syria (UNHCR 25/11/2014).
73,500 Syrian refugees in Turkey returned to Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Syria in 2015 (OCHA 22/09/2015). Syrian refugees in Jordan are increasingly returning to Syria, as funding shortfalls have led to a worsened humanitarian situation for refugees (AP 05/10/2015).
Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries
More than 4.6 million Syrians are registered as refugees in neighbouring countries as of December 2015 (UNHCR 31/12/2015). This is a million more than in September 2014. Since the war began, more than 800,000 Syrian asylum seekers have been registered in Europe: more than 500,000 registered in 2015 (UNHCR 10/12/2015).
Turkey: 2,503,549 registered refugees (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
Lebanon: 1,069,111 refugees (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
Jordan: 635,324 refugees (UNHCR 19/01/2016).
Iraq: 245,022 refugees (UNHCR 15/01/2016).
Egypt: 117,658 refugees (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
PRS: An estimated 110,000 Palestinian refugees have left Syria (UNRWA, 14/01/2016). 42,000 are recorded by UNRWA in Lebanon and 18,000 in Jordan (UNRWA 14/01/2016).
4.5 million people live in hard-to-reach areas, including up to two million children (OCHA, 31/10/2015; UNICEF 12/2014; UNFPA 31/05/2015). Delivery of aid continues to be hampered by ongoing insecurity and lack of access for humanitarian organisations to government and opposition-held areas (AFP 28/08/2015).
Local and international NGOs report a lack of staff due to Syrians fleeing the country, in particular affecting NGOs that provide health services (IRIN 07/09/2015).
84 humanitarian workers have been killed in the conflict since March 2011 (OCHA 22/12/2015; 11/2015).
Access of affected populations to assistance
4.6 million people live in besieged or hard-to-reach areas (UNSC 27/01/2016). Almost 500,000 civilians live in 18 besieged areas, mainly in Rural Damascus, Deir-ez-Zor, and Idleb governorates. More than half of the areas have been besieged for more than three years (UNSC 27/01/2016; ECHO 11/01/2016). People in besieged areas lack access to humanitarian assistance, and are in particular need of food, clean drinking water, and health services (UNSC 27/01/2016; Human Rights Watch 08/01/2016).
UN agencies have only been able to reach 1.5% of the population in besieged areas and 7% of the population in hard-to-reach areas during 2015 (OCHA 14/12/2015).
Deir-ez-Zor: The situation is deteriorating for 200,000 people in the besieged western part of Deir-ez-Zor city, where there has been almost no humanitarian access since January 2015. Food, nutrition, and health supplies are reported as priority needs. The humanitarian situation is expected to further deteriorate given the renewed IS offensive mid-January (UNSC 27/01/2016; OCHA 21/01/2016; 15/01/2016).
Idleb: An estimated 12,500 people in al Fouaa and Kefraya towns are facing a deteriorating humanitarian situation, due to increasing shortages of food, basic commodities, medical items, and fuel. The only hospital in the area has stopped operating. Airstrikes have reportedly caused extensive damage to civilian infrastructure, including houses and communication towers. Food, water, and healthcare are priority needs (OCHA 31/01/2016).
Rural Damascus: Madaya, home to 42,000 people, had been without assistance since October 2015, when it was reached in mid-January. According to MSF, 46 people have died of starvation in the town since early December (AFP 30/01/2016; MSF 29/01/2016; OCHA 15/01/2016). Access to healthcare is severely restricted (ECHO 14/01/2016; Syrian American Medical Society 09/01/2016). In Moadamiyah, an estimated 45,000 people are in urgent need of assistance after government forces closed the last open road to the city in late December. Critical shortages of food and medicine are reported (OCHA 31/01/2016; UNSC 27/01/2016).
Security and physical constraints
Humanitarian access has become further affected by the escalation of fighting following the first Russian airstrikes in late September – increased aerial bombardment from all parties is making supply routes more dangerous (AFP 16/10/2015).
Intensified airstrikes in northwestern Syria since late November have further hampered humanitarian assistance, as major supply routes into Syria and areas close to Bab al Salam and Bab al Hawa border crossings have been hit (OCHA 01/12/2015). As of late December, at least five international NGOs and one local NGO have ceased operations in Idleb, Aleppo, and Lattakia governorates due to increased insecurity and access constraints (OCHA 22/12/2015).
Siege tactics are used by all actors in the conflict. Parties to the conflict continue to target public infrastructure and facilities, including water supply and electricity (OCHA 27/08/2015). Electricity is only available for two–four hours a day, or not available at all, in most parts of Syria (UNHCR 08/09/2015). In the north, fuel shortages are severely limiting transportation (MSF 22/06/2015). Since January 2014, prices of diesel have increased by 110%, and petrol prices by 65% (Logistics Cluster 25/09/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
6.3 million – one in three Syrians – are food insecure. In total, 8.7 million people require food assistance (WFP 27/10/2015). Food insecurity is a major concern for the 400,000 people living in besieged areas around the country (OCHA 15/01/2016).
Wheat production in 2015 is estimated to be 40% lower than pre-conflict levels, although higher than in 2014. It is the smallest estimated harvested wheat area since the 1960s (FAO 15/12/2015; FAO/WFP 23/07/2015). Production has been adversely affected by the lack or the high price of agricultural inputs (such as seeds, fertiliser, and fuel), damage to agricultural machinery, irrigation systems, and storage facilities, disruptions in electricity supply, and destruction of standing crops (FAO 15/12/2015; FAO/WFP 23/07/2015; FAO 17/06/2015).
Severe food shortages are reported in besieged areas, causing the population to resort to eating grass and leaves (UNHCR 12/01/2016; UNICEF 12/01/2016).
Food prices increased sharply in early 2015 (FAO/WFP 23/07/2015). Since 2011, the average monthly prices of wheat flour and rice have increased 300% and 630%, respectively. Subsidised bread prices have risen by 180%, and commercial prices by 220% (FAO 20/01/2016; WFP 05/2015). Besieged areas face extremely high food prices: wheat flour prices are 400% higher and rice 600% higher in besieged Eastern Ghouta than in Damascus; the cost of a standard dry food basket has increased 800% in Deir-ez-Zor since October 2014 (OCHA 15/01/2016; WFP 31/10/2015). In Madaya in Rural Damascus, 1kg of wheat costs more than USD 200 (OCHA 17/01/2016).
More than half of Syria’s population are estimated to be living in extreme poverty (ECHO 09/09/2015). Unemployment stood at 57% the last quarter of 2014; an 8% increase since early 2014 (FAO/WFP 23/07/2015). Gross domestic product has contracted by more than 40%, and exports have fallen by 90%. Oil production has dropped by 96% (World Bank/IMF/AFP 02/12/2014). Insecurity is hampering transportation (FAO/WFP 23/07/2015).
11.5 million people lack access to adequate healthcare facilities (OCHA 11/2015). 25% of hospitals are not functioning, and 32% of hospitals are only partially functioning, due to shortages of staff, equipment, and supplies, or damaged infrastructure (UNICEF 31/07/2015). The national surveillance system has broken down (Reuters 13/11/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
Health services in Aleppo, Dar’a, Homs, Hama, Idleb and Al Hasakeh governorates have been the most affected by shortages and damage (UNICEF 31/07/2015). The number of available health professionals has fallen to approximately 45% of 2011 levels (WHO 27/03/2015). Local medicine production has fallen by 70% and many lifesaving treatments are not available (WHO 12/11/2015; Health Cluster 30/09/2015). A shortage of ambulances has been reported (Health Cluster 30/09/2015).
Populations living in hard-to-reach or besieged areas have very limited access to healthcare. In rural areas, access to healthcare is adversely impacted by shortage of medicines, medical supplies and sufficient numbers of medical personnel. Health facilities in urban areas are overwhelmed by large numbers of IDPs (Health Cluster 30/09/2015). One out of three children under five was not reached by routine vaccination during 2015 (OCHA 11/2015).
Since 2011, 697 medical staff have been killed (PHR 18/12/2015). Physicians for Human Rights has recorded 336 attacks on health facilities since the onset of conflict, the vast majority by government forces (PHR 18/12/2015). 2015 has been the worst year on record for attacks on medical facilities since the onset of conflict, with 112 attacks recorded (PHR 18/12/2015). In Aleppo city, 95% of doctors have fled, been detained, or killed. More than two-thirds of the city’s hospitals are no longer functioning (PHR 18/11/2015).
Water shortages have led to a significant increase in waterborne diseases, including typhoid and diarrhoea. Aleppo, Rural Damascus, and Deir-ez-Zor are the most affected (Reuters 13/11/2015; UNICEF 31/08/2015).
While no cases of cholera have been reported in Syria, a potential spread of the cholera outbreak in Iraq is a major concern (Reuters 13/11/2015).
12.1 million people lack access to adequate WASH facilities (OCHA 11/2015). New waves of displacement have put further strain on water and sanitation networks (UNICEF 10/07/2015).
70% of the population lack regular access to clean drinking water (OCHA 07/12/2015). The availability of clean drinking water is estimated to be less than one-third of pre-crisis levels (UNICEF 31/08/2015). An estimated half of safe water production capacity has been lost or damaged (ICRC 02/09/2015). The reliability of urban piped water is severely reduced. Fuel shortages also affect water supply (UNICEF 10/07/2015). In Aleppo and As Salamia, Hama, many people are receiving less than 5% of pre-crisis levels of water (UNICEF 10/10/2015).
Deliberate disruptions to water supply systems are used as a war tactic (UNICEF 19/08/2015). At least five million people in Aleppo, Rural Damascus, and Dar’a governorates were affected by long and deliberate water cuts in 2015 (UNICEF 10/10/2015). On average, the population of Aleppo has access to running water for only half of the month (Reuters 15/10/2015).
One-third of water treatment plants no longer function, and sewage treatment has halved (PHR 10/2014; WHO/UNICEF 22/07/2014). New waves of displacement have put further strain on sanitation networks (UNICEF 10/07/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
2.3 million people are in need of shelter assistance, and 5.3 million people are in need of NFIs (OCHA 11/2015).
Extremely limited information is available on the shelter needs of the 7.6 million IDPs (IOM 31/08/2015; Shelter Cluster 29/07/2015).
98% of IDPs live in unofficial settlements and/or in host communities; 2% live in communal shelters, (IOM 31/08/2015). Buildings are often overcrowded and IDPs lack access to basic services (UNHCR 02/09/2015; IOM 31/08/2015).
More than one million houses have been damaged, 400,000 of which have been totally destroyed (UNHCR 02/09/2015).
2.7 million children are currently out of school – approximately half of all school-aged children. Another one million children are at risk of dropping out as a result of insecurity and displacement (UNICEF 01/10/2015; Education Cluster 22/09/2015; UNICFE 15/09/2015). In areas of prolonged active conflict, enrolment is estimated to be at around 6% (Save the Children 03/2015). Attendance levels have dropped in Homs, Idleb, Hama, and Aleppo governorates following increased airstrikes and ground fighting since late September (UNICEF 10/2015).
Schools are frequently deliberately targeted. One in four has been damaged, destroyed, occupied, or is used as shelter by IDPs. There is a lack of safe learning spaces, adequate WASH facilities and lack of learning material (Education Cluster 22/09/2015). 52,000 teachers are no longer teaching (UNICEF, 01/10/2015).
13.5 million people are in need of protection assistance, including six million children (OCHA 11/2015).
Non-state armed groups and pro-government forces continue to commit human rights violations (UN Human Rights Council 11/2014). Chemical weapons attacks have been reported, including the use of mustard gas (BBC, 06/11/2015; Reuters 18/07/2105; HRW 03/06/2015). More than 17,000 barrel bombs were dropped by government forces in 2015, according to Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR 10/01/2016).
Since 2011, 65,000 people have been recorded as forcibly disappeared by the government: 58,000 are civilians, including human rights activists, journalists, doctors, and humanitarian workers. Detention centres are overcrowded, and detainees are subject to torture and extrajudicial execution (HRW 16/12/2015; Amnesty International, 05/11/2015). Since the start of the conflict, 11,500 people have died from torture while in detention; government forces were responsible for 99% of cases (Syrian Network for Human Rights, 26/06/2015).
Journalists and other media workers are systematically targeted. Since the conflict began in 2011, 84 journalists have been killed, more than 90 abducted, and 25 remain missing (Institute for War and Peace Reporting 12/08/2015).
Six million children are in need of assistance, triple the number in January 2013 (UNICEF 15/11/2015). Various opposition groups, including JAN, Kurdish groups, and IS have been found to recruit children (HRW 15/07/2015; SOHR 15/07/2015; NOREF 16/02/2015). More than 12,000 children have been killed since 2011 (NRC 06/10/2015). Rates of child marriage and child labour have increased as a result of increasing poverty (UNICEF 10/10/2015).
Gender-based violence has been committed by all parties to the conflict, including enforced disappearances, forced recruitment, and the use of women as human shields (SNHR 27/11/2015). Sexual violence has been used as an instrument of torture and as a tactic of war (UN News Centre 19/12/2015).
Yemen Country Analysis
28 January: An Islamic State suicide attack near the presidential palace in Aden left at least eight dead and 17 wounded (AFP 28/01/2016).
- 21.2 million people - 82% of Yemen’s population - are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA 22/11/2015).
- 14.4 million people are food insecure, including 7.6 million severely food insecure (OCHA 22/11/2015).
- 2.5 million IDPs in Yemen (Protection Cluster 10/12/2015).
- WASH: 19.1 million people are in need of WASH assistance (OCHA 22/11/2015).
- Health: 14.1 million people lack access to healthcare (OCHA 22/11/2015). Over 1,000 health facilities have stopped or reduced operations.
- Food security: Imports of staple foods have almost completely ceased since the escalation of conflict, leading to steep price increases. Yemen ordinarily imports 90% of its food (FAO 01/10/2015; 08/07/2015; OCHA 29/05/2015).
Yemen’s political transition has turned into armed conflict between Houthis from the north and the government. Southern secessionists, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and Islamic State (IS) activity throughout the country compound the security and political challenges. Access to safe drinking water, healthcare, and other basic services continues to decline. The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) has declared Yemen a Level 3 emergency in July 2015.
Politics and security
Houthi forces took control of the capital in September 2014. In February 2015, they dissolved Parliament, and in March advanced further south. Conflict between Houthi and government forces escalated significantly and on 25 March a Saudi-led coalition began airstrikes in support of pro-government forces. Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has exploited the power vacuum to take control of large areas in southeastern Yemen (ICG 2015; Al Jazeera 27/03/2015; CNN 27/03/2015; New York Times 25/01/2015; UNHCR 26/06/2015).
Instability and violence continue across the country. 20 of Yemen’s 22 governorates are directly affected by airstrikes, armed clashes, and shelling (OCHA 22/12/2015). A ceasefire that began on 15 December but that was breached every day officially ended 2 January (BBC 02/01/2016). Peace talks have not brought any agreement or cessation of hostilities, with the last round of UN-led talks held in Geneva in December. A second round was expected to begin mid-January but has been postponed (AFP 09/01/2016).
5,955 conflict-related deaths and 28,111 injuries have been registered since March 2015 (WHO 22/12/2015). Civilians account for half of deaths – by January 2,795 civilians have been recorded killed (OHCHR 05/01/2016). The actual numbers are expected to be much higher due to underreporting (WHO 22/12/2015).
Pro-government forces, supported by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, aim to regain control of Houthi- and AQAP-controlled areas. However, the Yemeni army is deeply divided, with units loyal to President Hadi fighting pro-Houthi units (ABC 15/04/2015). Separatists from the Southern Movement have been fighting Houthi forces in the south (AFP 14/10/2015).
The Houthis, also referred to as Ansar Allah, are based in Sa’ada governorate. Factions in the Yemeni army who are allied with the Houthis include members of the former central security force, a unit seen as loyal to former President Saleh (Reuters 12/03/2015; ABC 23/03/2015). Estimates put the number of Houthi militants at around 20,000–30,000 (Al Jazeera 04/03/2015).
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Ansar al Sharia: AQAP is based in the south and east of the country. Ansar al Sharia has gained a foothold in the south and is believed to be a local branch of AQAP (ICG 27/02/2015). According to the national security service, there are around 1,000 Al Qaeda militants in Yemen, originating from 11 Arab and non-Arab countries (AFP 17/01/2015).
Islamic State (IS) carried out several attacks on Shi’ite mosques in Sanaa over 2015. In October, IS attacked the temporary government headquarters and a military installation belonging to the Saudi-led coalition in Aden, its first attack on government and military targets (AFP 07/10/2015; BBC 06/10/2015).
International involvement: A Saudi-led coalition began airstrikes in support of pro-Hadi forces on 26 March. UAE, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan, Morocco, Sudan, and Egypt are also members of the coalition (CNN 29/03/2015). The coalition has deployed at least 10,000 ground troops in Yemen – the actual number is likely much higher (ECHO 07/12/2015; Reuters 08/09/2015). Increasing numbers of foreign mercenaries are also reported (The Guardian 08/12/2015; NY Times 25/11/2015). Saudi Arabia claims that Iran is providing financial and material backing to Houthi militants, a claim Iran denies (Amnesty International 26/03/2015).
As of January, airstrikes have intensified in Sanaa, Hodeidah, and Taizz governorates, while heavy ground fighting continues in Hajjah, Marib, Taizz, and Lahj governorates (AFP 25/01/2016; ECHO 25/01/2016; 07/01/2016).
Al Jawf: Heavy ground fighting between government and Houthi forces is ongoing (ABC 25/01/2016). Government forces seized control of Al Hazm, the capital of Al Jawf governorate, late December (AFP 19/12/2015).
Aden: At least eight people were killed and at least 17 wounded by an IS suicide attack near the presidential palace (AFP 28/01/2016). A little over a week earlier, there was a suicide bombing outside the residence of Aden’s police chief (Reuters 17/01/2016). Fighting between government forces and armed men, believed to be linked to AQAP, has intensified in the city in January (AFP 24/01/2016; Reuters 04/01/2016; Al Jazeera 03/01/2016).
Hadramaut: Saudi-led coalition ships have reportedly entered Mukalla port, which is under AQAP control (ECHO 25/01/2016).
Hajjah: Government forces have reportedly taken full control of the port town of Midi (Reuters 07/01/2016).
Sanaa: In early January, Sanaa experienced the heaviest airstrikes since March, causing damage to civilian infrastructure in residential areas. Heavy airstrikes continue (ABC 25/01/2016; AFP 18/01/2016; UN News Centre 08/01/2016; Reuters 07/01/2016).
Taizz: Heavy fighting continues, particularly west of Taizz city (MSF 21/01/2016; AFP 24/12/2015). Houthi forces have established checkpoints around Taizz city, which has led to a de facto blockade of goods brought in by civilians and humanitarian actors alike (HRW 31/01/2016; OHCHR 23/10/2015; ICRC 21/10/2015). On 16 November, coalition and government forces reportedly launched a new offensive to retake the governorate (AFP 16/11/2015; ECHO 09/11/2015).
2.5 million people have been displaced in Yemen since March 2015 – adding to an estimated 800,000 returnees, refugees, and migrants already in need of assistance (Protection Cluster 10/12/2015; OCHA 12/06/2015).
As of December, 2.5 million people have been internally displaced since the escalation of conflict, 200,000 more than in October. The increase is mainly explained by improved data collection (Protection Cluster 10/12/2015). More than 50% of IDPs originate from the five most conflict-affected governorates: Taizz, Amran, Hajjah, Sanaa, and Abyan (Protection Cluster 10/12/2015).
Taizz governorate hosts the highest number of IDPs, followed by Amran and Hajjah (Protection Cluster 10/12/2015). Priority needs for IDPs include food, NFIs, water and sanitation services, improved shelter, and protection (OCHA 31/12/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
As of 30 November, 265,833 registered refugees are living in Yemen: most are Somali (251,468), and 6,082 are Ethiopian (UNHCR 30/11/2015). Since the escalation of conflict in March, more than 25,000 Somalis and 4,000 Ethiopians have returned to their countries of origin (IOM 17/09/2015; 11/09/2015).
Conflict in areas close to refugee-hosting sites has resulted in further displacement of refugees and asylum seekers, loss of livelihoods, and a breakdown in basic services (OCHA 19/06/2015).
Other people of concern in Yemen
Estimates indicate that over 883,000 returnees, refugees, and migrants in Yemen currently require assistance, including Yemeni migrants deported from Saudi Arabia (OCHA 12/06/2015).
More than 90,000 new arrivals were registered in Yemen in 2015 (UNHCR 31/12/2015). Ethiopians transiting through Yemen make up the vast majority; the rest are from Somalia. New arrivals are generally misinformed about the security situation in Yemen (UNHCR 01/01/2016).
Arrivals from Yemen in other countries
Since March 2015, more than 170,000 people, including Yemenis, refugees, and third-country nationals (TCNs) have left Yemen (UNHCR 18/01/2016). As of 18 January, 31,800 had arrived in Djibouti and 30,560 in Somalia (UNHCR 18/01/2016). 51,000 arrivals have been recorded in Oman, 11,400 in Ethiopia, and 5,800 in Sudan. 30,000 Yemenis and 10,000 TCNs have arrived in Saudi Arabia; all but 5,000 have since left Saudi Arabia for other countries (UNHCR 18/01/2016; IOM 17/09/2015).
Checkpoints, insecurity, administrative hurdles, and the reluctance of transporters to access volatile areas are hampering the delivery of assistance by both road and sea (OCHA 20/12/2015; WFP 29/07/2015). Fuel shortages are further hampering humanitarian operations (OCHA 30/06/2015). The arms embargo on the Houthis and commercial shipping restrictions also significantly impact the supply of humanitarian relief (OCHA 13/11/2015; OHCHR 29/09/2015; OCHA 27/08/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Ten humanitarian workers have been killed since March, including eight Red Cross Red Crescent staff and volunteers (OCHA 24/01/2016; ICRC 30/09/2015). Humanitarian workers in Taizz governorate are increasingly being targeted, harassed, and abducted by armed groups (OCHA 31/08/2015). On 1 December, two ICRC staff were abducted by unidentified gunmen in Sanaa city – one remains in captivity (ICRC 01/12/2015).
Access of affected populations to assistance
Taizz city has been under a de facto siege since the beginning of September, with little to no humanitarian assistance reaching the 240,000 people in the city. In late January, a food convoy managed to access Taizz city (WFP 25/01/2016). The food situation however remains particularly critical, with virtually no food assistance reaching the city since September (OCHA 24/11/2015; WFP 29/10/2015; ECHO 26/10/2015; 26/11/2015).
Security and physical constraints
The Hadi government has formally banned ships from entering the country’s waters without prior inspection (IRIN 17/04/2015). Few shipping companies are willing to operate in Yemen due to insecurity (OCHA 16/09/2015). Bridges and roads are frequently damaged in airstrikes (ECHO 26/10/2015). Hodeidah airport and Mokha port remain closed (Logistics Cluster 13/01/2015; 27/01/2016).
As of mid-January, main challenges in access are Sana’a to Marib and Al Jawf governorates, due to ongoing fighting (Logistics Cluster 13/01/2016).
Yemen imports the majority of its fuel, but in December only about 15% of Yemen’s monthly fuel needs were met through imports (OCHA 18/01/2016). National average fuel prices remain 90% higher than pre-crisis levels, although prices fell in December due to an easing of import restrictions (OCHA 18/01/2016; FEWSNET 30/01/2016). Export facilities at Hodeidah port were damaged by airstrikes in late January (Logistics Cluster 27/01/2015). The fuel shortages are creating severe challenges for the transportation of food, water, and medical supplies, and the operation of water pumps and generators (ECHO 14/05/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
More than half of the population, 14.4 million people, are food insecure – two million more than in June, and four million more than before the escalation of conflict. 7.6 million people are severely food insecure (OCHA 22/11/2015). The food security situation is particularly concerning for the IDP population (WFP 12/2015).
Yemen ordinarily imports 90% of its food, but imports of staple foods, such as cereals, have almost completely ceased since the escalation of conflict (FAO 01/10/2015; OCHA 29/05/2015). In the worst conflict-affected governorates, cooking gas is only sparsely available (OCHA 13/07/2015). In November, availability of essential food items deteriorated further, particularly in Taizz, Sa’ada, Al Bayda, Al Jawf, and Marib (WFP 30/11/2015; ECHO 26/11/2015).
Wheat and meat products are only sparsely available in 15 governorates (FEWSNET 17/11/2015; 18/08/2015; MSF 29/07/2015; OCHA 13/07/2015). It is increasingly difficult to store and transport fruit and vegetables due to fuel shortages. Fuel shortages have also affected transportation of livestock (FAO 23/06/2015). The main mills in Hodeidah and Salif port cities are facing severe fuel shortages, while the mill in Aden is working at only 20–40% capacity (OCHA 11/10/2015).
A 30% reduction in the harvest is expected in the key cropping regions (central highlands, southern uplands, and western coastal plain) compared to previous years (FAO 31/08/2015). Critical input for crops, such as seeds and fertilisers, are lacking (FAO 28/01/2016). A 75% reduction in fish production is estimated in Taizz, Aden, Lahj, and Abyan governorates, while in other governorates the reduction is estimated to be around 50% (FAO 31/08/2015).
Staple food prices have increased by 40–160% since the start of the crisis, with the highest prices in southwestern governorates (FAO 01/10/2015; 08/07/2015). The average cost of meeting the monthly minimum food requirement has increased by 170% compared to March, and by 280% in Taizz (WFP 30/11/2015). Despite a decline in wheat prices in December, access to food has not significantly improved due to low household purchasing power among the poor and IDP populations (FEWSNET 30/01/2016).
Mor than 70% of IDP households have reportedly resorted to negative food-related coping mechanisms, including reducing meal size and frequency, and asking friends or relatives for food (WFP 28/01/2016; 30/11/2015).
More than 2.5 million people have lost their source of income due to the suspension of basic services and social safety nets (FEWSNET 17/11/2015; 18/08/2015). An assessment in Hodeidah governorate found that 70% of households had lost some or all of their monthly income since March (UNICEF 25/08/2015). Access to remittances has halved since March, further deteriorating livelihoods (UNDP 22/01/2016).
In areas affected by ground conflict, many people have not received public salaries since March (FEWSNET 18/08/2015). Aden, Taizz, Lahj, Al Dhalee, Abyan, Hajjah, and Sa’ada are most affected (FAO 31/08/2015). The Social Welfare Fund, which provides financial assistance to poor households, has stopped functioning (ECHO 22/09/2015).
14.1 million people lack access to adequate healthcare – five million more than before the escalation of conflict (OCHA 22/11/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
13% of Yemen’s health facilities are non-functional and 10% partially functional as a result of the conflict (WHO 30/07/2015). At least 69 health facilities have been damaged or destroyed since March (OCHA 13/11/2015).
Qualified medical staff were already in short supply before the crisis: health staff are increasingly unable to report to work, and non-Yemeni health staff, who made up at least 25% of health workers, have been evacuated (WHO 27/04/2015). Health professionals have not been paid in months (OCHA 27/08/2015).
Ambulance services are non-functional in most areas heavily affected by conflict due to fuel shortages and security threats. Ambulances have also been commandeered by militias (MSF 22/01/2016; ECHO 24/11/2015). According to MSF, hospitals are perceived to be targets for airstrikes and largely avoided, so only emergency cases are going to hospitals (MSF 18/01/2016).
Medicines for diabetes, hypertension, and cancer are no longer available and there are acute shortages of critical medical supplies – trauma kits, medicines, blood bags and other necessities (OCHA 12/06/2015). The only oxygen-generating plant in Yemen ceased to function in April due to lack of fuel (OCHA 19/04/2015). Yemen’s national blood transfusion centre in Sanaa is operating at a minimum, due to fuel shortages and shortage of essential supplies (WHO 27/09/2015). Prior to the conflict, Yemen imported 80% of its medical supplies (OCHA 30/06/2015).
Outbreak response, including surveillance and early response, is no longer functioning (OCHA 13/07/2015; 14/06/2015). 25% of Yemen’s health facilities are no longer conducting routine vaccination (UNICEF 07/07/2015). 87 out of 333 districts lack a functioning cold room to store vaccines (UNICEF 07/07/2015).
Taizz governorate’s health system has collapsed, affecting 3.2 million people. None of Taizz’s hospitals are fully operational as of January, only six of 20 hospitals are partially functioning (WHO 07/01/2016). Humanitarian organisations are struggling to deliver medical and surgical supplies due to insecurity (WHO 07/01/2015).
Electricity shortages caused by lack of fuel are posing a major threat to the functioning of health facilities (MSF 10/11/2015). Insecurity is preventing vector control (OCHA 30/06/2015). Lack of electricity and medical supplies make laboratory testing for dengue and malaria challenging (OCHA 30/06/2015).
Three MSF-supported hospitals have been hit by airstrikes since March 2015. On 10 January, an MSF-supported hospital in Razeh, Sa’ada, was hit by airstrikes. Six people were killed, and ten injured, including three MSF staff (MSF 18/01/2016).
A dengue fever outbreak is reported in ten governorates, with most cases reported in Abyan, Hadramaut, Shabwah and Al-Mahrah governorates. As of 3 January, 540 suspected cases have been recorded (WHO 03/01/2016; 22/12/2015). The dengue fever outbreak comes after two tropical cyclones hit eastern Yemen in November (ECHO 07/01/2016).
Three million people are in need of nutrition assistance, and 2.1 million people are malnourished (OCHA 22/11/2015). Almost 1.3 million children are malnourished, including 320,000 severe acute malnutrition (SAM) cases (WHO 22/12/2015). In addition, 1 million children are expected to suffer from moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) in 2016, compared to 690,000 before the crisis (UNICEF 25/01/2016). Almost 200 nutrition service facilities have closed since March due to insecurity and lack of supplies (OCHA 13/11/2015).
In Hajjah governorate, GAM is at 20.9%, and SAM is at 3.8% (OCHA 15/10/2015; FEWSNET 30/01/2016). Lahj also faces a high GAM prevalence at 20.5% in lowland areas (FEWSNET 30/01/2016). An assessment in Hodeidah governorate found global acute malnutrition (GAM) to be at 31% among children under five, 9% of whom have SAM – a significant increase from 18% GAM in the governorate in 2014 (UNICEF 25/08/2015). An August assessment found 19.2% GAM in in Aden governorate (FEWSNET 30/09/2015).
19.3 million people lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation (OCHA 22/11/2015). Since the escalation of the crisis, more than nine million people have lost access to safe water due to fuel shortages (OCHA 05/06/2015). Diesel needed to deliver public water and sanitation is either not available or only sporadically available in 20 of 22 governorates (OCHA 13/07/2015).
Lack of power combined with damaged water pumps have forced people to resort to water collection from unprotected and abandoned wells. Access to water trucks is limited as fuel shortages are hindering deliveries (OCHA 22/05/2015). Some families spend one‑third of their income on water (Thomson Reuters Foundation 12/08/2015). In Sanaa and Taizz, the price of water has tripled since the escalation of conflict (OHCHR 23/10/2015; WFP 19/08/2015). Taizz and Al Dhalee governorates are facing particularly low access to water (FEWSNET 17/11/2015).
Solid waste collection has been suspended and sewage treatment plants have reduced operations in several major cities (UNDP 25/01/2016; OCHA 19/06/2015). Garbage has been accumulating on the streets, due to fuel shortages and lack of access - Taizz governorate is particularly affected (UNDP 25/01/2016; OCHA 02/09/2015; UNICEF 07/07/2015). Government services are unable to collect waste from dump sites due to significantly reduced capacity (UNDP 26/01/2016).
Shelter and NFIs
2.8 million people are in need of shelter and NFIs (OCHA 22/11/2015). Shortages have led to an increase in commodity prices, as well as transport costs (Shelter Cluster 31/12/2015)
Housing available for rent is becoming increasingly limited and costly; in some areas rental prices have tripled. 42% of IDPs are staying in rented houses (OCHA 18/12/2015; Shelter Cluster 31/08/2015). 50% of IDPs are in public buildings, open spaces, or makeshift shelters (OCHA 18/12/2015).
IDPs staying with host families (8% of IDPs) are reporting overcrowding, lack of food, and lack of adequate WASH facilities (OCHA 18/12/2015; 22/05/2015).
Refugees who were previously self-reliant are now dependent on humanitarian assistance and unable to afford adequate shelters in urban areas, leading to overcrowding (OCHA 19/06/2015).
387,000 children are estimated to have lost access to school since March, as a direct consequence of the conflict (UNICEF 25/01/2016). Prior to the escalation, an estimated 1.6 million children were out of school, meaning almost two million children are now out of school (UNICEF 17/11/2015; OCHA 13/11/2015).
Over 1,000 schools, including all schools in Sa’ada governorate and schools in some districts of Taizz, Marib, and Al Dhalee, remain closed due to continued insecurity. In most governorates, registration and attendance rates are low (30–70%) (UNICEF 17/11/2015).
Almost 800 schools have been damaged, including 174 destroyed. Some 58 schools are occupied by armed groups, and 264 are hosting IDPs (OCHA 22/12/2015; UNICEF 17/11/2015). The Saudi-led coalition has stated that schools are legitimate targets if used for military purposes, and have targeted school buildings (Amnesty International 11/12/2015; Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack 11/06/2015).
In northern governorates, teachers are no longer receiving salaries (OCHA 22/12/2015).
14.1 million people are in need of protection assistance, almost three million more than in June and four times the number of people in need of protection before the escalation of conflict in March (OCHA 22/11/2015). Reports of gender-based violence have increased by 70% since the conflict escalated in March (OCHA 31/12/2015).
Use of explosive weapons in populated areas, attacks on civilian infrastructure, increased recruitment of children, and attacks against humanitarian workers have been reported (Human Rights Watch 10/01/2016; 25/11/2015; Save the Children 01/12/2015; OCHA 19/06/2015). Cluster bombs have reportedly been used by the Saudi-led coalition (Human Rights Watch 07/01/2016). Armed groups have detained children, carried out extrajudicial executions, and subjected detainees to general ill-treatment (Human Rights Watch 02/09/2015).
Government detention facilities are severely overcrowded, and food, electricity, water, and fuel shortages are reported (OHCHR 05/01/2016).
At least eight journalists have been killed in Yemen so far this year, and 13 are in captivity. Media agencies are frequently raided, and journalists targeted and harassed (BBC 18/01/2016; Reporters without Borders 15/12/2015; OCHA 14/09/2015).
Mines and ERW
At least 13 governorates are contaminated by unexploded ordnance (UXO) and landmines. Anti-personnel mines have been reported in Abyan, Aden, Marib, Lahj, and Taizz (HRW 27/01/16). Lack of access to contaminated areas is hampering mine action response (OCHA 14/09/2015). Cluster munitions have been used by Saudi-led coalition forces (Cluster Munition Monitor 03/09/2015).
7.4 million children are in need of protection assistance (OCHA 22/11/2015). 747 children have been reported killed and 1,108 injured since March – the majority in coalition airstrikes (UNICEF 12/01/2016; Save the Children 01/12/2015).
At least 740 children have been recruited by armed groups since the escalation of the conflict – almost five times as many as in 2014 (OCHA 22/12/2015). Houthis, Ansar al Sharia, AQAP and government forces are reported to be recruiting children (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict 01/10/2014).
The Muhamasheen minority (about 10% of the population) suffer marginalisation and have greater humanitarian needs than the average population. Muhamasheen mainly live in the cities most affected by conflict, including Aden, Taizz, Hodeidah and Sa’ada, and many have been internally displaced. Displaced Muhamasheen tend to flee to open farmland, parks, and public spaces (Minority Rights Group 13/01/2016; International Dalit Solidarity Network 01/10/2015; UNICEF 20/02/2015).
2–3 February: Grenade attacks in Bujumbura killed at least two and injured 13 people (AFP, Reuters).
25 January–3 February: Heavy rains, floods and landslides have killed 12 people and injured 24, and destroyed houses, crops and bridges across 11 provinces (Burundi Red Cross).
31 January: AU leaders indicated a peacekeeping force would not be deployed without Burundian government consent (Al Jazeera, AFP).
14 January: Mtendeli camp in Tanzania began receiving Burundian refugees; Nduta is approaching its capacity of 50,000 (UNHCR).
- 238,200 Burundians fleeing political unrest are registered as refugees in Rwanda, DRC, Tanzania, and Uganda (UNHCR 03/02/2016).
- At least 439 people killed in political violence since April 2015 (OCHA 29/01/2016).
- 645,000 people are severely food insecure (FEWSNET 26/01/2015).
- Approximately 20,000 people have been affected and over 4,500 houses destroyed by heavy rains, landslides, and flooding between September and December 2015 (Burundi Red Cross 11/01/2016).
The political turmoil is exacerbating a chronic situation of unmet humanitarian need. Over 232,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries since April 2015. According to humanitarian contingency plans, a further 400,000 people could be affected within Burundi as the situation deteriorates over the coming six months. By the end of 2016, UNHCR estimates 330,000 Burundians will have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. Priority areas are Kirundo, Citiboke, Rumonge, Makamba and Bujumbura Rural provinces, and the city of Bujumbura, where the unrest is most prominent. Immediate humanitarian needs have been highlighted in protection, food, nutrition and livelihoods assistance, WASH and essential healthcare services, and education.
Politics and security
High levels of political instability and frequent violence persist in January, having begun in April 2015 with demonstrations opposing President Nkurunziza’s intention to run for a third term. The security situation deteriorated rapidly after Nkurunziza’s re-election at end July with violent incidents frequently reported, particularly in the capital Bujumbura (IRIN 12/10/2015; AFP 08/12/2015). Violence escalated in December and left between 87 and 154 people dead, bringing the total number killed since April to at least 439 (OCHA 29/01/2016; AFP 23/01/2016). Fears are mounting that the conflict could degenerate further after 100 bodies were found in nine mass graves following December violence (OHCHR 15/01/2016). The UN Security Council has expressed concern over a possible outbreak of mass atrocities and ethnic violence as the security situation deteriorates (AFP 20/01/2016).
Large protests denouncing Nkurunziza’s candidacy for a third term were held between April and July 2015, mostly in the capital Bujumbura (OCHA 12/05/2015; AFP 05/06/2015; Reuters 18/05/2015). An attempted coup led by the former head of intelligence failed, after two days of intense clashes in May (BBC 13/05/2015). Several top officials fled the country, including the Vice President and head of parliament, at end June (AFP 28/06/2015; 25/06/2015).
Parliamentary and presidential elections went ahead in June and July, despite being widely declared as not credible. The ruling party won a majority of parliamentary seats and Nkurunziza was re-elected, with 69% of the vote. Turnout was low, with 17 opposition parties boycotting the polls (AFP 07/07/2015; 27/07/2015). On 1 August, opposition leaders met in Addis Ababa to form a coalition, the National Council for the Restoration of the Arusha Accords and the Rule of Law (IRIN 12/10/2015).
On 20 August, President Nkurunziza was sworn in for a third term (AFP 20/08/2015). His new cabinet has been criticised as being dominated by loyalists, despite assurances that he would put in place a government of national unity (AFP 25/08/2015).
In the months following Nkurunziza’s re-election, the government categorically ruled out negotiations and redoubled its targeting of opposition (AFP 23/09/2015). Dissidence has shifted from protest to armed violence against security forces (ACLED 13/12/2015). On 28 December, opposition and government represents held preliminary peace talks in Uganda (DW 06/01/2016). Follow up talks in January have been postponed, and although an inter-Burundian dialogue on the issue of post-electoral violence is scheduled for 19 January, opposition groups have announced they will boycott the event (AFP 19/01/2016).
Violent incidents continued in January and February 2016 despite December peace talks. On 3 February, one person was killed and five injured as three grenades exploded near Bujumbura’s central post office (AFP 03/02/2016). On 2 February, a grenade attack in the Butere area of Bujumbura killed at least one person and injured eight (Reuters 02/02/2016). Violence in January in Bujumbura killed two people and injured 15 (AFP, 21/01/2016; 04/01/2016; 01/01/2016).
11 December saw the worst day of violence since April, with at least 87 people killed after armed opposition groups carried out three coordinated attacks on military installations in Bujumbura (Guardian 12/12/2015; Reuters 13/12/2015).
Multiple international bodies and states have tried, but so far failed, to leverage meaningful political dialogue in Burundi. President Nkurunziza has labelled those breaching a ban on weapons as “enemies of the nation” – rhetoric that sparked widespread concerns and condemnation from the international community (OHCHR 10/11/2015; Amnesty International 12/11/2015; UNSC 12/11/2015). On 22 December, an AU proposal to send a 5,000-strong peacekeeping mission was rejected by the Burundian parliament and President Nkurunziza, who indicated they would regard this an invasion (AFP 22/12/2015; AFP 30/12/2015). Hundreds of Burundians protested against the proposed peacekeepers on 26 December rallies (AFP 26/12/2015). On 31 January, AU leaders indicated the peacekeeping force would not be deployed without consent from the Burundian government (Al Jazeera 01/02/2016; AFP 31/01/2016).
Both the EU and AU have imposed sanctions on individuals in Burundi, while the AU has launched an investigation into human rights abuses and deployed observers (AFP 29/09/2015; AU 17/10/2015). Uganda has been appointed as regional mediator of inter-Burundian dialogue (OCHA 22/12/2015).
Relations between Burundi and Rwanda, which the government accuses of backing opposition forces, are souring – Rwanda has denied any involvement (AFP 23/10/2015). On 7 October, Burundi ordered a Rwandan diplomat to leave the country, heightening tensions between the two countries (Jeune Afrique 13/10/2015). Clashes in July in Kayanza and Citiboke provinces on the Rwandan border left 31 dead (OCHA 16/07/2015).
Already facing the lowest GDP per capita in the world, Burundi’s GDP was expected to shrink 7.2% in 2015 (OCHA 12/11/2015). International partners funded 50% of Burundi’s pre-crisis budget but have been withdrawing since the onset of political turmoil. Foreign resources now only account for 30% of the budget (UNICEF 31/01/2016). Overall, the 2016 budget has been reduced by 18% compared to 2015: health, education, WASH and protection services are all expected to suffer in the face of cuts (Reuters 13/12/2015; UNICEF 31/01/2016).
Heavy rains, floods and landslides
Since 25 January, 12 people have been killed and 24 injured. 1,044 houses and 6,327 hectares of crops have been destroyed. Emergency needs include shelter and NFIs, food, malaria prevention, disinfection products (Burundi Red Cross 03/02/2016).
Heavy rains, landslides, and flooding affected some 30,000 people across 11 provinces between September and December 2015. Over 50 people were killed. Over 5,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed (OCHA 29/01/2016). 252 classrooms, and 147 other structures have been destroyed as have 12,663 hectares of cultivated fields (Burundi Red Cross 11/01/2016).
14 provinces remain at risk of El Niño-induced heavy rains (OCHA 29/01/2016). The Burundi Red Cross estimates that up to 250,000 people could be affected by flooding and related epidemics over the rainy season, which ends in May (Burundi Red Cross 27/10/2015).
The political crisis since April has displaced more than 238,000 Burundians to neighbouring countries; internal displacement has been limited, but is growing (UNHCR 03/02/2016; OCHA 12/11/2015). There are 77,600 protracted IDPs in Burundi, mostly ethnic Tutsis, and 79,000 returnees going through a reintegration process. Burundi also hosts 54,800 refugees from DRC, mainly in border regions.
Internal displacement resulting from current political violence has been limited and difficult to track, with IDPs reluctant to identify themselves for fear of retribution (OCHA 13/10/2015; ECHO 17/12/2015). It is widely believed that current figures largely underestimate the IDP population; tracking of another eight provinces is expected (Refugees International 18/11/2015). Conservative estimates indicate at least 25,000 people have been internally displaced in Makamba, Kirundo, and Rutana provinces, predominantly due to violence and socio-economic disruption, but also due to rains and flooding in some cases (IOM 31/01/2016; OCHA 12/11/2015). 54% are female and 62% are children (IOM 31/01/2016). 70% are living among host families, with the remainder renting homes or occupying abandoned houses (IOM 31/01/2016). 68% of IDPs were displaced between May and July, at the height of electoral unrest; 19% after Nkurunziza’s election and 13% between January and April 2015 (IOM 31/10/2015).
As of January 2015, Burundi had 77,600 protracted IDPs, mostly ethnic Tutsis, living in and around 120 sites in northern and central Burundi (IDMC 31/01/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
As of end July, Burundi was host to 53,977 refugees from DRC, mainly in the border regions of Ngozi, Ruyigi, Muyinga and Cankuzo (UNHCR 31/07/2015). Refugees have been requesting relocation since the beginning of the political crisis (UNHCR 05/06/2015).
79,000 Burundian returnees who fled past conflicts were going through a slow reintegration process in April, including 43,000 who had been forcibly repatriated from Tanzania. Most have not been registered due to a lack of reception facilities, while tensions have risen with host communities over land ownership issues (IOM 01/2014; HCT 24/04/2015).
Burundian refugees in neighbouring countries
As of 3 February, over 238,200 Burundian refugees are registered in Rwanda, DRC, Uganda, and Tanzania (UNHCR 03/03/2016). UNHCR estimates 330,000 Burundians will have sought refuge in neighbouring countries by the end of 2016 (UNCHR 16/12/2015).
Tanzania: 128,790 Burundian refugees have arrived in Tanzania since April (UNHCR 25/01/2016). Arrivals averaged around 200 per day in January 2016. Around 82,000 refugees are in Nyarugusu refugee camp. To ease pressure on overcrowded Nyarugusu, refugees have been relocated to Nduta camp since early October, which now accommodates 43,000 out of a planned capacity of 50,000. On 14 January, a new site at Mtendeli started receiving refugees: it currently hosts 1,568 refugees (UNHCR 28/01/2016).
Rwanda: 72,027 Burundian refugees are registered in Rwanda (UNHCR 28/01/2016). 45,644 are in Mahama camp. Another 22,084 are living in Kigali, and 2,889 are in Huye district. Two reception centres at Bugasera and Nyanza as well as a transit centre in Nyagatare temporarily host small refugee populations (UNHCR 28/01/2016). Refugees are reportedly being forcibly recruited by Burundian opposition groups and sent to military training camps in Rwanda and DRC (Refugees International 14/12/2015).
DRC: 18,382 Burundians refugees have been registered in DRC (UNHCR 31/10/2015). Around 14,000 are hosted in Lusenda refugee site in South Kivu (AFP 23/01/2016).
Uganda: 20,136 Burundian refugees have been received in Uganda since November 2014. 15,128 are in Nakivale camp and 4,322 are registered as urban refugees in Kampala. Smaller populations are in Kyaka II and Oruchinga settlements, and in Kisoro district (UNHCR 28/01/2016).
UN agencies have reported restricted access in Burundi (WFP 30/06/2015). In January, a team of independent human rights experts were reportedly refused entry to Burundi (IRIN 29/01/2016). The banning of independent media is hindering aid agencies’ ability to communicate with communities in need of assistance (OCHA 17/09/2015; IOM 09/10/2015). International humanitarian presence outside the capital is particularly constrained, although the Burundi Red Cross has a strong reach nationwide (OCHA 13/10/2015). In rural areas, agencies have been reliant on communicating via an emergency hotline, where affected individuals can report humanitarian needs (OCHA 21/12/2015).
Access is increasingly difficult in areas affected by heavy rains, flooding and landslides. 37 bridges have been destroyed by disasters since 25 January (Burundi Red Cross 03/02/2016).
Food security and livelihoods
Approximately 645,000 people are estimated to be severely food insecure (FEWSNET 26/01/2016). WFP’s food assistance stocks are stretched (WFP 03/12/2015). In areas where political instability has disrupted agriculture and trade, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes are expected through February 2016 (FEWSNET 31/12/2015).
Displacement and restricted movement in conflict-affected areas have limited labour opportunities, access to fields, and inputs. As a result, overall Season A harvests are expected to be 10% below average despite good rains since October (FEWSNET 26/01/2016). Mwaro, Citiboke, Bururi, Muyinga, Kirundo, Makamba, Bujumbura Rural, and Rumonge provinces are expected to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes through February 2016 (FEWSNET 31/12/2015).
Insecurity is keeping food prices well above long-term averages. As of December 2015, stable food prices were 20% higher across Burundi than at the same time in 2014, contrary to normal trends which see prices decrease in December due to the start of harvests (FEWSNET 31/12/2015). 98% of IDPs do not have access to sufficient quantities of food (IOM 31/01/2016).
Insecurity has proven a major disruption to livelihoods. There are reports of people selling their harvest early and at low prices in order to seek asylum in neighbouring countries. Seasonal workers have been impeded by insecurity (OCHA 13/10/2015). IOM survey results indicate extremely poor access to livelihood generating activities among IDP households (IOM 31/01/2016).
Stocks of essential medicines are falling rapidly due to supply chain interruptions, while access to and use of primary health services is being prevented by insecurity (OCHA 13/10/2015). There is a risk of a nationwide shortage of essential medicines (UNICEF 31/12/2015). Shortages are expected to continue for at least six months, although delivery of limited relief supplies has commenced (UNICEF 30/11/2015; 31/12/2015).
Burundi faces a high cholera risk as health services and WASH conditions deteriorate. 22 cases of cholera were reported in Nyanza Lac district between 9 December 2015 and 8 January 2016 (UNICEF 31/01/2016).
Malnutrition has increased with food insecurity and deterioration of health services. Since February 2014, global acute malnutrition (GAM) has risen from 3.2% to 3.6% across the six most affected provinces (OCHA 22/12/2015). The number of children admitted for treatment for severe acute malnutrition in Bujumbura doubled between October and December 2015 (UNICEF 31/01/2016).
WASH has been identified as a priority in the context of the political crisis and potential cholera outbreak. Over 80% of refugees have to travel 500 metres or more to access water (IOM 31/01/2016). 15% did not have access to latrines (IOM 31/10/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
Displacement is driving shelter and NFI needs. 93% of IDPs have not received NFI assistance. Three-quarters express a need for materials to repair or reinforce their shelters (IOM 31/01/2016).
The rains have damaged 30 schools in Makamba, Ruyigi, and Bubanza provinces, leaving 7,300 children without adequate learning environments (UNICEF 31/12/2015).
Cases of exclusion from secondary school on the grounds of students’ political affiliation have been reported from Muyinga province (UNICEF 29/07/2015). In most areas hosting IDPs, fewer than 50% of children can access school (IOM 31/01/2016).
The protection environment deteriorated in October and November, and worsened further in December after the worst violence since the onset of the crisis (Reuters 13/12/2015; UN 13/10/2015). Opposition members, journalists, human rights activists and their families, as well as residents of perceived ‘anti-government’ areas, have been targeted by police (OHCHR 10/11/2015). People fleeing persecution face intimidation and arrest while travelling to neighbouring countries to seek protection (Guardian 04/12/2015).
At least 3,496 people have been arrested since April, including 452 arbitrarily arrested in November alone (OHCHR 17/12/2015). Imbonerakure – the ruling party’s youth wing – is accused of severe abuse, including torture, threats, and intimidation (Amnesty 24/08/2015; Reuters 04/10/2015; AFP 04/10/2015). 263 cases of torture and ill treatment have been reported since April 2015 (OCHA 29/01/2016).
Almost all independent media outlets have been closed (HRW 01/12/2015). Journalists are reportedly facing violence and intimidation from authorities and members of the Imbonerakure (CPJ 26/08/2015, RSF 30/04/2015). Over 100 journalists have fled the country (International Federation of Journalists 18/11/2015). Yet, even across the border in South Kivu, DRC police arrested a Burundian radio journalist after he was accused of threatening the peace in Burundi (AFP 14/10/2015). Two foreign journalists from Voice of America and Le Monde were briefly arrested in Bujumbura in late January (AFP 29/01/2016).
The UN documented 13 cases of sexual violence against women, including rape and gang rape, during search and arrest operations in December (OHCHR 15/01/2016).
At least 21 children have been killed since unrest broke out, most as a result of gunshot or grenade wounds (UNICEF 31/12/2015). Both pro- and anti-government forces have reportedly pressured children to join violent clashes, and their detention after protests and violence presents a major protection risk. Children have been detained for alleged involvement in armed groups (Al Jazeera 01/12/2015; UNICEF 31/12/2015).
Chad Country Analysis
31 January: Three people were killed and 56 wounded in two suicide bombings in Lac region (AFP).
28 January: 15 regions are facing serious or critical levels of global acute malnutrition (UNICEF).
- Approximately 70,000 people are internally displaced in Lac region (OCHA 18/01/2016).
- Over 400,000 refugees in Chad, including 296,359 from Sudan, 100,751 from CAR, and 29,243 from Nigeria (UNHCR 30/09/2015; 17/12/2015).
- In drought and insecurity affected areas, including Kanem, Bahr el Gazal and Lac regions, 14,000 people currently face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) and 440,000 people face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes (OCHA 30/11/2015; FEWSNET 31/12/2015).
- 325,000 severely malnourished children expected in 2016 (FEWSNET 31/12/2015; OCHA 31/10/2015).
- Food security and nutrition, following lower‑than‑average harvest yields (OCHA 30/11/2015; FEWSNET 31/12/2015).
- Protection in Lac region, where regular BH attacks against civilians continue (OCHA 05/12/2015).
- Prevention and treatment of malaria, measles and meningitis are the key health priorities (OCHA 30/11/2015).
Over 2.3 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Chad. The country faces security threats on its periphery, most notably from Boko Haram in Lac region. Instability there is triggering large-scale displacement, as attacks are frequently launched on civilians and military operations have also driven people from their homes. Nigerian refugees have crossed into Chad since 2014, adding to large refugee populations from Sudan in the east, and Central African Republic in the south. In addition, underlying vulnerability and food insecurity is high, particularly in the Sahelian zone to the north of the country, where desert encroachment and inconsistent rains have negatively impacted on agro-pastoral livelihoods.
Politics and security
The National Electoral Commission announced on 23 January that Chad will hold presidential elections on 10 April 2016 (AFP 23/01/2016). Idriss Déby has been Chad’s President since 1990, winning further elections in 1996, 2001, 2006, and 2011. Stability has largely improved since 2010 when civil war ended (IDMC 24/10/2014). However, conflicts in Nigeria and Central African Republic have increasingly affected stability in Chad. Chadian troops have carried out military operations against Boko Haram (BH) and are involved in a Multinational Joint Task Force, whose aim is to improve coordination between regional militaries fighting BH (UN 22/12/2015). Chad also hosts 3,000 French troops, deployed to tackle the increasing insecurity in the Sahel region (Reuters 11/07/2015).
Boko Haram (BH) launched its first cross-border attack in Chad in February 2015 (Al Jazeera 14/02/2015). Chad and regional militaries have responded with operations against BH, but regular attacks on civilians continued throughout 2015. In July, Chadian forces pushed BH back from the country’s islands in Lac region (Vice News 28/07/2015). Security measures were reinforced, and 395 people of 14 nationalities were arrested (UNHCR, 14/07/2015). Ten BH members were executed at end August (The Guardian 30/08/2015).
A state of emergency declared on 9 November in Lac region has been extended until 22 March 2016, voiding government predictions BH would be defeated by end 2015 (Reuters 06/10/2015; OCHA 30/11/2015). The intensity and frequency of BH suicide bombings in Chad increased during 2015, with women and girls being used in 75% of attacks in the region (UNICEF 30/11/2015). BH continues to deploy tactics including kidnapping, raids, and suicide bombings (USAID 22/12/2015).
A Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF), which would bring at least 8,700 forces from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, and Benin under a common command, is operational in the region but continues to report coordination barriers (UN 22/12/2015).
Recent security incidents
Suspected BH attacks on civilians continue. On 30 January 2016, two suicide bombings in Guie and Miterine, Lac region, killed at least three people and wounded 56 (Reuters 31/01/2016). On 5 December, a triple suicide attack targeting a busy market in Koulfoua – a Lake Chad island – killed up to 30 people and wounded over 130 (Reuters 08/12/2015; MSF 07/12/2015).
Inter-communal violence in Kiskra, Lac region, on 1 December 2015 killed six people and wounded 12 (OCHA 11/12/2015).
There are around 750,000 displaced people in Chad in need of protection and humanitarian assistance, including over 372,000 refugees: mainly long-term refugees from Sudan and CAR, plus newer arrivals from Nigeria (WFP, 04/09/2015; UNHCR 31/12/2015). The BH conflict in Lac region to the west, and the CAR conflict to the east has caused recent displacement. Some 200,000 people affected by the BH crisis are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA 09/12/2015).
Lac region has witnessed multiple waves of displacement. In the first wave, January–June 2015, 11,000 Chadians were internally displaced in Lac region and over 11,000 returned from Nigeria to escape BH (OCHA 18/01/2016). In a second wave, at least 53,000 people are estimated to have been displaced since 21 July 2015, when violence increased (OCHA 18/01/2016). 16,000 newly displaced people are living in Tchoukoutalia (OCHA 18/01/2016). New displacements take place on a regular basis, as the situation remains volatile (UNICEF 31/12/2015).
Displacement across Lac region is characterised by a high level of mobility, making it difficult for humanitarian responders to track populations. Ongoing profiling and registration exercises were disrupted by insecurity and a series of attacks in late December. Approximately 85% of locations have been profiled (OCHA 18/01/2016). The displaced are spread across at least 22 sites (OCHA 25/01/2016). Access to the new sites is difficult and the need for humanitarian assistance remains urgent (OCHA 18/01/2016).
Nearly 85,500 IDPs are living in protracted displacement in the east, facing difficulties accessing shelter, land, and income-generating activities after their assistance was downscaled in 2014. Progress towards durable solutions for these IDPs is not monitored, making assessment of their humanitarian need difficult (IDMC 02/2015; OCHA 19/11/2013).
Refugees and asylum seekers
Chad hosts the world’s seventh largest refugee population, with at least 372,000 refugees from over five countries of origin (UNHCR 31/12/2015). They are mainly from Central African Republic, Nigeria, and Sudan.
Central African Republic: 90,000 refugees (UNICEF 31/12/2015). 68,382 live in camps, while 34,369 live among host communities (UNHCR, 17/12/2015).
Nigeria: 29,243 refugees (UNHCR, 17/12/2015). 7,868 refugees are living at the Dar es Salam site. Many are dispersed among host communities, where they try to access to economic activities (UNHCR 18/11/2015). Local authorities have proposed relocating Dar es Salam site to a more remote location following increased insecurity since 10 October (UNHCR 18/11/2015).
Sudan: 299,779 refugees, living in protracted displacement in Chad (UNHCR 31/12/2015). On 21 September, UNHCR and the governments of Chad and Sudan reportedly signed a tripartite agreement for the voluntary repatriation of 300,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad and 8,500 Chadian refugees in Sudan. However, according to local media, Sudanese refugees in Chad reject the scheme and are not prepared to return to Darfur (Radio Dabanga 20/11/2015). 30,000 Sudanese refugees have returned to Central Darfur since June (OCHA 27/12/2015).
Large numbers of Chadians have returned from neighbouring countries due to conflict.
130,000 Chadians, 67% of whom are under 18 years old, have returned from CAR since 2014 and remain in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA 02/12/2015). 38,000 live in precarious conditions in Moyen-Chari region, in the border sites of Maingama and Sido. Food security, shelter, WASH, health, nutrition, protection, and education needs are all highlighted as priorities (OCHA 02/12/2015).
The BH conflict in Nigeria has forced at least 11,000 Chadians to return since January 2015 (OCHA 20/10/2015). 3,400 returnees from Nigeria are living in the Dar al Nahim site, near Dar es Salaam (OCHA 20/10/2015).
Conflicts and insecurity are driving major access constraints in Chad. Border closures have affected trade, while humanitarian actors struggle to access populations in the most affected areas, particularly Lac region, where a state of emergency was declared in November 2015 and is still in effect.
Security and physical constraints
Chad’s southern border with CAR has been closed to all except Chadian citizens since 2014 (Al Jazeera 13/05/2015; US Government 30/09/2015). The border with Nigeria remains de facto closed due to BH violence (UNICEF, 23/10/2015). Navigation on the Chari River and its tributary, the Logone, which flow along the border of Chad and Cameroon, has been halted (AFP 30/04/2015).
The state of emergency in Lac region until at least 22 March 2016 empowers the governor to ban movement of people and vehicles, search homes, and seize weapons (AFP 09/11/2015; 19/11/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Shrinking humanitarian space has negatively impacted the number of actors and staff, coordination mechanisms, needs assessment, and delivery of assistance in Lac region (OCHA 30/11/2015).
Humanitarian operations were severely constrained in late December 2015 due to an upsurge in insecurity and a lack of military escorts (OCHA 18/01/2016).
Access of affected populations to assistance
Islands to the west and north of Baga Sola face major access constraints due to insecurity. Populations from these areas face difficulties reaching Baga Sola and Bol towns, where important services including hospitals are located (UNICEF 31/10/2015). Displaced people both fleeing insecurity and seeking economic opportunities are highly mobile and difficult to reach (OCHA 31/10/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
Most households in Chad will remain in IPC Phase 1 and avoid relying on negative coping strategies through March (FEWSNET 31/12/2015). However, in the areas worst affected by drought and insecurity, the food and nutrition situation is critical (ECHO 19/01/2016). 14,000 people face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes. A further 440,000 people in six departments across three regions (Kanem, Bahr el Gazal, and Lac) west of the Sahel face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes (OCHA 30/11/2015). 2.2 million people face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) outcomes, not only in the Sahelian belt but also in southern Chad, where such high levels of food insecurity are unseasonal (OCHA 30/11/2015).
At the peak of the 2015 lean season, 3.4 million people in Chad were food insecure (OCHA 31/08/2015), including at least 663,000 severely food insecure people (IPC Phase 3 or 4) nationwide (OCHA 31/10/2015). Worse levels of food insecurity are expected for 2016 (OCHA 09/12/2015). From June—August 2016, it is expected that 47,000 people will face Emergency, 890,000 will people will face Crisis and 2.9 million people will face Stressed food security outcomes (OCHA 30/11/2015). By mid-2016, a total of 4.3 million will be food insecure (UNICEF 31/12/2016; 26/01/2016).
According to preliminary government estimates, the total national cereal deficit is 10% below five-year averages due to poor harvests across large areas of the Sahelian zone (FEWSNET 31/12/2015; FAO 14/12/2015). Productivity of millet and sorghum crops, key staples, has been atypically low (FAO 14/12/2015).
Deficits in cereal stocks and pastoral production in Kanem, Bahr El Ghazal, Bartha, Nord Guera, and Wadi Fira are attributed to the delayed onset of the rainy season across the Sahelian zone (FEWSNET 31/12/2015; 30/11/2015). These areas face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes from January through March 2016 (OCHA 21/12/2015; FEWSNET 31/12/2015). The pastoral outlook for February–March is negative (FEWSET 31/12/2015).
Food prices are expected to rise as merchants anticipate low harvest yields (OCHA 30/11/2015). According to October survey results, one‑third of households had faced shocks over the prior six months and 13% were resorting to emergency coping strategies (FAO 17/12/2015).
Large refugee influxes from Sudan, CAR, and Nigeria has put additional pressure on local food supplies (FAO 13/10/2015). Both refugees from CAR and displaced populations in Lac region remain heavily reliant on food assistance (WFP 14/10/2015; OCHA 30/11/2015). Newly displaced populations in Fourkoloum and Tchoukoutalia have not yet received assistance (OCHA 11/12/2015). While food rations had been distributed to 90% of the prior IDP caseload (July—November) at least once, the displaced face long‑term food insecurity and assistance remains a priority (OCHA 06/11/2015; 30/11/2015). Displaced populations have reportedly been selling distributed NFIs to buy food (OCHA 30/11/2015).
Insecurity in the Lac region has taken a major toll on livelihood opportunities (UN 30/11/2015). Farmers and pastoralists struggle to access their land in the Lac region (OCHA 11/12/2015). The closure of the Nigerian border, due to BH violence, continues to impede trade and livelihoods in western Chad (UNICEF 23/10/2015). Cattle and fishing have particularly suffered from insecurity (FEWSNET 31/12/2015). Fishermen are forced to move to the lake’s arms, where there are less fish (OCHA 13/01/2016). Competition between local workers and the large displaced population have cut average daily wages for agricultural labour to half of December 2014 levels (FEWSNET 31/12/2015). Livelihoods have also been affected by decreased inflows of remittances from family members in Libya, due to conflict (IFRC 30/05/2015).
1.3 million people are in need of health assistance (OCHA 30/11/2015). Displaced populations and host communities face immediate health needs in Lac region. Malaria, acute respiratory infections, dermatitis and acute diarrhoea are the most common pathologies (OCHA 30/11/2015). The number of health facilities remains insufficient (OCHA 18/01/2016). In Lac region, several new mobile health clinics are needed to provide access to primary healthcare for at least 14,500 people in Koudouboul, Melia Kalidar, Tagal, and Kanembou spontaneous sites. 8,000 newly arrived IDPs in Daboua and Liwa require health assistance (OCHA 11/12/2015). Health centres in Fourkoloum, Tchoukoutalia and Ngouboua are under pressure due to recent IDP arrivals and need support (OCHA 11/12/2015).
Preliminary SMART nutritional survey results from November 2015 put global acute malnutrition at 13.3% in Chad. Ten northern and central regions are above critical GAM thresholds of 15%, and five others are above serious levels of 10% (UNICEF 28/01/2016). In 2016, an estimated 727,858 children will suffer acute malnutrition and will need humanitarian assistance, including an estimated 325,000 cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) (OCHA 31/10/2015; 09/12/2015; UNICEF 26/01/2016).
In Dar es Salam refugee site, 12.3% of children suffer from SAM (UNHCR 31/08/2015). Spontaneous sites at Kaya, Koudouboul, Melia Kalidar, and Kanembou remain to be screened (OCHA 11/12/2015).
One million people are in need of WASH assistance in Chad (OCHA 30/11/2016). Displaced populations in Lac region are in urgent need of WASH assistance, particularly in Fourkoloum and Tchoukoutalia (OCHA 11/12/2015). 66% of water needs and 84% of latrine needs are not met in displacement sites (OCHA 18/10/2016). Cholera in Niger and Cameroon raises the risk of an outbreak in Chad due to cross-border population movements in the Lake Chad Basin (UNICEF 02/12/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
90% of IDPs in Lac region have not received shelter support, leaving approximately 50,000 people in need of assistance. Gaps persist in the distribution of NFIs and shelter at Fourkoloum and Koulkime (OCHA 18/01/2016).
Countrywide, 37% of the school-aged population are out of school (WFP 31/10/2015). There is a national shortage of teachers (OCHA 30/11/2015). There are acute needs in Lac region, where 30% of schools remain closed due to insecurity and lack of teachers (OCHA 18/01/2016). Some 72 trained teachers are needed to help meet the education needs of 43,000 pre- and primary school IDP and host community children (OCHA 30/11/2015).
BH violence involves killing and maiming civilians, forced recruitment of women and girls to carry out suicide bombings, and looting and burning of villages. Concerns have been raised over arbitrary arrest and detention of BH suspects, enforced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings at the hands of Chad’s security forces (UN 30/11/2015). The rise of inter-community conflict is a worrying development (OCHA 11/12/2015).
73 unaccompanied children and 116 separated children are recorded in Dar es Salam camp, where almost 8,000 Nigerian refugees live (OCHA 20/10/2015). Child protection spaces are lacking in Koulkime, Fourkoloum, Tchoukoutalia, and Ngouboua sites (OCHA 18/10/2016).
A ban on wearing full faced veils has been in place since June attacks in Ndjamena sparked fears that female suicide bombers were concealing explosives under their garments (BBC 10/10/2015). 13,000 women and girls are estimated to need protection assistance (OCHA 06/11/2015).
Although the government launched a campaign in 2015 to end child marriage, large numbers of underage girls continue to undergo forced marriage (UNICEF 20/11/2015).
Profiling and registration of the displaced in Lac region has not yet reached all spontaneous sites, making identification of needs challenging (OCHA 07/10/2015). Approximately 85% of locations have been profiled (OCHA 18/01/2016).
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).
30 January: At least 18,000 cases of mosquito-borne Zika virus have been confirmed since last October (Al Jazeera 30/01/2016).
- 5.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA 19/11/2015).
- 6.3 million IDPs. 193,000 are expected to be displaced by the end of 2015 (OCHA 31/10/2015).
- 2.5 million people are in need of health assistance (OCHA 30/09/2015).
5.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Colombia. Five decades of armed violence, coupled with the country’s frequent natural disasters, have had serious humanitarian consequences. Forced displacement and landmine contamination are major concerns. For rural communities, restricted movement due to armed group activity limits access to basic health services, crops and labour markets, especially in the Pacific region. On 1 October, Colombia declared a state of emergency due to drought, which is expected to affect the country until March 2016. Approximately 1.3 million people are affected by natural disasters every year (floods, heat waves, and droughts).
Politics and security
Colombia’s armed conflict has spanned five decades, pitting the central government, right-wing paramilitaries, and left-wing guerilla groups such as the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) and the National Liberation Army (ELN) against one another. Paramilitary groups underwent a partially successful process of disarmament and demobilisation between 2003−2006, however many post-demobilised armed groups remain active.
The latest FARC-EP–Government peace negotiations began in November 2012 in Havana, Cuba (Reuters 18/08/2015). On 23 September, FARC-EP and the Colombian government agreed on a six-month deadline for a peace deal, which means it must be signed before 23 March 2016 (BBC 24/09/2015). Agreement has been reached on the key points of the agenda, including reparations and justice for the victims and the establishment of a special tribunal (AL Jazeera 16/12/2015; AFP 14/12/2015). The biggest point of disagreement remains the issue of disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) of FARC. If the peace agreement is signed the government expects to demobilise between 20,000 and 40,000 members of FARC (Colombia Reports 11/01/2016; 21/12/2015). FARC has warned that ongoing disagreement over the DDR process is likely to prevent a deal being reached by the agreed deadline (AFP 13/01/2016). The government has pardoned 16, out the first group of 30, convicted members of FARC (AFP 21/01/2016).
The government has pledged that the Colombian public will be asked to give a vote of approval or rejection to any peace deal through a plebiscite in the spring of 2016 (Colombia Reports 19/11/2015). Both parties have announced they have invited the UN to monitor an eventual bilateral ceasefire, the disarmament process, and the end of the conflict (AFP 20/01/2016; BBC 19/01/2016).
The intensity of the armed conflict has decreased substantially since the peace negotiations began. The FARC-EP’s unilateral ceasefire began on 20 July. Although this ceasefire has been violated on at least four occasions, military activity between the two parties has almost completely ceased (Colombia Reports 22/09/2015). The head of FARC has ordered a halt to recruitment and the purchasing weapons (El Espectador 10/10/2015; BBC 11/11/2015).
The ELN has been involved in exploratory talks about beginning peace talks with the government since June 2014, but formal discussion has yet to begin (El Espectador 01/02/2016; BBC 01/12/2015).
On 19 August, Venezuela closed its border to Colombia due to security concerns. More than 1,600 Colombians were deported and another 160,000 returned voluntarily (AFP, 22/08/2015). On 29 September, the Venezuelan government agreed to let the deportees return and legalise their status (Colombia Reports 24/09/2015; AFP 22/09/2015; Voice of America 29/09/2015). The border remains partially closed and commercial and transit activities have not returned to normal (El Espectador 13/01/2016; OCHA 31/01/2016).
FARC-EP: The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP, or FARC) is the oldest left-wing militant group in Colombia. It was formed in 1964 by the Colombian Communist Party, as fighting between the liberal and conservative parties led to rural unrest. Approximately 7,000 fighters make up the FARC-EP today, which allegedly makes USD 500–600 million profit from the illicit drug trade (UNRIC 2013; BBC 29/08/2013). FARC-EP has been active throughout the country, but especially in Arauca, Meta, Norte de Santander, Cauca, and Antioquia.
ELN: The National Liberation Army is a left-wing militant group formed in 1965 and composed of an estimated 2,000 fighters. In January 2015, it stated that it intended to join peace talks and would consider disarmament (AFP 07/01/2015). Preliminary discussions between the ELN and the government continue. The ELN has been active in Arauca, Norte de Santander, Nariño and Cauca departments (Kienyke 2013).
Government forces: The government’s strategies to combat non-state armed groups have been closely linked to eliminating the cultivation of illicit crops in the country, which finances the armed groups.
BACRIM and post-demobilised armed groups: Criminal gangs (bandas criminals, or BACRIM) under the names Urabeños, Black Eagles, and Erpac, among others, are generally made up of former paramilitary fighters. They are involved in drug trafficking and extortion throughout Colombia, Venezuela and Panama. These groups are particularly active in Antioquia department, and the Pacific and Caribbean regions (BBC 29/08/2013).
As the peace process progresses and FARC begins to withdraw from certain areas, there is a risk of changing dynamics. Other armed groups may move into areas previously held by FARC, causing further humanitarian consequences (OCHA 30/11/2015; Colombia Reports 17/11/2015). For example, since negotiations began between FARC and the government, the Urabeños, Colombia’s largest post-demobilised armed group, has reportedly almost doubled its territory, settling in areas previously controlled by leftist armed groups (Colombia Reports 14/12/2015). In the northwest, conflict over control of drug-trafficking routes continues between the Urabeños, FARC, and ELN (Colombia Reports 22/10/2015).
Beginning in May 2015, the ELN has intensified its operations in the departments of Arauca, Norte de Santander, Chocó, Antioquia, and Boyacá. (OCHA 31/10/2015). In late 2015 president Santos ordered security forces to intensify military operations against the ELN, and reaffirmed his unwillingness to formalise talks unless the ELN demonstrate an intention for peace (Colombia Reports 27/10/2015; BBC 01/12/2015).
Since December there have been regular clashes between FARC and post-demobilised armed groups in the El Bagre municipality of Antioquia. More than 400 people have been displaced in the area since 10 January (OCHA 15/01/2016).
The El Niño phenomenon is considered the strongest in 18 years and is now expected to last through June, causing both drought and flooding. It is expected to get worse in the coming months (AFP 14/01/2016).
Drought and wildfires
On 1 October, Colombia declared a state of emergency due to drought, which is expected to affect the country until June 2016 (El Espectador 19/12/2015; AFP 14/01/2016). The most drought-affected departments include La Guajira, Bolivar, and Magdalena in the north, Valle del Cauca on the Pacific coast, Boyacá, Santander and Cundinamarca in the centre, and Tolima and Quindío in the west (Colombia Reports 22/09/2015; UN 04/12/2015; El Espectador 02/12/2015).
On 28 December the government declared a red alert for increased risk of forest fires and low water levels in the country’s two major rivers: the Rio Magdalena and Rio Cauca supply water to hundreds of towns and cities across 23 departments (TelSUR 30/12/2015; Reuters 30/12/2015). More than 100,000 hectares of agricultural land have been destroyed in wildfires, including in Boyacá, Santander and Cundinamarca. In December, 132 forest fires were reported, with more than 4,000 reported across the country in total in 2015 (Latin Correspondent 31/12/2015).
There are currently water shortages in 124 municipalities across Colombia (Government 06/01/2016). A fifth of Colombia’s municipalities are already under water rationing measures. It is likely these will be extended (Redhum 08/01/2016; Reuters 30/12/2015).
Two Wayuu children in La Guajira department have died from malnutrition in the past week. The department has been severely affected by drought for three years but in recent months the situation has further deteriorated (Al Jazeera 03/02/2016; Redhum 03/02/2016).
An estimated 166,000 people were displaced by conflict or natural disaster in 2015: almost half are children (OCHA 31/01/2016). Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities represent more than half of the total displaced population (OCHA 31/01/2016).
Communities in regions affected by armed conflict are frequently temporarily or permanently displaced, due to clashes between armed groups and security forces, or fear of potential clashes. This particularly affects indigenous groups in Antioquia, Chocó, Cauca, Valle del Cauca, and Norte de Santander departments (OCHA 31/01/2016; 5/11/2015). 60% of all IDPs are in Antioquia, Valle del Cauca, Cauca, Narino and Chocó (OCHA 31/10/2015).
Since 10 January over 400 people have been displaced from villages in the municipality of El Bagre in the department of Antioquia due to the clashes between the FARC and post-demobilsed armed groups. The displaced are staying with friends and relatives, or seeking shelter in schools and are in need of food and WASH assistance (OCHA 15/01/2016).
Colombian refugees in neighbouring countries
360,000 Colombian refugees in neighbouring countries (Colombia Reports 22/06/2015).
Costa Rica: 16,620 refugees and 210 asylum seekers;
Panama: 15,550 refuges and 800 asylum seekers;
Venezuela: 5,000 refugees, 168,500 unregistered refugees and 250 asylum seekers;
Ecuador: 121,320 refugees and 11,580 asylum seekers (UNHCR 30/06/2015).
In 2015, over two million people were affected by access and mobility constraints. Events related to armed violence caused 66% of incidences of restricted movement. Most events occurred in the departments of Caqueta, Nariño, Valle del Cauca, and Cauca (OCHA 31/01/2016).
Indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities are disproportionately affected by limited movement and access to assistance. In Chocó department over 3,000 people in the municipalities of Riosucio and Carmen del Darién, and over 10,000 residents in the Bajo Atrato area, are experiencing restricted movement due to the presence of armed groups (Colombia Reports 22/10/2015). People are unable to pursue agricultural livelihood activities, as travelling presents a constant risk (OCHA 31/10/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
1.2 million people are food insecure, due to low food production, poverty, and internal displacement (OCHA 20/01/2015). 557,000 require food assistance. Indigenous communities in Nariño, in the southwest, are among the most affected (OCHA 20/01/2015).
Severe drought as a result of El Niño is affecting Colombia’s coffee output, threatening the livelihoods of farmers in Nariño department (Colombia Reports 05/11/2015).
Indigenous groups in La Guajira are particularly vulnerable to the Venezuela border closure, as many live and work on both sides. Although they are being permitted to cross, further restrictions may impact their food security and livelihood situation (El Espectador 13/01/2016; IFRC 18/12/2015). Fuel shortages are reported in the border departments, as almost all fuel in the region is imported from Venezuela (Colombia Reports 24/09/2015).
2.5 million people need health assistance (OCHA 30/09/2015).
Since last October at least 18,000 cases of mosquito-borne Zika virus have been confirmed. The virus could affect as many as 600,000 people according to Colombia’s health ministry. Most cases are in the Caribbean region. Around 2,000 confirmed cases are among pregnant women, which is concerning because of a potential link between Zika virus and microcephaly, a condition that causes severe birth defects (Al Jazeera 30/01/2016).
Around 16,000 people temporarily housed on the Colombian side of the Venezuelan border require improved health assistance: in particular psychosocial support and medical care for pregnant women (IFRC 18/12/2015).
1.75 million people need WASH assistance (OCHA 30/09/2015).
Only 35.5% of the population consumes safe drinking water, with only 15% of rural areas consuming treated water (OCHA 20/01/2015).
238 of Colombia’s 1,123 municipalities are facing severe water shortages due to drought: La Guajira, Bolívar, Valle del Cauca, Caldas, Cundinamarca, Cauca, Magdelena, Boyacá, Cesar, Huila, and Tolima are among the most affected. Water is being stored in unsafe facilities, causing an increase in the likelihood of the spread of mosquito-borne diseases (OCHA 30/09/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
1.48 million people need shelter (OCHA 30/09/2015). Many of those displaced by armed conflict come from rural areas and have difficulty re-obtaining rights to their homes when they return. A legal process is in place in the departments of Atlántico and Magdalena in the north, though some claimants have received threats from paramilitary groups (Amnesty International 23/01/2015).
3.8 million people need protection (OCHA 30/09/2015). Torture and ill-treatment in various forms are common in Colombia, and measures for protection and compensation are either limited or ineffective (Red Cross 04/06/2015).
On 4 November Amnesty International released a report stating that at least eight million hectares of land, 14% of the country’s territory, has been abandoned or illegally acquired by armed groups as a result of the conflict (Amnesty International 04/11/2015).
Mines and Explosive Remnants of War (ERWs)
In 2015, 217 people were victims of ERWs: around 30% were civilians (OCHA 31/01/2016; 27/10/2015). There have been frequent reports of landmine explosions involving both civilians and security personnel in the departments of Cauca and Caquetá (BBC 17/06/2015; Government 03/06/2015). Most recently three people died in a landmine explosion in Novita municipality in Chocó department. Security forces have been unable to assess the area due to the presence of the ELN (Colombia Reports 07/12/2015). Landmines have been planted in at least half (550) of Colombia’s municipalities (La Prensa 18/01/2015). The Colombian government and FARC-EP have agreed to remove landmines and explosives, aiming to complete demining by 2025 (Reuters 09/03/2015).
There are approximately 2,000 underage fighters in FARC (Reuters 15/04/2015).
Afro-Colombians and indigenous peoples are highly vulnerable groups, as they are minorities and generally live in areas more likely to be cut off by conflict (NRC 09/2014; Al Jazeera 03/02/2016).
There was a significant increase in the number of attacks against human rights activists in 2015. 399 attacks were reported in the first half of the year, compared to 194 attacks reported in the same period in 2014. The vast majority of attacks are carried out by post-demobilised armed groups (OCHA 30/11/2015; ABColombia, 01/09/2015). In Antioquia alone, there were 178 documented attacks against human rights workers in 2015 (CCEEU 09/12/2015).
Democratic People's Republic of Korea Country Analysis
No new significant developments this week, 02/02/2016. Last update: 27/01/2016.
- An estimated 18 million people (70% of the population) are dependent on government rations. 1.8 million people are in particular need of food assistance (UN 01/04/2015).
Humanitarian access remains extremely limited in DPRK, and very little information is available on the humanitarian situation. 70% of the population is dependent on government rations, which is highly vulnerable to shortages in food production. DPRK is disaster-prone, regularly experiencing intense rain, floods, and droughts.
Politics and security
Tensions between DPRK and South Korea increased after a landmine at the border injured two South Korean soldiers in early August 2015 (Guardian 04/08/2015). In late August, the tension resulted in a brief exchange of fire at the border – no casualties were reported. Following the incident, DPRK and South Korea agreed on a deal to reduce tensions (BBC 25/08/2015). However, tensions escalated again in early January after DPRK claimed to have tested a hydrogen bomb (BBC 06/01/2016).
Humanitarian access remains extremely limited. Humanitarian agencies do not have the ability to freely access communities, conduct assessments, or run monitoring and evaluating processes. International sanctions further complicate assistance, in particular due to the suspension of banking channels for fund transfers (UN 01/04/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
1.8 million children, older people, and pregnant and lactating women are in particular need of food assistance (UN 01/04/2015). An estimated 18 million people (70% of the population), are dependent on government rations and highly vulnerable to shortages in food production (OCHA 31/08/2015). The government rations in July and August 2015 were below the three-year average, and substantially below the rations in the same period in 2013 and 2014, most likely due to the reduction in the output of early season crops (FAO 09/09/2015).
Most households are estimated to have borderline and poor food consumption rates (FAO 01/06/2015). Decreased production of vegetables and soybeans, a major source of protein, contributes to a lack of food diversity for the general population (UN 01/04/2015). Food shortages peak during the lean season, between July and September, and households resort to coping mechanisms such as receiving support from families on cooperative farms; reducing meal sizes; gathering wild foods; and diluting meals with water (OCHA 01/07/2015).
The food system in DPRK remains highly vulnerable to shocks and serious shortages exist, particularly in the production of protein-rich crops. Lack of agricultural inputs, such as seeds, fertiliser and plastic sheets, is a fundamental challenge for food production (UN 01/04/2015).
Potato, wheat, and barley crops are estimated to have been reduced by 40–50% in areas affected by the April-June drought, compared with normal levels. Rice planting was significantly affected by reduced rainfall in 2014, with 2015 output forecast at 12% lower than in 2014 (FAO 09/09/2015). Maize output is estimated to have fallen 15% from 2014 to 2015. Soybean production has also been affected (FAO 13/07/2015).
An estimated six million people need access to essential health services, including vaccines. Other medical products and lifesaving equipment, such as ambulances, remain limited. Health facilities often lack functioning water systems, increasing the risks of hospital infections and the spread of disease (UN 01/04/2015).
In areas affected by the April-June drought, a 72% increase in diarrhoea cases among children under five has been recorded (UNICEF 26/01/2016).
According to FAO, 10.5 million people were undernourished in 2014 (FAO 27/05/2015).
Chronic and acute malnutrition remains one of the major contributors to maternal and child mortality (UNICEF 26/01/2015). Micronutrient deficiencies are of particular concern (OCHA 01/07/2015).
An estimated seven million people need access to clean water and sanitation. There is a notable lack of adequate sanitation in rural areas and in social care institutions and education facilities (UN 01/04/2015).
Lack of teaching/learning materials in addition to the lack of adequate sanitation facilities in school buildings remain a challenge (UNICEF 26/01/2015).
DPRK has been found to be responsible for widespread human rights violations against its citizens, including abductions, arbitrary detention, torture, extrajudicial executions, and forced labour (UN General Assembly 08/09/2015; Human Rights Watch 08/06/2015; UN 17/03/2014).
26 January: Yemeni refugee children are entirely dependent on humanitarian aid to access basic services such as education, health, and water (UNICEF).
26 January: The secondary school in Markazi camp lacks teachers (UNHCR 26/01/2016).
- Over 31,000 arrivals from Yemen were registered in 2015 (IOM 07/01/2016).
- 120,000 people, primarily in southeastern and Obock regions, are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes (FEWSNET 30/10/2015).
- Food security, mainly in southeastern and Obock regions
- Shelter in Obock and Djibouti City for new arrivals from Yemen
- Protection, mainly for new arrivals from Yemen
Djibouti has been facing an influx of people fleeing the escalation of conflict in Yemen since March 2015. New arrivals include Yemeni refugees, Djiboutian returnees, and third-country transiting migrants. The total number of arrivals surpassed 30,000 in 2015. Most refugees are in the region of Obock and Djibouti City. The country is also hosting an estimated 15,000 Somali, Ethiopian, and Eritrean refugees. An estimated 120,000 people in southeastern and Obock regions are facing Crisis (IPC 3) food security outcomes.
Politics and security
After a civil war between the two main ethnic groups, the Issa and Afar, in the early 1990s, a power-sharing deal was signed in 1994. Ismail Omar Guelleh has been President since 1999, and the political situation has been stable. On 3 December 2015, Guelleh announced his candidacy for a fourth term. Opponents held a peaceful protest on 14 December in the capital. Some 50 opposition members were arrested between 13 and 16 December because of their participation in the protest (BBC 06/05/2015; CIA Factbook 2015; ICG 01/01/2016).
Djibouti’s strategic geo-political position with access to the Red Sea means it has become a base for countering terrorism and piracy in the region. France as well as the US have military based in the country. Their presence is an important source of income for Djibouti’s economy but also presents a threat of reprisal attacks (UNHCR 2015; BBC 06/05/2015; CIA Factbook 2015).
Conflict in Yemen has led to displacement to Djibouti since March 2015, in particular to Obock. As of 21 January, 31,779 people have arrived, including 1,938 returnees, 17,634 Yemeni nationals, and 12,207 third-country nationals. They are staying mainly in Markazi camp, Obock town and Djibouti City. Many are just passing through and do not stay in Djibouti (UN 01/12/2015; IOM 21/01/2016; UNHCR 26/01/2016). The average registration rate since July is around 20 people per week. However, many are not registered and stay in urban areas of Obock and Djibouti City (UNHCR 09/10/2015).
Prior to the influx from Yemen, Djibouti was hosting around 15,000 refugees from Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNICEF 26/01/2016).
Refugees and asylum seekers
Refugees are allowed to stay in urban centres, but the cost of living is high. They live in deplorable conditions without adequate housing, documents or access to basic services. Both urban and camp refugees are in need of healthcare, nutrition, shelter, livelihoods, NFIs and protection. There are thousands of Yemenis who refuse to register as refugees, fearing either the loss of freedom of movement or being forcibly returned (UNHCR 11/12/2015). Refugee children are entirely dependent on humanitarian aid to access basic services such as education, health, and water. Thousands are living in the streets (UNICEF 26/01/2016).
6,048 new arrivals from Yemen, of which 5,846 are Yemenis, have been registered as refugees since March 2015. 2,753 are in Markazi camp in Obock. The rest live in Obock town or Djibouti City (UN 01/12/2015). Refugees have left Markazi camp because of the poor conditions (UNHCR 20/10/2015). The camp is remote, humanitarian access is limited, the food and health situation is critical, and protection risk factors are present, for instance long distances between dwellings and latrines (UNHCR 16/10/2015).
As of January 2016, some 15,000 refugees from Somalia (12,000), Ethiopia, and Eritrea were living in Djibouti, (UNICEF 26/01/2016; ECHO 20/01/2016). 18,000 of them reside in Ali Addeh and Holl Holl refugee camps (FEWSNET 01/01/2016). Their main needs are health assistance, protection and shelter (IOM 05/10/2015).
Humanitarian access within Djibouti is not limited in general. There are reported logistical challenges for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Markazi camp, as the government restricts the humanitarian aid provided to registered refugees living in the camp (UNHCR 16/10/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
As of December 2015, an estimated 110,000 people, primarily in southeastern and Obock regions, were facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes, which are likely to persist through March 2016 (FEWSNET 01/01/2016). Limited livelihood opportunities, inadequate humanitarian assistance, and few available coping mechanisms have reduced food access (FEWSNET 28/08/2015).
The population’s coping mechanisms have gradually eroded due to recurrent drought in the past decade, and people are increasingly unable to generate sufficient income (OCHA 07/12/2015). The influx of people from Yemen has increased the size of the labour force, putting pressure on the limited income-earning opportunities of poor households, mainly in Obock and Djibouti City (FEWSNET 01/01/2016).
In Obock region, only 40% of the population has access to safe water and only 25% has access to adequate sanitation facilities (UNICEF 17/04/2015). In Obock, emptying pit latrines is a challenge, as there is no functioning waste management system (UNHCR 04/07/2015).
The secondary school in Markazi camp lacks teachers (UNHCR 26/01/2016).
Ethiopia Country Analysis
28–29 January: Heavy clashes broke out between Nuer and Anyuak communities. Dozens were killed and more were injured (Sudan Tribune 29/01/2016; Chicago Tribune 01/02/2016).
- 10.2 million people are in need of food assistance. Of these around 5.7 million are children under 18 (OCHA 05/01/2016; UNICEF 26/01/2016).
- 5.8 million people lack access to safe drinking water and sanitation facilities (government and HCT 11/12/2015).
- Over 733,600 refugees are in Ethiopia, mainly from Somalia, South Sudan, Eritrea, and Sudan (UNHCR 16/01/2016).
- 435,000 children expected to suffer severe acute malnutrition in 2016 (UNICEF 20/12/2015). A total of 1.7 million children and pregnant and lactating women are suffering from moderate acute malnutrition (UNICEF 15/01/2016).
Food insecurity: The number of people in need of food assistance has gone from 2.9 million in February 2015 to over 10 million as of January 2016 (government and HCT 11/12/2015; OCHA 05/01/2016).
Nutrition: An estimated 435,000 children are forecast to suffer from severe acute malnutrition in 2016, compared to 350,000 in 2015 (UNICEF 20/12/2015).
WASH: Water shortages are increasing, especially in Afar region and Sitti zone of Somali region (OCHA 02/11/2015).
Consecutive, below-average rainy seasons have caused severe drought across northern, eastern, and central Ethiopia. This is leading to high levels of food insecurity, particularly in Afar, in Sitti zone of Somali region, and parts of Amhara, Oromia, and SNNPR. 10.2 million people are estimated in need of food assistance as of December 2015. Malnutrition has increased significantly. Priority areas are mainly in Afar, Amhara, and Oromia.
Hosting over 733,000 refugees from neighbouring countries, the majority of Ethiopia’s refugee camps have reached full capacity, and overcrowding, malnutrition, and critical shortfalls in humanitarian aid are of concern. Most of the refugees have been in protracted displacement, but remain in need of assistance.
Politics and security
Ethiopia is considered comparatively stable in Africa, 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 ethnic 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.
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. Ethiopian troops are currently part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), which has launched an offensive against Al Shabaab, together with the Somali National Army.
On 28 and 29 January, heavy clashes broke out between Nuer and Anyuak communities. Dozens were killed and more were injured among members of both communities. The deterioration of the security situation has caused movement restrictions and the interruption or suspension of humanitarian activities (ECHO 03/02/2016). The violence is reportedly due to an attempt to avenge the murder of an administrator of Itang district (Sudan Tribune 29/01/2016; Chicago Tribune 01/02/2016).
El Niño is causing severe drought in northeastern and central areas, particularly affecting southern Afar and northern Somali region. Heavy rainfall in southern Ethiopia increases the risk of flash and river floods.
El Niño is causing severe drought in Ethiopia, which is affecting a much larger geographic area and population in northern and central highlands than the 2011 drought (OCHA 19/10/2015). Rainfall in 2015 was far below average during both the March–May and July–September rainy seasons (FEWSNET 24/08/2015). Very low rainfall and high temperatures have resulted in very low soil moisture and water availability. The worst-affected areas are suffering water and pasture shortages, and include northern pastoral areas of Afar; Sitti zone in Somali region; eastern and central Oromia; the belg-producing highlands; northern Amhara, and central Tigray. Eastern Amhara, eastern Tigray, the Amhara-Abay lowlands, and the lowlands of SNNPR are also affected (FEWSNET 04/12/2015; OCHA 13/10/2015; Multiagency Rapid Assessment, 09/2015). Livestock deaths have been reported across north-central and eastern Ethiopia (NOAA 07/10/2015).
Water levels have fallen at several hydroelectric dams, reducing power-generating capacity. Large parts of the country have already seen blackouts over several consecutive days, and continued power shortages are expected. 90% of Ethiopia’s power comes from hydroelectric sources (Sudan Tribune 02/12/2015; Hydroworld 02/12/2015).
Preliminary forecasting indicates potential above-average rains for the Belg producing areas (February to May) (FEWSNET 20/01/2016).
Heavy rainfall over southern Ethiopia due to El Niño caused floods in Mustahil, Kelafo, and East Imy in the Shabelle zone of Somali region in late October. 102,000 people were affected, and more than 46,500 displaced. The floods affected health clinics, water pumps, and wells, destroyed farmland, and forced schools to close (UNCEF 31/10/2015). More floods in the areas are forecast for the first months of 2016, with projections indicating around 315,000 people will be affected (IRIN 23/12/2015).
As of June, more than one million people are displaced in Ethiopia, including refugees, IDPs, and returnees. The majority of refugees are from Somalia, South Sudan, and Eritrea, and are mainly staying in camps in Gambella, Dolo Ado in Somali region, and Shire in Tigray. Many have been displaced for more than a year. Beginning in April 2015, around 12,000 people escaping the conflict in Yemen have arrived in Ethiopia: most are returnees. Some 34,000 Ethiopian refugees and asylum seekers are in Kenya and Djibouti.
As of the end of 2015, Over 636,000 people were internally displaced in Ethiopia, with almost 183,000 newly displaced between October and December. 41.6% were displaced in Somali region, 35.9% in Afar, 16.3% in Oromia, 4.3% in Amhara, 1.6% in Gambella, and 0.3% in SNNP. The main causes for new displacement were conflict (around 43,700), drought (almost 62,000), flooding (over 73,400), and volcano eruption (almost 4,000) (IOM 22/01/2016). Other sources indicate that over 0.8 million people have been displaced by drought-related causes (ACT Alliance 01/02/2016).
Refugees and asylum seekers
As of 31 December, Ethiopia was hosting some 733,600 refugees, mainly from South Sudan, Somalia, Eritrea, and Sudan. The majority are staying in camps in Gambella, Dolo Ado, and Shire. 49.6% of them are women and girls. 57.4% are children below 18 years of age. Around 39,300 are unaccompanied children (UNHCR 16/01/2016).
South Sudan: Over 282,000 South Sudanese refugees are in Ethiopia, of which 227,378 have entered the country since 15 December 2013 (UNHCR 29/01/2016). 67% are children; there are 21,710 unaccompanied and separated children. Women make up 71% of the adult population (UNHCR 08/01/2016, 04/12/2015). Most South Sudanese refugees are in camps. The total number of South Sudanese staying in Gambella refugee camps is more than 271,000. There are 63,474 in Pugnido, 53,403 in Tierkidi, 48,497 in Jewi, 48,461 in Kule, 16,515 in Pugnido II, and 7,715 in Okugo. Around 30,000 are in transit locations in border areas. More than 33,000 refugees still live with host communities (UNHCR 03/02/2016).
Somalia: As of 31 December, there are 251,797 Somali refugees in Ethiopia. Most are in Dolo Ado camps, Somali region (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
Eritrea: At the end of November, there were 152,555 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia (UNHCR 30/11/2015), mainly settled in four camps in the northern Tigray and Afar regions (UNICEF 21/04/2015). 33,000 refugees arrived in 2014 (OCHA 03/08/2015).
Sudan: As of 31 December there are 38,228 Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
Yemen: As of 31 December, there are over 5,000 Yemeni refugees in Ethiopia (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
As of 1 December, 7,540 Ethiopians have returned from Yemen (UNHCR 15/12/2015). 55% of returnees and refugees from Yemen are female, and 66% are children (UNHCR 13/10/2015).
Ethiopian refugees in neighbouring countries
As of 7 July, there were 31,023 Ethiopian refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya (UNHCR 07/07/2015). 4,200 Ethiopian refugees are in South Sudan as of 19 January 2016(ECHO 19/01/2016). Around 80,000 Ethiopian migrants arrived in Yemen in 2015 (IOM 29/01/2016).
Food security and livelihoods
The food security situation continues to deteriorate, with meher assessment results indicating 10.2 million in need of assistance, an increase of nearly two million since mid-September. Of these, over 5.7 million are children under 18 (government and HCT 11/12/2015; UNICEF 26/01/2016). At least 2.9 million people are in need in Oromia region, 1.5 million in Somali region, 1.4 million in Amhara, 900,000 in Tigray, 770,000 in Afar, and 617,000 in SNNPR. Gambella, Harari, and Dire Dawa are less affected (OCHA 23/10/2015). Many poor households in southern Afar and in Sitti Zone of Somali region, as well as in East and West Hararghe zones in Oromia, are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food insecurity. Large areas of Tigray, Amhara and SNNP regions, as well as most of remaining parts of Afar, Oromia, and Somali region are reported to be in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) (FEWSNET 31/12/2015).
With continued drought related to El Niño, relief food needs are highly likely to double in 2016, to around 15 million (FEWSNET 04/12/2015; ECHO 09/10/2015). The increase is expected to occur mainly in Amhara, Oromia, and Tigray regions (Government and HCT 07/12/2015).
Drought conditions had a severe impact on agriculture and on livestock, causing many people to be dependent on food aid (FAO 15/01/2016).
In worst affected areas, over 75% of meher-cropping production has been lost, and in pastoral areas over 1 million livestock have died, with 1.7 million more reported at risk (FEWSNET 31/12/2015).
Prices of staple foods such as lentils have increased by up to 73% in Addis Ababa, and livestock prices are decreasing, with declines of 80% reported in Somali region, compared to the same time last year (OCHA 30/09/2015). Seasonal falls in prices are late: prices remain near their lean season highs in many areas, and price increases are likely to begin in January 2016, earlier than usual due to reduced supply and high demand (FEWSNET 31/10/2015).
Refugees’ food security risks deteriorating, as food stocks are running out (government 07/11/2015). Refugees in Gambella region are receiving reduced rations in anticipation of a pipeline break in January 2016 (UNHCR 25/11/2015).
Poor kiremt rains from June–September worsened availability of pasture and water in Afar and northern Somali region, leading to deteriorated livestock body conditions and very low livestock prices (FAO 13/10/2015; FEWSNET 31/10/2015). In Sitti zone, Somali region, 75% of livestock have been lost (ECHO 09/10/2015). 13,000 households (some 65,000 individuals) in Sitti have lost all their livestock and consequently have settled in informal camps (USAID 18/12/2015).
Low planted area and poor crop performance have resulted in decreased demand for agricultural labour (FEWSNET 31/10/2015).
3.6 million people are thought to be in need of emergency healthcare and disease control services (government and HCT 07/12/2015). A large increase in acute malnutrition makes children more vulnerable to severe infectious disease (WHO 04/12/2015). In the six months up to August 2016, over 350,000 babies are expected to be born in drought-affected communities (Save the Children 22/01/2016).
A scabies outbreak is reportedly ongoing in Amhara, Tigray, and Oromia regions, particularly affecting young children. So far, 235,000 people were affected and 3.6 million are reported to be at risk (Government 04/01/2016; UNICEF 31/10/2015).
Eleven cases of meningitis were reported among refugees in Kule camp, Gambella region, including four confirmed cases of type C meningitis in November (UNHCR 30/11/2015; WHO 11/2015). On 28 December WHO, UNICEF and partners started a vaccination campaign targeting over 70,000 refugees and 33,000 people in host communities (UNHCR 29/12/2015).
Following the declaration of an outbreak in December 2015, cases of acute watery diarrhea (AWD) in Moyale, Oromia, and Somali regions are reportedly decreasing, thanks to disinfection of wells and rainwater harvesting sites (OCHA 04/01/2016).
Acute malnutrition continues to increase. Though the number of cases is seasonally declining, severe acute malnutrition (SAM) admissions in September were 20% higher than in normal years, mainly due to continued drought and the absence of or delay in general food distributions and supplementary feeding for children suffering from moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) (OCHA 02/11/2015). Acute malnutrition will likely rise again in February or March 2016, as access to food and water decline further (FEWSNET 31/10/2015).
435,000 children are expected to suffer from SAM throughout 2016 (UNICEF 20/12/2015). In 2015 more than 350,000 cases were reported – a 25% increase from 2014 (UNICEF 04/01/2016; 31/10/2015). The number of admissions has reached levels higher than those reported in any month of the 2011 drought (OCHA 13/10/2015; Nutrition Cluster 17/06/2015). In total, more than 1.7 million children and pregnant and lactating women are suffering from moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) (UNICEF 15/01/2016).
429 priority woredas for nutritional intervention have been identified, including 186 ‘priority one’ woredas; a 30% increase since August. Priority areas are mostly in Afar, eastern Oromia, eastern Amhara and Tigray, and Sitti zone of Somali region, where the Ministry of Health has found 40–69% GAM and 9–20% SAM among IDPs (OCHA 14/09/2015; government and HCT 11/12/2015). In Oromia, SAM admissions increased 68% from July to August. The majority of cases were reported in East and West Hararghe and Arsi zones (government 19/10/2015).
Refugees: In Afar region, the nutrition situation has deteriorated in two refugee camps. In Barahle, GAM is at 22.9%, compared to 16% in 2014. In Aysaita camp, GAM increased from 17.2% in 2014 to 19.8% in 2015 (UNHCR 31/08/2015). Over 50% of refugee camps are located in ‘priority one’ woredas affected by the drought.
5.8 million people across the country lack access to safe drinking water and latrines (government and HCT 07/12/2015).
Severe water shortages continue in drought-affected areas (OCHA 21/12/2015). 29 woredas have been identified as in need of emergency WASH services (OCHA 02/11/2015; 30/11/2015). In Wag Himra zone of Amhara region, one of the worst‑affected areas, the groundwater table has dropped to 400 metres, requiring high technology for access (OCHA 21/12/2015). In some areas, women and girls are travelling up to 30km (six hours) per day to reach the nearest water source. Livestock deaths mean they have to carry the load themselves (OCHA 02/11/2015). Despite water-trucking being provided in Afar and Oromia regions, gaps of nine and 15 trucks, respectively, were reported at 28 December (OCHA 28/12/2015).
Refugees: The water supply in most camps in Gambella is above 15 litres per person per day, except for Kule (11), Jewi (14), and Tierkidi (11). The number of people per tap is above the recommended 250 in Tierkidi (254) and Jewi (252) (UNHCR 15/01/2016).
1.3 million children are reported to be in urgent need of education (ACT Alliance 01/02/2016). Households affected by food insecurity cannot afford to send their children to school, as they are struggling to meet their food needs (OCHA 05/10/2015). Thousands of schools have closed, and absenteeism is growing rapidly (ECHO 09/12/2015). Over 2.5 million children are expected to drop out of school in 2016 because of drought-related causes (Save the Children 22/01/2016).
7,500 children have been temporarily out of school due to floods in Somali region, as schools have been forced to close (UNICEF 31/10/2015).
In Gambella camps, only 45% of the school-aged population is attending school. Attendance rates are worse among girls than boys, at 39% and 50%, respectively. Primary education enrolment averages 66%. The worst attendance rates are reported in Jewi (43%) and Pugnido (54%). Secondary education enrolment averages 11%, and is only reported in Okugo (8%) and in Pugnido (12%) (UNHCR 01/09/2015).
2.5 million people are estimated to be in need of some form of protection assistance (OCHA 05/01/2016). In Oromia, farmers and residents living close to Addis Ababa face eviction without appropriate compensation, as the municipal boundary of the capital will be expanded. In the last 10 years, over 150,000 farmers have had their land taken. Since 20 November, there have been demonstrations against the expansion (HRW 05/12/2015; AFP 11/12/2015; VOA 25/01/2016). Military forces and police are using excessive force against the protesters. As of 10 January, at least 140 people have died and many others have been injured (HRW 18/12/2015; Al Jazeera 10/01/2016). Though the expansion sparked the demonstrations, a history of marginalisation of the Oromo people is thought to be at the heart of the protest (HRW 05/12/2015; AFP 11/12/2015). On 15 January, the Ethiopian government decided to stop the implementation of the expansion plan, but reports indicate it might be too late to stop the clashes. Killings and mass arrests conducted by the security forces continue to be reported daily (HRW 15/01/2016).
There are more than 39,300 unaccompanied and separated minors in Ethiopia (UNHCR 16/01/2016). 21,710 unaccompanied and separated South Sudanese children are in Gambella (UNHCR 04/12/2015).
Children are increasingly vulnerable. Family separation and child marriage are reportedly on the rise, due to food shortages. Child labour and school dropouts are also expected to rise as drought continues (Reuters 11/12/2015).
No significant developments this week, 03/02/2016. Last update: 19/01/2016.
10,430 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition as of November 2015 (OCHA, 30/11/2015).
181,850 people (9% of the population) are severely food insecure (OCHA 30/11/2015).
Food security, mainly in North Bank, Upper River and West Coast regions
181,850 people are severely food insecure, most affected regions are North Bank, Upper River and West Coast. More than 10,000 children under five are severely malnourished. Health and WASH assistance is also a priority.
Politics and security
President Yahya Jammeh took power in a coup in 1994. Opposition forces attempted a coup during his absence in December 2014, but security forces prevented it. Government repression has been intensifying in the run-up to 2016 presidential elections (BBC 16/12/2015; Freedom House 2015).
Refugees in the Gambia
11,420 refugees, mostly Senegalese from the Casamance region, live in the Gambia (OCHA, 17/09/2015; 31/08/2014). Their main need is WASH (OCHA 30/11/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
181,850 people, 9% of the population, are severely food insecure due to erratic rains. North Bank, Upper River and West Coast regions are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and higher of food security outcomes. The estimated minimal national energy intake is at 1,770 calories per person per day, well below the recommended minimum requirement of 2,200 calories (OCHA 30/11/2015).
10,430 children are severely malnourished (SAM) as of November 2015. The number has been slightly increasing since 2012. At least 116,900 children under five and breastfeeding women are at risk of acute malnutrition (OCHA, 30/11/2015).
143,000 people are in need of healthcare. Key priorities are to strengthen health facilities’ capacity and provide life-saving medicines and medical supplies. Physical access to health services is difficult, mainly during the rainy season.
Malaria is endemic, and 90% of infections occur during the June–October rainy season. Limited access to safe drinking water results in frequent epidemics of diarrhoea and malaria, mainly among children (OCHA 30/11/2015).
78,000 people require immediate WASH assistance in 50 communities in Central River, North Bank, West Central and Upper River regions. Less than 40% of the population has access to improved sanitation. 13% of schools lack access to safe drinking water, many of them in North Bank region (OCHA 30/11/2015).
Journalists, human rights activists, religious leaders, political opponents, and LGBT people are among the groups subject to arbitrary arrest and detention, torture, enforced disappearance, unlawful killing and other ill-treatment (Human Rights Watch 17/09/2015).
29 January: The Organization of American States (OAS) announced the deployment of a special election mission in Haiti. Protesters voiced opposition to the mission (AFP 30/01/2016; Reuters 31/01/2016).
- 3.5 million people are food insecure, including 430,000 in Crisis (IPC Phase 3), due to erratic rains throughout 2015 (OCHA 29/01/2016; FAO 26/01/2016).
- More than 33,000 cholera cases were reported in 2015 (OCHA 14/01/2016). - Approximately 17,686 children are likely already affected by a form of malnutrition (UNICEF 26/01/2016).
- 60,000 IDPs in vulnerable situation and in needs of humanitarian assistance, living in camps, since 2010 (OCHA 14/01/2016).
- Almost 130,000 Haitians and people of Haitian descent have arrived from Dominican Republic in 2015 (GARR 15/01/2016).
- Food security: 3.5 million Haitians are food insecure, including, as of December, 430,000 people facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes across 37 communes (OCHA, 31/08/2015; WFP, 04/11/2015; FAO 14/12/2015).
- Shelter and NFIs: some 3.5 million Haitians, equal to a third of the total population, live in precarious neighbourhoods and informal settlements in urban areas. They suffer from socio-economic deprivation, elevated risk of disaster impact, and forced eviction (OCHA/UNCT, 11/03/2015).
- Education: an estimated 400,000 children do not attend school, 10% of school-aged children in Haiti (AFP, 07/09/2015). 50% of the adult population is illiterate (USAID 05/01/2016).
Humanitarian needs in Haiti stem from displacement, food insecurity, and malnutrition. The situation is compounded by an extremely fragile political and economic situation, and a significant vulnerability to natural disasters, including hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, landslides, and droughts. A cholera outbreak has persisted since October 2010. The resilience of the population is extremely low.
Politics and security
Parliamentary elections, delayed since 2011, took place on 9 August 2015. However, 26 of 1,508 polling stations were closed due to violence, and voter turnout was only 18% (AFP 21/08/2015; OAS, 10/08/2015; Reuters, 10/08/2015). Following demonstrations in several parts of the country, and sharp criticism from international observers and Haitian human rights groups, the Provisional Electoral Council (Conseil Electoral Provisoire, or CEP) announced a revote in 25 of 119 constituencies (Alter Press 11/08/2015; 12/08/2015). 16 candidates were disqualified over suspected involvement in election violence.
The revote took place, alongside the presidential election, on 25 October, with a participation rate of 32.5% (local media, 26/10/2015; AFP, 27/10/2015). Some violence was reported beforehand, most notably in the Cité Soleil district of Port-au-Prince, where 10–15 people were killed in incidents that local officials claim was politically motivated (AP 19/10/2015). 224 people were arrested on charges of violence and suspicion of voter fraud, including one parliamentary candidate and two police officers (ICG 02/11/2015). Protests and violent events continued to occur over alleged election fraud, mainly in Port-au-Prince, in November and on 20 November one protestor was shot dead (local news 07/11/2015, 09/11/2015, 17/11/2015; AFP 11/11/2015, 18/11/2015;International Media 21/11/2015). On 24 November the final results of the first round of elections were published. Jovenel Moise, the candidate supported by the current president, gathered the highest number of votes for the presidency, followed by Jud Célestin of Lapeh. (AFP 24/11/2015).
More violent protests in Port-au-Prince left two police officers and several protesters wounded (AFP 25/11/2015; local media 25/11/2015). Responding to increasing pressure, President Michel Martelly ordered a commission to evaluate the first round of presidential elections, a move backed by the international community but not supported by the opposition (Center for Economic and Policy Research 17/12/2015; AlterPresse 18/12/2015; 17/12/2015). CEP postponed the presidential elections, originally set for 27 December, in order to allow the commission to investigate allegations of multiple voting and ballot tampering during October’s elections (AFP 22/12/2015; AP 01/01/2016). On 5 January, the commission announced the results of the evaluation, reporting numerous irregularities had occurred due to the nature of the electoral process (AlterPresse 05/01/2016).
On 18 and 19 January, hundreds of opposition protesters burned tyres and set fire to vehicles in Port-au-Prince. Police fired teargas (AFP 20/01/2016; 19/01/2016). On 22 January, CEP postponed the election, scheduled for 24 January, due to security concerns. No new date has been set. CEP announced that its personnel had been attacked and that several polling stations had been burned overnight (AFP 22/01/2016). The announcement was followed by protests and clashes between protesters and the police (AFP 22/01/2016; 24/01/2016). On 29 January, the Organization of American States (OAS) announced the deployment of a special election mission in Haiti. Protesters voiced opposition to the OAS mission, which they believe may help Martelly remain in power beyond 7 February, the constitutional date for his departure (AFP 30/01/2016; Reuters 31/01/2016).
Around one million Haitians have been affected by drought since the beginning of 2015. The most affected departments are Sud-Est, Nord-Ouest, Artibonite, Centre, and Nord-Est (OCHA 03/07/2015). 80% of Haiti has been affected by El Niño conditions, with lower than average rainfall (FEWSNET 07/08/2015). Extremely warm and dry conditions are expected to continue through May 2016 (FAO 14/12/2015). Drought has resulted in 50% decrease of the spring 2015 harvest which covers 60% of the total agricultural production (FAO 26/01/2016)
As of 30 June 2015, 60,800 IDPs remain in 45 camps following the 2010 earthquake: 47% of IDP households are in in Delmas (27,340 individuals), 17% in Croix des Bouquets (10,760), and 10% in Tabarre (5,750) in Port-au-Prince (IOM, 03/06/2015). 21 IDP sites were closed between 1 April−30 June (IOM 30/06/2015). Information management and service delivery in camps has been severely constrained due to lack of funding (OCHA 31/07/2015).
Basic services in camps have declined faster than the pace of return or relocation (OCHA/UN 31/12/2014). Absence of a protection-sensitive approach, lack of coherent urban planning, and instability, in part due to poor rule of law, are major obstacles to durable solutions for IDPs (UNHCR 08/05/2015).
Arrivals from Dominican Republic
An estimated 300,000 Haitians were in Dominican Republic (DR) without legal status (VOA 05/01/2016). A regularisation process was conducted by DR. The registration component of the National Plan for the Regularization of Foreigners (PNRE) expired on 17 June 2015 and left up to 200,000 Haitians and people of Haitian descent at risk of forced expulsion (AFP 21/06/2015; IOM 22/01/2016). Arbitrary deportations, violence against Haitians and people of Haitian descent and racial profiling have been reported by the Haitian government and denied by the DR authorities (UN HRC 28/07/2015; OCHA 21/07/2015; AlterPresse 24/08/2015). In 2016, 171,000 people of Haitian descent are expected to be returned to Haiti (UNICEF 26/01/2016).
The International Organization for Migration (IOM) began recording arrivals in Haiti in June 2015 and as of 22 January have since identified more than 62,000 Haitians and people of Haitian descent who have entered from DR, including 970 unaccompanied minors. 38,000 people report they came to Haiti spontaneously, 11,000 claim they were deported. The number of people officially deported has increased sharply from 2,974 as of 25 September, to 13,756 at the end of January. 17% of the returned were born in DR. These numbers constitute only some of the people who have arrived from the Dominican Republic since June 2015, after IOM started registering the arrivals. According to DR, almost 130,000 people have returned to Haiti, 16,000 of them have been officially deported and more than 113,000 people have returned to Haiti voluntarily (GARR 15/01/2016; OCHA 14/01/2016; IOM 22/01/2016).
Some deportees and returnees are thought to be settling with relatives or in places of origin, but many are staying in spontaneous camps in the south of the country. The majority are in Ouanaminthe (Nord-Est) and Belladère (Centre) communes (GAR, 20/08/2015; IOM 11/08/2015; Alter Press 26/06/2015). There are 4,109 people in Anse-à-Pitres, living in six spontaneous sites and in urgent need of food, WASH, NFIs and shelter assistance (OCHA 30/09/2015; Church World Service 06/11/2015).
On 14 October, the governments of Haiti and DR agreed to reopen negotiations to resolve the migration crisis (AFP 14/10/2015). However, on the beginning of January, DR deployed 900 troops, who joined about 1,200 soldiers already assigned to patrol the border area with Haiti, in order to prevent migrants without legal residency to re-enter DR after spending the holidays in Haiti (VOA 05/01/2016).
The number of humanitarian actors has continued to decrease, from 512 in 2010 to 146 by March 2015. Government capacity has not always improved, creating critical sectoral gaps (UN 28/03/2015; OCHA/UN 31/12/2014).
Security and physical constraints
Between the end of 2015 and 8 January a UN worker and two UN police officers were killed in two separate attacks in Port-au-Prince and Cap Haitien (Latin America Herald Tribune 08/01/2016; News24 31/12/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
Below average rainfall in 2015 has contributed to food insecurity for 3.5 million Haitians, including, as of December, 430,000 people facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes across 37 communes. This number is expected to increase during 2016 (OCHA 29/01/2016; 14/01/2016; FAO 26/01/2016). A recent FEWSNET estimate suggests that in the absence of assistance, up to 1.5 million people in Haiti will be in Crisis by March 2016 (WFP 04/11/2015).
Poor households in Sud, Sud-Est, Nord-Ouest, Nord-Est and Artibonite are expected to face Crisis through January 2016, due to the combined effect of rising food prices, erratic rains, poor autumn harvest prospects, and a lack of investment in the agricultural sector. The situation for some others will worsen to either Crisis or Stressed (IPC Phase 2) (FEWSNET 01/09/2015, 17/08/2015).
The assistance needs are expected to start declining following the end of the lean season in June 2016 (FEWSNET 24/01/2016).
Extended dry spells have reduced jobs in the agricultural sector, which is estimated to provide 50% of all employment in Haiti (Reuters 26/08/2015; OCHA 27/07/2015). The drought has severely affected livestock and unusually rough seas impacted fishing in May and June (Haitilibre 11/09/2015; ECHO 27/05/2015). In Anse-à-Pitres farmers have launched an appeal to state authorities to help them cope with the substantial seed loss caused by the drought (AlterPresse 14/10/2015).
60–80% of the main local crops and vegetables have been lost in parts of Haiti, due to drought. Sud-Est (Grand Gosier, Anse-à-Pitres and Belle-Anse communes), Nord-Ouest, Artibonite (Gonaïves), Plateau central, Nord-Est, and Ouest (Grand-Gôave) are most affected (FEWSNET 17/08/2015; FAO 27/05/2015). Prolonged dryness until December is likely to lead to a second below‑average output for the August–December season harvest (FEWSNET 01/09/2015).
An estimated 600,000 Haitians rely on international food aid to survive (Reuters 26/08/2015). Staple food prices remain well above their seasonal highs. Agricultural labour incomes remained below average during the lean season, reducing purchasing power and food access for very poor households and creating atypically high food assistance needs following two years of poor agricultural production (FEWSNET 01/01/2016). In mid-2015, basic food prices were 30–40% higher than in 2014, due to the poor spring harvest (OCHA, 27/07/2015).
Five million Haitians (50% of the population) lack access to basic health services (UN 27/10/2014). Cholera continues to affect Haiti, driven mainly by poor WASH conditions. The total number of cases in the first half of 2015 was triple that of the same period in 2014.
Healthcare availability and access
The 2010 earthquake destroyed an estimated 60% of Haiti’s health system and a number of hospitals have still not been fully rehabilitated. Others lack staff and essential medical equipment (MSF 08/01/2015).
Haitian migrants are returning from the Dominican Republic to poor living conditions, especially in Anse-à-Pitres. Cases of bacterial conjunctivitis and skin diseases have been reported (Alter Press 24/06/2015).
In 2015 more than 33,000 cases were reported. Most cases are from Ouest, Centre, and Artibonite departments (OCHA 14/01/2016; 30/11/2015). The heavy October rains caused a resurgence of cholera cases in several communes, notably in the departments of Artibonite, Ouest, Sud-Est, Sud and Nord. Consuming untreated water and poor hygiene practices caused the transmission of 73% of national cholera cases (OCHA 31/10/2015; local media 15/11/2015).
754,738 cholera cases, including 9,068 deaths were reported between the start of the epidemic in October 2010 and 12 November 2015 (PAHO 23/12/2015).
Seven cases of the zika virus have been reported in Haiti as of 18 January 2016 (WHO 21/01/2016).
In January 2016, preliminary results of a nutrition survey reveal that 20 communes most affected by drought have an alarming rate of GAM, at 8.4%. Six communes are on alert with greater than 10% GAM, out of which two communes would be above the emergency threshold with greater than 15% GAM and SAM between 8-10%.The total estimated number of children in those 20 communes is 210,557 and approximately 17,686 children are likely already affected by a form of malnutrition (UNICEF 26/01/2016).
As of late 2014, more than 3.4 million Haitians lacked access to safe water (a third of the total population; 47% of the rural population) (UN 30/09/2014). 40% of schools do not have drinking water (local media 31/08/2015).
69% of the population lack access to improved sanitation (World Bank 30/09/2014). 60% of schools have no toilets (HRW 08/10/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
60,000 IDPs are vulnerable and in need of humanitarian assistance, living in camps, since 2010 (OCHA 14/01/2016). 45,000 live in tents and makeshift shelters with little or no access to water and sanitation (Reuters 12/01/2016). Camp conditions are deteriorating as humanitarian actors withdraw due to lack of funding. The majority of Haiti’s 45 IDP sites are in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, including 12 in Delmas and four in Croix des Bouquets. There are 11 sites in Léogâne. 40% of IDP sites are tents and makeshift shelters, while 47% are transitional shelters (IOM 30/06/2015).
An estimated 400,000 children do not attend school, 10% of school-aged children in Haiti (AFP 07/09/2015). Primary school enrollment is roughly 75%. 50% of the adult population is illiterate (USAID 05/01/2016).
Many children still show signs of emotional and psychological stress since the earthquake, and remain in need of protection. Minors in camps are particularly at risk of exploitation, with sexual violence commonplace (Save the Children 08/01/2015).
Around a third of people relocated outside camps after the 2010 earthquake do not have legitimate status/rights for the land they occupy. Land disputes and tensions are common and have been accompanied by coercion, violence, and forced eviction (OCHA/UNCT 11/03/2015).
67% of returnees from DR do not possess any type of documentation and are at risk of statelessness as the authorities of Haiti have refused to accept non-national deportees on its territory (AlterPresse 19/08/2015; IOM 22/01/2016).
Kenya Country Analysis
31 January: Three people were killed, several injured and a house was torched by Al Shabaab militants in Kaisari village, Lamu county (Kenya Daily Nation 31/01/2016; ICG 02/02/2016).
- Almost 600,000 refugees, including at least 418,000 Somalis and 95,000 South Sudanese (UNHCR 30/11/2015).
- 465,000 children remain out of school due to drought, food insecurity, lack of access to safe water and conflict-related displacement (UNICEF 30/06/2015).
- 240,000 people have been affected by floods and 103,000 of them have been displaced all over Kenya. It is estimated that 500,000 people will be displaced by floods and 2 million people will be affected in Kenya by El Niño (IFRC 04/01/2016; OCHA 23/10).
- Humanitarian access: increased inter-communal conflict and armed group attacks, in particular in northern, upper-eastern and coastal regions, have impacted upon access, with education and health the most affected sectors (OCHA 10/11/2015).
- Education: 465,000 children remain out of school due to drought, food insecurity, lack of access to safe water and conflict-related displacement (UNICEF 30/06/2015).
Kenya has been deeply affected by attacks attributed to the Somali Islamist Al Shabaab movement and also by rising inter-communal violence and consequent displacement. Kenya hosts one of the largest refugee populations in Africa, at around 600,000. In 2016 there is a heightened risk of drought, and 500,000 people are expected to be displaced by floods caused by El Niño.
Politics and security
Kenya is considered relatively stable in the Horn of Africa. However, the country remains ethnically polarised and affected by two decades of conflict in neighbouring Somalia. Cross-border attacks by Al Shabaab persist, particularly in the north of the country, and deadly inter-communal violence remains common in a number of areas.
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. Non-Muslims continue to be targeted in attacks. 49 incidents of Al Shabaab-related violence were recorded in 2015, killing at least 270 people. About half of the attacks were on civilians (ACLED 26/01/2016). Most violence has been in the eastern and northeastern counties along the border with Somalia, including Wajir, Mandera, and Lamu. The deadliest attack so far was in Garissa in April 2015, when 148 people were killed (BBC 07/07/2015). The government responded with efforts to expand police and security agency powers, and restrict rights through new legislation. Government policies have targeted human rights organizations for closure, tried to supress media, and threatened refugee communities with forced returns to Somalia (HRW 01/02/2016). In September, Kenya launched a 90-day security operation in Lamu county, aiming to force Al Shabaab out of Boni forest, from which it has previously launched attacks. Households in the area had to vacate their lands (Kenya Daily Nation 21/09/2015).
The volume of inter-communal violence increased substantially from 2014 to 2015, with 216,294 people displaced by inter-communal violence in the first half of 2015 alone. The rise in violence is attributed to population growth of people and of livestock, and the availability of small arms. The northern Rift Valley and northeastern regions are most affected: Turkana, Baringo, Samburu, Marsabit, Meru and Isiolo counties. Conflict occurs particularly between the Pokot and Turkana communities, and the Samburu and Turkana (OCHA 04/08/2015; 31/11/2014). Scarcity of water and pasture is a key driving force for conflict between communities in Marsabit, Moyale, Garissa, Isiolo, and Wajir counties (Reuters 22/09/2015).
Over February-March 2016, 22.4 million people will be registered to vote in the August 2017 general elections, far more than the 14.4 million who registered for the 2013 election. A rise in ethnically charged hate speech threatens the electoral process (Reuters 10/12/2015).
Al Shabaab-related violence
On 31 January, three people were killed, several injured and a house was torched by Al Shabaab militants in Kaisari village, Lamu county (Kenya Daily Nation 31/01/2016; ICG 02/02/2016). On 26 January, seven police officers died, three were injured and others missing after their truck struck a landmine planted by Al Shabaab in Kiunga, Lamu East (Local News 26/01/2016). On 20 January, police killed four Al Shabaab militants and recovered weapons and ammunition in Malindi, Kilifi county (ICG 02/02/2016).
On 23 January, three people were killed at the borders of Isiolo and Laikipia counties as communities clashed over land and cattle theft (ICG 02/02/2016; Kenya Daily Nation 23/01/2016). On 7 January, fighting over livestock theft from Kisumu into Nandi led to five deaths, houses set alight and displacement (Kenya Daily Nation 10/01/2016; All Africa 10/01/2016; Kisumu County News 11/01/2016).
On 25 December, fighting broke out between the Maasai and Kipsigis in Narok county after livestock was stolen and herders killed. At least two people were killed, 250 houses burned down, and 5,000 people displaced (Deutsche Welle 28/12/2015). The displaced are camping at a school in Olenguruone (Kenya Daily Nation 26/12/2015).
On 20 November, the army was deployed in Sololo after three police were killed by Ethiopian soldiers in Marsabit county. They crossed the border in pursuit of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) rebels, who had abducted over 20 Kenyan civilians (ICG 01/12/2015; local media 21/11/2015).
El Niño is expected to affect up to 2 million people in Kenya, either by drought or floods (WFP 13/12/2015).
Vegetation cover is well above average across most of the country, leading to a recovery of previously drought‑affected areas and very good prospects for pastoralists. However, vegetation conditions remain poor in parts of north-central and northeastern Kenya, due to localised, drier than average conditions. As the season comes to an end, these may remain areas of concern (WFP 13/12/2015).
Heavy rains since October have been driven by the El Niño conditions in the Pacific Ocean. More than 240,000 people have been affected and 103,000 have been displaced, as many houses were destroyed and more than 112 people died (IFRC 04/01/2016). Livestock was also swept away, affecting livelihoods (Kenyan Red Cross 02/12/2015; FEWSNET 31/12/2015). Farmland has been destroyed and schools have been damaged in Mt. Elgon, Kirinyaga, Narok, Busia, Kisumu, Tana River, Trans Nzoia, Busia, and Bungoma counties. Roads and bridges have been damaged in parts of Tana River, Marsabit, Isiolo, Mandera, Wajir, Nandi and Machakos counties (IFRC 04/01/2016). Rainfall is expected to continue over several parts of the country (Kenyan Red Cross 08/12/2015).
It is estimated that up to 500,000 people in Kenya will be displaced by floods (OCHA 23/10/2015).
Kenya’s refugee population is among the largest in the Africa, with nearly 600,000 refugees as of 1 December (UNHCR 30/11/2015). The majority fled conflict in Somalia and South Sudan, and have been living in camps for several years. In 2015, nearly 12,000 new arrivals were reported from Somalia and South Sudan. More than 300,000 Kenyans are internally displaced due to conflict.
In total 309,200 people remain displaced due to conflict, mainly in the northern Rift Valley and northeastern regions (UNICEF 26/01/2016). In the first half of 2015, inter-communal conflict led to the displacement of 216,294 people. The majority were in Mandera (103,000), Turkana (69,900), and Wajir (22,800). In Mandera county, over 50,000 individuals remain affected by an escalation of inter-clan conflict that began in March 2014. The majority are living in camps in Mandera North and South. Hosts and IDPs have similar needs, due to the use of negative coping strategies. Priorities are food, water, shelter, and NFIs (KIRA 23/09/2015).
55,000 people have been displaced due to the floods, as their houses were destroyed (Kenyan Red Cross 02/12/2015). In Tana Delta, more than 40 camps have been established for people displaced due to flooding (WFP 22/12/2015).
Refugees and asylum seekers
As of 31 December, Kenya is hosting almost 594,000 refugees and asylum seekers. 221,938 are in Dadaab camp, 126,042 in Alinjugur camp, 184,966 in Kakuma, and 61,351 in Nairobi (UNHCR 31/12/2015; 13/01/2016).
From Somalia: As of 7 December, 418,025 Somali refugees were in Kenya (UNHCR 07/12/2015). Most are in the northeastern Dadaab and Alinjugur refugee camps, which host around 350,000 people (UNHCR 31/08/2015). Somali refugees remain entirely dependent on humanitarian aid (Institute for Security Studies 31/08/2015).
From South Sudan: Kenya hosts 95,629 South Sudanese refugees as of 27 November. 49,514 have arrived since mid-December 2013 (ECHO 10/12/2015). The Kenyan government has been granting free access to its territory and prima facie refugee status to South Sudanese asylum seekers who arrived after December 2013 (UNHCR 16/12/2015). 6,313 have registered since January 2015 (UNHCR 07/11/2015). They are mainly living in Kakuma camp. 64% are children (UNICEF 05/02/2015). The trend of daily arrivals remains low, with the weekly average around 100 (UNHCR 10/12/2015). However, the number of arrivals is projected to reach up to 102,239 people total by the end of December 2016 (UNHCR 16/12/2015).
From other countries: Other refugees originate from Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan, and Uganda. 7,797 refugees from Burundi; most of them live in Kakuma camp. The majority arrived before Burundi’s electoral violence began in 2015 (UNHCR 11/09/2015). There are 24,006 refugees from DRC, including 5,040 who have registered since January 2015 (UNHCR 11/09/2015; 30/06/2015; 31/10/2015). There are also 30,687 Ethiopian and 10,193 Sudanese refugees reported (UNHCR 31/10/2015).
During 2015, humanitarian access was significantly constrained by increased inter-communal conflict and armed group attacks, in particular in northern, upper-eastern and coastal regions, with education and health being the most affected sectors (OCHA 10/11/2015).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
A threat of kidnapping and hostage-taking persists in certain areas. In 2015, at least 56 security incidents involving NGOs were reported, including one fatality, two abductions, and nine injuries (INSO 26/01/2016).
Security and physical constraints
Humanitarian access is constrained in northern, eastern, and coastal regions due to inter-communal violence and attacks by armed opposition groups, including Al Shabaab. Hilly terrain and poor roads increase insecurity and inaccessibility in some regions (UNICEF 30/06/2015; OCHA 04/08/2015).
People displaced by fears of Al Shabaab attacks in Bodhai, Lamu county, cannot be reached as militants are thought to have planted landmines on the road (Kenya Daily Nation, 18/08/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
The food security situation has improved compared to last August–September, when 1.1 million people were acutely food insecure (IPC 31/08/2015; WFP 12/2015).
In pastoral areas, the short rains have led to seasonal recovery, increasing livestock productivity and improving food security. Some pastoral households have improved to None (IPC Phase 1) in December and further improvements are expected through March (FEWSNET 31/12/2015). Many pastoral households, including those in parts of Isiolo, Wajir, and Garissa, are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through March. In Western and Rift Valley, the long rains harvest was average and the February to March short rains harvest in southeastern and coastal marginal agricultural areas is expected to be average to above-average (FEWSNET 31/12/2015).
Unusually late and heavy rainfall has damaged crops during the harvest in Rift Valley. It is estimated that up to a third of the crops in Trans Nzoia and Nandi Counties could be affected (FEWSNET 30/11/2015).
Food prices are stable and expected to remain so thanks to harvest in the North Rift and fast maturing crops in marginal agricultural clusters (World Vision 21/01/2016).
Insecurity in northern, eastern, and coastal regions has led to the departure of many health actors since December 2014, negatively impacting healthcare provision and nutrition assistance (OCHA 04/08/2015, 10/11/2015). The risk of outbreak of malaria and waterborne diseases is very high in most of the counties due to the recent floods (Kenyan Red Cross 03/11/2015-23/11/2015).
As of 16 December 2015, the cholera outbreak has affected 21 of the 47 counties. 9,163 cases and 166 deaths have been reported (CFR 1.8%) (UNICEF 26/01/2016).
In Isiolo county, a patient died and 11 new cholera cases were reported (Kenya Daily Nation 01/02/2016). A cholera outbreak was reported in Tharaka-Nithi county. Two people have died and 114 were hospitalised (Kenya Daily Nation 25/01/2016). As of 19 January, at least nine people from Migingo Island in Lake Victoria were admitted to hospitals in Migori county (Kenya Daily Nation 19/01/2016).
A cholera outbreak was officially declared in Dadaab camp on 23 November 2015, with 1,000 reported cases, the majority of whom are living in Dagahaley camp. Ten people have died (MSF 17/12/2015; UNHCR 31/12/2015).
Due to the El Nino rains experienced in December, there has been an increase in the number of cases of malaria in Kakuma camp with a crude rate of 98/1000/month among the South Sudanese population. (UNHCR 13/01/2016). Between 17 December and 3 January, four children died from malaria. As the heavy rain continues the cases are expected to increase (Kenya Daily Nation 06/01/2016).
Nearly 240,000 children were estimated to be moderately malnourished and 2,600 children suffering from SAM in Kenya as of August, an improvement compared to previous months (UNICEF 26/01/2016).
Global acute malnutrition (GAM) exceeds the 15% emergency threshold in Mandera, Marsabit, Turkana, and Wajir counties (USAID 30/09/2015; World Vision 21/01/2016). Among conflict-affected populations in Mandera, GAM was 24% as of late September, and severe acute malnutrition (SAM) 4.1% (KIRA 23/09/2015).
As of 31 December, Kakuma 4 camp residents have access to an average of 19-21L of water per person per day. In Dadaab, water supply is 23.5 L/p/d (UNHCR 31/12/2015; 14/10/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
Dadaab refugee camps are overcrowded, and shelter inadequate. In Kambioos, many people are staying in tents that have a lifespan of 6–7 months. In Ifo camp, some shelters have not been replaced since the founding of the camp in 1991 (UNHCR 11/08/2015).
On 19 June, land for a new camp in Kalobeyei, some 20km from Kakuma camp, was officially handed over by the local government in Turkana county. The camp will be able to accommodate 80,000 people. Kakuma camp was hosting 184,550 refugees as of 04 January, which far exceeds its capacity of 125,000. 50% of Kakuma camp’s residents are South Sudanese (UNHCR 04/01/2016; Reuters 20/06/2015).
465,000 children remain out of school due to drought, food insecurity, lack of access to safe water and conflict-related displacement (UNICEF 30/06/2015). 80,000 children are without access to education due to the absence of 1,600 teachers in conflict-affected counties, primarily in the northern Rift Valley and northeastern regions, where 122 schools remain closed (UNICEF 30/06/2015; 26/01/2016). Several schools all over the country have been damaged by recent floods (Kenyan Red Cross 03/11/2015-23/11/2015; World Vision 21/01/2016).
More than 5,000 children remain out of school after seven primary schools on the border of Nandi and Kisumu counties were closed on 11 January due to the clashes (Kenya Daily Nation 12/01/2016).
In Kakuma camp, the schools are highly congested with as many as 244 children sharing a classroom. Other facilities and resources such as desks, latrines, textbooks, learning resources, and teacher workforce are grossly insufficient (UNHCR 16/12/2015).
In 2015, security forces continued to be implicated in extrajudicial killings, torture, disappearances and arbitrary detentions, particularly during counterterrorism operations in Nairobi, Mombasa, the coast and in the northeast. Al-Shabaab targeted and killed at least 226 unarmed people between November 2014 and July 2015, along the coast and in the northeast (HRW 27/01/2016). There are reports of security forces mistreating Somali refugees in operations to confront Al Shabaab, and of increasing hostile and inflammatory rhetoric from public officials (BBC 01/06/2015; HRW 27/01/2016).
In Dadaab, 533 cases of sexual and gender-based violence were reported between January−June 2015, compared to 623 during the same period in 2014. The majority of cases (96%) affected women, 9% affected children, and 4% men. Limited safe spaces are predisposing women and children to danger. Poverty, due to a lack of livelihood opportunities, is a factor for abuse and exploitation. The long distances to basic requirements such as firewood expose women and children to heightened protection risks (UNHCR 31/07/2015).
15,714 unaccompanied minors have been registered among the refugee population (UNHCR 31/12/2015). The majority of children in Kakuma camp face risk of violence, exploitation, abuse or neglect at home, in the community, and at school (UNHCR 16/12/2015).
2 February: 92% of refugees surveyed in a 2015 assessment were not able to register new births (NRC).
-3.3 million people in need (UNHCR 15/06/2015).
-1,069,111 Syrians registered as refugees (UNHCR 31/12/2015). The actual number is thought to be around 1.5 million (UNHCR 18/12/2015; Amnesty 02/11/2015).
-42,189 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) (OCHA 15/01/2016).
- 55% of refugees live in informal settlements, unfinished buildings, or other substandard housing – an increase of 15% from 2014 in 2015 (UNHCR 03/11/2015). 1.8 million people in Lebanon are estimated to be in need of shelter assistance, including Syrian refugees, PRS, and Lebanese nationals (Shelter Sector 31/10/2015).
- 61% of Syrian refugee households in Lebanon have reported severe and crisis coping strategies, up from 28% last year (WFP 13/01/2016; UNHCR 31/07/2015).
- An increasing number of refugees face protection issues related to hurdles to obtaining or renewing residence permits and other important documentation (Amnesty 02/11/2015; HRW 12/01/2016).
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, and employment. Lebanon is also hosting 270,000 long-term Palestinian refugees.
Politics and security
The Lebanese parliament has extended its mandate until June 2017, claiming that elections would present too much of a security risk (Daily Star 12/11/2014). Lebanon has been without a president since President Sleiman’s term expired in May 2014, as parliament has failed to elect one (Daily Star 16/12/2015). An alliance formed on 18 January between Lebanon’s two largest Christian political parties may be a step towards resolving the political crisis (NYT 18/01/2016 ALM 18/01/2016).
Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria, and the alleged presence of Jabhat al Nusra (JAN) and Islamic State (IS) in Lebanon, has raised destabilisation concerns in Lebanon. The government of Syria sporadically conducts cross-border air raids (UN Security Council 22/04/2015). Longstanding tensions between Lebanon and Israel have flared occasionally in the context of the Syrian civil war. On 20 December, Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and militants in Lebanon exchanged rocket fire following reports that a senior Hezbollah commander was killed by Israeli airstrikes in Damascus (DW 20/12/2015; BBC 20/12/2015). Exchanges of fire continued into early January 2016, with Hezbollah allegedly attacked two IDF vehicles on 4 January. No civilian casualties have been reported (UN 04/01/2016; AFP 04/06/2016).
Fighting between the Lebanese Armed Forces and Jabhat Al Nusra has been ongoing in northern Lebanon, along the border with Syria, since August 2014. Violence broke out first in the town of Arsal, which has been a flashpoint for clashes since. On 5 November six people were killed in Arsal by a suicide bomber at a Muslim clerics meeting (AFP 05/11/2015).
Two suicide bombings in southern Beirut killed 41 people killed and wounded more than 200 on 12 November. The attack took place in Bourj al-Barajneh, a neighbourhood considered to be a Hezbollah stronghold, and Islamic State claimed responsibility (AFP 13/11/2015). Authorities have arrested 23 people in connection to the attacks, including Syrian and Lebanese nationals (Reuters 25/11/2015).
Palestinian refugee camps: Palestinian joint security forces are deployed in two camps (Daily Star 24/03/2015). Tensions between Fatah and Islamist groups have been increasing in Ain al Hilweh camp, where up to four people were killed and more than 15 wounded in clashes between 22 and 27 August. This was the highest rate of casualties in a single week since May. An unconfirmed number of people, believed to be in the thousands, were displaced (UN 25/08/2015; Daily Star 27/08/2015).
As of 31 December 1,069,111 Syrian refugees are registered in Lebanon, a decrease from the peak of 1,185,250 million registered in May 2015. Akkar is hosting 101,077; Bekaa 373,124; Beirut 28,944; Mount Lebanon 285,787; North Lebanon 161,101; and South Lebanon and El Nabatieh governorates 125,604 (UNHCR 31/12/2015; 30/10/2015). 26% of refugees are women, and 53% children (UNHCR 09/2014). 16% of Syrian refugee households are led by women (Equal Access Monitor 30/06/2015).
The number of Syrian refugees recorded has been steadily decreasing since refugee registration was suspended on 6 May 2015, and refugees who registered after 5 January 2015 were deregistered. In the second half of 2015 there was an increase of onward movement of refugees, both through and from Lebanon (UNHCR 03/11/2015). For Syrians who have been living in Lebanon, dwindling assistance and difficulties obtaining or renewing legal residence in Lebanon are primary issues prompting their onward movement (Protection Sector 31/10/2015).
Many Syrians arrive directly from Syria and transit via the Masna’a or Aboudiyeh crossing-points. The number of Syrians in Lebanon not registered with UNHCR is unknown, although the total number of Syrian refugees in Lebanon is estimated to be closer to 1.5 million (UNHCR 18/12/2015; Amnesty 02/11/2015).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: 42,189 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) reside in Lebanon (OCHA 15/01/2016). PRS entry to Lebanon is now almost entirely limited to those transiting to a third country. An estimated 85.7% of PRS remain in Lebanon illegally, and face an array of protection concerns (OCHA 16/10/2015).
Host communities have reported inadequate or insufficient access to water, waste water management systems, affordable housing, and employment opportunities (OCHA 09/2014).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Humanitarian actors are blocked from certain areas due to insecurity and entry restrictions. In Akkar governorate, access to Wadi Khaled, by the border with Syria, is limited. The fluid security situation in Arsal also restricts access (WFP 31/12/2015). Humanitarian actors are facing challenges to implement their planned programmes, particularly in the north, where winter conditions have caused some refugee families to move, making it more difficult for humanitarian actors to implement their planned programmes (UNPF 31/12/2015).
Access of affected populations to assistance
Lebanon formally decided to stop welcoming displaced people in October 2014, barring exceptional cases, and the suspension of registration raises serious protection concerns (UNHCR, AFP 24/10/2014; UNHCR 07/2014; UNHCR 20/04/2015). Since January 2015, Syrians wanting to enter Lebanon must apply for a visa (UNHCR 25/01/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Refugees live across 1,750 different locations in Lebanon, making the delivery of humanitarian assistance challenging (UNHCR 10/2014). Northern Bekaa, Tripoli, and Akkar are areas of higher risk, and the UN will only carry out critical missions to parts of those areas (WFP 03/12/2014). In Baalbek-Hermel governorate, humanitarian actors frequently have to temporarily halt their activities due to security incidents (OCHA 01/12/2015). Snows in early January have particularly affected mountainous areas. Roads have been closed and access to parts of the country, especially in the north, have been limited, including to areas where refugees are living (Reuters 01/01/2016; Daily Star 03/01/2016).
Food security and livelihoods
1.5 million people are in need of food assistance (Food Security Cluster 31/10/2015). In December 2015, 23% of people were moderately food insecure, compared to 13% in 2014 (WFP 07/01/2015; 18/12/2014). Among the Syrian refugee population, approximately 23% are experiencing moderate to severe food insecurity in 2015, compared to 12% in 2014 (UN News 23/12/2015; WFP 31/10/2015). 94.5% of Palestinian refugees from Syria are estimated to be food insecure (OCHA 12/01/2016). Levels are highest in North Lebanon (Akkar) and the Bekaa Valley (WFP 01/07/2015).
Following cuts to the value of food vouchers allocated to refugees and vulnerable Lebanese, about 80% of people are adopting negative coping mechanisms such as taking out loans (WFP 31/12/2015).
Syrian refugees are barred from working in Lebanon (WFP 16/06/2015). 61% of Syrian refugee households in Lebanon have reported severe and crisis coping strategies, up from 28% last year (WFP 13/01/2016; UNHCR 31/07/2015). The percentage of Syrian households below the poverty line increased from 50% to 70% between 2014 and 2015, and of those households, only one in five adults reported earning some income in the last 30 days (UNHCR 03/11/2015). 90% of Syrian refugees in Lebanon are estimated to have gone into debt to pay basic expenses (UNHCR 20/11/2015). The Livelihoods Cluster estimates that 700,000 people are in need of livelihood support (UNDP 31/10/2015).
3.3 million people are in need of healthcare (Health Cluster 31/10/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
Health services are available, but costly. 39% of Syrian refugees surveyed in June say that they are not seeking medical care because of the expense (UNHCR 20/11/2015). Short opening hours and lack of trained health personnel further limit access (WHO 01/2015).
3.3 million people are in need of WASH assistance (UNICEF/UNHCR 05/05/2015). 39% of Syrian refugee households do not have access to safe drinking water (UNHCR/WFP/UNICEF 23/10/2015). WASH conditions are often below standards in Palestinian refugee camps in Beirut (IFRC 03/02/2015).
10% of Syrian refugees do not have access to bathroom facilities (UNHCR/WFP/UNICEF 23/10/2015). Informal settlements in the Bekaa Valley and in the north have limited or no sanitation facilities (MSF 20/08/2015).
Safe disposal of wastewater is a huge challenge in Lebanon, especially for the majority of locations across the country that are not connected to functioning treatment plants. This is exacerbated in Arsal, where security concerns have limited the provision of services (OCHA 01/12/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
1.8 million people are in need of shelter assistance (Shelter Sector 31/10/2015). In particular, 257,250 households (approximately 1.2 million people) are in need of shelter and NFI support for the winter. 79% are Syrians, 15% are Lebanese, and 6% are Palestinian (Shelter Cluster 15/12/2015).
55% of refugees live in informal settlements, unfinished buildings, or other substandard housing – an increase of 15% from 2014 in 2015 (UNHCR 03/11/2015). An assessment found that 50% of refugees live in poor conditions, including accommodation without adequate WASH facilities, or adequate protection against weather. An additional 18% were found to be living in temporary shelters without access to basic services (NRC 18/06/2015). Refugees are spending up to 90% of their monthly income to live in substandard housing such as garages, sheds, and in unfinished buildings (NRC 18/06/2015).
The numerous informal tented settlements (ITS) are usually substandard. Humanitarian agencies are unable to make substantial improvements, as the sites are on private land (UNHCR 09/06/2015). In Beirut, many Syrian refugees have settled in Palestinian refugee camps, where shelter conditions are often substandard (IFRC 03/02/2015).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: The Palestinian population has increased from 110,000 to 140,000 since 2011: 43,375 are Palestinian refugees from Syria (OCHA 09/2014; 01/2015). PRS households are residing in overcrowded dwellings, with an average of 4.6 people 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 (UNRWA 22/05/2015). 50% of PRS are living in camps (UNRWA 14/01/2016).
Lebanese returnees: At least 50,000 Lebanese nationals returned from Syria between the beginning of the crisis and May 2015, when they stopped being registered (UNDP, UNHCR; 06/05/2015). Many had been residing in Syria for decades and are thought to be concentrated in the same areas as the majority of Syrian refugees and face similar vulnerabilities (IOM 24/04/2015). Assessments in 2014 indicated that at least 51% of returnees are shelter insecure (IOM/OCHA 09/2014; UNHCR 07/2014).
School enrolment among Syrian refugees increased by 60% in 2015 compared to 2014 (Education Sector 31/10/2015). Syrian children constitute about 40% of Lebanon’s public school students and at the end of 2015, 207,000 Syrian children are enrolled in public schools in Lebanon through the double-shift system that schedules classes for Lebanese children in the morning and classes for refugee children in the afternoon (Guardian 07/01/2015; USAID 11/12/2015).
However, 750,000 children are still in need of education assistance (Education Sector 31/10/2015). This includes more than 200,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon, over half of the overall number of school-aged Syrians (UNHCR 04/11/2015; OCHA 12/01/2016).
14% of households have withdrawn their children from school due to increased food insecurity (WFP 31/12/2015).
Main protection concerns include the presence of ERW; child labour; lack of documentation for refugees, impacting their ability to access services and move freely; and forced evictions.
Mines and ERW
Lebanon has nearly 1,400 confirmed minefields and 520 cluster munitions strike areas: 15.23 km2 is contaminated by ERW. 1,757 people were killed by IEDs in Lebanon between 2011 and 2014 (OCHA 02/12/2015). In 2015, 19 incidents of ERW-related injury or death had been recorded as of August, compared to 24 in all of 2014. The increase may be related to the presence of refugees in contaminated areas (Al Jazeera 13/08/2015). A significant number of landowners and workers still enter contaminated areas, stating they have no choice (Mine Advisory Group 01/06/2015).
According to ILO estimates, between 210,000 and 320,000 refugee children of school age who are not in school are involved in some form of child labour (VoA 23/01/2015). In total 9.9% of households have children who are working (Save the Children 30/11/2015). There are concerns of early marriage being used as a coping mechanism for vulnerable families (Guardian 02/02/2016). There are also reports of children returning to Syria to join armed groups in the hope of pay (Disaster Emergency Committee 28/09/2015). Social exclusion, vulnerability of households, the influx of Syrian refugees, and organised crime and exploitation are all leading children to live or work on the streets (ILO et al. 16/02/2015).
Undocumented refugees: Increasing numbers of refugees are undocumented. Rental agreements are required to obtain legal residence, however only about 15% of refugees have rental contracts (NRC 18/06/2015). In January 2015, the Lebanese government introduced new criteria making it extremely difficult for Syrian nationals to renew Lebanese residence permits, including requiring a “pledge of responsibility” from a Lebanese national. Syrians lacking valid residence permits are left vulnerable to arrest, harassment, and deportation (Amnesty 02/11/2015, HRW 12/01/2016).
An estimated 90% of PRS in Lebanon are not documented (HRW 12/01/2016).
On 8 January Lebanese security forces forcibly returned 400 Syrians, who were in Beirut International Airport en route to Turkey, following changes in Turkey’s visa policy towards Syrians (HRW 11/01/2016; NYT 08/01/2016).
Forced evictions: 18,000 people are thought to have been evicted from 115 informal tented settlements since the beginning of the year, approximately 51% of whom (an estimated 9,276 individuals) were evicted in Bekaa governorate. 39% of the evictions (8,720 individuals) were in Akkar governorate, and 10% (1,699 individuals) in North governorate. An additional 150 families are thought to be at risk of eviction in Ouzai collective shelter in Mount Lebanon governorate and 50 families in Ghazieh in South governorate. (UNHCR 15/10/2015). In total, 4% of the refugee population in Lebanon is considered to currently be at risk of eviction (OCHA 12/01/2016).
Refugees who entered after 5 January 2015 and have been subsequently registered should be deregistered, according to government regulations. In May, the Ministry of Social Affairs further notified UNHCR that all new registrations must be suspended until a mechanism to deal with those who seek registration is established (OCHA 31/05/2015).
Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011, the UN has recorded approximately 70,000 Syrian births in Lebanon. However, an estimated 92% of refugees in Lebanon report not being able to complete the administrative steps to register births (NRC 01/02/0216). Syrian Kurds who were denaturalised in Syria in 1962 are also stateless in Lebanon.
Lesotho Country Analysis
29 January: 300,000 people are experiencing acute shortages of water (OCHA 29/01/2016).
- 650,000 people, one third of the population will need food assistance in 2016. 463,936 are currently food insecure and 179,944 people are in need of immediate assistance (OCHA, 18/11/2015; WFP 29/12/2015).
- 300,000 people are experiencing acute shortages of water (OCHA 29/01/2016).
WASH: Water scarcity is likely to lead to crop failure, pest infestation, waterborne diseases such as cholera and dysentery, animal diseases and malnutrition are expected (OCHA 29/01/2016).
Food Security: 463,936 are currently food insecure in Lesotho. 650,000 people, one-third of the population, will need food assistance in 2016 (WFP 29/12/2015).
Drought conditions, consecutive poor harvests since 2014-2015, and the weakening rand are all contributing to the humanitarian crisis. Many people and services are without or with limited access to water.
The impact of El Niño-induced drought during the 2015/2016 planting season (September–December) is adding to the dry spell registered during the 2014/2015 agricultural season (OCHA 19/01/2016). On 22 December, the government of Lesotho declared a state of emergency and appealed for assistance from the international community (WFP 29/12/2015).
The drought has dried up most rivers in Berea district, in the north west of Lesotho and in Mohale’s Hoek district in the south (WFP 29/12/2015; OCHA 19/01/2016).
El Niño is forecast to continue impacting rainfall through February, suggesting average to below-average rainfall is likely during much of Lesotho’s agricultural season (FEWSNET 30/10/2015). The reduced rainfall is expected to result in further water scarcity, crop failure, pest infestation, malnutrition, waterborne diseases such as cholera and dysentery, and animal diseases (OCHA 29/01/2016).
Food security and livelihoods
463,936 are currently food insecure in Lesotho. Based on the historical occurrence of El Niño, food security will deteriorate. 650,000 people, one-third of the population, will need food assistance in 2016. These include some people in urban areas who will not be able to meet the high cost of food (WFP 29/12/2015).
Lesotho experienced a steep decline in herd sizes as well as crop production in the 2014/15 season and it is anticipated that this trend will continue. In November, 179,944 people were in need of immediate assistance (OCHA, 18/11/2015).
In normal conditions, Lesotho imports approximately 70% of its cereal from South Africa, which is also affected by drought (OCHA 19/01/2016).
The land area planted is 19% lower than in the last season (OCHA, 17/11/2015).
Cattle herd size has declined by 7% in the mountain districts, Qacha’s Nek, Thaba Tseka, Mokhotlong. The increases in livestock prices range from 15–86% for cattle and 15–60% for goats (OCHA, 17/11/2015).
Staple food prices will likely remain high through the lean season due to rises in food prices in South Africa, which is the main source of food for Lesotho. This is likely due to a rise in demand resulting from the regional cereal deficit. (OCHA 19/01/2016).
In normal conditions, Lesotho imports approximately 70% of its cereal from South Africa. The retail price in Lesotho for white maize had increased by 12.6% since the beginning of 2015, with prices expected to rise further given that South African wholesale maize prices have nearly doubled since 2015 values. The wholesale prices have increased by over 70% (OCHA 19/01/2016).
Livestock diseases and mortality are increasing as a result of poor feeding sources and scarcity of water (OCHA 19/01/2016). Most rural families depend on rain-fed subsistence farming, and wool and mohair production are the main sources of livelihood for many people (WFP 29/12/2015).
Health and education facilities are hampered by limited water availability (OCHA 19/01/2016). A large increase in diarrhoeal diseases has been reported. During December 2015, 262 cases of diarrhoeal diseases were reported a big increase from the 88 cases reported on November (OCHA 19/01/2016). The increased risk of cholera and other waterborne diseases complicate and worsen food and nutrition security (OCHA, 19/01/2016).
Pregnant women are avoiding giving birth in health clinics because most facilities lack water. A number of elderly people have died from dehydration as they are less able to carry water from water points (OCHA 19/01/2016).
GAM is at 3.4% and SAM at 0.06. Micronutrient deficiencies are anticipated given that 52% of children already have anaemia, and 26% women of child-bearing age (OCHA citing LDHS, 19/01/2016).
Water shortages are affecting household consumption, the provision of basic services, agricultural activity and industry. Water is being rationed in many districts, such as in Mohale’s Hoek (OCHA 19/01/2016).
Almost 300,000 people in 276 communities (15% of the population) are experiencing acute shortages of water (OCHA 29/01/2016).
Mali Country Analysis
2 February: 50,000 people are internally displaced – 19% less than in November (IOM).
- Over 2 million people in northern and central regions in need of health services (OCHA 09/12/2015).
- 825,000 people in need of WASH (OCHA 28/12/2015).
- 118,775 people in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) food security (Cadre Harmonisé 14/11/2015).
- 709,000 children under five at risk of global acute malnutrition, including 180,000 facing severe acute malnutrition (OCHA 14/12/2015).
- Protection is a priority for vulnerable populations affected by insecurity, particularly in the north (OCHA 24/12/2015).
- Nutrition and food security are key problems in Mali. Nutrition is of particular concern in Timbuktu, where 17.5% GAM was reported in September 2015 (OCHA 30/09/2015; 24/12/2015).
- Health needs are high as access to services is poor and epidemics pose a major risk (OCHA 24/12/2015).
Despite the Algiers peace accord signed in May–June 2015 by the main Tuareg alliance and the government, insecurity persists in northern and central regions. Sporadic attacks continue, sometimes claimed by Islamist armed groups, and access for aid workers remains limited due to security constraints. A lack of access to basic social services and the weak capacity of public administration drive humanitarian needs. While IDPs and refugees have slowly been returning home since 2013, some 50,000 people remain internally displaced and 140,000 refugees are still in neighbouring countries.
Politics and security
Although the insurgency peaked in 2012, sporadic attacks by Islamist militants continue to hamper security. Every province reported at least one attack in 2015. Trends indicate that violence is moving from the northern provinces of Timbuktu, Gao, and Kidal to central and southern areas, including Mopti, Segou, and Bamako (HRW 27/01/2016).
The state lost control of the north in 2012, after Tuareg groups from the region they call Azawad began a campaign for greater autonomy. A separate coup d’état further destabilised the country (AFP 22/09/2015). A fragile alliance in the north between Tuareg and Islamists was quickly broken, and Islamists took control of key cities. Civilian rule was re-established in mid-2013 with the support of French military, but the north remains insecure. Disarmament, demobilisation, and reintegration programmes have faced multiple delays (Reuters 11/01/2016).
The government and the Azawad Movement Coalition (AMC), comprising the main Tuareg armed groups operating in the north, signed a peace agreement in mid-2015. The main Islamist armed groups operating in the country were excluded from the peace negotiations. In January 2016, parties to the Algiers peace agreement met to discuss implementation challenges (ICG 01/02/2016). Decentralisation measures, including new governors for Menaka and Taoudeni, were announced on 19 January (ICG 01/02/2016).
AMC and the Platform Movement, a coalition of mainly ethnic Tuareg armed groups opposing the AMC, signed an agreement to cease all hostilities on 15 October. The ceasefire followed conflict over control of Anefis town in Kidal region, in August and September 2015 (MaliWeb 19/10/2015; 02/09/2015; AFP 19/09/2015). UN peacekeepers have lifted a secure zone that they had imposed around Kidal town (Reuters 27/10/2015).
Tuareg armed groups
The AMC, comprising 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), has been the main actor carrying out attacks in northern and central regions. They strive for more autonomy of the territory they call Azawad, which includes Timbuktu, Gao, Kidal, and parts of Mopti.
The Platform Movement is made up of several armed groups opposing the AMC, and is mainly ethnic Tuareg. The government has some, limited, authority over these groups. One of the main actors in the Platform is Gatia, which has been involved in multiple clashes with the AMC in the central and northern regions.
Islamist armed groups
The Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) and Ansar Dine are among the main Islamist groups active in Mali. MUJAO split from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in 2011. Since 2015, the Macina Liberation Front (MLF), a Fulani Islamist group linked to Ansar Dine, has claimed responsibility for several attacks.
The groups’ attacks mainly target pro-government and international forces, and mainly in the north. However, since June 2015, several attacks have been carried out in the south. Between January and September 2015, around 30 people were killed in central Mali in attacks claimed by the MLF (AFP 23/09/2015; 08/08/2015; 11/08/2015).
International armed forces
The stability of the Sahel region relies on the presence of foreign troops. In addition to Malian forces, there are French forces, the UN peacekeeping force MINUSMA, and the EU military training mission (EUTM), mainly in Bamako and in northern cities such as Kidal, Gao, Timbuktu, and Menaka (OCHA 31/05/2014).
MINUSMA’s mandate has been extended until 30 June 2016 (UN 29/06/2015). Attacks on MINUSMA vehicles, camps, and peacekeepers have increased since mid-August 2014 (AFP 21/09/2014). Most attacks have been carried out in Gao, but some in Timbuktu, Mopti and Kidal regions. MINUSMA has recorded the highest number of fatalities of any UN peacekeeping mission (SIPRI 28/09/2015; BBC 20/11/2015). Around 60 peacekeepers have died since the start of the UN mission in July 2013 and close to 200 have been wounded in around 80 attacks (BBC 20/11/2015; local media 30/05/2015; AFP 02/07/2015). There have been 28 attacks on MINUSMA between September—December 2015 alone (Reuters 11/01/2016).
On 1 August 2014, 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). On 6 January 2016, Germany announced it would increase its contribution to MINUSMA from ten soldiers to 650 (DW 06/01/2016).
Civilians, as well as international and Malian armed forces, continue to be targeted by armed group attacks. Occasional attacks, sometimes claimed by Islamist armed groups, including Ansar Dine and MLF, continue in northern and central regions. Armed men attacked a humanitarian food convoy in northern Mali on 15 January 2016, killing six people (Reuters 15/01/2016). On the same day, an attack on Dioura village in the central Mopti region, which killed one, was reported (Reuters 15/01/2016). On 14 December 2015, militants shelled UN barracks in Gao city. On 13 December, gunmen attacked a military checkpoint in Nione, Segou, wounding one soldier while two others are missing (AFP 14/12/2015).
On 19 November, 22 people were killed as suspected Islamist fighters attacked a hotel in Bamako. 170 people were taken hostage for several hours. The attack was claimed by Al Murabitoun, an off-shoot of AQIM, and the MLF (BBC 20/11/2015; 23/11/2015; Al Jazeera 23/11/2015; ICG 01/12/2015). The government declared a state of emergency following the attack, which has been extended to 31 March 2016 (AFP 31/12/2015).
50,000 people are internally displaced due to the conflict in the north, and approximately 140,000 have sought refuge in neighbouring countries such as Niger and Burkina Faso (IOM 02/02/2016; UNICEF 26/01/2016). The number of IDPs peaked in mid-2013 before people began gradually returning home, where they often remain in need of assistance. Internal displacement briefly spiked again in April–May 2015 following renewed insecurity.
As of 2 February 2016, 49,883 people remained internally displaced in Mali – 19% less than in November 2015. Timbuktu region hosts 25,000 IDPs. Outside Timbuktu region, IDPs are mainly staying in Gao (11,700), Bamako (5,800), and Kidal (600) (IOM 02/02/2016).
Nearly 2,800 people are displaced in towns close to Menaka, following clashes between Idourfane and Daoussak tribes in Ansongo and Menaka, Gao region, in November 2015. Certain Peul groups have also been displaced, but their needs are hard to assess due to their mobility. IDPs and host communities have lost assets and live in makeshift tents. Food is their most urgent need, followed by shelter and NFI, and health (ACTED, DRC, IRC, MdM and NRC 10/12/2015; OCHA 30/11/2015).
Between July 2013 and October 2015, nearly 450,000 IDPs have returned home (OCHA 11/12/2015). The deterioration of infrastructure and houses in the north due to lack of maintenance exacerbates returnees’ needs and ongoing insecurity is preventing large-scale returns (WFP 20/01/2016; IOM 03/08/2015; OCHA 08/10/2015).
Refugees in Mali
As of May, Mali hosts some 15,400 refugees, mainly from Mauritania and Côte d’Ivoire (UNHCR 26/05/2015).
Malian refugees have been slowly returning home from neighbouring countries since December 2013. As at end 2015, 17,091 Malians had returned, including 350 who voluntarily returned from Mbera camp, Mauritania in December (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
Malian refugees in neighbouring countries
There are over 140,000 Malian refugees in neighbouring countries (UNHCR 31/12/2015).
As of end December, 58,743 Malian refugees are in Niger, 50,228 are in Mauritania, and 33,574 are in Burkina Faso (UNHCR 31/12/2015). In October and November the number of Malian refugees in Niger spiked, with 4,000 new arrivals fleeing fighting between Idourfane and Daoussak tribes in Menaka and Anderaboucane districts, Gao (UNHCR 10/11/2015; ECHO 18/11/2015).
Insecurity due to the presence of armed groups, explosive devices, and crime, as well as attacks against aid workers continue to hamper humanitarian access in the north.
Access of relief actors to affected populations
Around 30 attacks against aid workers and their facilities were recorded in 2015, and an increasing trend is being reported (UN 13/11/2015). 27 peacekeepers and 24 civilian UN staff were killed in deliberate attacks in 2015 (DW 22/01/2016). On 11 November, an explosive device was set off at the entrance to a building housing a humanitarian NGO in Menaka, Gao (UN 13/11/2015). In August and September, nine incidents limiting humanitarian assistance were reported in Mopti, Timbuktu, and Gao. Nearly 80% were related to violence against personnel, goods, and infrastructure (OCHA 30/09/2015).
Security and physical constraints
Generally, access in the north has improved since the signing of the agreement between the AMC and the Platform movement, resulting in increased use of the Gao-Kidal road (OCHA 30/11/2015). However, ERW, IED, insurgent attacks and crime continue to limit access to populations in need in Gao, Kidal, Mopti, Segou, and Timbuktu regions, particularly on the Gao-Ansongo-Menaka axis, Gao-Bourem, Timbuktu-Goundam, Djenne-Tenenkou, Mopti-Tenenkou, and Diabaly-Nampala-Lere. Localities of Douentza, Youwarou, and Tenkenkou districts in Mopti region remain hard to reach, but access has improved in Koro, Bankass, and Tominian districts, due to joint military operations along the border with Burkina Faso.
Kidal airport remains closed, but is being rehabilitated. Re-opening is scheduled for January 2016 (ECHO 29/11/2015; OCHA 30/11/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
118,775 people face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse food security outcomes, mostly in Timbuktu and Mopti regions. Over 4,000 people in Timbuktu face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) (Cadre Harmonisé 14/11/2015). 2.5 million people are expected to be food insecure in the lean season of 2016 (June–August), compared to an estimated 2.9 million who were food insecure in June 2015 (WFP 08/12/2015; Government 07/2015).
The majority of households in all parts of the country have been facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security since October, as production is average to above-average, and water points have been replenished (FEWSNET 30/01/2016). The situation will deteriorate to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from March 2016, due to early exhaustion of food stocks for around 15,000 people who have been affected by floods in Kita and Nioro (Kayes region), Macina, San and Tominian (Segou), Nara (Koulikoro), Douentza and Mopti (Mopti), and Gao and Menaka districts (Gao) (FEWSNET 30/01/2016).
Food security could also deteriorate in the coming months in Goundam and Niafunke, Timbuktu region, and in Ansongo, Gao region, which have experienced rain deficits and insecurity (Afrique Verte 21/11/2015).
Harvesting of maize, millet, and sorghum is nearly completed, and harvesting of rice will continue until January. Preliminary findings point to a record cereal output this harvest following good rains in July over main producing areas, with 27% above the five-year average. However, in the north, labour shortages due to displacement, lack of agricultural support services, and fragmentation of markets have had a negative impact on agricultural production (GIEWS 04/12/2015).
Over 2 million people are thought to be in need of health services in central and northern regions. The majority are in Timbuktu (639,000). 514,000 are in Gao, 491,000 in Mopti, 346,000 in Segou, and 64,000 in Kidal (OCHA 09/12/2015).
2015 saw an increase in severe acute malnutrition (SAM) cases compared to 2014. As of early October, 96,121 SAM cases had been reported, which is already a more than 30% increase from the planning figure for the whole of 2015. Over 530,000 children are thought to suffer from moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) in 2015. WFP has suspended 50% of its assistance for MAM treatment due to funding shortfalls (ECHO 06/10/2015). In 2016, 769,000 children are expected to be acutely malnourished (OCHA 28/12/2015).
High SAM rates are reported in all regions, but particularly in Timbuktu, Segou, Koulikoro, and Mopti (ECHO 06/10/2015). A nutrition emergency was declared in Timbuktu in September, with 17.5% GAM and 3.9% SAM. This is a significant increase from the 14.8% GAM reported in the same period in 2014 (OCHA 30/09/2015; 05/12/2015).
In Segou region 106,000 children were acutely malnourished in September, with GAM at 11.2%. In Mopti, GAM is 10% and 85,000 children are malnourished. In Gao, GAM is 11.5%, corresponding to 26,400 children suffering from acute malnutrition (OCHA 15/09/2015). In Koulikoro, GAM is at 13%, including 2% SAM (MaliWeb 02/09/2015).
825,000 people are in need of WASH assistance (OCHA 12/02/2016). Access to safe water is limited, and only 43% of existing water sources are functional (OCHA 28/12/2015). In Timbuktu 310,000 people do not have regular access to drinking water. 278,000 people lack access to drinking water in Gao, 746,000 in Segou, and more than one million in Mopti (OCHA 15/09/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
Some 400,000 people are in need of shelter assistance. 30% of returnees find their houses seriously damaged and in need of rehabilitation (Shelter Cluster 11/2015).
Nearly 400,000 children in Mali are in need of assistance in order to access education (OCHA 09/12/2015). Access to education has improved so far in the 2015–2016 school year, as some schools have reopened. The only districts not seeing an improvement in the number of functional schools are Douentza (Mopti), Timbuktu, and the four districts of Kidal region (Education Cluster 05/12/2015; OCHA 11/12/2015; 30/11/2015; 24/11/2015). In the Mopti region, 32 schools have failed to reopen for the 2015 school year due to violence ongoing since June (Guardian 21/12/2015).
Access and learning environment
380,000 children aged 7–15 are out of school in northern Mali due to insecurity. The journey to and from school remains unsafe, and fear of unexploded mines and other remnants of war have forced parents to keep their children out of school (UNICEF 18/12/2015).
282 schools remained closed in November 2015 in conflict affected areas, compared to 454 that were closed the previous academic year. In Kidal, no schools were officially open in the last school year, and 50 (80%) of schools remain closed. 94 schools (15%) remain closed in Timbuktu, mainly in western Goundam, Timbuktu, and northern Gourma Rharous districts. 72 (10%) are closed in Gao, 63 (20%) in the three conflict‑affected districts of Mopti region, and three (75%) in Nampala commune, Segou region. There are seven communes where no schools are open (Education Cluster 05/12/2015; OCHA 11/12/2015; 30/11/2015; 24/11/2015). Some have been closed since 2012, others closed due to the deterioration of the security situation in 2015 (OCHA 30/09/2015).
Teaching and learning
Violence has led to a shortage of teachers. Many have fled the conflict areas in the north or are not reporting to work because of insecurity and fear of being targeted by violence. In the three northern regions there is a shortage of at least 590 teachers compared to the pre-crisis level (UNICEF 18/12/2015; OCHA 30/09/2015).
Nearly 550,000 people are estimated to be in need of protection (OCHA 08/10/2015). The increase in Islamist violence in recent months increases protection concerns. Though national and international security forces are often targeted, transportation for civilians and for commerce purposes also face an increased risk (UNOHCHR 19/10/2015).
Mines and ERW
The number of casualties from explosive remnants of war (ERW) has decreased considerably in 2015, but improvised explosive device (IED) casualties are increasing (OCHA 15/06/2015). ERW have killed 28 people and injured 136 since February 2012. Since July 2013, IEDs have killed 36 and injured 116. The number of casualties increased significantly in 2015, compared to 2014 (UNMAS 08/12/2015). 60% of victims of ERW are children (OCHA 09/12/2015).
Three armed groups (Ansar Dine, MNLA, and MUJAO) are reportedly recruiting and using children, and are listed for rape and other forms of sexual violence (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict 01/09/2015).
Since March 2015, 441 gender-based violence incidents have been reported. 90% of victims were female, and 34% involved minors. Victims often lack livelihood support services and safe accommodation. Survivors generally refuse referral to legal or protection services, in fear of retaliation or stigmatisation by their community (OCHA 31/07/2015).
Niger Country Analysis
29 January: Authorities in Niger extended the state of emergency in Diffa region a third time, for three months (AFP 29/01/2016).
- 480,000 people faced Crisis and Emergency food insecurity (IPC Phases 3 and 4) over October–December 2015 (OCHA, 30/11/2015).
- Over 346,000 children were admitted for severe acute malnutrition treatment in 2015 (UNICEF 31/01/2016).
- Approximately 319,000 displaced people in Diffa region, including 98,000 Nigerian refugees, 68,000 returning Niger nationals, and up to 153,000 IDPs who have fled from or anticipated violence (OCHA/Government 17/12/2015).
- More than 54,000 Malian refugees, 4,000 of whom arrived between October and November, continue to rely on humanitarian assistance (UNHCR 10/11/2015; 31/10/2015).
- Protection, food, health, shelter, and WASH assistance are urgently needed for newly displaced populations in Diffa region (OCHA 30/11/2015).
- Access to healthcare and the prevention of epidemics, particularly malaria, meningitis, and measles, are humanitarian priorities (OCHA 31/10/2015).
Niger faces severe underlying vulnerability, leaving it highly susceptible to recurrent shocks. Drought, floods and epidemics frequently drive food security, nutrition, and health crises. Compounding this situation, Niger has seen a rise in insecurity over the past few years, stemming from crises in neighbouring Nigeria, Mali and Libya. Despite regional military efforts against Boko Haram, populations along the Komadougou Yobe River and the shores of Lake Chad suffer regular attacks on civilians. As a result, displaced populations in Diffa region face urgent needs for protection and humanitarian assistance.
Politics and security
Niger has seen a rise in insecurity in recent years stemming from crises in neighbouring Nigeria, Mali, and Libya. Threats from Boko Haram (BH) are of particular concern. BH has conducted over 72 attacks on civilians in Diffa region since February 2015 (OCHA 11/01/2016). In October, authorities in Niger declared a state of emergency in Diffa region, which was extended for a third time on 29 January for three months (AFP 29/01/2016). Correspondingly, a curfew and restricted movement of goods and people have been enforced in Diffa region (UNHCR 13/10/2015). Similar security measures were in force from February‑September (Reuters 14/10/2015; OCHA 19/10/2015).
Thousands of troops from Niger and Chad launched a major ground and air offensive against BH in southeastern Niger in March 2015 (AFP 14/03/2015). A Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) comprising at least 8,700 troops from Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Benin under a common command, is yet to be fully deployed (AFP 15/10/2015). Military operations and regular BH attacks across Diffa region have driven evacuations and displacement of populations (UNICEF 16/07/2015; OCHA 11/09/2015). In October, at least 30 US troops were deployed to Agadez to train 100 Niger soldiers (Reuters 06/11/2015).
In remote areas to the north and west of the country, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) pose additional security threats.
The first round of presidential elections is scheduled for 21 February 2016, coinciding with legislative elections. President Issoufou formally announced his candidacy on 8 November (RFI 08/11/2015). Relations between the ruling party and the opposition have been tense since the opposition accused Issoufou of unilaterally forming a government of national unity in 2013 (AFP 13/09/2015; Reuters 15/09/2015). There are eight opposition candidates – many former ministers or members of parliament (AFP 29/11/2015; 28/12/2015). Opposition to voting lists, which are claimed to be erroneous and unfair, has been vocal (AFP 20/12/2015). On 23 December, Niger’s electoral commission announced an international audit would take place, despite the interior minister ruling out the possibility days earlier (AFP 23/12/2015).
A number of political incidents have been reported since the leading opposition candidate, Hama Amadou, was arrested upon his return from exile on 15 November, on trafficking charges – accusations he denies (AFP 15/11/2015). Clashes between opposition supporters and security forces were reported in Niamey after Amadou’s arrest, and in Zinder, following a court order forbidding political gatherings (ICG 01/12/2015). On 14 December, gunmen attacked policemen guarding the construction site of the ruling party’s new headquarters (AFP 14/12/2015). On 17 December, the government declared it had foiled a coup d’état, arresting nine military officials attached to units of the air force, artillery and special forces (AFP 17/12/2015; RFI 20/12/2015). On 11 January, an appeals court denied Amadou’s plea to have his prison sentence overturned, effectively ruling him out of February’s elections (Reuters 11/01/2016).
Despite reports that BH’s capacities had been weakening, the number of attacks has reportedly increased in the southeast since September 2015 (ECHO 18/11/2015; OCHA 20/01/2016). Ten attacks in November and December killed 49 civilians (UNICEF 31/12/2015). Most recently, on 23 December, five people were killed in an attack on Abadam town (Reuters 23/12/2015).
Niger faces multiple displacement crises. BH violence means approximately 316,000 displaced people are in Diffa region including IDPs, returnees from Nigeria, and Nigerian refugees (OCHA/Government 17/12/2015). Over 50,000 Malian refugees are living in the southwest, mostly in camps (UNHCR 10/11/2015). Instability in Libya has prompted vulnerable Niger nationals to return home, and migrants of other nationalities to transit through the country, some of whom become stranded in need of protection assistance in transit cities, including Agadez (IOM 15/09/2015).
Boko Haram crisis
The BH insurgency has triggered large-scale displacement in northeast Nigeria and is increasingly threatening citizens on and around Lake Chad, including in Niger, Chad, and Cameroon (UNHCR 24/09/2015). BH attacks have become more frequent since August, triggering pre-emptive and post-violence displacement (UNHCR 30/11/2015). There are 153,000 IDPs, including at least 59,000 who fled violence and 94,000 people who were evacuated by the military between November and December. 91,800 IDPs are children (UNICEF 31/12/2015; OCHA/Government 17/12/2015).
Frequent population movements and limited access due to insecurity inhibit accurate profiling and tracking, as well as the delivery of assistance (UNHCR 18/11/2015). Many people were displaced more than five times in 2015 (IFRC 10/12/2015). WFP estimates that the number of displaced could be growing by as much as 25,000 people per month (WFP 11/01/2016).
Some 70 villages have been left empty in Diffa region since February 2015. IDPs and their host populations in the region are in urgent need of shelter and NFIs (UNHCR 19/01/2016). An estimated 98,000 Nigerians and 68,000 returned Niger migrants are estimated to be seeking refuge in the region (OCHA/Government 17/12/2015; 31/12/2015). Over 40,800 returnees are children (UNICEF 31/12/2015). Large populations have been fleeing towns in Diffa’s Bosso department, which has seen a rise in attacks since September (USAID 27/11/2015). Many of the displaced are living in makeshift camps along a 100km stretch of the main highway in Diffa region (UN 19/01/2016; UNHCR 19/01/2016).
Only 5% of refugees live in two camps (Kablewa and Sayam Forage), with the rest dispersed through host communities and spontaneous sites (OCHA 30/11/2015). At least 30,000 people in Diffa are entirely reliant on humanitarian aid (USAID 31/10/2015). Priority needs are shelter, WASH, health, food and nutrition (OCHA 02/11/2015). Particularly urgent assistance is needed in Bosso department, where access has been severely constrained since February 2015 (UNHCR 18/11/2015).
Malian refugees have been arriving in Niger since the 2012–13 civil war. Although 7,000 refugees were repatriated in 2013, the number of Malian refugees in Niger has grown from 47,000 to 56,000 since the beginning of 2015 (UNHCR 10/11/2015; OCHA 15/01/2016). Continuous new arrivals are being registered in all the camps and refugee hosting areas (UNHCR 31/12/2015). Over 4,000 people arrived in October and November, fleeing lawlessness, food insecurity and inter-tribal violence in eastern Mali. Humanitarian responders, whose operations are geared towards repatriation, are struggling to meet the immediate needs of this rapid influx (UNHCR 10/11/2015; 31/10/2015).
Approximately 18,000 Malian refugees live in the hosting areas of Intikane and Tazalite, where they have access to pastoral activities and humanitarian assistance. A further 13,700 live in Abala camp, 9,300 in Tabareybarey, and 7,500 in Mangaize (UNHCR 31/10/2015). Smaller refugee populations live in urban centres, including Niamey. 62% of refugees are children (UNHCR 30/09/2015).
A curfew and restrictions on movement have been imposed on Diffa region after a state of emergency was declared in October 2015 (Reuters 14/10/2015). In December the curfew was extended, to start an hour earlier (UNHCR 17/12/2015). Access beyond Diffa town in Diffa region is only possible with military escort, hampering access to populations in need (OCHA 20/01/2016).
Access of relief actors to affected populations
UN agencies can only access towns and settlements northeast of Diffa and Mainé Soroa – including Sayam Forage, Kablewa, and Bosso – with military escort (OCHA 11/01/2016).
Camps and hosting areas near the border with Mali are only accessible to humanitarian actors with military escorts, as are roads northeast of Agadez towards Libya (OCHA 31/10/2015).
Food security and livelihoods
Niger faces recurrent food insecurity. Over 2 million people do not have access to adequate food and will need assistance in 2016 (UNICEF 26/02/2016). Much of the country emerged from the yearly lean season (May-September) to reach Minimal and Stressed levels (IPC Phases 1 and 2) (FEWSNET 30/11/2015; 31/12/2015); however, over October‑December 2015, an estimated 480,000 people faced Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phases 3 and 4) food security outcomes (OCHA, 30/11/2015). 97% of the severely food insecure population lives in four regions: Maradi (33%), Diffa (31%), Dosso (18%) and Tillabery (15%) (OCHA 30/11/2015). IPC Phase 3 is expected to persist until September 2016 in Diffa region (FEWSNET 25/01/2016).
In pastoral areas of Tillabery and Zinder regions, Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security outcomes are expected from January through March (FEWSNET 31/12/2015).
In most agricultural zones of Niger, conditions have improved since July, following good rains (FEWSNET 30/11/2015). According to official national estimates, harvests slightly surpassed the five year average, but did not meet 2014 levels (FEWSNET 31/12/2015). Significant deficits were recorded in Diffa region (GIEWS 09/12/2015). Fishing and agriculture in and around Lake Chad and the Komadougou Yobe River have been constrained due to insecurity (IFRC 10/12/2015).
Insecurity continues to limit food access in eastern Niger (FEWSNET 30/11/2015). A reduction in imported cereals has led to an increase in the prices of millet (19%) and sorghum (7%) compared to January 2015 (WFP 31/01/2016).
Households in Niger face severely depleted assets and high levels of indebtedness (FAO 13/10/2015). In Diffa, regional authorities claim frequent BH attacks have cost the economy USD 32 million since February 2015, negatively impacting on the resilience of local communities (OCHA 02/11/2015). Major sources of income, including cross-border trade and work requiring motorbikes and vehicles, have been impeded by security constraints (IFRC 10/12/2015). From March 2016 through the lean season, poor households will face serious economic challenges to meet subsistence survival (FAO 17/12/2015).
Health services are limited in Niger, particularly in rural areas, and Niger is prone to disease outbreaks. An estimated 700,000 people live in areas at risk of epidemics (OCHA/Government 11/12/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
Health services in Diffa region are strained with the arrival of new IDPs, and lack medicines and qualified personnel (OCHA 20/05/2015). Diffa regional hospital is short of staff, as are 11 of 51 health centres in the region (WFP 01/09/2015). Health facilities in Sayam Forage and Kablewa displacement camps are weak: Sayam Forage camp’s nearest hospital is in Diffa town, 45km away (UNHCR 30/11/2015).
5,835 measles cases had been recorded by November 2015, almost six times the number recorded in 2014 (OCHA 17/11/2015; 14/12/2014).
While nutrition rates in 2015 improved on 2014 figures, Niger continues to battle a malnutrition crisis. Over 346,000 children were admitted for SAM treatment in 2015, including nearly 16,700 in Diffa (UNICEF 31/01/2016; OCHA 14/12/2014). Most of the children were in Tillabery, Maradi, Zinder, and Diffa regions (UNICEF 30/09/2015). Over 400,000 children are expected to suffer from SAM in 2016 (UNICEF 26/01/2016).
Diffa continues to face particularly poor nutrition outcomes. A shortage of staff in health centres is limiting nutrition programmes (OCHA 02/11/2015). By 25 October, 15,539 children suffering SAM had been treated in 2015 (OCHA 02/11/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
An estimated 90,000 people need emergency or transitional shelters in Diffa region (UNHCR 07/12/2015). 35% of households in Diffa live in shelters that do not meet minimum standards. Each host family hosts around 17 people. 60% of IDPs in sites are homeless (OCHA 20/05/2015). At least 600 shelters are needed for newly displaced populations in Koublé Ngourtoua and Boudoum.
135,000 people need NFIs in Diffa region (UNHCR 07/12/2015). People in the villages of Djakimea (1 and 2), Bilabrim, Faya, Wouyé, Maliari, Meleram, and Kangouri are in need of essential non-food items (OCHA 02/11/2015).
Across Diffa region, 60% of the population – more than 400,000 people – have no access to drinking water. 86% do not have access to adequate sanitation facilities (UNHCR 07/12/2015). 84 of 110 villages assessed in Diffa lack water points, and 89 villages are in need of sanitation assistance (latrines and showers): a total of 397 water points and 4,921 latrines are needed in the region (OCHA 02/11/2015; UNICEF 30/09/2015). 8,000 displaced people in Koublé Ngourtoua and Boudoum lack WASH services (OCHA 02/11/2015).
An estimated 210,000 displaced children will need assistance accessing education (UNHCR 07/12/2015). Despite a programme to relocate more than 12,500 students whose schools closed due to insecurity, only half of them have been able to return to class (OCHA 15/01/2016). 40% of girls in Niger are enrolled in primary school, and only 20% in middle school (AFP 04/11/2015). Anglophone children from Nigeria face education barriers in Niger’s Francophone school system (UNCHR 07/12/2015).
Populations in Diffa region face major protection risks, including regular attacks on civilians, military operations near settlements, and a lack of documentation (UNHCR 07/09/2015). Women, children, and other vulnerable groups, including migrants, journalists and Christians all face specific protection risks.
190,000 children are reported to be in need of protection assistance (OCHA 27/01/2016). Niger has the highest percentage of child brides in the world, many of whom are sold by families to help cope with drought. According to CARE research, 76% of girls marry before they are 18 years old, and have little access to contraception or reproductive health services (CARE 09/10/2015).
Migrants: Migrants face significant protection risks in the transit city of Agadez, where smugglers and traffickers of people, drugs and counterfeit goods take advantage of vulnerable people heading north to or returning from Libya (UNODC 20/08/2015). As of 26 December, 7,300 migrants had been repatriated from Algeria in 2015, including 2,500 minors (OCHA 15/01/2016).
Journalists: Press freedom is tightening as pre-electoral tensions rise. Five journalists were reportedly arrested in ten days in November, four of whom were at the airport when opposition leader Hama Amadou was arrested on his return from exile. Another five journalists were arrested while covering a student demonstration in October (Reporters sans Frontières 25/10/2015).
Christians: Protection for Niger’s Christian minority has been a major concern since anti-Christian riots left 10 dead and many churches destroyed in January 2015. Christian areas were under high surveillance over the Christmas period (AFP 25/12/2015).
Approximately 80% of displaced people, including IDPs, refugees, and returnees, lack identification documentation, complicating registration procedures (UNHCR, 13/10/2015; OCHA 02/11/2015). Security impediments have forced UNHCR to postpone recent missions to Gagamari and Assaga for the identification of families wishing to relocate to Sayam Forage camp (UNHCR, 16/10/2015).
Mines and explosive remnants of war
Landmines are reportedly laid along the border between Niger and Nigeria, especially in areas near the Komadougou Yobe River (UNHCR 30/04/2015).
Occupied Palestinian Territories Country Analysis
12 January–2 February: A series of housing demolitions in Area C of the West Bank displaced over 110 Palestinians (OCHA 25/01/2016; AFP 02/0202/2016).
2.3 million people need humanitarian assistance; 1 million in the West Bank and 1.3 million in Gaza (OCHA 25/01/2016). 1.8 million people are in need of protection assistance (OCHA 25/01/2016). 1.6 million people are food insecure (OCHA 25/01/2016). 1.7 million people are in need of WASH assistance, particularly access to water (OCHA 14/12/2015). 1.4 million people are in need of health assistance (OCHA 14/12/2015)
Protection: People are facing or at risk of forced displacement, administrative detention, exposure to explosive remnants of war and outbreaks of physical violence. Health: Continuity of medical care is threatened by the financial crisis and electricity shortages. Mental health disorders constitute a major medical concern. Shelter: An estimated 100,000 Palestinians in Gaza have been living in damaged and makeshift structures since the 50‑day war in 2014.
Ensuring the delivery of essential services including healthcare, food, water and electricity remain of concern across the Gaza strip and the West Bank due to access restrictions imposed by Israel and neighbouring countries. Needs are particularly acute in Gaza, where around 100,000 Palestinians remain displaced from the 50-day war in 2014 and the ongoing blockade continues to severely restrict the delivery of services and the movement of people and goods.
Politics and security
Heightened tensions across oPt in September developed significantly in October: violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces, as well as a series of stabbing attacks by Palestinians against Israelis, have been a regular occurrence since 1 October. Israeli authorities have implemented new security measures including the deployment of at least 300 more soldiers, additional checkpoints, longer prison sentences for stone throwers, and accelerated a policy of punitive demolition of the family homes of Palestinian attackers. There has also been a sharp increase in the numbers of arrests and detentions (20/01/2016). Some of these measures are said to constitute forms of collective punishment and a violation of human rights (OCHA 06/01/2016; 12/10/2015; AFP 09/01/2016).
On 2 October, Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Fatah, stated that the PA was considering ending two decades of security cooperation with Israel. This would represent a severe deterioration in relations between the PA and Israel (AFP 02/10/2015). The Palestinian unity government resigned in June. Hamas now governs the Gaza Strip, and Fatah the West Bank (Al Jazeera 17/06/2015).
On 30 June, Islamic State (IS) declared its intentions to replace Hamas as the main power in Gaza. No action followed, but Sinai, the Egyptian territory adjacent to Gaza, has been the site of major clashes between the Egyptian army and armed groups allied to IS (Independent 01/07/2015; Al Jazeera 01/07/2015). Sunni militants linked to IS have said they were behind rockets launched from Gaza in recent months, but Israel holds Hamas responsible (AFP 02/01/2016).
On 20 January it was announced that Israel has begun constructing a security fence along its border with Jordan, with the stated aim of blocking the movement of illegal migrants (AFP 20/01/2016).
Hamas is an Islamist organisation established in 1987 during the first Palestinian Intifada – The Uprising (1987–1993), with the aim of resisting the Israeli occupation. It provides some social welfare programmes, and its military wing, the Izzedine al Qassam Brigades, fights Israel. In 2006 Hamas won political office in Gaza. Tensions with its secular rival Fatah erupted in 2007, when Hamas set up a rival government in the Gaza Strip. Hamas has regularly fired rockets into Israel and conducted attacks against Israeli military and civilian targets.
Fatah or the Palestinian Liberation Organisation (PLO) was founded in the late 1950s for the purpose of launching commando raids on Israel. Despite being expelled from Jordan, and then Lebanon, it eventually became the controlling power behind the Palestinian Authority (PA), which was founded in the 1990s. Fatah lost control of Gaza in 2007 to Hamas. Fatah remains the dominant party in the West Bank and within the PA.
Israel has occupied the West Bank and east Jerusalem since 1967. It has been accused of pursuing a policy of illegal ‘settlement construction’ in the West Bank and forcibly displacing Palestinians from territory recognised by the UN as Palestinian. Israel withdrew its forces and removed its settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005, but imposed a strict blockade in 2007 to control the flow of goods and materials. Israel and Hamas have been involved in three major conflicts in 2008, 2012 and 2014. In each, Israel has been accused of the disproportionate use of force.
Incidents between Palestinians and Israeli security forces and Israeli settlers dramatically increased during the third quarter of 2015. International media report that, since 1 October, violent clashes have killed 164 Palestinians, 26 Israelis, an Arab Israeli, an American, and an Eritrean (AFP 03/02/2016). At least 32 of the Palestinians killed were children (PRCS 26/01/2016). Over 15,000 Palestinians and 350 Israelis are reported to have been injured (OCHA 06/01/2016). Live ammunition accounts for 27% of injuries (OCHA 08/12/2015). Over 20 people have been killed since the start of 2016; the vast majority Palestinian (PRCS 23/01/2016).
West Bank and East Jerusalem
Clashes and protests between Palestinians and Israeli security forces have been occurring across the West Bank almost daily since 1 October. Settler violence has increased since early October (OCHA 08/12/2015). The majority of injuries recorded have been in the Qalqilya and Hebron governorates (OCHA 08/12/2015; 14/11/2015). However, in the final weeks of December the majority were recorded in the Bethlehem governorate (OCHA 02/01/2016).
On 18 January it was announced that Palestinian workers would be banned from entering Jewish settlements following the stabbing of two Israelis over two days. The 26,000 Palestinians employed in the settlements will be affected, and the decision will be reviewed on a daily basis (BBC 19/01/2016; Al Jazeera 20/01/2016).
Violent clashes and protests have occurred regularly since 1 October. On 25 December around 40 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces at several points along the barrier separating Gaza from Israel (AFP 25/12/2015).
Since 15 October, five Palestinians have been killed by Egyptian forces; three were using smuggling tunnels southeast of Rafah and on 5 November a teenager was killed whilst fishing in Palestinian waters southwest of Rafah (OCHA 09/11/2015; 19/10/2015). On 24 December, Egyptian forces shot dead a mentally disabled Palestinian swimming from Rafah across the maritime border to Egypt (OCHA 28/12/2015).
People are frequently injured in the Access Restricted Area (ARA), as Israeli forces open fire on those accused of entering. This occurred on 15 separate occasions in December; no injuries were reported (OCHA 14/12/2015).
There are sporadic reports of Palestinian armed groups firing rockets towards Israel and test-fire rockets into the sea. On 13 January, Israel launched an air raid in the north of the Gaza strip. One Palestinian was killed and three others were injured. This was the first air raid on Gaza for some time that did not follow rocket fire from Gaza towards Israel (AFP 13/01/2016).
263,600 people were displaced in oPt as of July 2015 (IDMC). 141,500 are in the West Bank and are mostly in protracted displacement. Up to 122,000 are in Gaza, around 95,000 of whom were displaced by the July–August 2014 conflict (OCHA 25/01/2016). Around 12,500 Palestinians were displaced between 2009 and early April 2015 after evictions, demolitions or pressure from settlers in Hebron (IDMC 28/09/2015). The escalation of tensions and violence since October has resulted in the increased speed and use of punitive housing demolitions.
Many IDPs are believed to be staying with the host communities, but their exact location, shelter requirements and other needs are unclear (UNRWA 19/06/2015; IFRC 06/03/2015; OCHA 31/05/2015).
In response to the latest wave of violence Israeli authorities have intensified access restrictions across the West Bank, including the implementation of more checkpoints and roadblocks. Restrictions on Palestinian freedom of movement are causing delays and hindering access to services and livelihoods (OCHA 06/01/2016).
Israel continues to impose a blockade on Gaza, severely restricting the movement of goods and people.
Access of relief actors to affected populations
The Palestinian Red Crescent has reported 355 assaults against the organisation since 3 October, and regular restrictions on the movement of their ambulances by the Israeli authorities (PRCS 23/01/2016). Almost half of the society’s ambulances have been damaged by Israeli forces since October (Al Jazeera 19/12/2015).
Between January and end of October 2015 28% of applications that allow for the movement of UN national staff were denied or pending, marking an increase in denials compared to 2014 (OCHA 25/01/2016).
Access of affected populations to assistance
West Bank and East Jerusalem: The Hebron governorate remains the most severely affected by access restrictions (OCHA 02/01/2016). There is only one route out of the city (AFP 12/11/2015). Youths aged 15–25 have been banned from certain streets (OCHA 02/01/2016). In East Jerusalem, a number of checkpoints and obstacles have been removed, however one check point in Jabal Al Moukaber and roadblocks in Eisawiah continue to affect the movement of residents and hinder access to medical assistance (PRCS 19/01/2016)
Rafah Crossing is often closed. It was open on 3–4 December, allowing 1,526 people to exit and 860 people to enter Gaza (OCHA 14/12/2015). Currently at least 30,000 Palestinians are registered as humanitarian cases waiting to leave Gaza via Rafah (OCHA 12/01/2016).
Erez Crossing: The number of crossings in October was 26% below the 2015 monthly average (OCHA 13/11/2015; 19/10/2015; 12/10/2015). During November the number of crossings increased. The crossing remains open only for those with Israeli issued permits, primarily medical cases and aid workers (OCHA 30/11/2015).
In November an increase in the number of medical referrals out of Gaza was issued due to the deteriorating health service in Gaza. However, the number of exit permits being approved has decreased, making access to external facilities more difficult (OCHA 08/12/2015).
There is a 55% energy deficit in Gaza (OCHA 06/07/2015). The entire population of Gaza is affected by rolling power cuts that are in effect daily, due to lack of fuel and interrupted supply from Egypt (OCHA 04/01/2016). In the past two weeks the electricity schedule has reduced from 12-16 hours of electricity a day, to between four and eight hours a day (OCHA 25/01/2016).
Food security and livelihoods
1.6 million are food insecure, equating to 31% of the population: 47% of the population of Gaza and 16% of the population of the West Bank (OCHA 25/01/2016). 868,000 people in Gaza require food aid (UNRWA 01/06/2015). Electricity shortages have impacted food production and refrigeration. Delays at crossings are complicating deliveries.
The olive industry makes up 25% of agricultural income in oPt, supporting the livelihoods of 100,000 families. The yield for 2015 is 25% less than 2014. An estimated 11,000 olive trees have been vandalised by settlers in 2015. This is the largest figure recorded since 2011 (OCHA 31/10/2015).
Israeli authorities have frozen 1,200 permits previously issued to Palestinians from Hebron governorate that allow access to Israel and East Jerusalem for work. Palestinians have also been banned from accessing their places of work in Israeli settlements in the Gush Etzion area near Bethlehem. These restrictions are expected to severely impact incomes and livelihoods (OCHA 23/11/2015).
1.4 million people are in need of health assistance (OCHA 14/12/2015).
Healthcare availability and access
Patients requiring medical assistance regularly have to be referred to services in either Egypt or Israel.
In October, stockouts were recorded for 31% of essential medicines in Gaza (WHO 19/10/2015). In August, the Ministry of Health in Ramallah reported that 19% of essential and complementary medicines (102 of 547 items) were at zero stock in the West Bank, which supplies Gaza as well (WHO 11/11/2015).
Al Shifa hospital in Gaza is running with only 80% of staff, and half the buildings are at risk of collapse (Al Jazeera 08/12/2015). Gaza’s electricity supply has decreased to between four and eight hours a day, placing additional strain on health infrastructure (OCHA 25/01/2016).
The infant mortality rate in Gaza has risen for the first time in more than five decades, from 20.2 per 1,000 live births in 2008 to 22.4 in 2013, the last date with available information (UN 09/08/2015).
Infant health is jeopardised by a shortage of medicinal supplies. There is a backlog of 30,000 blood samples in need of testing from newborn infants in Gaza (WHO 11/11/2015).
There are indications that the rate of suicide has increased since Operation Protective Edge in Gaza in 2014. Social stigmatisation of surviving family members, due to the religious condemnation and cultural view of suicide, prevents accurate reporting (AFP 30/09/2015; OCHA 31/11/2015).
282,000 children are in need of psychosocial support (OCHA 02/12/2015). Since the latest outbreak of violence on 1 October, MSF reports treating five times the usual number of patients for mental health problems in Hebron (MSF 22/10/2015).
1.4 million people are in need of nutrition assistance (OCHA 14/12/2015).
1.7 million people are in need of WASH assistance, particularly access to water (OCHA 14/12/2015).
More than 70% of Gaza’s population receive just six to eight hours water supply every two to four days (OCHA 04/01/2016). The Coastal Aquifer Basin is the only source of fresh water in Gaza. Only 5% of this water is potable (Al Jazeera 08/11/2015).
Over 85% of the Bedouin communities in Area C of the West Bank are not connected to water (OCHA 06/05/2015; 30/04/2015).
Up to 90 million litres of partially treated sewage are being discharged into the Mediterranean Sea every day, partially due to electricity and fuel shortages (OCHA 06/07/2015). This is exacerbating the contamination of the aquifer.
Sanitation facilities are in dire conditions across the Gaza strip. A cluster of around 70 makeshift tin homes in Khuzaa, on the outskirts of Gaza city, have no plumbing or washing facilities. The community is susceptible to the spread of bacteria and viruses (Al Jazeera 21/12/2015).
An estimated 1 million Palestinians are in need of shelter and NFI assistance (OCHA 25/01/2016).
As of 30 November, around 79,000 people in Gaza remain in need of improved temporary shelter as a result of the 2014 hostilities. 590,000 people are living in damaged houses or makeshift shelters The Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism agreed by Palestinian and Israeli governments has allowed for the import of materials needed for the reconstruction of 10% of the houses destroyed (OCHA 30/11/2015).
200 homes in the south of the Gaza strip have been damaged by flooding after heavy rainfall. A number temporary shelters in Khan Younis are completely flooded (PRCS 26/01/2016; AFP 31/01/2016).
In Area C of the West Bank, 107 communities have been identified as living in bad conditions and are in need of assistance (Shelter Cluster 16/11/2015).
600,000 people are in need of education assistance (OCHA 14/12/2015). UN schools in the Gaza have temporarily closed due to a recent spell of cold and wet weather (AFP 31/01/2016).
The Israeli authorities are accused of detaining individuals without trial, including children; forcibly displacing communities; legalising the use of force feeding of prisoners; and building on and claiming Palestinian land. There are currently 500 Palestinians, including at least four children, being held without trial (Al Jazeera 30/07/2015; EU 27/01/2016).
At least 361 violations against Palestinian journalists were documented in 2015, 100 of these since the latest wave of violence began in October (Al Jazeera 14/12/2015). Rubber bullets and live ammunition have been used (Palestinian Centre for Human Rights 17/10/2015).
Since October there has been a sharp increase in the number of human rights workers subjected to physical attacks, harassment, arrest, detention and death threats, and particularly around Hebron (UN Human Rights Council 18/12/2015).
1,081 demolitions were recorded from January 2014 to the end of October 2015 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, 394 (36%) of which were residential. 4,327 individuals have been affected. This is a 25% increase in 2015 from 2014 (Shelter Cluster Palestine 30/10/2015).
Since 1 October at least 100 people have been displaced as a result of punitive housing demolition in Hebron, Ramallah, and East Jerusalem: at least half the displaced are children (OCHA 02/12/2015).
Between 12 and 25 January Israeli authorities demolished or dismantled and confiscated 58 Palestinian structures Area C (the areas directly controlled by occupying Israeli forces) and East Jerusalem on the grounds of lacking a building permit. 39 people were displaced including 21 children. Three of the incidents occurred in Bedouin communities which involved the destruction of 16 properties, most of which had been provided through humanitarian assistance in response to previous demolitions (OCHA 25/01/2016). On 2 February a further 80 people were displaced by housing demolitions in villages south of Hebron, also in Area C (AFP 02/0202/2016).
On 18 January the Israeli Supreme Court confirmed the decision to demolish and evict residents from the unrecognised village of Atir-Umm al-Hiran in the Wadi Atir area of the Negev desert. The land is to be used for the construction of a Jewish town (BADIL 19/01/2016).
There are 11,000 outstanding housing demolition orders against Palestinian property in Area C of the West Bank (OCHA 06/01/2016).
18,000 Palestinians live in or near the 18% of the West Bank designated by the Israeli authorities as “firing zones”, areas of land claimed by the Israeli military for training and security purposes. Palestinians who live in these zones face severe access restrictions, recurrent demolition, and incidents of forced displacement and home demolition (OCHA 09/11/2015). During November and December 2015, Israeli measures against Palestinian herding communities in Area C intensified. Since early November the Humsa al Baqaia community, comprising 86 people, has been temporarily displaced on eight occasions to allow for Israeli military training (OCHA 06/01/2015).
On 22 November the Israeli government approved a plan which allows for the construction of five Jewish settlements in the Negev region in Area C of the West Bank, including on two Bedouin villages, home to 7,500 people (Al Jazeera 26/11/2015). The Israeli government plans to relocate the Bedouin communities to three designated sites away from their current location (UNRWA 19/01/2016).
Over 85% of the Bedouin communities are not connected to the electricity and water networks (OCHA 06/05/2015; 30/04/2015).
Mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW)
Palestinian civilians and security forces continue to be killed and injured by explosive remnants of war. Over 7,000 ERW are estimated to remain in Gaza, a result of the 2014 hostilities (ECHO 31/12/2015).
Over 200 children have been injured in clashes with Israeli forces since violence escalated in October (Al Jazeera 19/12/2015). At least 25 Palestinian children have been killed (PRCS 12/12/2014; OCHA 08/12/2015).
The Israeli army continues to arrest or detain Palestinian children as young as 11 (HRW 20/07/2015). The number of Palestinian children in Israeli prisons has risen from 156 at the end of September to over 400 by the end of December (UNICEF 18/01/2016). On 25 November a new bill was approved that permits the delivery of prison sentences to children as young as 12 (Defense for Children International 28/11/2015).
Pakistan Country Analysis