|Severe humanitarian crisis|
|Situation of concern|
- Severe humanitarian crisis
- Humanitarian crisis
- Situation of concern
- Watch list
Snapshot 18-24 February 2015
Myanmar: 90,000 people are now reported to have been displaced by continuing violence between government troops and multiple armed groups in Kokang, Shan state. Aid organisations have been subject to attack – seven people were wounded in two separate incidents.
Kenya: The number of cholera cases has risen in the past week to 644, from 186. The outbreak was declared in Homa Bay, Migori, and Nairobi counties on 13 February. 17 people have died, most in Migori, and there are fears that the outbreak will spread due to the lack of safe drinking water.
Nigeria: 564 cholera cases have been reported in Nigeria since January, with a fatality of rate of 8.3%. There has been a resurgence of cases in Kano and Kaduna states. In Borno state, the Nigerian military claims to have taken back Baga, Monguno, and ten other communities from Boko Haram.
Updated: 24/02/2015. Next update: 03/03/2015
Afghanistan Country Analysis
16 February: At least six people were killed and seven others injured in two avalanches in Yamgan district in Badakhshan province (Kuwait News Agency).
- 3,699 civilians killed and 6,849 injured oin 2014, a 22% increase in casualties on 2013; there were 21% and 40% more women and children casualties respectively (UNAMA/UNHCHR, 18/02/2015).
- 6.9 million in need of humanitarian aid in 2015. Badghis, Helmand, Kunar, Nangarhar, and Wardak most need assistance (UNICEF, 21/01/2015, OCHA, 25/11/2014).
- Displacement from Pakistan to Afghanistan’s Khost and Paktika provinces has been ongoing since mid-June 2014, leading to 298,940 refugees in February; new arrivals are vulnerable, while longer term concerns emerge from protracted displacement (UNHCR, 11/02/2015).
-805,400 IDPs, including 156,200 people displaced by conflict in 2014 (UNHCR, 31/12/2014).
- 3.4 million people are severely food insecure, while 5.4 million need access to health services and 1.7 million need protection (IPC, 01/11/2014).
- 517,600 children under five suffer from SAM, and eight provinces show GAM rates above 15%, breaching the emergency threshold (UNICEF, 21/01/2015, OCHA, 31/07/2014).
Natural disasters and armed conflicts in Afghanistan have caused humanitarian crisis. Assistance needs include food, healthcare, and protection.
The Afghan Government faces both internal and external challenges to its capacity and legitimacy, and the outcome of the 2014 presidential election will have implications for the country’s internal cohesion. The security environment is highly volatile and expected to deteriorate as international troops gradually withdraw from the country.
The Afghan Parliament rejected 10 of 18 cabinet nominees on 28 January, leaving the country in uncertainty until late March, when the President can introduce new candidates (AFP, 04/02/2015). Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah were sworn in as Afghanistan’s new President and Prime Minister, respectively, on 29 September 2014 (Reuters, 29/09/2014). The pair were rival presidential candidates in disputed elections (AFP, 26/09/2014).
Peace Talks with the Taliban
Although preliminary contacts between Kabul and the Taliban have been renewed since December, no substantial talks have been launched. On 10 January, Afghanistan joined Pakistan in military operations against militants in both countries (British & Irish Agencies Afghanistan Group, 31/01/2015). Peace talks with the Afghan Taliban have been stalled since mid-2013.
Harassment and intimidation by anti-government forces, inter-tribal disputes, cross-border shelling in Kunar province, and clashes between state and anti-government forces in Farhah, Nangarhar, Ghazni, Badghis, Maidan Wardak, Parwan, Kunduz, Logar, Helmand, and Kapisa provinces were major causes of insecurity and displacement in 2014 (UNHCR, 30/09/2014). Conflict between state and anti-government elements was ongoing in Kunar, Maidan Wardak, Helmand and Kapisa provinces end December (UNHCR, 31/12/2014).
3,699 civilians were killed and 6,849 were injured in 2014, a 22% increase in casualties on 2013; there were 21% more women casualties, and 40% more children. Ground engagements, increasingly in civilian-populated areas, have become the leading cause of civilian casualties, while the mounting use of indiscriminate weapons and IEDs is of concern (UNAMA/UNHCHR, 18/02/2015).
The Taliban claimed victory against NATO as it ended its combat mission at the end of 2014, and said they would continue their fight against remaining foreign forces in the country (Al Arabiya, 29/12/2014). Remote parts of southern and southeastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, remain under Taliban control. Taliban numbers have increased by 15% since the beginning of 2013, as the group has intensified attacks. They are increasingly financed by criminal enterprises, including heroin laboratories, illegal ruby and emerald mines and kidnapping (UNSC, 02/02/2015).
International Military Presence
NATO formally ended its combat mission in Afghanistan on 31 December, moving to the Resolute Support mission made up of 9,800 US troops and 3,000 soldiers from other member states. The mission will focus on supporting Afghan forces’ fight against the Taliban, along with US counter-terrorism operations. The move will test the readiness of 350,000 Afghan forces to deal with intensified Taliban attacks (Reuters, 01/01/2015).
Conflict Developments and Incidents
Kabul: A suicide attack targeting an EU police vehicle killed at least one passer-by on 5 January (AFP, 05/01/2015). The capital was hit by at least 12 suicide attacks over 1 November – 13 December 2014, mainly targeting foreigners (AFP, 13/12/2014).
Helmand: Shelling in Sangin on 1 January killed 25 civilians and injured a further 45 (UN, 01/01/2015).
Nangarhar: Six people were killed by an IED explosion in Nangarhar on 17 January (UNAMA, 18/01/2015).
Other incidents: At least nine people were killed and 34 wounded in a suicide attack on 29 January in Laghman province (AFP, 29/01/2015). An explosion in Jaghuri district in Ghazni killed eight and injured two on 20 January (AFP, 20/01/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Planning figures are for 6.9 million Afghans in need of humanitarian aid in 2015, including 2.8 million children, compared to 7.4 million in 2014 (UNICEF, 21/01/2015). Badghis, Helmand, Kunar, Nangarhar, and Wardak most need assistance (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
Lack of access to verify displacement and respond to immediate needs of IDPs continues to be a significant challenge (UNHCR, 31/12/2014).
Movement restrictions are increasingly being applied to aid workers. Access continues to present challenges to humanitarian actors in Helmand and in the eastern region, particularly in Kunar and Nangarhar (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
International military withdrawal raises concerns over reduced funding affecting the sustainability of services available to the population (Handicap International, 04/12/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
There were 293 incidents against aid workers in 2014 (OCHA, 31/12/2014, 30/11/2014).
The Mine Action Programme in Afghanistan was directly affected by 37 incidents that resulted in 34 deaths among its personnel and 27 injuries in 2014, including 12 mine clearance workers killed in a Taliban attack in Helmand in December (UN, 15/01/2015).
At least six people were killed and seven injured in two avalanches in Yamgan district in Badakhshan province on 16 February; access to the area is limited due to the presence of armed groups (Kuwait News Agency, 16/02/2015).
Around 120,000 people were affected by natural hazards in 2014, mainly floods and heavy rainfall in northern and central Afghanistan, 450 killed and 214 injured (IOM, 31/12/2014).
At end December, there were 805,400 profiled IDPs in Afghanistan, mainly in southern, western, and eastern areas; 156,200 of these were displaced by conflict in 2014 (UNHCR, 31/12/2014).
IDPs are particularly impacted by the severe winter temperatures (UN, 07/01/2015). In November, people began leaving IDP camps where shelters are inadequate for winter (FEWSNET, 01/11/2014). In December, 6,120 IDPs were displaced from Kapisa to Kabul, 3,556 were displaced in Ghazni, 2,209 in Badghis, including from Ghor province, 2,024 in Kunar and 1,930 in Farhah, an increase on November numbers; priority needs are for food, NFIs, winterisation assistance, and cash grants (UNHCR, 31/12/2014). Most IDPs in conflict-affected areas are with host families, in rented accommodation or in emergency shelters.
About 73,000 IDPs were living in urban areas in Kabul, Hirat, Mazar-e-Sharif and in settlements outside Hirat early November (OCHA, 06/11/2014).
Refugees in Afghanistan
Displacement from Pakistan to Afghanistan’s Khost and Paktika provinces has been ongoing since mid-June 2014. At 10 February, these provinces were hosting nearly 298,940 refugees (42,030 families) from Pakistan. New families arrived in Barmel district in Paktika and Gulan camp in the first week of February, following military operations in North Waziristan; new refugees are more vulnerable due to the winter conditions and persistent conflict (UNHCR, 11/02/2015; 04/02/2015).
Gulan camp in Khost hosts around 8,085 families, but more than 80% of refugees live in host communities, which are often remote and difficult to access, and stretched beyond capacity (UNHCR, 11/02/2015; 03/12/2014). Gurboz district in Khost and Barmel in Paktika have the highest number of refugees, with 11,410 and 10,215 families, respectively.
Host communities’ resilience is expected to decrease over winter months as resources are exhausted and available shelter is limited (UNHCR, 23/10/2014).
An additional 600,000 Baloch refugees who have fled insurgency activities in Pakistan since 1986 are living in precarious conditions in Afghanistan, notably in Nimroz (AAN, 31/12/2014).
Kabul: As of 11 December, 40,629 refugees were in 52 informal settlements in the capital (OCHA, 17/12/2014). The most populated are Charahi Qamber (7,436 individuals), Chamani Babrak (3,429) and Puli Campany (3,652) (OCHA, 17/12/2014).
Returns of undocumented Afghans from Pakistan have increased following security incidents in the country, particularly the December Taliban attack in Peshawar. By 11 February, 32,000 undocumented Afghans had spontaneously returned in 2015, and 2,000 had been deported through the Torkham border. This is a 130% increase in returns and deportations on the whole of 2014. 37% have settled in Nangarhar province (IOM, 13/02/2015).
Afghan Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 30 September, there were 2.5 million Afghan refugees in neighbouring countries (USAID, 01/10/2014).
At least 3.7 million Afghans are food insecure in 187 districts (USAID/Government, 01/02/2015). Households are expected to remain Minimal through April, except for Badghis province and parts of northeastern Afghanistan. IDPs inaccessible to humanitarian agencies, particularly in insecure districts in Helmand, are in Crisis, having lost much of their access to income (FEWSNET, 30/11/2014, 01/11/2014). Households in Badghis province will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through March, and at least 20% will move to Crisis from April, due to a below-average 2014 harvest and lack of dietary diversity during the lean season. Pakistani refugees and host families in Khost and Paktika provinces are Stressed, but only thanks to continued humanitarian assistance (FEWSNET, 11/02/2015).
Displaced households or otherwise affected by conflict and natural disasters will continue to require assistance (FEWSNET, 31/12/2014). Due to a funding shortfall, WFP has been able to pre-position only 35% of food assistance for an estimated 830,000 people ahead of winter (OCHA, 31/12/2014). 54 districts in central Afghanistan will be impossible to access in winter, affecting around 750,000 conflict-displaced WFP beneficiaries (OCHA, 15/10/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
2014 wheat production was 64% lower than 2013, and January 2015 wheat grain and flour prices have increased 12% on average compared to 2014, leading to excess sales of livestock; Badghis province is most affected (FEWSNET, 11/02/2015). Conflict in Helmand in 2014 hampered farmers’ ability to harvest their crops (FEWSNET, 01/11/2014).
Lack of snow in February and March could affect irrigated production, particularly for crops harvested in September and October and those planted between September and December (FEWSNET, 11/02/2015).
Political uncertainty led to decreased investment in many sectors including construction and trade, which are key employers of casual labour. Faryab province saw the largest decline in casual labour wages: rates were 43% lower in September than in 2013 and the five-year average. They were 23% and 14% lower than 2013 in Badakhshan and Balkh provinces, respectively (FEWSNET, 01/11/2014).
Decreased prices for some cash crops compared to last year is limiting incomes (FEWSNET, 01/12/2014). Opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan has risen by 7%, from 209,000 hectares in 2013 to 224,000 hectares in 2014 (UN, 12/11/2014).
Health and Nutrition
The number of people in need of access to health services has increased from 3.3 to 5.4 million (OCHA).
There is a shortage of trained surgeons, anaesthetists and trauma capacity in conflict-affected areas (OCHA, 25/11/2014). Nearly 80% of maternal and reproductive health needs are unmet (WHO, 10/12/2014).
Pneumonia and acute respiratory infections are major concerns during the winter season. Access to health facilities may also be hampered by winter weather (WHO, 03/11/2014).
According to the National Nutrition Survey, 517,596 children suffer from SAM (UNICEF, 21/01/2015). Provinces in need of attention are Uruzgan, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Khost, Paktia, Wardak, Kunar, and Laghman, where GAM rates are breaching the emergency threshold of 15% (National Nutrition Survey, OCHA 31/07/2014).
Less than 20% of children with SAM and MAM received the treatment they needed in 2014 (OCHA, 25/11/2014). An estimated 45% of all child deaths in refugee and IDP camps are linked to malnutrition (UNICEF, 21/01/2015).
There is a risk to the nutrition of Pakistani refugees and host communities in Khost and Paktika, linked to common animal diseases present in these areas, reducing the availability of meat and milk products (FEWSNET, 11/02/2015).
28 polio cases were reported in 2014, mostly in conflict-affected areas, compared to 14 in 2013 (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 14/01/2015). Afghan and Pakistani authorities agreed in July to cooperate in an anti-polio campaign in their border areas (UNICEF 12/07/2014).
1.9 million Afghans are in need of better access to safe WASH facilities (UNICEF, 21/01/2015). WASH conditions remain public health concerns in Khost and Paktika (FEWSNET, 11/02/2015). Additional latrines are needed in Gulan camp (UNHCR, 08/01/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
Two million people are living higher than 2,000m in Afghanistan and exposed to extreme winter conditions, including 244,200 new refugees in Khost and Paktika, 32,000 displaced in Kabul informal settlements and 2,300 recently displaced by conflict. 423,300 children under five, 253,920 people over 55, 7,000 in need of shelter, and 544,000 economically vulnerable living in hard-to-reach reach areas are also vulnerable (OCHA, 31/10/2014). 29,600 people will be facing winter without adequate shelter (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
Educational facilities in Khost are overstretched, with 344 schools employing 6,000 teachers and catering for around 360,000 children. There are 50,000 school-aged refugee children in Khost (Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 05/11/2014).
Around 3.5 million (43%) school-aged children in Afghanistan are out of school and 53% of school-aged children are illiterate (38% among males, and 68% among females). Only 27% of teachers are qualified to teach, with strong regional variations (UNFPA, 19/12/2015).
Gender and Gender-based Violence
There are reports of possible increased domestic violence among refugees as a result of camp conditions (UNHCR, 08/01/2015).
In Afghanistan, up to 87% of women have experienced at least one form of physical, sexual, or psychological violence, or forced marriage (UNFPA, 19/12/2014).
The Afghan national and local police and three armed groups (Taliban, Haqqani Network, and Hezb-e-Islami) have been listed for recruitment and use of children. The Taliban has been listed for attacks on schools and hospitals (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict 02/06/2014).
Violence against Journalists
There were 129 incidents of violence against Afghan journalists in 2014, resulting in eight deaths, a 69% increase in incidents on 2013. The increase in cases follows international troops’ withdrawal and a tense political situation after contested presidential elections (International Media Support, 15/01/2015).
Central African Republic Country Analysis
18 February: With the closing of Bangui’s M’poko IDP site scheduled for this month, the return intentions of each household are being registered (OCHA, 18/02/2015).
17 February: Government leaders met with other international leaders in Cameroon, in order to finalise plans for a military offensive against Boko Haram (Aljazeera, 17/02/2015).
16 February: The first half of February showed a rise in security incidents, resulting in population movement, including 150 DRC nationals requesting evacuation assistance (IOM, 16/02/2015).
- Communal violence surged across the country in 2013, with attacks reported in nearly all prefectures. More than 5,000 people have died since December 2013 (Government, 16/09/2014, BBC, 07/01/2015).
- 2.7 million of 4.6 million people needed immediate assistance in December, half of them children (OCHA, 09/12/2014). There are 854,070 people of concern (UNHCR, 05/12/2014).
- 1.5 million people are in Crisis and Emergency phases of food insecurity (OCHA, 04/02/2015).
- 166,045 IDPs are in displacement sites (OCHA, 08/12/2014) and 50,281 IDPs in Bangui (OCHA, 19/12/2014; 04/02/2015).
- 427,052 CAR refugees are registered in neighbouring countries since December 2013 (UNHCR, 23/01/2014).
Health, protection, food, and WASH continue to top priority needs, as violence, looting, and displacement have led to massive deterioration of an already dire humanitarian situation across the country. Violence between Muslim communities, perceived to have links with the ex-Seleka, and Christian communities, aligned with the anti-balaka militias, has resulted in displacement, targeted killings along communal lines, and human rights abuses.
In late 2012, Muslim Seleka fighters advanced from the north, taking control of territory on their way to the capital Bangui, where they held power until December 2013. Seleka committed numerous abuses during their advance and rule, and self-defence militias composed of mainly non-Muslims, ‘anti-balaka’, began to carry out revenge attacks in late 2013. The UN Commission of Inquiry into human rights concluded on 8 January that violence towards Muslims by anti-balaka in 2014 constitutes ethnic cleansing (Government, 20/01/2015).
Most ex-Seleka members withdrew to the north at the end of 2013, but fighting persisted between ex-Seleka and anti-balaka, Muslim and Christian communities, and pastoralists and farmers. The African Union had already deployed troops to CAR prior to Seleka’s assumption of power, but was overwhelmed by the severity and scope of the conflict. The African Union forces, MISCA, backed by France were deployed in December 2013 authorised by the UN. In mid-September 2014, the UN peacekeeping force took over operations under the name MINUSCA.
In August 2014, a transitional government was formed. There will be no national elections before late 2015, and the long duration of the transitional government risks worsening the crisis (Missionary International Service News Agency, 01/09/2014). The ex-Seleka have rejected the transitional Government, and proclaimed a de facto, independent, secular state in northeastern CAR in July (IRIN 23/09/2014; Government, 24/07/2014). In January, the CAR Government rejected a ceasefire deal made in Kenya between anti-balaka and ex-Seleka militants, the signatories later appealed for international support (Reuters, 29/01/2015; AFP, 30/01/2015).
During the week of 17 February, government leaders joined others in Cameroon to finalise plans for a military offensive against Boko Haram (Aljazeera, 17/02/2015).
More than 5,000 people have been killed since December 2013 (BBC, 07/01/2015). More than 1,267 security incidents were recorded since January 2014, including 31 in 2015 (OCHA, 21/01/2015).
Ex-Seleka: Seleka is an alliance of factions created in 2012 and dissolved by President Djotodia in late 2013. However, many fighters remained active and were therefore dubbed ‘ex-Seleka’. With the exception of 17,114 confined to three military camps in Bangui, most moved out of the capital and took control of most of the central and northern part of CAR in January 2014 (IRIN, 17/09/2014). Bambari, Ouaka, reportedly became the ex-Seleka headquarters in May. Rival ex-Seleka groups have clashed on several occasions; a new faction, Unity for CAR, led by General Ali Darassa, was created in October (Jeune Afrique, 27/10/2014). An estimated 12,000 fighters make up the armed ex-Seleka, including Muslims from the northeast, and Sudanese and Chadians (IRIN, 12/01/2015; international media, 30/09/2014).
Anti-balaka: The anti-balaka were formed in order to counter the Seleka; there are around 75,000 militants, though the numbers are contested, and their main leaders and political programme remain unknown (IRIN, 12/01/2015). After the coup and Djotodia’s resignation, many members of the former government army, the FACA, joined the anti-balaka. It is suspected that up to ten anti-balaka factions function in the vicinity of Bangui (IRIN, 12/02/2014). An anti-balaka leader, Rodrigue Ngaibona, was arrested by UN peacekeepers on 17 January (Reuters, 18/01/2015).
LRA: Mbomou and Haut-Mbomou remain most affected by the Lord’s Resistance Army, which increased attacks as the political crisis left a power vacuum (OCHA, 10/11/2014). In January 2015, LRA militant Dominic Ongwen surrendered to US forces (BBC, 07/01/2015).
UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA): MINUSCA officially took over operations on 14 September 2014, under a one-year mandate. It numbers 6,500 troops and 1,000 police and is expected to expand to 12,000 by February 2015, replacing the 4,800-strong African Union peacekeeping force previously active in CAR (UN, 14/09/2014; Government 16/09/2014).
French forces: Half of the French Sangaris peacekeeping mission of 2,000 is deployed in Bangui. Its mandate expires in April 2015, but President Catherine Samba-Panza has asked France to extend its military presence. Troops will stay until late 2015, with a reduced presence of 800 (international media, 14/01/2015).
EU forces: On 21 October, the 700-strong EU military operation in CAR (EUFOR-RCA) was extended to March 2015 to protect civilians and provide security for humanitarian operations in the Bangui area (Government, 07/11/2014).
US military assistance: The US is providing logistical support, Special Forces, and advisers to African troops operating against the LRA in eastern and southeastern CAR.
An increase in security incidents was noted in the first half of February 2015 (IOM, 16/02/2015). The first half of 2014 saw an increase in both ex-Seleka and anti-balaka activity, especially in Ouham, Ouham-Pende, Dekoa, Kemo, Nana-Mambere, and Nana-Grebizi (AFP, 01/08/2014). In May 2014, fighting and insecurity intensified in Ouaka; 100 died and at least 200 were injured in Bambari in the last six months of 2014 (AFP, 09/01/2015). As of January 2015, fighting is concentrated around eight central and western locations: Nola (Sangha-Mbaere), Mbres (Nana-Grebizi), Bambari (Ouaka), Yaloke (Ombella Mpoko), Bangui, Berberati and Carnot (Mambere-Kadei), and Batangafo (Ouham) (OCHA, 07/01/2015).
Bangui: The security situation remains fragile, with periodic eruptions of violence. A deterioration in May 2014 saw dozens killed. Conflict escalated again end August, and a wave of violence beginning 7 October left at least 13 dead. Thousands of people were displaced, and serious violations of human rights were reported (OCHA, 23/10/2014).
Bangui: The situation remains tense around ex-Seleka military camp Beal, where ex-Seleka threaten to detonate ammunition if the transitional Government does not meet financial demands and set up a reintegration programme (UNICEF, 08/01/2015). Shooting and looting in Bangui on 16 November led to international forces’ intervention (OCHA, 17/11/2014).
Haut-Mbomou: In November, Zemio saw the first major inter-communal violence in the region since the crisis began in 2012 (UN, 24/11/2014).
Haute-Kotto: On 10 February, international troops clashed with ex-Seleka militants in Bria, killing six, when the militants refused to peacefully evacuate government buildings (AFP, 10/02/2015).
Mbomou: Attacks by the LRA in Rafai between late January and early February have caused displacement (OCHA, 04/02/2015).
Mambere-Kadeï: A clash between anti-balaka and MINUSCA forces in Berberati resulted in the death of one civilian and one peacekeeper in December (UN, 23/12/2014).
Nana-Grebizi: At least three died in armed Fulani (Peul) attacks close to Kaga Bandoro on 4 February (AFP, 04/02/2015). On 30 January, attacks between Fulani and ex-Seleka resulted in five deaths and several injured, with many fleeing towards Kaga Bandoro (AFP, 29/01/2015). On 27 January, nine people were killed in Botto village (OCHA, 04/02/2015). Eight members of an official government delegation were kidnapped by ex-Seleka near Mbres between 24 and 25 January and released on Monday 26 January (AFP, 26/01/2015). On 19 December, an armed group attacked the village of Combo Bombo, resulting in 11 casualties and displacement into the bush (OCHA, 07/01/2015). On 16 December, fighting between ex-Seleka and anti-balaka in Mbres resulted in 28 deaths and dozens injured (OCHA 19/12/2014; AFP 18/12/2014).
Ouaka: On 7 February ex-Seleka and armed Fulani attacked Ngakobo IDP site, but UN peacekeepers repelled the attack (OCHA, 18/02/2015). On 27 January, clashes between armed groups killed eight and wounded one (OCHA, 04/02/2015). Violence between rival militias between 6 and 7 January killed six in Bambari (AFP, 09/01/2015). Clashes between anti-balaka and ex-Seleka in Bambari on 20 December resulted in 20 deaths (AFP, 22/12/2014). Other clashes on 20 December caused the death of three ex-Seleka and four civilians, and injured four (UN, 23/12/2014).
Sangha-Mbaere: Attacks by armed Fulani herders in Gamboula and Nola towns on 21 December killed 18 (AFP, 23/12/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of February 2015, 2.7 million of 4.6 million people need immediate assistance, half of them children (OCHA, 21/01/2015; 18/02/2015). There are 854,070 people of concern, including IDPs and CAR refugees in neighbouring countries (UNHCR, 05/12/2014).
Violent attacks, threats against aid workers, and roadblocks hinder the supply of humanitarian assistance outside Bangui where there are 740,000 people, most in need of some sort of assistance (OCHA, 07/11/2014; 21/01/2015).
Bangui: Violence and obstruction by armed groups all impact humanitarian access (OCHA, 23/10/2014). Between 18 November and 1 December, IOM had to suspend assistance to areas in Bangui controlled by ex-Seleka due to insecurity (IOM, 01/12/2014). On 28 December, a WFP vehicle and materials were stolen from the compound (OCHA, 07/01/2015). WFP reported looting of food supplies at a storage facility in Ndim, Ouham Pende, in November (USAID, 05/12/2014).
Bamingui-Bangoran: Humanitarian actors suspended activities due to security incidents in September (Danish Refugee Council, 23/09/2014).
At 23 December, more than 36,000 people, mostly but not exclusively Muslim, are trapped in seven enclaves across CAR (UNHCR, 23/12/2014). As of 10 December, priority areas included Bangui’s PK5 neighbourhood, Yaloke in Ombella Mpoko, Berberati and Carnot in Mambere Kadei, Boda and Boganangone in Lobaye, and Bouar in Nana-Mambere (USAID, 19/12/2014). They require urgent humanitarian assistance, particularly protection, health, and nutrition (OCHA, 04/12/2014).
A Fulani group has been trapped for several months in Yaloke. 42 have died since they arrived in April 2014, escaping violence in several towns (UNHCR, 23/12/2014).
Security Incidents Affecting Aid Workers
Several NGO, IO, and government workers have been kidnapped since the arrest of the anti-balaka leader Rodrigue Ngaibona on 17 January. UN, NGO, and private vehicles are becoming regular targets on main roads (IOM, 02/02/2015). A female French charity worker was kidnapped and released four days later (Reuters, 19/01/2015). The Minister for Youth and Sport, Armel Ningatoloum Sayo, was kidnapped in Bangui (Reuters, 24/01/2015), and released on 11 February (Reuters, 11/02/2015). A MINUSCA worker was also temporarily kidnapped. On 26 January, an attempt to kidnap the Minister of Trade failed (IOM, 02/02/2015). 18 humanitarian workers were killed and six wounded in 142 incidents in 2014 (OCHA, 04/12/2014; USAID, 19/12/2014).
On 9 February, armed men attacked the compound of an international NGO in Ouham (OCHA, 18/02/2015).
It was estimated in March 2014 that 80–85% of Bangui’s minority Muslim population had fled or been evacuated.
As of 13 February, there are 442,500 IDPs in CAR (OCHA, 23/01/2015; 04/02/2015; 13/02/2015) 50,280 are in 34 sites in Bangui, and 125,080 people in 74 sites in the Bimbo area. 177,530 are in 108 sites countrywide (including Bimbo and Bangui), 225,360 people are with host families, and 35,650 people are in the forest (OCHA, 07/01/2015; 04/02/2015).
Bangui: Relative improvements in the security conditions of some neighbourhoods outside Bangui has brought the number of IDPs in Bangui down to 50,280 in 34 sites (OCHA, 04/02/2015). The largest camps in Bangui are Aéroport Mpoko (20,900 IDPs in October), Séminaire St Marc (8,000), and Mission Carmel (6,775) (CCCM, 29/10/2014). Mpoko site is planned to close by February 2015 and those living there have yet to be relocated (USAID, 05/12/2014l Government, 20/01/2015). The return intentions of each household are being registered (OCHA, 18/02/2015). Priority needs include shelter and NFIs, WASH, and health (IOM, 05/01/2015).
Mbomou: Between 29 January and 2 February, 2,500 new IDPs from Rafai fled LRA attacks to Nagbolongo Island (OCHA, 04/02/2015).
Ouham: As of 18 December, 400 residents (80 households) had returned to Markounda and 270 to Gbangoro-Kotta village (OCHA, 18/12/2014). In Batangafo, over 30,000 IDPs require immediate shelter and NFIs (OCHA, 04/02/2015).
Ouaka: Following an attack at Ngakobo IDP site, an estimated 2,500 new IDPs sought shelter in a sugar factory in Ngakobo (OCHA, 18/02/2015).
Eastern CAR: 26,520 people remain displaced by LRA activity (OCHA, 10/11/2014).
Sangha-Mbaere: In Nola, 600 Muslims sought refuge in areas close to the MINUSCA base and hundreds of women and children fled into the bush in late December (UNICEF, 08/01/2015).
Refugees in CAR
7,966 refugees and asylum seekers are living in CAR (UNHCR, 16/01/2015), including 1,700 South Sudanese refugees at 31 March 2014 (UNHCR). 4,241 Congolese refugees are in Haut-Mbomou (OCHA, 10/11/2014). On 22 December, 80 refugees of Congolese origin sought refuge in the Bishopric site in Berberati due to inter-ethnic violence (OCHA, 07/01/2015). Insecurity has affected Sudanese refugees in camps in Ouham and Ouaka. A rise of security incidents during the first half of February 2015 has prompted 150 DRC nationals to request assistance to return to DRC (IOM, 16/02/2015).
CAR Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 13 February, there are 430,800 CAR refugees in neighbouring countries, 189,802 of whom have arrived since December 2013 (UNHCR 16/01/2015; 13/02/2015). 241,231 are registered in Cameroon, 93,120 in Chad, 68,165 in DRC, and 21,554 in Congo (UNHCR, 05/12/2014).
Although the Chad–CAR border has been officially closed since 12 May, refugees continue to arrive at a number of border points and are considered vulnerable (UNHCR, 07/2014).
30,000 CAR refugees from Ouaka have arrived in Equateur province, DRC, since 16 December 2014 (AFP, 09/01/2015; Radio Okapi, 28/01/2015).
At 8 December, there had been 132,414 evacuees from CAR, including third-country nationals and returning migrants (OCHA, 08/12/2014).
Over 10,000 IDPs and refugees returned to Batangafo, Ouham Pende, between July 2014 and 31 January (OCHA, 04/02/2015).
As of 4 February, about 1.5 million people (33% of the total population) are in need of food assistance, the most insecure being households headed by women, displaced people or returnees, and those without financial resources (USAID, 19/12/2014; UN, 13/01/2015; OCHA, 04/02/2015). 210,000 are in Bangui and 1.32 million in rural areas (IPC, 31/10/2014). 26% of households have inadequate food consumption, compared to 15% in 2013. The percentage of households resorting to negative coping mechanisms has risen from 27 to 30% (FAO, 17/11/2014).
The most affected regions are Ouham and most of Nana-Grebizi and Kemo prefectures, Ngaoundaye, Bocaranga, and Berberati sub-prefectures in the west, Boda and Bimbo sub-prefectures in the south, and Obo sub-prefecture in the east (FAO, 17/11/2014).
A study carried out between 18 November and 2 December in Ouham-Pende, Nana-Mambere and Mambere-Kadéï prefectures found that food insecurity is high and transhumance has been negatively affected resulting in cattle theft, division of families, and poor agricultural sales (FAO, 08/12/2014).
Most of the IDP population will face IPC Phase 3, or crisis, conditions, with a minority of households facing IPC Phase 4, emergency, conditions until May/June 2015 (FEWSNET, 29/01/2015). In Ouham and Ouham-Pende prefectures, the conflict and poor production will aggravate food insecurity until March 2015 (FEWSNET, 31/10/2014).
IPC Phase 3, or Crisis, conditions are projected for March–August, worse than the five-year average, due to insecurity and below-average crop production, food stock levels, and household incomes (FEWSNET, 22/01/2015).
Agriculture and Markets
Food crop production in 2014 is 58% below average, as a result of insecurity, erratic rainfall, and pest attacks. Food access is restrained by reduced food production, lack of livelihoods, and high food prices (OCHA, 18/12/2014; FAO, 26/01/2015). Food stocks in rural areas are 40–50% below average due to recurring raids. Fish supply has fallen by 40% and cattle-breeding by 77% compared to pre-crisis levels, and insecurity and poor road conditions have disrupted market linkages and led to significant increases in food prices: prices from March to August increased 30–70% (FAO, 26/01/2015; OCHA, 18/12/2014; FAO, 29/10/2014). Cash crop production is down 80% compared to five years ago (Reuters, 08/01/2015).
Health and Nutrition
As of December 2014, two million people need access to health services (OCHA, 19/11/2014; OCHA 22/12/2014). Only 55% of health facilities are functioning, only 25% of those have functioning sources of energy, and 21% have access to water (WHO, 31/12/2015). Many health centres have been out of essential drugs for months due to access constraints (IFRC, 05/12/2014). Access to medicine in Yaloke, Ombella-Mpoko, is particularly difficult (OCHA, 04/12/2014). Lack of access to health services in IDP sites is of serious concern (WHO, 31/10/2014).
550,000 children, about 45% of the children affected by the conflict, need psychosocial support (OCHA, 23/09/2014).
60% of parents whose children were admitted to Bangui’s paediatric hospital for SAM presented symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.
Based on a national survey, the country has an SAM prevalence of 6.5% (UNICEF, 08/01/2015). 28,000 children in remote villages suffer from SAM and 75,500 from MAM, among 840,000 malnourished children overall (OCHA, 04/12/2014; 19/11/2014; 18/12/2014). 195,790 people are in need of nutritional assistance (OCHA, 22/12/2014).
For 2015, 32,350 children under five are projected to suffer from SAM and 78,340 from MAM (OCHA, 04/02/2015).
According to the preliminary results of the SMART survey in Bangui, there has been a reduction in GAM, from 8% in 2012 to around 5% in 2014, likely due to the concentration of humanitarian activities in Bangui (WFP, 23/09/2014). Seven prefectures have more than 2% malnourished children, compared to only two in 2012 (UNICEF, 17/02/2015).
2.3 million people do not have access to improved safe water or improved sanitation (OCHA, 23/09/2014; 22/12/2014). Western areas of CAR as well as Mbomou are most affected (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
In Bondiba, Nana-Mambere, a community with growing IDP numbers since December 2014, only 29% of functioning latrines are hygienic and the two water sources available to the community of 1,350 are poorly maintained (ACF, 13/02/2015). According to an assessment in Nola, Sangha-Mbaere, there are no working hygienic latrines, with the displaced population resorting to open defecation. 83% of those interviewed said they do not have easy access to potable water (NRC, 06/01/2015). The water supply has been cut off in some neighbourhoods in Bangui for several months, leaving many local residents and displaced people without safe drinking water (ICRC, 17/11/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
Nearly 442,000 people are in need of emergency shelter, while 703,980 need NFIs and 125,000 need reconstruction support (OCHA, 19/11/2014). 200 new IDPs in Notre-Dame de la Victoire IDP site in Bambari, Ouaka, need shelter and NFI assistance as well as 2,000 households in Nola, Sangha Mbaere, and Mala, Kemo (OCHA, 18/02/2015).
Over 1.4 million children are in need of education (OCHA, 22/12/2014). There were only 6,000–10,000 children enrolled in school 2012–2014 (IRIN, 12/01/2015).
109 attacks against schools were registered between February and November 2014 (UNICEF, 22/12/2014). In Nola, Sangha Mbaere, 78% of school-aged children are not in school, primarily for security reasons (NRC, 06/01/2015).
2.5 million people are in need of protection, particularly in Vakaga, Bamingui-Bangoran, Ouham, Ouaka, and Lobaye prefectures (OCHA, 19/11/2014; 31/10/2014; 18/12/2014).
Crimes against humanity and war crimes have been, and continued to be, reported. Ex-Seleka are listed for child recruitment, killing, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and attacks on schools and/or hospitals. Anti-balaka are listed for child recruitment, and killing and maiming (Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, 04/11/2014).
490 women were subjected to sexual violence in 2014 (Government, 20/01/2015).
432 children were killed or maimed by violence in 2014 (OCHA, 04/12/2014). The number of children recruited into armed groups has risen to 6,000–10,000, from 2,500 at the beginning of the crisis (The Guardian, 18/12/2014).
Democratic Republic of Congo Country Analysis
19 February: Approximately 100 minors were raped by civilians, soldiers, and armed groups in Kalemie, Moba and Pweto in Katanga province in January 2015 (Radio Okapi, 19/02/2015).
17 February: The Mayi-Mayi killed four, injured ten and burned more than twenty houses during an attack in Ezekere, Orientale province (Radio Okapi, 19/02/2015).
- Internal conflict in the eastern provinces of Orientale, North Kivu, South Kivu, and Katanga.
- 6.3 million people need humanitarian assistance (WFP, 06/01/2015).
- 2.7 million IDPs (WFP, 06/01/2015). Katanga is of particular concern, with 582,700 people displaced across the province (OCHA, 14/11/2014).
- Over 2 million children under five are suffering from acute malnutrition (Radio Okapi, 04/11/2014).
Needs are highest in the conflict-affected regions of North Kivu, South Kivu, Katanga, and Orientale, where there is large-scale, repeated displacement. IDPs, host populations, and those unable to flee are all vulnerable as insecurity poses multiple protection risks and prevents access to basic services, although needs vary according to geographic area and conflict dynamics.
Political violence and inter-communal strife have persisted for decades, influenced by longstanding tensions with DRC’s eastern neighbours. Operations by DRC armed forces and UN peacekeepers, and infighting between armed groups, disrupt security and stability.
The Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework agreement for DRC and the region, aimed at consolidating state authority in DRC, was signed on 24 February 2013 by Angola, Burundi, the Central Africa Republic, DRC, Congo, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. A report by the Secretary-General of the UN on 24 September 2014 noted that trust between neighbouring countries, activity of armed groups, and the lack of full implementation of the Nairobi Declarations, the peace deal between the DRC government and the M23 rebels, hinder the stability of eastern DRC (UN, 24/09/2014).
National Political Context
In September, over 2,000 people took to the streets of Kinshasa to protest a bid by President Kabila to modify the constitution so he could stay in power beyond his two-term limit, which should end in 2016 (AFP, 27/09/2014). On 19 January, 42 people died in protests in Kinshasa, after a census was proposed, which could also potentially prolong President Joseph Kabila’s term beyond 2016 (AFP, 22/01/2015). The Government is reporting only 27 dead (AFP, 05/02/2015). Parliament voted against the legislation, but doubts remain over when in 2015 the preliminary local, provincial, and senatorial polls will be held (AFP, 25/01/2015).
At least 40 armed groups are operating in the east of the country (ECHO, 22/10/2014). They range from local militias set up initially as self-defence groups (among them many Mai-Mai groups), to secessionist groups, and forces first set up by fighters from Uganda (LRA and ADF-NALU), Rwanda (FDLR) and Burundi (FNL).
Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) are mainly Hutu Rwandans who were allegedly linked to the genocide. An estimated 3,000 fighters are active, primarily in the Kivu region (IRIN).
Mayi-Mayi: At least 20 Mayi-Mayi groups, formed by local leaders along ethnic lines, are active in North Kivu, South Kivu, and Katanga. The number of fighters can range from 100 to 1,000 (AFP 2013).
Allied Democratic Forces/National Army for the Liberation of Uganda (ADF/NALU) is a Muslim militant group founded in the 1990s. FARDC launched an operation in North Kivu to neutralise the group in January 2014 (IRIN 2014).
Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), founded by Joseph Kony in Uganda in 1987, has spread to South Sudan and subsequently to DRC and CAR (IRIN).
National Liberation Forces (FNL) are Burundian militants based in South Kivu (AFP 2013).
Armed Forces of the DRC (FARDC) is composed of 120-130,000 fighters (Defence Web, 2013). The UN threatened to withdraw military support from DRC if the government doesn’t change military generals accused of human rights abuses, but the government decided it will retain them nonetheless (AFP, 05/02/2015).
The UN Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) is made up of almost 20,000 troops, as well as military observers and police units. The initial mission, MONUC, was established after the signing of the 1999 peace agreement between DRC and five regional states. In March 2014 its mandate to protect civilians, stabilise the country and support implementation of the PSC Framework was extended to March 2015, and expanded, with the creation of an Intervention Brigade, charged with neutralising armed groups (RFI, 20/10/2014). The EU mission providing assistance to security sector reform (EUSEC) was also extended until 30 June 2015 (EU, 25/09/2014).
In early January 2015, MONUSCO was preparing to counter FDLR, after a six-month suspension of military operations to allow FDLR disarmament resulted in only 420 of an estimated 1,500-2,000 fighters surrendering. President Kabila has committed FARDC support (VoA, 13/01/2015; Reuters, 07/01/2015 AFP, 04/01/2015; dailymail, 07/01/2015). On 30 January, the FDLR pledged to fully disarm (AFP, 30/01/2015). MONUSCO and FARDC launched an offensive in early January against the FNL militants in South Kivu, against ADF militants in North Kivu (Radio Okapi, 6/01/2015; 14/01/2015).
Following strategic gains by FARDC-MONUSCO in July 2014, North Kivu has experienced a resurgence of violence since October in Beni, Walikale, and Lubero territories, from ADF/NALU, Nduma Defence of Congo (NDC), FDLR, and Nyatura (OCHA, 15/10/2014; 16/10/2014; AFO, 30/07/2014). The insecurity has resulted in widespread displacement, and rape, kidnapping, and looting have all been reported (OCHA, 16/10/2014).
Beni territory: Between 2 and 4 February, 23 people were killed and one wounded by ADF militants, in the first attack since mid-December, when MONUSCO and the army announced a joint FARDC–MONUSCO operations to track ADF fighters (AFP, 04/02/2015). A wave of machete attacks October–December killed more than 260 civilians (AFP, 05/12/2014; Radio Okapi, 02/01/2015). Reportedly, ADF fighters are no longer present in a number of localities in Beni, including Abya, Mavume, and Pilote and Issa camps (UN, 12/01/2015). A curfew was imposed in Beni on 25 November. Civil unrest and violence from the local population towards MONUSCO assets and official buildings were also recorded (AFP, 02/11/2014).
Eringeti: Three people were killed in an ADF machete attack on 2 December (AFP, 02/12/2014).
Lubero: Since the offensive against the FARDC was announced, the population of Lubero territory is asking for protection (OCHA, 04/02/2015).
Masisi: Threats and abuse by Raiya Mutomboki and Nyatura led to displacement towards the end of December (OCHA, 31/12/2014).
Walikale: On 31 December, FARDC began to reduce its presence in Walikale territory, raising concerns for the security of civilians, who have been displaced in fear of potential armed violence. There were reports that other troops would soon arrive (Radio Okapi, 06/01/2015). On 15 January, 50 Raiya Mutomboki d’Isangi militants surrendered to authorities (Radio Okapi, 18/01/2014). Since 3 February, the FARDC army has had five clashes with Raiya Mutomboki (OCHA, 17/02/2015).
Security remains volatile in South Kivu as several armed groups continue to operate and trigger displacement. Four attacks by armed groups were reported over 2–3 January in Sange, engaging FARDC (Radio Okapi, 03/01/2015). An attack by unidentified armed men in Mukungwe, Walungu territory, killed eight and injured three on 22 December (Radio Okapi, 22/12/2014). FARDC operations removed Raiya Mutomboki from seven villages in Shabunda in mid-November (Radio Okapi, 26/11/2014). Since the start of military operations against FNL on 5 January, four of 20 active armed groups in the region, not solely FNL, have been dismantled (Radio Okapi, 13/01/2015). Increased intercommunal tensions concern the humanitarian community (OCHA, 31/12/2014).
The Front of Patriotic Resistance in Ituri (FRPI), LRA, and Mayi-Mayi Simba are all active in Orientale, and in mid-December, suspected ADF violence spread from North Kivu to Orientale: seven people were killed and their villages burned. Attacks in Ndalya, straddling Orientale and North Kivu, on 26 December, killed 19 and injured a further eight; another 11 were killed and five injured in Ndume (OCHA, 31/12/2014; Radio Okapi, 27/12/2014).
On 15 January, fighting erupted between the FARDC and a militant group from Ituri after negotiations collapsed (AFP, 15/01/2015).
ADF/NALU: Six corpses were found in Bwanasura on 4 February, reportedly killed by ADF/NALU fighters (AFP, 05/02/2015).
LRA: In the third quarter of 2014, 27 attacks, 15 deaths, and 55 abductions were reported, indicating a significant decrease in abductions and attacks, although only one death had been reported in the second quarter (OCHA, 10/11/2014). On 15 January, the LRA kidnapped 12 people in Bili (Radio Okapi, 16/01/2015). They are also accused of killing three people and injuring four others during an attack on 16 February (Radio Okapi, 17/02/2015).
FRPI: FRPI resumed violent activities in Irumu territory at the beginning of October (OCHA, 11/11/2014). At 11 November, the leader of FRPI Cobra Matata and a hundred insurgents were said to have surrendered (Radio Okapi, 11/11/2014). 64 members of the FRPI surrendered in Bunia between 27 November and 3 December (OCHA, 03/12/2014). Cattle raids have continued in Irumu, however, with looting reported end November (Radio Okapi, 08/12/2014).
Mayi-Mayi: On 17 February, four were killed and 10 injured in an attack on Ezekere village, killing 4 and injuring 10 (local media, 19/02/2015).
Active armed groups in Katanga include the Mayi Mayi Kata Katanga, the Mayi Mayi Gedeon, and the Corak Kata Katanga. At end October, 15,873 incidents had been reported in Katanga in 2014 (UNHCR, 30/10/2014). Interethnic conflict between Luba and pygmies, and Mayi-Mayi attacks, continue to affect Katanga’s Tanganyika district (Kabalo, Kalemie, Kongolo, Manono, Moba, and Nyunzu territories). Mayi-Mayi Yakutumba, originating from South Kivu, have reportedly attacked villages in northeast Kalemie repeatedly, despite the presence of FARDC along Lake Tanganyika since August (OCHA, 30/10/2014). On 15 February, armed pygmies attacked bantus in Sangatchimbu village, Manono territory, killing seven and injuring several others (Radio Okapi, 20/02/2015).
FARDC offensives were making gains against Mayi-Mayi Kata Katanga of Musumari as of 5 November (Radio Okapi, 05/11/2014). An attack in Katendeji in Pweto was reported on 4 December, causing displacement (Radio Okapi, 04/12/2014).
Clashes in January between two villages, Ngbada in Kungu territory and Lingotebe in Gemana territory, have caused the populations to flee and resulted in five dead (Radio Okapi, 25/01/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Around 4.1 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance (FAO, 11/12/2014).
The mountainous and volcanic terrain, and lack of tarred roads limit access across DRC, and access worsens during the rainy season. In the east, insecurity is a major constraint. 188 incidents involved aid workers in 2014: six aid workers were killed (OCHA, 15/12/2014).
North Kivu: The worsening state of the Kalembe–Pinga route and collapse of the Muhongozi bridge on the Kitchanga–Mweso route on 11 December is threatening humanitarian aid access to 82,000 IDPs in Walikale and Masisi (OCHA, 16/12/2014; Radio Okapi, 24/12/2014). Humanitarian access is constrained in South Lubero due to damaged roads in Kaseghe and Alimbongo (OCHA, 09/12/2014). Humanitarian access along the Mbau–Kamango route and to Mutwanga health zone is hampered by insecurity (OCHA, 03/12/2014).
South Kivu: Access to some 42,000 people in Fizi territory has been hampered by insecurity since June. A dozen security incidents against humanitarian workers were reported in Fizi territory between January and September 2014 (OCHA, 11/09/2014).
Orientale: Since mid-2013, there is low presence of humanitarian actors due to lack of funding (OCHA, 01/10/2014).
Katanga: Growing insecurity is hindering the delivery of assistance to up to 500,000 displaced (OCHA, 06/2014; MSF, 09/01/2014).
Security Incidents Affecting Aid Workers
In 2014, 120 security incidents against humanitarian aid workers were registered in North Kivu, with a concentration in Gomma, Masisi territory (OCHA, 27/01/2015).
More than 5,000 homes were destroyed in Haut Lomami, Katanga province, after heavy rains in January, leaving people in need of assistance. Roads are blocked and crops damaged due to flooding (Radio Okapi, 22/01/2015). 30,000 people were left without shelter from Bukama, Kabalo, Kasaji, Kasenga and Malemba Nkulu territories in Katanga (OCHA, 12/02/2015).
300 people in Katogota, South Kivu, are in need of humanitarian assistance after heavy rains destroyed their homes on 6 January (Radio Okapi, 13/01/2015).
In 2014, there were 2.7 million IDPs in DRC (WFP, 06/01/2015), including 609,600 displaced in 2014. 37,800 were displaced between October and December 2014, 45% fewer than in the previous quarter due to clashes between FARDC and the Raiya Mutomboki militia (OCHA, 21/01/2015). 95% were displaced by insecurity and armed conflict (UNHCR, 30/10/2014). 80% of IDPs are hosted by families and communities who are already facing chronic food insecurity and limited access to services and livelihood opportunities (FAO, 20/11/2014).
North Kivu hosts 938,800 total IDPs since January 2009 (OCHA, 17/01/2015). 101,835 people were newly displaced at January 2015: 3,500 in Masisi, 1,300 in Rutshuru, 49,300 in Walikale, 34,200 in Beni and 13,520 in Lubero (OCHA, 06/02/2015). 212,054 IDPs are in 60 camps near Goma, which authorities have moved to close down for security reasons (AFP, 03/12/2014). So far, 2,300 IDPs have been forced to leave Kiwanja camp, and 90% now live in public spaces or with host families around Kiwanja and Rutshuru. Shelter and basic social services are urgent priorities (OCHA, 09/12/2014). More than 27,000 IDPs, returnees and members of host communities need humanitarian assistance in Masisi and Walikale territories (OCHA, 11/02/2015).
Beni: The population of Sulungwe fled to Mbau following attacks on 27 December (OCHA, 31/12/2014). 89,000 (17,700 families) were displaced along the Mbau–Oicha–Eringeti route between 14–21 November after attacks in Beni and needed multi-sectoral assistance; 2,100 people were displaced to Makumo (OCHA, 03/12/2014; 09/12/2014; UNHCR, 19/12/2014). More than 18,000 IDPs in Mamove and Samboko localities need multisectoral humanitarian assistance, according to an evaluation of 15–20 January (OCHA, 29/01/2015).
Lubero: Around 750 displaced families in Lepya-Mbughavinywa in South Lubero and 1,386 families in Fatua need NFIs, food, and health support (OCHA, 24/12/2014). 2,400 people need humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 11/02/2015).
Masisi: More than 500 families were displaced to Rubaya, Burora, and Kihuma following threats and abuse by Raiya Mutomboki and Nyatura in December (OCHA, 31/12/2014). Around 1,000 people fled to Luke, Katoyi and Katobotobo villages following clashes between FARDC and Nyatura in Bivumu (OCHA, 16/12/2014). 600 people have been displaced to Kitchanga due to insecurity and the threat of an offensive against FDLR (OCHA, 29/01/2015). More than 2,100 IDPs need NFIs in Masisi territory (OCHA, 04/02/2015).
Walikale: 1,650 families returned to Pinga centre between 25 October and 16 December, while a further 1,700 families were displaced to Pinga during the same period from Kisimba, Masisi, and Ihana (OCHA, 24/12/2014). Around 5,400 people (1,081 families) have been displaced along the Bafianda–Okondo route since July; priority needs are for shelter, NFI, food, and health (NRC, 09/12/2014). On 20 January, Ntoto locality was abandoned after houses were burned by Raiya Mutomboki (OCHA, 29/01/2015). Additionally, 25,000 IDPs were displaced in Kashebere, Kibati, and Kibua localities between November and December (OCHA, 29/01/2015).
618,330 IDPs are in South Kivu (OCHA, 23/01/2015); 111,600 who were displaced in 2014 were still displaced at the end of the year (OCHA, 31/12/2014). 38% of IDPs are located in Kalehe (OCHA, 14/11/2014). During the fourth quarter, 37,800 people were displaced and 609,600 returned to the province (OCHA, 31/12/2014). On 5 January, 400 people fled Masiga for Kyamafunu due to fighting between FNL and FARDC (local media, 06/01/2015). 2,000 fled violence in Magunda and are living in Kakuku and Kihuha without shelter, surviving on food provided by the host community (local media, 09/01/2015). More than 21,600 IDPs (4,000 families) are in need of assistance in Walungu and Shabunda territories (OCHA, 28/01/2015).
During the fourth quarter of 2014, there were 543,700 IDPs in Orientale province as well as 342,000 returnees (OCHA, 19/02/2015).
Around 300,000 people are displaced in Ituri, including 60,000 IDPs from North Kivu (OCHA, 23/12/2014). Of the 60,000, 12,600 people displaced to Tchabi, Ituri, are living in poor conditions and in need of medicine; 60% are children who are not receiving education (Radio Okapi, 16/01/2015). Most of the new IDPs in Ituri are living with host families or in public buildings. WASH is the most pressing need (OCHA, 22/10/2014).
Over 14–19 December, ADF activity led to displacement from nine villages along the Komanda-Luna route to Bwanasura and Luna. Priority needs are for shelter, NFIs, and food support (OCHA, 23/12/2014). 15,000 displaced to Nyangabi, Getti, Kakado and Buna do not have any form of shelter or food and are in dire need of humanitarian assistance (Radio Okapi, 13/01/2015).
Katanga hosts 551,300 IDPs since 2010, including 43,300 displaced in the fourth quarter of 2014; 71,500 new IDPs were recorded in the third quarter of 2014, (OCHA, 16/01/2015; 14/11/2014; 19/02/2015). 80% of IDPs are living with host families. Displacement is triggered by armed attacks and by inter-communal violence.
Pweto territory hosts 178,000 IDPs (OCHA, 20/11/2014). Around 10,500 displaced populations along the Kishale–Kampagwe route, Manono, need NFIs, WASH, and food support, while 6,500 in Kisele, Mitwaba, need NFIs and health assistance (OCHA, 10/12/2014). 2,500 IDPs in Mwashi camp need food, shelter and health assistance (Jeune Afrique, 24/11/2014).
2,000 people displaced from South Kivu to Lamba Katenga and Mayanga over 17–25 November are living in precarious conditions (OCHA, 26/12/2014).
31,240 people returned home in Katanga in the third quarter of 2014, encouraged by FARDC presence, the upcoming harvest season, and the start of school year, including 20,600 in Pweto and 8,200 in Mitwaba (OCHA, 14/11/2014).
Maniema has 188,500 IDPs (OCHA, 19/02/2015), including 20,000 newly displaced recorded in the third quarter of 2014. 30% of IDPs are located in Pangi, 26% in Punia, and 20% in Kasongo (OCHA, 14/11/2014).
Refugees in DRC
DRC hosts 120,567 refugees (UNHCR, 30/10/2014). DRC provincial authorities insist that assistance should only be delivered within camps, making it difficult to support refugees in host communities.
From CAR: As of 18 February, there were 68,000 CAR refugees in DRC, 23,500 of whom had arrived since December 2013 (UNHCR, 13/02/2015). 400 people fled to Equateur after a confrontation between peacekeepers and ex-Seleka in Bria on 10 February (OCHA, 18/02/2015; UNHCR, 13/02/2015). Another 30,000 have arrived in Equateur province since December 2014 (Radio Okapi, 28/01/2015). A new refugee camp for 19,000 CAR refugees is being built in Bili, Bosobolo territory (Radio Okapi, 10/02/2015).
From Rwanda: DRC is hosting 38,800 Rwandan refugees (UNHCR, 30/10/2014; UN 30/12/2014).
From Angola: 28,000 Angolan refugees remain registered in DRC, with thousands having been repatriated (Radio Okapi, 26/11/2014).
From Burundi: At 30 December, 9,000 Burundian refugees were in DRC (UN, 30/12/2014).
At end October, 163,940 people had returned to DRC since January 2012 (UNHCR, 30/10//2014). In January 2014, there were 25,900 returnees to North Kivu (OCHA, 06/02/2015).
Katanga: During the fourth quarter of 2014, 86,795 new IDP returnees were counted in Katanga province, with a total of 361,900 returnees between July 2013 and December 2014 (OCHA, 16/01/2015). More than 9,000 returnees have arrived in Moba territory since November 2014 and need assistance (OCHA, 12/02/2015).
Orientale: On 8 February, villagers returned to Nakale, Dungu territory, after being displaced by LRA attacks on 15 January and taking refuge in Duru village (Radio Okapi, 08/02/2015). 3,600 people who returned to Kizabi between May and October 2014 need multisectoral assistance (OCHA, 05/02/2015).
Returnees from CAR: Around 100 refugees returned to DRC through Ango territory in Orientale end December, due to inter-communal violence in Zemio (Radio Okapi, 24/12/2014).
DRC Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
There are around 442,600 DRC refugees in neighbouring countries, mainly in Uganda (184,500) (UNHCR, 31/10/2014), 84,640 in Rwanda, 59,440 Tanzania, 23,200 in Congo (UNHCR 2015), 17,303 in Kenya (UNHCR, 01/01/2015), and 15,216 in South Sudan (UNHCR, 01/11/2014).
6.5 million people are currently facing IPC Phase 3 or 4 food insecurity as a result of armed group activity, inter-communal violence, burning of villages and crop fields, and the movement of families toward protected areas (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, 28/01/2015).
The food security situation in DRC is worsening with an increase of about 523,000 people under Emergency (IPC Phase 4) (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, 28/01/2015). In Katanga, 1.3 million people are facing food insecurity during the 12th IPC cycle, 11% more than in the previous cycle (OCHA, 05/02/2015).
Seven territories are facing Emergency (IPC Phase 4), including Manono, Mitwaba, and Pweto territories in Katanga province; Punia territory in Maniema province; Shabunda territory in South Kivu; Irumu in Orientale; and Boente territory in Equateur. 61 other territories are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) (Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, 28/01/2015).
Agriculture and Markets
Lack of seeds from insufficient rains in Ruzizi, South Kivu, since November, is likely to negatively impact the next lean season (Radio Okapi, 17/12/2014).
500 hectares of maize, banana, rice, bean, and cowpea crops were destroyed by a locust infestation in Buta, Orientale, in December (Radio Okapi, 27/12/2014). Flooding in November caused up to 80% crop losses in Basoko territory, Orientale province. Prices for basic food products have risen (Radio Okapi, 18/11/2014).
In Nyamilima, North Kivu, farmers are concerned that they cannot sell their products for lack of access to markets. Their crops now rot or are taken to Uganda, where the profit is less (Radio Okapi, 18/01/2015).
Health and Nutrition
In North Kivu, systematic looting of health structures has been reported in various (OCHA, 01/10/2014). In addition, lack of funding has forced several health zones in south Masisi territory to interrupt activities, severely limiting healthcare access for 20,000 IDPs (OCHA, 04/11/2014). 23,000 people in Masisi territory, North Kivu, do not have access to health (OCHA, 11/02/2015).
Access to medicines and tuberculosis vaccines is reportedly limited in Katanga (Radio Okapi, 03/12/2014). 1,900 women were unable to receive maternal tetanus vaccination in Tanganyika district in November, due to clashes between Luba and Pygmies in Muzozo (OCHA, 17/12/2014).
In 2014, there were 22,200 cases of cholera and 372 deaths (WHO, 31/12/2014), compared to 26,440 cases in 2013 (UNICEF, 24/12/2014). In North Kivu, 7,341 cases of cholera were reported in 2014 compared to 4,393 in 2013 (OCHA, 31/12/2014).
14 cases were reported in Kiliba, South Kivu, from 10 to 13 January 2015 (Radio Okapi, 13/01/2015).
Katanga: On 10 February, three cases of cholera and one death were reported in Katanga (Radio Okapi, 11/02/2015). 1,170 cases, with 24 deaths, were reported in January 2015 (OCHA, 12/02/2015). Over 7,000 cases including 300 deaths were recorded in 2014, compared to 13,726 cases and 348 deaths in 2013 (Radio Okapi, 07/11/2014; OCHA, 30/10/2014).
In December, health centres in Fizi in South Kivu and Nyembo Punga in Katanga reported a lack of space and medicine to treat malaria patients. 200 cases, including five deaths, were reported in Fizi, while 17 children died from anaemia linked to malaria in two weeks in December in Nyembo Punga (Radio Okapi, 23/12/2014; 30/12/2014). At least 13 children died from malaria in Kilemwe, Lulenge territory, South Kivu, in the first weeks of January 2015 (Radio Okapi, 23/01/2015).
In Katanga, measles caseloads in Bukama, Kabondo Dianda, Kilwa, Mufunga Sampwe, and Kalemie health zones have reached epidemic level. 12,150 measles cases, including 108 deaths, had been reported for 2014 by 7 December (OCHA, 17/12/2014). Insecurity has affected access to Kilwa health zone since July and hampered vaccination campaigns (OCHA, 12/11/2014).
An estimation of 20 cases of meningitis was reported in Aru, Orientale province, in one week (OCHA, 11/02/2015).
Over two million children under five suffer from acute malnutrition (Radio Okapi, 04/11/2014). At May 2014, three provinces were above the 10% emergency threshold: Maniema (22.7%), Bas-Congo (11%), and Bandundu (10%). In Maniema, SAM is at 8.6% (Government, 05/2014).
In Katanga, 50 children died from malnutrition in Changa-Changa IDP camp over September–December (Radio Okapi, 02/01/2015). 108 cases of malnutrition were recorded in Lubumbashi November–December due to shortages of therapeutic food (Radio Okapi, 20/12/2014).
In Katanga, approximately 104,000 people lost their homes to natural disasters in 2014 (OCHA, 12/02/2015).
Equateur: Only 40% of school-aged children are attending school in 2015 (Radio Okapi 07/02/2015).
Katanga: 70% of the 34,000 school-age IDP children in Pweto territory are not attending school (OCHA, 20/08/2014). 3,600 students in Malemba Nkulu have not had access to school since 15 January due to insecurity (OCHA, 12/02/2015).
North Kivu: 48 schools have been damaged, occupied, or destroyed during FARDC operations against ADF-NALU militants (OCHA, 11/09/2014).
South Kivu: Insecurity in Shabunda and Fizi territories prevents children from attending school (Radio Okapi, 25/09/2014). 35 primary schools were shut down due to insecurity in January, affecting 6,800 students in Shabunda territory (OCHA, 28/01/2015).
Orientale: 80% of school-aged children in Gety, Irumu territory, are not in school.
Military, militias, and other armed groups are all accused of repeated abuses against civilians, including arbitrary arrests, extortion, looting, child conscription, sexual violence, and executions. In Orientale, for example, 12,300 protection incidents against civilians were reported in 2014, compared to 4,800 in 2013 (OCHA, 04/02/2015). In Ituri territory, more than 360 protection cases were reported against civilians between 3 and 7 February (OCHA, 11/02/2015). At least 300 people remain illegally detained following protests against electoral law changes during the week of 19 January (OHCHR, 06/02/2015).
An estimated 3,700 children have been reported as associated with armed forces and groups (UNICEF cited by ECHO, 21/10/2014). From December 2014 to early January 2015, 112 children were released and reunited with their families (UN, 30/12/2014; local media, 09/01/2015). 63 children left Mayi-Mayi Simba in Mambasa territory, Orientale province in late January (Radio Okapi, 27/01/2015). 1,380 children left armed groups in North Kivu in the third quarter of 2014 (OCHA, 31/12/2014).
Between 25 September and 30 December 2014, 61 cases of sexual violence in conflict were reported (UN, 30/12/2014).
1,680 SGBV cases were reported in 2014 in Katanga and 840 in Kasai-Occidental (OCHA, 05/02/2015; Radio Okapi, 11/02/2015). 2,012 were reported in Orientale province, and 1,123 in Bas-Congo (80% rape) (OCHA, 10/12/2014, 03/12/2014; Radio Okapi, 27/11/2014).
Approximately 100 minors were raped in January 2015 by civilians, soldiers, and armed groups in Kalemie, Moba, and Pweto in Katanga province (Radio Okapi, 19/02/2015).
Iraq Country Analysis
20 February: Very few reports are coming out on the conditions of civilians in Al Baghdadi in Anbar since IS seized large parts of the town on 13 February; civilians are prevented from leaving the city (OCHA, 13/02/2015; 20/02/2015).
- Almost 1,400 deaths were recorded by UNAMI in January, including at least 790 civilians. Approximately 12,000 people were killed in 2014, corresponding to the worst levels of violence since 2006–2007 (UNAMI 01/02/2015, 01/01/2015).
- An estimated 5.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 2.25 million IDPs, 1.5 million in host communities and 1.7 million in areas under control of armed groups (OCHA, 06/02/2015; IOM, 31/01/2015). Access is highly constrained in Anbar, Salah al Din, and Ninewa (UNHCR, 10/2014).
- There are 238,688 Syrian registered refugees in Iraq; over 40% are children (UNHCR, 31/01/2015).
- Protection is a key concern, particularly in areas directly affected by conflict and under IS control. Access to adequate winter shelter, kerosene for cooking and heating and NFIs is also required.
The IS insurgency has compounded an already fragile political and humanitarian situation, leading to a level 3 humanitarian crisis and international military intervention. Iraq now hosts one of the largest internally displaced populations in the world with four massive waves of internal displacement in 2014: Anbar in January, Mosul in June, Sinjar in August and Hit in October. Priority needs are food, water, shelter, fuel and access to healthcare. Access constraints and human rights violations, particularly in IS-controlled areas are of major concern. There are large information gaps on the situation of affected populations outside of the Kurdistan region of Iraq.
National Political Context
The perceived marginalisation of Sunni groups by former President Maliki’s Government is considered one of the main drivers of the current conflict. A unity government, led by President Abadi, and formed at the start of September, represents the first step towards a longer-term solution to the present crisis.
Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I)
Masoud Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan have ruled the autonomous KR-I through a coalition government since 2005. Barzani’s term has been extended to 2015, a move denounced as illegal by the opposition. In mid-November 2014, Baghdad and Erbil reached a budget agreement around oil revenues; any breakdown in talks will impact financial resources in KR-I and the capacity to respond to the refugee and IDP crisis (UN, 02/12/2014).
Around 1,400 people were killed in acts of terrorism and violence in January, including 790 civilians (UNAMI, 01/02/2015). Although hard to verify, particularly in IS-controlled areas, around 12,000 people were killed and more than 23,000 injured in Iraq in 2014, in the worst violence since 2006–2007 (UNAMI, 01/01/2015).
Islamic State (IS)
In June, 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 has taken over large areas of northern and eastern Syria, and parts of northern and central Iraq. In September, IS had around 20,000–31,500 fighters in Iraq and Syria (BBC, 15/09/2014). The group has suffered significant losses, while attracting an increasing number of foreign fighters. Estimates of their current capacity are hard to obtain. The group has been selling crude oil and gasoline to finance its operations.
The Kurdish Peshmerga, supported by Kurdish fighters from Syria and Turkey, are engaged in a counteroffensive to reclaim areas lost to IS. Kurdish fighters receive training and equipment from multiple countries, including the United States (US) (AFP).
The ISF are involved in offensives in Baghdad, Ninewa, Diyala, Anbar, and Salah al Din governorates. The Iraqi Prime Minister declared in January that falling global oil prices could lead to possible budget deficits, which will hamper the capacity to undertake military operations against IS (Reuters, 22/01/2015).
In August, US forces started airstrikes on IS locations. On 15 September, 30 additional countries pledged to help Iraq fight IS militants. Several countries are providing training and arms to Iraqi and Kurdish Peshmerga forces; Iran has dispatched members of its elite Revolutionary Guards Corps and reportedly carried out airstrikes against IS in November, at the request of the Government of Iraq (The Economist, 03/01/2015; The Guardian, 05/01/2015, 04/12/2014). Gunfire exchanges were reported in January, engaging Canadian forces who came under attack while training Iraqi troops (Al Jazeera, 20/01/2015).
Since the beginning of December 2014, IS has carried out simultaneous attacks on multiple fronts, in areas north of Baghdad, Anbar, Salah al Din, and Kirkuk governorates (ISW, 12/12/2014, 31/01/2015).
IS made important gains in Anbar in the last quarter of 2014, taking control of around 80% of the governorate, and continues to push into the provincial capital Ramadi (REACH, 27/01/2015). Recently, however, ISF and Kurdish forces have regained territory in Dahuk, Ninewa, and Anbar. ISF recaptured all populated areas of Diyala governorate from IS in January (AFP, 26/01/2015). Peshmerga forces are fighting IS in Kirkuk, while ISF is engaged in battles in the central governorates and around Baghdad. The 2003 night curfew was lifted in Baghdad on 7 February as a result of relative security improvements in the city (AFP, 07/02/2015).
Anbar: Clashes between IS and Iraqi forces have been ongoing in the southern part of the province since early January (ISW, 21/01/2015). On 13 February, IS seized large parts of Al Baghdadi; fighting was continuing between IS and ISAF on 16 February (Radio Liberty).
Baghdad has been the scene of near-daily bombings and shootings since the beginning of November. A Sunni tribal leader and at least seven other people were killed on 13 February in an attack that could further inflame sectarian tensions (AFP, 14/02/2015). Several explosions in Mahmudiyah and al Shula districts on 10-11 February killed 13 and wounded 45 (ISW, 11/02/2015).
Diyala: A battle to retake villages in Mansuriyah, Muqdadiyah, began on 23 January (AFP, 26/01/2015). On 27 January, unidentified gunmen reportedly killed 70 people in the village of Barwana in Muqdadiyah (ISW, 28/01/2015).
Kirkuk: On 29 January, Peshmerga forces repelled an IS attack in three areas on Kirkuk’s outskirts, supported by coalition airstrikes. Security operations were ongoing around Riyadh on 11 February. IS fighters have seized a small crude oil station near Kirkuk city (Reuters, 31/01/2015, OCHA, 06/02/2015; ISW, 11/02/2015).
Ninewa: IS continues to carry out security operations south of Mosul, to control tribal resistance and safeguard one of their most important areas of control. Peshmerga forces have reportedly taken control of a key road used by IS to supply Mosul and are thought to be preparing for a summer offensive to take Mosul (The Guardian, 22/01/2015, Reuters, 23/01/2015). Community tensions are growing in Sinjar, with armed Yazidis raiding four villages end January, killing 21 suspected IS supporters (Reuters, 10/02/2015).
Salah al Din: ISF took control of Mutasim, south of Samarra. IS has attempted to reclaim strategic terrain around Baiji (ISW, 08/12/2014). Conflict was ongoing in January.
Other incidents: On 5 January, a suicide-bomber killed a Saudi general and two other soldiers on the border with Saudi Arabia, in the first such attack since Saudi Arabia joined the international coalition again IS (NYT, 05/01/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of 6 February, 5.2 million people were in need of humanitarian assistance, including 2.2 million IDPs, 1.5 million in host communities, 1.7 million in areas under control of armed groups, and 230,000 Syrian refugees (OCHA, 06/02/2015).
Around 2.2 million people in need of emergency assistance are beyond the reach of aid agencies, and access to the estimated 3.6 million people in areas under control of IS and affiliated armed groups is limited (ECHO, 12/12/2014). Several INGOs have suspended activities in IS-controlled areas, or provide emergency assistance through local partners. High insecurity and UXO also hinders access, as do long delays in obtaining clearance from Iraqi authorities (OCHA, 05/12/2014).
Border crossings: 2,000 Syrians from Kobane were admitted to KR-I through the informal Ibrahim Khalil crossing in the week of 17 January, but most crossings, such as the Kurdish-controlled Peshkabour-Semalka crossing, remain generally closed. The IS-controlled Al Qa’im and Al Waleed crossings are technically open, but insecurity prevents most civilian movement. Insecurity at Rabia crossing prevents cross-border movement (Reuters, 23/11/2014, UNHCR, 15/01/2015).
Movement restrictions: Movement and access restrictions for IDPs have been reported, particularly in the centre and centre-north. Security forces at checkpoints have reportedly prevented some IDP families from accessing Khanaqin in Diyala. Access to and in KR-I remains challenging for certain IDPs, particularly those of Arab ethnicity, with authorities claiming security concerns. In Sulaymaniyah, authorities are reportedly confiscating identification documents from certain groups of IDPs (OCHA, 23/01/2015, 09/01/2015)
Anbar remains largely inaccessible. Information on the conditions of civilians in Al Baghdadi is limited; civilians are prevented from leaving the city. At least 1,200 trapped families are reportedly without access to food, power, and water (OCHA, 13/02/2015; 20/02/2015). Access to Al Obaidy refugee camp, hosting 1,530 Syrian refugees, remains difficult, while thousands of people are trapped in siege-like conditions in Ramadi (UNHCR, 31/01/2015). Only one-fifth of Falluja’s population was left in the city in January. Severe restrictions on the mobility of people and goods are reported, with roads and bridges blocked due to insecurity and contaminated by UXO (REACH, 27/01/2015).
Ninewa: Access to Mosul is impossible for humanitarian actors, while conditions have dramatically deteriorated since IS took control. Communications with areas outside the city are allegedly cut off, while a deterioration of the humanitarian situation in areas recaptured by Peshmerga forces is reported (WFP, 02/02/2015; OCHA, 06/02/2015). Government support, in the form of public salaries and the Public Distribution System, is largely unavailable (The Guardian, 27/10/2014)
Kirkuk: The ability of humanitarian partners to assess and respond to needs remains limited (OCHA, 05/12/2014).
At 29 January, around 2.25 million IDPs were identified across 2,412 sites: 9% are in 25 IDP camps, most in KR-I, 29% in critical shelter arrangements, mostly in Dahuk and Anbar, and 61% in private settings (IOM, 31/01/2015). The overall number and wide geographical spread of the displaced population pose a major challenge to the assessment of needs and delivery of assistance (IOM, 02/12/2014).
Most IDPs are in Dahuk (447,050), Anbar (386,900), Kirkuk (303,588), Erbil (187,940) and Ninewa (174,144) governorates (IOM, 31/01/2015). The humanitarian situation for IDPs in Najaf, Karbala, Babel, Qadissiya, and Wassit is critical. The majority live in public buildings or collective shelters, with significant food, WASH, and livelihood needs and have received little assistance to date compared to northern areas (WFP, 27/01/2015; REACH, 27/01/2015).
Almost 70% of IDPs have left their governorate of origin. However, over 30% are forced to stay within the governorate, due to movement restrictions imposed by neighbouring governorates (IOM, 15/01/2014, Protection Cluster, 15/01/2015).
In Amiriyah, Baghdad, 1,300 IDP families, including two-thirds living in critical shelter arrangements, are yet to receive assistance (OCHA, 30/01/2015).
Returnees face safety issues as a result of mines, IEDs, inter-communal tensions and threats of sectarian militia (OCHA, 20/02/2015). 232,000 IDPs are expected to return to Ninewa in the coming months, should the security situation remain stable (WFP, 26/01/2015).
Refugees in Iraq
At 18 February, 242,470 Syrian refugees were registered in Iraq, including 38% living in camps. KR-I hosts an estimated 97%; another 4,520 are in Anbar governorate, 1,341 in Ninewa, and around 2,100 are elsewhere in Iraq (UNHCR, 18/02/2015; 31/01/2015).
In KR-I, around 98,000 refugees are in Dahuk, 104,500 in Erbil, and 28,300 in Sulaymaniyah. 50,410 reside in Domiz refugee camp, 9,930 in Kawergosk, 9,630 in Darashakran, 4,660 in Gawilan, 5,840 in Qushtapa, and 5,710 in Arbat (UNHCR, 31/01/2015).
Around 32,950 Syrian refugees returned to Syria in 2014 (UNHCR, 31/12/2014).
Syrian refugees from Kobane: At 15 February, over 31,825 Syrian refugees had arrived in KR-I since 25 September, mostly from Kobane. Arrivals from Kobane in 2015 have been transferred to Gawilan refugee camp in Dahuk. The majority of families have preferred to reside instead in host communities (UNHCR, 18/02/2015; 31/12/2014).
During the first quarter of 2014, there were 39,480 registered, protracted, non-Syrian refugees and asylum seekers. There is no updated information on this number.
Around 1.5 million people in host communities are in need of assistance (OCHA, 27/01/2015). Local authorities are overstretched and under-resourced.
Iraqi Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
At 1 November, there were around 254,000 Iraqi refugees in neighbouring countries, including 200,000 in Turkey, 38,500 in Jordan, 8,700 in Lebanon, and over 3,000 in Yemen. Almost 3,800 Iraqi refugees remained in Newroz camp in Syria in October (UNHCR, 01/11/2014, USAID, 19/09/2014, WFP 10/2014, OCHA 30/11/2014).
2.8 million people urgently need food assistance, particularly in Anbar (Falluja, Hit, and Rutba districts), Diyala (Khanaqin and Ba’quba), Salah al Din (Tooz and Samarra), Kirkuk and Ninewa. The situation in Najaf, Kerbala, and Babylon governorates is critical following recent IDP influxes. IDPs in KR-I have not received their Public Distribution System rations (UN, 18/02/2015; OCHA, 06/02/2015; FAO, 10/02/2015).
Refugees: Most Syrian refugees require food assistance. There is no clear system for food assistance for non-camp refugees in Dahuk, and resources for refugees in urban settings are increasingly stretched (UNHCR 30/11/2014). A reduction in WFP funds temporarily reduced the food voucher value in Domiz, Darashakran, Akre, and Kawergosk camps from USD 28.20 to USD 19 per person per month from February; WFP will also begin targeted assistance. A further reduction is expected from April if funding shortfalls persist (WFP 22/01/2015).
Some 120,000 farmers in host communities need agricultural input for the winter planting season (OCHA, 06/02/2015). Many farmers and rural households have fled their fields, and the suspension of government services in conflict areas means farmers have not received payment for wheat. Planting has been considerably reduced end 2014 in Ninewa and Salah al Din. Farmers also sell livestock at lower prices (FAO, 11/2014).
The disruption of markets and the restricted movement of food commodities remain a concern. IS reportedly took more than a quarter of the overall national output in 2014 to Syria; it also controls major wheat storage silos in Ninewa and Salah al Din (FAO 11/12/2014; 10/02/2015).
Refugees: Reduced access to basic feed is posing a significant risk to refugees’ livestock, affecting refugees’ ability to sustain their access to food and livelihoods (FAO, 10/02/2015). Many families, especially in Ninewa and Dahuk, have reportedly sold their livestock because they could not maintain them and were in desperate need of cash (UNHCR, 18/02/2015).
800,000 people are in need of livelihood support in Iraq (UN, 18/02/2015). KR-I’s poverty rate increased from 3.5% to 8.1% between 2013 and 2014, while GDP growth in Iraq declined by five percentage points to 3% in 2014 (World Bank/Government, 12/02/2015). Unemployment is rising in IS-controlled areas, and IDPs fleeing the violence face difficulties accessing livelihood opportunities.
Refugees: As of April, almost half of Syrian families in camps had no source of income or cash; numbers are lower for refugees in remote areas outside camps (REACH, 14/09/2014). Access to income-generating opportunities has probably decreased since then due to the large influx of IDPs.
Health and Nutrition
3.2 million people need health support in Iraq (UN, 18/02/2015). Acute diarrheoa and acute respiratory infections are a leading cause of morbidity among refugees and IDPs. By mid-February, an increase in cases was reported in areas covered by a disease surveillance system (WHO, 22/02/2015). Reports of scabies have emerged amongst children in IDP camps in Kerbala, as well as 11 measles cases in Arbat camp, linked to overcrowding (WHO, 01/02/2015; OCHA, 13/02/2015; 20/02/2015).
Availability of Healthcare
A number of health facilities have been damaged by bombing and shelling. Critical shortages of essential medicines, vaccines and supplies are increasingly concerning in urban health facilities, as supply routes from Baghdad are disrupted, and the embargo on cargo flights has stopped the medical supply chain (WHO, 09/2014). Staff shortages are an additional complication, while insecurity hampers access to healthcare in some locations; accessibility from Ramadi to Baghdad is a particular concern. Other health needs include improved control of communicable diseases and better access to specialist services (WHO, 24/11/2014; 01/02/2015).
Anbar: Critical shortages of essential medicines are reported by still functional health structures, especially in Al Baghdadi, where basic care for non-communicable diseases is limited (ECHO, 16/02/2015).
Dahuk: Public health concerns include the spread of communicable diseases due to overcrowding, high risk of measles outbreak, lack of immunisation and increased mental health issues (WHO, 28/01/2015). The newly established Kebirto and Sharia IDP camps have no functioning primary health centres (WHO, 18/01/2015).
Mosul: Only two units of the main hospital remain functional, staffing levels are down to 30–50%, and severe medicine shortages have been reported. Interruptions in the water supply have resulted in a rise of waterborne diseases (AFP, 12/2014). IS has reportedly executed ten doctors for refusing to treat wounded IS fighters, while evacuating main hospitals to treat injured IS members only (ISW, 01/12/2014).
20% of the non-camp refugee population has difficulties accessing health services, due to cost and perceived availability (Government/WHO/UNHCR, 30/11/2014). Mental health and psychosocial care services in urban areas are limited (UNHCR, 15/01/2015). In KR-I, health service delivery for refugees is challenged in areas with high concentrations of IDPs. The influx of under-vaccinated Syrian refugees into KR-I increases the health risks for other patients (WHO, 11/2014).
It can be assumed that 450,000 IDPs and 50,000 Syrian refugees are women and girls of reproductive age. Maternity services are particularly stretched in Erbil hospital (WHO, 10/11/2014; UNFPA, 30/11/2014).
Two million people need WASH support (UN, 18/02/2015). Access to safe water is a critical problem in conflict-affected and armed groups’ controlled areas. Power cuts, fuel shortages, disruption to supply routes, and the seizure of municipal water facilities have left communities without safe water. Inadequate water supply due to shortage of chlorine and broken pipelines has been reported in Mosul and Ninewa (WHO, 01/02/2015; 20/12/2014). Lack of NFIs delivery due to insecurity is affecting access to personal hygiene in Anbar and Salah al Din (OCHA, 11/2014).
Urgent WASH support is required in the overcrowded Arbat camp in Sulaymaniyah, and in Baharka and Debagah camps in Erbil, where facilities are hard to reach and people defecate in the open (OCHA, 13/02/2015; 30/01/2015). WASH facilities at IDP camps in Dahuk need urgent upgrading (OCHA, 20/02/2015). Critical water needs have been reported among IDPs in Salah al Din and Kerbala (OCHA, 09/01/2015). In KR-I, 31% of over 85,000 IDPs across 880 sites reported that they do not have access to electricity or water (CCCM 11/2014).
Refugees: Newly arrived refugees from Kobane are in need of better access to WASH services (UNHCR, 15/01/2015). Almost 19,000 refugees in camps lack access to safe drinking water, latrines, and bathing facilities, while over 100,000 lack adequate waste disposal (UNHCR/UNICEF, 31/10/2014). In Darashakran and Basirma camps in Erbil, drainage and water quality remain an issue (UNHCR, 15/01/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
Around 960,000 and 1.1 million displaced people both in and outside camps, require shelter and NFI support, respectively (UN, 18/02/2015).
Most camp facilities and services do not meet minimum Sphere standards, with many facing capacity overflow (REACH 31/10/2014). Ten camps are under construction for an additional capacity of 384,420 IDPs (CCCM, 02/02/2015).
Arbat IDP camp in Sulaymaniyah is over capacity, with 2,800 families instead of the planned 1,000, including 700 families without tents. WASH, shelter, education and access to healthcare are all major concerns. Only 10% of the land allocated for the expansion of Arbat camp has been declared suitable (WHO, 02/02/2015; OCHA, 06/02/2015). Support is required to relocate IDPs from Aliyawa to Al Wand IDP camp in Khanaqin in Diyala (OCHA, 13/02/2015).
Refugees: Shelter improvement is required for 6,000 tents in Domiz camp in Dahuk, hosting 30,000 people (Government/UNHCR, 30/11/2014). The large influx of Syrian refugees has exhausted the capacities of Basirma and Kawergosk camps. The cancellation of the construction of Qushtapa 2 camp aggravates refugee shelter limitations (UNHCR, 15/12/2014).
Winter weather is compounding existing vulnerabilities in northern Iraq. A significant number of IDPs reside in sub-standard shelter and do not have access to sufficient winterised NFIs. Throughout Iraq, 200,000 children living in poor households still require blankets and hygiene supplies (UNICEF, 11/01/2015).
Kerosene for cooking and heating remains a major concern. 29,500 families need specific winterisation support, including kerosene (OCHA, 06/02/2015).
75% of school-aged displaced children across Iraq are still out of school (487,500 children) (OCHA, 20/02/2015). In Dahuk, displacement has increased the student population by 50% (OCHA 10/2014). In Sulaymaniyah, there is no high school in Arbat camp (UNHCR, 15/12/2014).
Over 500 schools, including 376 in Anbar, remain occupied by IDPs, and an estimated 130 by the military, affecting 39,000 children. Educational materials are needed (UNICEF 31/10/2014; OCHA, 16/01/2015).
Refugees: Enrolment in school in camps ranges from 32% in Gawilan camp to 75% in Qustapa camp. 14,542 children are attending 45 schools in host communities across KR-I. The main challenges include limited capacity in schools with an Arabic curriculum, shortages of Syrian refugee teachers and delays in the extension of their work permits, increasing schooling demand and insecurity (UNHCR, 31/12/2014; 12/02/2015).
Targeted attacks, abductions, forced conscription, human trafficking, and sexual assault, particularly from ethnic and religious minority groups, have been reported since early 2014 (UNAMI, 10/2014). Armed actors have also attacked civilian infrastructure, such as health facilities and schools (USAID, 10/2014). Abuses by militias allied with ISF in Sunni areas have reportedly escalated in recent months (HRW, 15/02/2015).
Shariah courts have been established in IS-controlled territories, carrying out extreme punishments against men, women, and children (UN, 20/01/2015).
There are safety and welfare concerns for civilians recently liberated from IS-controlled areas, due to their perceived support for IS and affiliates.
Tensions between IDPs and their hosts have been reported, limiting IDP movement in some areas of the country (OCHA, 31/01/2015).
IDPs: Evictions are increasingly reported. 20 IDP families were evicted from their shelters in Kirkuk city beginning of January, while 170 received eviction warnings. Over 1,500 displaced families are also at risk of eviction in Erbil (OCHA, 30/01/2015).
An increase in detention of IDPs is reported, due to growing mistrust from local authorities and communities (OCHA, 19/12/2014). In Laylan camp in Kirkuk, detention and disappearances have been reported (OCHA, 06/02/2015).
In Kirkuk, reports of IDP harassment have been attributed to an increasing negative perception of the mainly Sunni Arab IDP population (OCHA, 06/02/2015). Tensions were also reported between communities in Kabarto IDP camp in Dahuk on 25 January, which led to tightened security measures in and around the camp (OCHA, 30/01/2015).
An estimated 10% of IDPs have no form of documentation, which is a prerequisite for obtaining residency permits. IDPs are facing illegal sale and destruction and looting of their properties (IOM, 02/02/2015).
Refugees: Lack of documentation is also of concern for Syrian refugees; residency in urban areas is reportedly being denied to Syrian asylum-seekers lacking original ID documents (Protection Cluster 15/01/2015, UNHCR, 30/11/2014).
Concerning issues include harmful practices targeting girls, such as female genital mutilation and early and forced marriage, child labour, and discrimination of children from ethnic minorities (OHCHR, 22/01/2015). IDP children are at increased risk of exploitation. There are no special services available for children with disabilities or special needs (ACTED, 08/2014).
IS is reportedly selling children as sex slaves, and using young Iraqis as suicide bombers or human shields to protect facilities against air strikes (OCHA, 06/02/2015). It is providing military training to schoolchildren in Syria and Iraq, using children as young as 13 as fighters (Radio Liberty, 10/2014).
Overcrowding of Syrian refugee camps is causing protection concerns for unaccompanied minors, who are leaving camps prematurely (UNHCR, 31/10/2014). An October survey in Gawilan identified that 4% of refugee households had separated minors with them (REACH, 11/10/2014).
ERW and Mines
Iraq is heavily mined, with up to 1,838km2 of contaminated territory and IS is reportedly planting more (Landmine Monitor/ICBL, IRIN, 06/11/2014). UXO has been found mixed with scrap metal close to Deraboun camp, Dahuk. IDP children collect scrap metal to generate income (OCHA, 28/11/2014).
Mauritania Country Analysis
No significant developments this week 25/02/2015. Last update 21/01/2015.
- 384,000 people estimated to needing humanitarian assistance in 2014 (OCHA, 08/2014).
- 800,000 people are estimated to be food insecure, of whom 190,000 are severely food insecure (OCHA, 02/2014).
- 31,000 SAM cases up to December2014 mean that acute malnutrition level has already surpassed the estimated caseload for the year (UNICEF, 03/2014).
- Security challenges continue to be a problem in Mbera refugee camp on the border with Mali. Mauritania is the largest recipient of refugees fleeing the conflict in Mali (UNHCR, 06/2014 and OCHA, 04/2014).
National Political Context
The first legislative elections since 2006 were held in 2013, and the country’s ruling Union for the Republic and its allies won 76 of 147 seats. The National Electoral Commission announced a record turnout of 75% of 1.2 million registered voters. However, the vote was boycotted by most opposition parties. The credibility of the Government continues to be questioned by much of the northern population, who claim they are being marginalised concerning the provision of basic services.
On 15 January, three anti-slavery activists were sentenced to two years in prison, one of whom was the candidate in the 2014 presidential election. Police used tear gas and batons to disperse protesters condemning the judgement. The practice of slavery was officially designated a punishable crime in 2007 (AFP, 15/01/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Mauritania hosts almost 48,000 Malian refugees as of February 2015 (OCHA, 02/2015). Almost all refugees live in Mbera camp, a remote desert location on the border that has significant security challenges, and where food insecurity and malnutrition are high. According to UNICEF, 60% of camp residents are women and children, and many have been in the camp for two years, resulting in overlapping emergency and medium-term needs.
Security problems and the inaccessibility of areas of northern Mali make it difficult to obtain return figures.
In February 2015, nearly 820,000 people, a fifth of the total population, were food insecure, including 428,000 who are in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) and 4 (Emergency) and in need of food assistance (OCHA, 02/2015).
In February/March 2015, more than 300,000 poor households in affected areas of the Senegal River Valley (near the border between Mauritania and Senegal) and western agro-pastoral zones (southwestern Mauritania) will begin to face food consumption gaps. Without additional, well-targeted emergency assistance, more than 600,000 households could face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity by June. An Emergency (IPC Phase 4) is possible by September 2015 in the absence of emergency response (FEWSNET, 18/11/2014).
Poor rainfall during the June to October season in south-central Mauritania will result in significantly below-average main and off-season harvests, reduced seasonal labour incomes, and reduced income from livestock sales. Prices of sorghum are expected to rise above the five-year average due to below-average local production and atypically low trade flows (FEWSNET, 17/11/2014). Erratic rains have affected pasture regeneration and level of water points in several pastoral areas of the country, particularly in Hodh el Chargui, Hodh el Ghrabi, Brakna and Tagant regions (FAO, 27/01/2015).
Food Security in the Sahel Region
20.4 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) are expected to suffer from food insecurity in 2015 (OCHA, 10/02/2015). In 2014, food insecurity rose dramatically to 24.7 million food insecure people, compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
91,300 children are acutely malnourished as of February 2015, of which 24,100 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition (OCHA, 02/2015).
Preliminary results of an August survey indicate that the national GAM rate had decreased from 13.1% to 9.8%. Guidimakha region is reported to have GAM of 16%, exceeding the emergency threshold. GAM is over 10% in Gorgol, Assaba, Tagant, Hod El Chargui and Hod El Garbi (UNICEF, 10/2014).
A nutrition survey carried out in Mbera camp in November 2014 showed a significant decrease in both global acute malnutrition (from 11.8% to 9.9%) and severe acute malnutrition (1.4% to 0.8%) (UNICEF, 12/2014).
Malian refugees in Mbera have expressed concern that birth certificates are not being received for children born outside health centres (UNHCR).
Nigeria Country Analysis
21 February: The Nigerian military claimed to have retaken Baga, Borno state, from BH (AFP, 21/02/2015).
18 February: The Nigerian military said it had killed more than 300 BH while retaking Monguno and 10 other communities in Borno state (AFP, 18/02/2015).
17 February: A suicide attack in Yamarkumi village, near the town of Biu, Borno state, killed 36 people and injured 20 (AFP, 17/02/2015).
9–15 February: 58 people were killed in political violence related to the elections, according to the National Human Rights Commission (AFP, 17/02/2015).
10 February: Since January 2015, 564 cholera cases have been reported, with 47 deaths and an 8.3% case fatality rate. There has been a resurgence of cases in Kano and Kaduna states, and a risk the outbreak could spread further (UNICEF, 10/02/2015).
- Over 2014, 7,711 deaths due to Boko Haram-related violence were reported by media sources, representing over half of BH-related deaths in the country since May 2011 (ACLED, 11/01/2014). Over 1–11 January, Boko Haram killed 2,146 people (ACLED, 12/01/2015). ACLED estimates Boko Haram fatalities may be at least over 1,000 per month over 2015–2016 (ACLED, 12/01/2015).
- 9 million people affected by violence in the northeast, with three million acutely needing humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 10/2014).
- There are 1.5 million IDPs in the northeast (IRIN, 28/11/2014).
- 4.8 million people are food insecure (UNHCR, 17/12/2014). Conflict-affected households will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity until at least September. Most IDPs continue to need food assistance (FEWSNET, 07/01/2015).
- 628,000 children under five suffer from severe acute malnutrition (OCHA, 30/09/2014).
- Nearly half the population does not have access to safe water (UNICEF).
- 35,909 cholera cases and 753 deaths were reported in 2014 (UNICEF, 12/01/2014).
Up to nine million people are in need of humanitarian assistance across the country; three million are in acute need in the northeast. Violence has displaced around 1.1 million people, restricted movement, disrupted food supply, seriously hindered access to basic services, and limited agricultural activities. People affected by violence in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, and neighbouring Bauchi, Taraba, and Gombe states are in urgent need of health services, protection, food, and water.
On 20 November, the state of emergency for Adamawa, Borno and Yobe state ended, after its extension had been rejected by the House of Representatives and the Senate (AllAfrica, 09/01/2015). It had been put in place in May 2013.
On 7 February, Nigeria’s electoral commission postponed the election for six weeks until 28 March (BBC, 08/02/2015). The election is expected to exacerbate violence in Nigeria (OCHA, 08/2014). President Goodluck Jonathan is standing, although, according to the opposition, his re-election would violate the unwritten rule that governance should rotate between the Muslim north and the Christian south every two terms. The candidate for the main opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) is former president and military ruler Muhammadu Buhari, who comes from the north (AFP, 11/12/2014).
Under Nigeria’s constitution, a candidate must win a majority of over 50% and 25% of votes cast in two-thirds of the country. However, there are concerns about the feasibility of holding elections in the former SoE states (US Institute of Peace, 09/01/2015). In addition, current law in Nigeria does not allow displaced citizens to vote outside their own precincts, and no action has been taken to amend that restriction. The governors of Yobe, Borno, and Adamawa states have requested the deployment of extra troops (Reuters, 06/01/2015).
The frequency and fatality of attacks are at their highest levels since the state of emergency (SoE) was imposed in 2013. ACLED estimates Boko Haram fatalities may be at least over 1,000 per month over 2015-2016 (ACLED, 12/01/2015). Fighting and attacks have intensified with the upcoming elections. Boko Haram has vowed to impede the elections, while the Government aims to contain the security threat posed by the militants before the elections. Over 9-15 February, 58 people were killed in political violence related to the elections according to the National Human Rights Commission (AFP, 17/02/2015).
In 2014, 7,711 deaths due to Boko Haram-related violence were reported by media sources, representing over half of BH-related deaths in the country since May 2011 (ACLED, 11/01/2014).
The Middle Belt area (Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nassarawa, and Taraba states) is home to a number of minority groups, divided between the Islamic north and the more secular Christian/animist south. Inter-communal clashes fuelled by ethnic and religious tensions, as well as competition between farmers and pastoralists, flare regularly throughout the region (IDMC, 12/2014). Over 2014, around 1,700 people died in inter-communal violence; 200 people died in September alone (ACLED, 2014; ICG, 01/10/2014).
The insurgent group dubbed Boko Haram (Western education is forbidden) was founded in Maiduguri, Borno state, and has been leading an insurgency to create an Islamic state in the predominantly Muslim regions of northeastern Nigeria. The Nigerian authorities have been fighting BH since 2009, with the insurgents using increasingly aggressive tactics. According to US intelligence reports, BH has a core of 4,000–6,000 fighters (Reuters, 06/02/2015).
The conflict has gained an increasingly regional dimension. Towns in the Far North region of Cameroon have repeatedly been attacked. More recently, Boko Haram has launched cross-border attacks into Diffa region, Niger. Chad provides military support for the fight against BH since January 2015, while Cameroon has been fighting BH within its territory since BH started cross-border attacks. There have recently been calls for a viable and effective operationalisation of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF), made up of forces from Chad, Niger, and Nigeria, whose mandate was expanded to include the fight terrorist activity in the Lake Chad Basin in April 2012 (Sahara Reporters 07/05/2013; Reuters 13/01/2015; Al Jazeera 20/01/2015). On 31 January, the African Union agreed to send 7,500 troops to fight the Boko Haram insurgency (VoA, 31/01/2015).
Common BH targets remain rural communities, markets, schools, and highways, however, the group’s tactics changed in August 2014, from attacking villages and withdrawing, to seizing control. Some reports indicate that BH has taken control of 40%, or even 70%, of Borno state, though it is difficult to verify (US Institute of Peace, 09/01/2015). According to government officials, Boko Haram now controls Baga, on Lake Chad, and 16 neighbouring towns. BH fighters have also taken control of towns and villages in Yobe and Adamawa states.
By early February, Nigerian security forces had launched new offensives against BH, with the support of Chadian forces and civil militias. Nigerian soldiers have at times reportedly refused to deploy because of inadequate equipment, or fled from operations (AFP, 22/08/2014). Amnesty International has reported mass extrajudicial executions by the military (Washington Post, 05/08/2014).
Borno state: 20 of 27 local government areas are reported to be partially controlled by Boko Haram (IFRC, 23/01/2015). Over December 2014, Boko Haram-related violence led to over 400 fatalities and the abduction of at least 225 civilians (ACLED, 20/01/2015; AFP, 16/11/2014). Over 2014, more than 4,400 BH-related deaths were recorded by media sources, around half of them civilians (ACLED, 22/01/2015). Maiduguri, the state capital is frequently targeted by suicide attacks, for which BH increasingly uses minors. 82 people were killed in a larger-scale attack on Maiduguri on 1 February, ultimately repelled by Nigerian security forces and civil militia (02/02/2015; OCHA, 03/02/2015)
On 21 February, the Nigerian military claimed to have retaken Baga from BH (AFP, 21/02/2015). On 18 February, the Nigerian military said it had killed more than 300 rebels while retaking Monguno and 10 other communities, that had been under the control of Boko Haram (AFP, 18/02/2015). On 17 February, a suicide attack at a checkpoint at Yamarkumi village, near the town of Biu, killed 36 people and injured 20 (AFP, 17/02/2015).
By 2 February, the Nigerian announced having retaken Malam Fatori, Abadam, Mafa, and Marte towns, with the support of Chadian airstrikes (AP, 03/02/2015). On 31 January, Chadian forces, aided by Nigerian security forces and civil militias, reclaimed the town of Gamboru-Ngala (VoA, 01/02/2015; AP, 03/02/2015).
On 3 January, BH seized a Multinational Joint Task Force military base outside Baga town, near Lake Chad (international media, 04/01/2014). On 7 January, BH took control of Baga town and razed at least 16 surrounding settlements. Amnesty International cited reports indicating that as many as 2,000 people were killed (The Guardian, 10/01/2015).
Yobe state: On 22 February, a suicide attack in Potiskum killed eight and injured at least 19 people (AFP, 22/02/2015). On 17 February, a suicide attack in Potiskum killed two and injured 13 people (AFP, 17/02/2015). On 1 February, a suicide attack in the home of a PDP candidate killed seven and wounded another seven (AFP, 02/01/2015). Previous suicide attacks on 10 and 18 January killed seven people and wounded 74 (The Guardian, 12/01/2015; AFP, 18/01/2015). On 9 January, BH attacked the state capital Damaturu (AFP, 09/01/2015; local media, 11/01/2015). More than 150 people had been killed in an attack on the town in December (international media, 01/12/2014; 03/12/2014). Over 2014, 508 BH-related deaths were reported by media sources in Yobe (ACLED, 22/01/2014).
Adamawa state: On 23 January, BH launched a series of attacks and raids on six villages in Michika local government area, which is under its control. Several people were killed. A number of youths and women were reported kidnapped (local media, 25/01/2015). 547 BH-related deaths were recorded by media sources in Adamawa over 2014, around 200 of them civilians (ACLED, 22/01/2015).
Gombe state: On 2 February, a bomb blast occurred near an electoral campaign rally being held by President Jonathan (AFP, 02/02/2015). On 1 February, two blasts in Gombe city killed five people (AFP, 02/01/2015). In January, two suicide attacks in Gombe killed five and injured at least 11 people (AFP, 16/01/2015; international media, 01/01/2015). Attacks in the city in December killed 20 and injured 18 (international media, 01/01/2015; international media, 22/12/2014).
Kano state: On 10 December, suicide attacks at a market in Kano city killed at least four people. A 13-year-old girl was apprehended carrying explosives (AFP, 10/12/2014; 11/12/2014). On 28 November, at least 120 people were killed and 270 other wounded by two suicide bombers and gunmen at the Grand Mosque (AFP, 28/11/2014).
Plateau state: Over January–November 2014, 442 deaths due to BH-related violence were reported by media sources in Plateau (CFR, 15/12/2014). Most were killed in Jos and Bachi.
Rivers state: On 17 February,
Humanitarian Context and Needs
According to the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), nine million people in the northeast have been affected by the conflict, with three million people in acute need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 08/10/2014).
Humanitarian needs are high, particularly as very few international actors are operating in the northeast (OCHA, 01/07/2014; 31/08/2014).
Updated information on the humanitarian situation in the northeast is minimal because of access constraints. Humanitarian access is impeded by insecurity, poor infrastructure, and limited openings for dialogue with non-state actors (OCHA, 05/2014). There is also a lack of coordinated needs assessments in the northeast (PI, 01/2015). News reporting on the security and political situation is equally restricted, and media access has often been prohibited.
Boko Haram has destroyed communication and media infrastructure (Reporters without Borders, 05/02/2015). In Borno state, most routes to affected areas are inaccessible. The road from Damaturu, Yobe state, is the only route for bringing food and other basic commodities to Maiduguri and northern Borno state (ECHO, 13/01/2015). Maiduguri airport is closed to commercial flights.
Movement in BH-controlled areas is reportedly restricted, and the use of vehicles is forbidden, most likely to prevent residents from leaving (IFRC, 23/01/2015).
Between one and 1.5 million IDPs are reported in Nigeria, 90% of them in the northeast (OCHA, 05/02/2015; 06/02/2015). The displaced are apprehensive about returning to their communities, even those that have been recaptured by security forces (IFRC, 23/01/2015). In a recent assessment of IDPs in Adamawa state, lack of information about the security situation in places of origin was cited as a challenge to returning (IOM/NEMA, 31/12/2014).
As of 2 February, NEMA reports almost a million IDPs: 482,290 in Borno; 125,990 in Yobe; 123,600 in Adamawa; 81,790 in Taraba; 46,420 in Bauch; 20,850 in Plateau; 15,270 in Nasarawa; 11,480 in Gombe; 3,420 in Federal Capital Territory; 2,260 in Zamfara; 1,050 in Kano; and 810 in Kaduna states (NEMA in OCHA, 02/02/2015). 81% the current IDP population was displaced in 2014. 58% are children; more than half of whom are under five (IOM/NEMA, 31/12/2014). A large number of IDP households are headed by women who have been widowed during attacks.
According to NEMA, 108,000 IDPs are in camps in Adamawa, Yobe, Gombe, Bauchi, and Taraba states; 802,150 are being hosted by communities. There are 22 government-run IDP camps in the northeast (OCHA, 30/01/2015). NEMA reportedly operates 11 IDP camps in Borno state (Government, 12/01/2015).
Maiduguri continues to receive high numbers of IDPs, seeking refuge in both camps and host communities (OCHA/SEMA, 14/01/2015). On 6 February, over 36,000 new IDPs were reported to have fled fighting in Abadam, Gamboru, Ngala, Dikwa and Gwoza, Borno state. The overwhelming majority sought shelter among local communities around Maiduguri and Jere in Borno state, and others also in Mubi, Hong and Gombi in Adamawa state. The number of people displaced to camps in Maiduguri has yet to be verified. Some IDPs have reportedly started to leave Maiduguri for Damaturu, Gombe and other parts of Adamawa state which they considered safer (OCHA, 06/02/2015). Attacks on Baga and neighbouring villages displaced 150,000, according to the State Emergency Management Authority (OCHA/SEMA, 14/01/2015)).
IDPs in host communities are in urgent need of shelter and non-food items. Food, health, protection, and WASH are all priority needs in host communities (OCHA, 02/10/2014).
The majority of IDPS in Taraba state were displaced due to intercommunal conflict, mainly in Wukari and Ibbi. Most are in Gassol (bordering Wukari), Jalingo, Takum and Gashaka. In Bauchi, a high proportion of IDPs were displaced by inter-communal clashes, mainly due to the arrival of people displaced by inter-communal clashes in the Middle Belt region (IOM/NEMA, 31/12/2014).
Nigerian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
At least 153,000 refugees have fled to Cameroon, Niger, or Chad (WFP, 22/01/2015). Temporary refugee status has been granted to those Nigerians fleeing Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe. UNHCR has advised against forced returns to northern areas.
Niger: 19,000 people have fled to Niger in 2015 (UNHCR, 16/01/2015).The authorities in Niger estimate that more than 150,000 people have arrived from northeastern Nigeria since May 2013 (OCHA, 22/01/2015). Concentrated in the Diffa region, most refugees are staying with local communities, and food and water resources are limited (UNHCR, 15/06/2014). Nigerien authorities have lifted a ban on refugee camps, given the large influx of new refugees in 2015. The Boko Haram attacks in Niger since 6 February have also led to internal displacement of a yet unspecified number of people (OCHA, 20/02/2015).
Cameroon: 50,000 Nigerians have fled to northern Cameroon since May 2013 (UNHCR, 22/01/2015). About 70% of new arrivals are women and children who need immediate assistance. Aid and infrastructure projects in the Far North region have been suspended due to high insecurity (AlertNet, 08/07/2014).
Chad: 14,000 Nigerian refugees have fled to Chad so far in 2015; the daily arrival rate averages over 770 (OCHA, 28/01/2015).
4.8 million people are food insecure across 11 states in northern Nigeria (OCHA, 30/09/2014; IRIN, 28/11/2014).
Conflict-affected households will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels of food insecurity until at least September. Most IDPs continue to need assistance to meet their food needs (FEWSNET, 07/01/2015). Assessments conducted in Adamawa state IDP camps found that 20% reported never receiving food distributions. 0.75% of IDPs living in the sites were found to have a source of income (IOM/NEMA, 31/12/2014).
The 2013/14 agricultural season has been severely impeded. Vast areas of southern Yobe and Borno and northern Adamawa were undercultivated or not harvested during the main farming season of May to December. According to government officials, the violence has affected 273,000 farmers and led to the destruction of 550,000 metric tons of crops in Adamawa state, as farmland has been abandoned, and (local media, 24/01/2015). Off-season farming and fishing in the first half of 2015 are also expected to be reduced (FEWSNET, 07/01/2015).
A number of factors make market purchase difficult for households that would typically offset low production with increased market purchase: most markets in conflict areas are closed or at reduced levels following attacks, supplies of locally produced commodities are low, physical access is limited for traders from outside the region, and functioning markets continue to report high prices for staple foods. Retail millet and sorghum prices for Maiduguri in December were about 30% higher than in neighbouring Kano (FEWSNET, 07/01/2015).
Health and Nutrition
3,000 health facilities in the northeast are closed or have been partially destroyed (OCHA, 08/10/2014). Healthcare services have collapsed in the northern part of Borno state as health workers have fled (OCHA, 19/08/2014). In March 2014, a multi-sector assessment covering Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states indicated that only 37% of health facilities are functioning, leaving residents to seek medical attention across the border. Mortality rates are increasing and vaccination programmes are severely hit. Polio vaccination campaigns are now limited to the Maiduguri metropolis.
Most IDPs in host communities have limited access to health services due to various constraints such as lack of information on services and transportation costs (OCHA, 02/10/2014).
35,996 cholera cases, including 753 deaths (2.1% case fatality rate) were reported in 2014. Since January 2015, 564 cases have been reported, with 47 deaths and an 8.3% case fatality rate. There has been a resurgence of cases in Kano and Kaduna states, and there is a risk the outbreak could spread further (UNICEF, 10/02/2015).
As of February 2014, 461,000 children under five suffer from severe acute malnutrition (OCHA, 10/02/2015). In the absence of humanitarian support, it is expected that up to three million people will face food consumption gaps in Nigeria by July 2015 (FEWSNET, 07/01/2015). In the northeast, GAM is 12% (UNICEF, 13/01/2015).
Severe acute malnutrition is responsible for more than a third of all child deaths in Nigeria; 350,000 children die from malnutrition every year (ECHO, 08/2014).
In 2014, 30 cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) were reported, and six cases of wild poliovirus type 1. Kano is the only state to have reported cases of WPV since April (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 14/01/2015). In 2013, 53 cases were reported, and in 2012, 102 (GPEI, UNICEF). 72% of cases in 2013 were recorded in Borno, Yobe, and Kano states.
WASH conditions in IDP host communities are of critical concern, with reports of inadequate latrines and lack of access to safe water. The need for hygiene promotion activities and provision of hygiene kits is critical (OCHA, 02/10/2014).
According to reports from UNICEF, nearly half the Nigerian population does not have access to safe water, and a third does not have access to sanitation services. In the northeast, only 46% of the population have access to improved sources of drinking water and 21% to latrines (UNICEF, 13/01/2015).
10.5 million children are out of school in Nigeria, more than half of them girls. 60% of these children are in the northern part of the country: one in every three primary school children and one in every four secondary school children are out of school in the northeast (UNICEF, 01/2015).
In March 2014, all state-funded education facilities were closed in Borno state (UNICEF, 23/06/2014). 500 educational institutions in the northeast have been destroyed by the insurgency (OCHA, 08/10/2014). Borno state authorities announced that 176 teachers have been killed by Boko Haram in Borno state since 2011 (UNICEF cited by OCHA, 07/2014).
Maintaining the civilian nature of places of asylum or displacement is of concern.
There is an urgent need for emergency protection, including for unaccompanied and separated children (OCHA, 06/2014).
Abduction, Torture, and Forced Recruitment
In a report in September, Amnesty International said Nigeria’s police and military routinely torture women, men, and children, using a wide range of methods including beatings, shootings and rape (BBC, 18/09/2014).
Over 23–24 January, BH released about 190 captives who returned to their village, in Gujba local council, Yobe state (Reuters/Sahara Reporters, 24/01/2015).
Kidnappings of groups of women and girls by BH continue, and more than 200 schoolgirls are still being held captive. Young men are being forcibly recruited. Human Rights Watch estimates that Boko Haram has abducted at least 500 women and girls since 2009, from more than a dozen towns and villages in Borno and Yobe states. Women and girls have reported abuse such as forced labour, including forced participation in military operations; forced marriage to their captors; and sexual abuse including rape. While some women and girls seem to have been taken at random, the majority appeared to have been targeted – notably students and Christians.
Sierra Leone Country Analysis
23 February: On 22 February, the Liberian Government officially reopened its borders with Sierra Leone and Guinea. However, Sierra Leone’s border security claimed that they had not received any instructions from Freetown (UNMEER).
18 February: Clinical trials for the vaccine using the serum of Ebola survivors in treatment are to be extended to Sierra Leone by early March (international media). The study aims to enrol 6,000 health workers, targeted in four highly Ebola affected districts: Western Area, Bombali, Port Loko and Tonkolili (UNMEER).
17 February: 11,155 Ebola cases have been reported, including 3,423 deaths, have been reported in Sierra Leone (WHO, 23/02/2015).
15 February: The number of households under quarantine has increased significantly in the past weeks; 1,520 on 15 February compared to 921 on 2 February (UNMEER).
- The total cumulative number of reported Ebola cases across the region has reached 23,539, including 9,541 deaths (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone each reported over 17–21 February) (WHO, 23/02/2015). The numbers of registered cases and deaths are largely inaccurate, underestimating the gravity of the situation on the ground.
- About 450,000 people, or 7.5 % of the population, were estimated to be severely food insecure as of December 2014, the impact of EVD accounting for more than a quarter of food insecure. By March 2015, these numbers are projected to increase to 610,000, and 280,000, respectively. 2.1 million people are estimated to be vulnerable to food insecurity (FAO, 17/12/2014).
- The national public health system is overstretched and struggling to deliver non-EVD care (UNMEER, 16/11/2014).
For more information on the Ebola crisis in West Africa, visit the ACAPS Ebola Needs Analysis Project page.
As of 18 January, 582 UK military personnel are supporting the Ebola response (UNMEER, 25/01/2015). On 18 September, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution establishing a special mission to lead the global response to Ebola (UN, 18/09/2014). The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has been declared a Grade 3 Emergency under WHO’s Emergency Response Framework (ECHO, 29/07/2014). WHO declared the epidemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
Unrest and Resistance to Ebola Response
Community resistance to Ebola response is still reported (WHO, 18/02/2015). Strikes and tensions related to pay and incentives continue to be reported across the country (UNMEER, 01/02/2015). More than 500 health workers from Kenema Government Hospital held peaceful protests on 3 February for non-payment of risk allowances since October 2014 (local media, 12/02/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Delays in getting visas and security clearances for cargo and planes, as well as high customs fees, are hampering humanitarian access and distribution (international media, 06/10/2014).
Poor coordination between agencies and road access issues remain major challenges in rural areas, making it sometimes impossible to reach families in need of food within 24 hours of being placed under quarantine (UNMEER, 01/02/2015). In addition, disease surveillance efforts are impeded by poor mobile phone coverage in Koinadugu, Kailahun, and Pujehun (UNMEER, 01/02/2015).
Fear of infection or quarantine has triggered displacement. It was reported in October that half of the people who left Kenema and Kailahun districts since June did so because of Ebola. Some Ebola survivors have had to relocate because of strong stigmatisation (DWHH, 06/10/2014). Displacement does not seem to be large-scalem although information on the exact number of displaced is lacking.
About 450,000 people, or 7.5% of the population, were estimated to be severely food insecure as of December 2014, the impact of EVD accounting for more than a quarter of the food insecure. About 76% of the Ebola-related food-insecure individuals live in rural areas (FAO, 17/12/2014; WFP, 05/01/2015). Households are continuing to rely on high levels of negative coping mechanisms in Kailahun and Kono, areas that were food secure before the Ebola outbreak (WFP, 18/12/2014). Three-quarters of people surveyed in the country by WFP have begun to reduce the number of daily meals and portion sizes (IRIN, 20/10/2014).
The number of food insecure is projected to increase to 610,000 by March 2015, 280,000 of whom are attributed to EVD. 2.1 million people are estimated to be vulnerable to food insecurity (FAO, 17/12/2014; WFP 05/01/2015).
Agriculture and Markets
Total food production for 2014 is estimated to be 5% lower than in 2013 (WFP, 24/12/2014). 2014 rice production is estimated to have declined by 8% (WFP, 05/01/2015; FAO, 03/02/2015). Rice production in Kailahun – usually a highly productive area but badly affected by Ebola – is expected to dip by 17% (FAO, 17/12/2014). Labour shortages and market disruptions caused by restrictions on movement and assembly, are cited as major causes (FAO, 17/12/2014; 22/01/2015).
Only 20% of rice farmers are selling their surplus: in Kailahun and Kenema, there were 69% fewer domestic rice traders than in 2012 (WFP 05/01/2015; International Growth Centre, 13/11/2014).
The dispersion of prices is higher than normal, some markets are seeing unprecedented spikes in prices, while in other area prices for imported rice are falling sharply (IGC, 01/01/2015). In December, the price of local rice dropped by over 10% in the southern and eastern provinces (WFP, 18/12/2014). Palm oil prices fell 8–12% compared to November in eastern and southern provinces; they typically increase at this time of year (WFP, 18/12/2014). In November, imported rice prices were stable or had increased by less than 10% (FEWSNET, 27/11/2014). In October, price increases ranged from 13% for imported rice to over 40% for fish. Cassava, groundnuts, and palm oil were also affected (FAO, 22/10/2014).
According to the mVAM survey from WFP, markets are the main source of food (FAO, 11/12/2014; WFP 09/2014). As of 22 December, 27% of weekly markets were open and functioning normally, 45% were open but operating at reduced levels, and 28% were closed, according to an SMS-based trader survey (FEWSNET, 07/01/2015). Below-average stock levels on markets are mostly due to travel restrictions and high transportation costs (FEWSNET, 15/12/2014). The reduction in trader activity will be particularly harmful for farmers relying on cash crops such as cocoa and coffee (WFP 05/01/2015; International Growth Centre, 13/11/2014).
Economic growth was 4% in 2014, compared to an expected 11.3% before the Ebola outbreak (World Bank, 20/01/2015). Many businesses are reporting an average 40% decrease in revenue since July/August 2014 (UNMEER, 18/01/2015).
Household income had dropped by 30% as of October (UNDP, 14/11/2014). Wages have improved in the southeast, but in eastern districts remain 8% to 20% below those reported in other areas of the country (UNMEER, 21/12/2014). An estimated 179,000 people have stopped working outside the agriculture sector, mostly due to efforts to limit the spread of the disease and to the general economic disruption caused by the epidemic (World Bank, 12/01/2015).
Health and Nutrition
The national public health system is overstretched and struggling to deliver non-EVD care, leading to an increase in non-Ebola-related morbidity and mortality (UNMEER, 16/11/2014). Between May and October 2014, the median number of admissions dropped by 70%. An estimated 35,000 people may have been unable to access inpatient care from mid-May to December 2014 (international organisation, 19/12/2014). The health ministry estimates a 39% drop in children coming to clinics to be treated for malaria and a 21% drop in child immunisation (Save the Children, 05/02/2015). In Port Loko, people have reported being scared of returning to health facilities, which is proving problematic for routine immunisation campaigns (WHO, 12/02/2015).
As of 17 February, 11,155 Ebola cases, including 3,423 deaths, have been reported in Sierra Leone (WHO, 23/02/2015). 293 health workers have been infected and 221 have died, approximately one in ten of the country’s health workers (MSF, 26/01/2015; WHO, 18/02/2015).
Weekly case incidence seems to have stabilised after a steep decline between December and late January, at between 60 and 80 reported confirmed cases per week. 74 new confirmed cases were reported in the week to 15 February. The most intense transmission still occurs in the west: Freetown reported 45 new confirmed cases, Western Rural seven; Port Loko 11 (down from 28 in the previous week) and Kambia reported six confirmed cases. A cluster of cases reported in a fishing community in the Aberdeen area of Freetown is likely to lead to more. The central district of Tonkolili reported four confirmed cases, and the northern district of Koinadugu one confirmed case in the week to 15 February (WHO, 18/02/2015). Bo has not reported any new cases for more than 21 days (WHO, 11/02/2015). Bonthe, Kailahun, and Pujehun have reported no confirmed cases for more than 42 days (WHO, 04/02/2015; UNMEER, 01/02/2015). All districts of Sierra Leone have reported at least one probable or confirmed case since the start of the outbreak. From 12 to 18 January, 21% of confirmed cases arose among registered contacts (WHO, 04/02/2015).
Healthcare provision: Clinical trials for the vaccine using the serum of Ebola survivors in treatment are to be extended to Sierra Leone by early March (international media, 18/02/2015). The study aims to enrol 6,000 front line workers, targeted in four highly Ebola-affected districts: Western Area, Bombali, Port Loko and Tonkolili (UNMEER, 18/02/2015).
Seven of 50 (14%) assessed Ebola health facilities did not meet minimum standards for infection prevention and control (WHO, 11/02/2015).
On 22 January, the Government announced it was ending the risk allowances awarded to healthcare workers participating in Ebola response. The additional payment of 500,000 leones (USD 118) a week would stop by the end of March (AFP, 22/01/2015).
The Ministry of Health and Sanitation distributed anti-malaria medicine to 2.5 million people in hotspot areas in the districts of Bombali, Kambia, Koinadugu, Moyamba, Port Loko, Tonkolili, and in all the Western Area in order to better identify Ebola cases, as the symptoms are similar (UNICEF, 12/11/2014). Another mass distribution between 16 and 19 January in the same areas reached 2.4 million people (UNICEF, 29/10/2015).
Containment measures: Unsafe burials, late reporting, and lack of isolation continue to be the major factors in the high rates of transmission. Movement of suspected cases across district and chiefdom borders is impeding effective surveillance (UNMEER, 01/02/2015; 09/02/2015).
In Aberdeen, a district in Freetown, 700 properties have been locked down after an Ebola-confirmed death (AFP, 13/02/2015). Around 1,500 people are being quarantined in their homes in the coastal area of Freetown (UNICEF, 18/02/2015). The number of households under quarantine has increase significantly in February; from 921 on 2 February to 1,520 on 15 February (UNMEER, 09/02/2015; 15/02/2015). Greater scrutiny of procedures for airport workers has been introduced; additional screening measures at Freetown International airport were imposed by the Government earlier in January (IOM, 16/01/2015; AFP, 04/01/2015). On 23 January, the Government lifted nationwide travel bans and on 24 January eased restrictions on trading hours (AFP, 23/01/2015). Kono and Tonkolili was under quarantine since December (Government, 02/12/2014, AFP, 04/01/2015; AFP, 10/12/2014). Port Loko, Bombali, and Moyamba were under quarantine since 25 September. Kenema and Kailahun have been quarantined since 7 August (IFRC, 12/11/2014).
In August, legislation was passed imposing a jail term of up to two years for anyone concealing an Ebola-infected patient, and of up to six months for anyone entering or leaving Ebola-affected areas without medical authorisation (AFP, 22/08/2014; international media, 30/08/2014). Sierra Leone closed its borders with Guinea and Liberia, and closed schools, cinemas, and nightclubs in border areas in June (OCHA, 07/2014). On 22 February, the Liberian Government officially reopened its borders with Sierra Leone and Guinea. However, Sierra Leone’s border security claimed not to have received any instructions from Freetown (UNMEER, 23/02/2015).
The total cumulative number of reported Ebola cases across the region has reached 23,539, including 9,541 deaths (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone each reported over 17–21 February) (WHO, 23/02/2015).
8,000 people with HIV, 80% of people previously on antiretroviral treatment, are no longer receiving treatment due to health staff shortages (UNDP, 30/11/2014).
Information on the use of non-Ebola-related maternity services is contradictory. In a study conducted between May and July 2014, CDC reported that use of antenatal and postnatal services was more affected by the Ebola outbreak than delivery in health facilities in Kenema district. However, according to a World Bank phone survey conducted in November, the decrease in use of maternal health services, notably antenatal visits, is most pronounced in Freetown, and there appears to be little evidence for a decrease in usage of these services in the rest of the country (CDC, 02/01/2015; WB, 12/01/2015). UNMEER has reported that women in the three most-affected countries are no longer giving birth in health facilities (UNMEER, 03/11/2014; Amnesty International, 17/02/2015). Maternal deaths are projected to double, reaching more than 2,000 deaths per 100,000 live births if necessary obstetric care is not provided (UNFPA, 12/02/2015).
Ebola-infected pregnant women are often not permitted in Ebola treatment units because of the high risk of contamination during delivery, resulting in a probable higher maternal death rate in the three most affected countries (UNFPA, international media 29/10/2014; UNMEER 01/02/2015). On 9 January, in Kissy, on the outskirts of Freetown, MSF opened the first Ebola treatment unit to focus on maternal cases, providing both Ebola care and obstetric services to pregnant women with, or suspected to have, Ebola (MSF, 09/01/2015).
Suspected measles cases were reported from the districts of Bombali and Port Loko in the week to 11 February (UNICEF, 11/02/2015). Vaccination rates for measles dropped from 99% in January 2014 to 76% in July, since mass vaccination campaigns have been suspended (UNICEF, 03/11/2014).
The Knowledge, Attitude and Practice Round 3 survey found that at least 50% of respondents knew someone who had died from Ebola, highlighting the need for community grief counselling (UNMEER, 15/02/2015). According to a recent assessment, trauma due to the Ebola crisis has put people at risk of mental health problems, due to reduced access to community support systems and normal coping strategies (International Medical Corps, 09/01/2015).
About a third of the population live without latrines (UNMEER, 20/11/2014). UNICEF assessed 121 Ebola centres and found that 35% facilities have inadequate water supply during the dry season (UNICEF 29/01/2015).
1.8 million children have been out of school since the start of the Ebola crisis. The reopening of schools is planned for 30 March (IFRC, 20/02/2015). As of 28 November, 100 teachers were under quarantine (UNICEF, 28/11/2014). Nearly two million children are not attending school (UNICEF, 16/10/2014).
There are reports that male survivors in northern districts are being publicly persecuted by their communities (UNMEER, 18/01/2015). According to a survey conducted by UNICEF, 96% of Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone have experienced some sort of discrimination. More than three-quarters of respondents said they would not welcome back an Ebola survivor into their community (IRIN, 31/10/2014).
There are reports of contacts being forcibly quarantined in their homes by authorities and, at times, experiencing shortages of food or water. Fear of these measures can discourage families from seeking early treatment (MSF, 26/01/2015). Following the launch of the Western Area surge, health authorities have raised concerns about patients being abandoned by their families at hospitals, even after testing negative for Ebola (international media, 05/01/2015).
According to the Government, gender-based violence and sexual assault has dramatically increased within the last year (international media, 09/01/2015; IRIN 04/02/2015). Many sexual assault and domestic violence clinics have been closed during the outbreak, and there is a lack of doctors. Consequently, there is almost no treatment and counselling available, or expertise to provide evidence for trial (IRIN, 04/02/2015).
As of 18 February, 16,868 children have been identified as directly affected by the Ebola crisis, including 8,382 children who have lost one or both parents to Ebola and 691 unaccompanied or separated from their caregiver (UNICEF, 18/02/2015). As children are not attending school, UNICEF warns of an increase in vulnerability, leading to a potential increase in child labour, and in teen pregnancy (UNICEF, 16/10/2014).
Somalia Country Analysis
20 February: 25 people, including two members of parliament, were killed and 40 injured in an Al Shabaab attack on a hotel in Mogadishu (Al Jazeera).
19 February: Floods in October have severely affected Riverine livelihoods in Middle and Lower Juba (OCHA).
19 February: Somalia has been polio-free for six months (WHO).
16 February: Over 17,000 people are at imminent risk of forced eviction from Mogadishu (UNHCR).
- Widespread violence and insecurity, particularly in south-central Somalia.
- Insecurity and bureaucratic impediments continue to hinder humanitarian access.
- 1.1 million IDPs, mainly in the south-central region, with high concentrations in Mogadishu (UNHCR, 12/2014).
- More than one million Somali refugees live in neighbouring countries, mostly Kenya, Ethiopia, and Yemen (UNHCR, 12/2014).
- 3.17 million are estimated to need emergency health services (OCHA, 05/12/2014).
- 731,000 people are at Crisis and Emergency levels of food insecurity. 2.3 million people experience Stressed levels of food insecurity (OCHA, 12/02/2015).
- More than 202,600 acutely malnourished children under five have been reported, mainly in south-central Somalia (OCHA, 23/01/2015).
Protracted conflict, consecutive years of drought, natural hazards, and disruption of basic infrastructure have led to large-scale displacement in Somalia and across the region. Almost half the population of Somalia, around 3.2 million people, is vulnerable to external shocks and lacking access to basic goods and services, with an estimated 1.5 million people living in seven regions affected by the Somalia–African Union military offensive: Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Hiraan, Bay, Banadir, and Lower Juba (OCHA, 05/2014). The UN warns of a looming humanitarian emergency (UN, 15/06/2014).
Somalia suffers from a chronic fragility of state institutions as a result of two decades of civil war. Infighting between presidents and prime ministers is a recurrent problem. Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke was appointed in December – he had held the role several years previously (UN, 24/12/2014). Vision 2016, the Federal Government’s policy covering constitutional revision, the establishment of regional administrations, and transition to multiparty democracy, is opposed by key figures in the state (UNSC, 25/09/2014; ICG, 01/11/2014).
UNICEF reported in January that the security situation in south-central Somalia significantly deteriorated during December 2014, with attacks on UN convoys and an AMISOM base near Mogadishu International Airport (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).
Over 2,200 conflict incidents with humanitarian impact were reported in the first nine months of 2014, including military operations, active hostilities, and other forms of violence against civilians (OCHA, 17/10/2014). Security had deteriorated since March, and the launch of the Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) military offensive against Al Shabaab-held areas. The number of attacks and fatalities had decreased between 2010 and 2013.
Al Shabaab, a militant Islamist group linked to Al Qaeda, took over most of southern Somalia in 2006, seeking to establish an Islamic state. 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. Defeated by Ethiopian and Somali forces in 2007, Al Shabaab was forced out of Mogadishu in 2011 and Kismayo in 2012, and lost Barawe, Lower Shabelle, in October 2014. Following the death of Ahmed Abdi Godane in September, Ahmad Umar (also known as Abu Ubaidah) has been named the new leader (AFP, 06/09/2014). On 27 December, Al Shabaab intelligence chief Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi surrendered to AU forces. Experts suggest that the surrender follows splits within Al Shabaab (AFP, 27/12/2014).
In November and December, Al Shabaab carried out two attacks in Mandera, Kenya, killing 36 workers at a quarry and 28 non-Muslims on a bus to Nairobi (BBC, 02/12/2014). The Kenyan military launched two operations on Al Shabaab camps in Somalia, reportedly killing 115 militants (BBC, The Guardian, 24/11/2014). On 5 December, Al Shabaab carried out a twin bomb attack in Baidoa, killing 15 (AFP, UN, 05/12/2014).
Mogadishu: On 18 January, an EID killed the mayor of Afgoi district, Ali Jamiil, in the outskirts of Mogadishu (Local Media, 19/01/2014). On 22 January, Al Shabaab attacked a hotel in Mogadishu, killing five, on the eve of a visit by the President of Turkey (AFP, 22/01/2015; PI, 22/01/2015). On 9 February, Al Shabaab killed a member of parliament near the presidential palace. Five MPs were killed in 2014 (BBC 09/02/2015). On 15 February, Al Shabaab killed a civil servant (local media, 16/02/2015). On 16 February, three senior Somalia aviation and transport officials were killed by Al Shabaab in a drive-by shooting (Reuters, 16/02/2015). On 20 February, Al Shabaab carried out an attack on a hotel in Mogadishu. 25 people were killed, including two members of parliament, and 40 injured (Al Jazeera, 21/02/2015).
In November 2013, the AMISOM force was increased to 22,000 from 17,600. Its mandate has been extended until 30 November 2015 (UNSC, 25/09/2014). The first SNAF-AMISOM offensive was launched in early March 2014 to recover Al Shabaab-controlled areas of southern and central Somalia: Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Hiraan, Bay, Banadir, and Lower Juba regions (OCHA, 05/2014). The second phase of the offensive began in late August. About 1.5 million people live in areas that could be directly affected by the offensive (OCHA, 19/09/2014). A drone strike in southwestern Somalia on 2 February, targeting an Al Qaeda base affiliated with Al Shabaab, killed several, including at least four civilians (AFP, 01/02/2015). In November, there was an increase in retaliatory attacks against AMISOM and government troops, with tensions high in Bay, Gedo and Hiraan (WFP, 24/11/2014).
On 20 January, at least 25 people were killed and more than 50 injured during fighting between Dir and Xawadle clan militias near Deefow, in Hiraan region. The conflict was reportedly triggered by a land dispute (PI, 20/01/2015; AFP, 22/01/2015; UN, 21/01/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Outside Mogadishu, insecurity on the main roads to newly recovered areas makes needs assessment, delivery of humanitarian supplies, and response monitoring difficult (OCHA, 21/11/2014). In late November, OCHA reported that Al Shabaab is blocking strategic roads connecting Beletweyne, Hudur, and Elbarde. The Logistics Cluster reported in late November that roads in Bulo Burde, Baidoa, and Wajid also remain extremely unstable (WFP, 30/11/2014). Reports in January suggest that an Al Shabaab blockade in Wajid, Bakool region, has spurred acute food shortages and severe malnutrition (local media, 19/01/2015). Even in areas where there has been no active conflict, illegal checkpoints, banditry, and demands for bribes are common (OCHA, 17/10/2014).
The indefinite closure of Bosaso Airport, Puntland, for renovation, has severely constrained humanitarian operations (PI, 08/01/2015).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
On 3 December, a car bomb was detonated in the vicinity of a UN convoy travelling near Mogadishu International Airport. Al Shabaab claimed responsibility (AMISOM, 03/12/2014; AFP, 03/12/2014). As of September, 32 aid workers had been attacked in Somalia in 2014, with four humanitarian workers killed (USAID, 30/09/2014; OCHA, 17/11/2014). Aid workers have reportedly been targeted by armed groups for arrest and detention in Bakool, Bay, Gedo, and Lower and Middle Juba. On 18 May, a 400-strong UN military unit was deployed in Mogadishu with a mandate to protect aid workers (UN).
An estimated 1.1 million Somalis were IDPs by December 2014, 893,000 in the south-central region, 130,000 in Puntland, and 85,000 in Somaliland (UNHCR, 12/2014). 369,000 IDPs live in makeshift camps in Mogadishu. 80,000 were displaced due to the SNAF-AMISOM offensive in 2014 (OCHA, 04/12/2014).
Mogadishu: As of August, a significant and increasing number of rural families were moving to Mogadishu, fleeing conflict or food insecurity (UNICEF, 20/08/2014). As of January 2015, over 17,000 are at imminent risk of forced eviction. In 2014, over 32,500 people were forcibly evicted from public and private land and buildings in Mogadishu. 90% of them were IDPs. The majority moved to the outskirts of the city, particularly Sarakustra and Tabelaha, where living conditions are poor, services are limited and insecurity and human rights violations are commonly reported. Others sought refuge in nearby IDP settlements (UNHCR, 16/02/2015).
The Tripartite Agreement between the Kenyan and Somali Governments and UNHCR, signed in November 2013, establishes a legal framework for those Somali refugees wishing to return home (UNHCR 15/08/2014). Three areas have been designated to receive returnees: Luuq, Baidowa, and Kismayo. Only 3,000 refugees have registered to return, compared to the original target of 10,000. (UNHCR, 08/12/2014). Somali refugees in Kenya cite insecurity and lack of earning opportunities as their main uncertainties regarding a return to Somalia (UNHCR, East African, 02/08/2014; UNHCR, 11/08/2014). As of 15 February, 1,474 returnees had arrived in Kismayo (UNHCR, 15/02/2015).
Refugees in Somalia
As of December 2015, there are 2,540 refugees in Somalia (OCHA, 01/12/2014).
Somali Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
984,222 Somalis are refugees in neighbouring countries: 441,229 in Kenya, 250,474 in Ethiopia, and 242,351 in Yemen, 24,040 in Uganda, 19,745 in Djibouti, 3,049 in Eritrea, and 150 in Tanzania (UNHCR, 30/12/2014) (OCHA, 15/01/2015).
Kenya: On 18 December, Kenya passed the Security Amendment Act, which states that the number of refugees and asylum seekers permitted to stay in Kenya shall not exceed 150,000; human rights groups fear that the new security law will result in the forced return of large numbers of refugees (IRIN, 05/01/2015).
Six districts in southern and central Somalia have been affected by drought. Gedo is the most severely affected, with 70% of the population being impacted (OCHA, 17/11/2014).
Heavy rains in south-central Somalia, in upper parts of the Shabelle basin along the Somalia–Ethiopia border, have caused flooding along both the Shabelle and Juba Rivers. An estimated 50,000 people have been affected across six regions (OCHA, 24/11/2014), and from 1 September to 16 November, 30,323 have been displaced in Lower Shabelle, 6,274 in Hiraan, 2,033 in Lower Juba, and 120 in Banadir (UNHCR, 16/11/2014).
An estimated 731,000 people are in Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) food insecurity and nearly 2.3 million additional people are classified as Stressed (IPC Phase 2) until June 2015 (OCHA, 19/02/2015). About 76% of those who face acute food insecurity are IDPs, 12% live in rural areas, and 12% are the urban poor (FEWSNET, FSNAU, 29/01/2015). Urban communities in southern Somalia (Xudur and Waajid in Bakool, and Bulo Burde in Hiraan) have been affected by trade disruptions and face acute security. Southern agropastoral communities in Juba and pastoralists in coastal areas of northeastern, central, and southern Somalia face acute food security (OCHA, 19/02/2015).
Agriculture and Markets
In most of Middle Juba, and parts of Gedo, Lower Juba, Lower Shabelle, Hiraan, and central regions, deyr rains ended three weeks early in December, and cool, dry winds accelerated the depletion of water sources and the deterioration of pasture (FEWSNET, 24/12/2014). In January 2015, deyr crops were reported to be below average (FAO, 09/01/2015).
Trade restrictions stemming from inter-clan conflicts and obstruction by Al Shabaab in rural areas of the south have impeded market flows, inflating food prices and increasing unemployment in El Barde, Wajid, and Hudur (Bakool region); Luuq (Gedo); Bulo Burde and Jalawsi (Hiraan); and Marka and Woryoley (Lower Shabelle) (USAID, 30/09/2014).
Although cereal prices started to decline in January 2015, they remain high in most markets (FAO, 09/01/2015). Cereal production has fallen 30% below the five-year average (FAO, 31/10/2014).
A number of banks in the US, UK and Australia have broken ties with money transfer operators in Somalia in February, following concerns that the funds could be finding their way into the hands of Al Shabaab militants (Inter Press, 06/02/2015) USD 1.3 billion in annual remittances, representing 25–45% of Somalia’s GDP, will stop entering the country (OXFAM, 19/02/2015).
Floods in October severely affected riverine livelihoods of Middle and Lower Juba. This will cause food security to deteriorate until the late harvest becomes available in March (OCHA, 19/02/2015).
Health and Nutrition
Around 3.17 million people are in need emergency health services (OCHA, 27/01/2015). Due to lack of funding to humanitarian actors on the ground, as of November, 1.5 million people in parts of south-central Somalia no longer have access to primary health services, and 300,000 children under five no longer have access to primary health services and free immunisation (UNICEF, 31/10/2014).
A survey conducted October–December 2014 indicates that 203,000 children under five are acutely malnourished. 38,200 are severely acutely malnourished, a slight decrease from previous surveys (OCHA, 19/02/2014). Current GAM levels are 12% and SAM levels 1.9%, also a decrease from previous numbers (which were 14.9% and 2.6%, respectively) (FEWSNET, FSNAU, 29/01/2015).
756,000 people are in need of quality nutrition services (OCHA, 23/01/2015). The areas with the highest critical malnutrition rates are pastoral, agropastoral and riverine livelihood areas in North and South Gedo regions, agropastoral livelihood areas and Baidoa IDPs in Bay region, Beletweyne and Mataban districts in Hiraan region, Bossasso IDPs in Bari region, Garowe IDPs in Nugal region, and Galkayo IDPs in Mudug region (FEWSNET, FSNAU, 29/01/2015).
10,279 measles cases were recorded in 2014, double the number recorded in 2013 (OCHA, 24/11/2014, 19/02/2015). Increased population movement and overcrowded IDP settlements have increased the risk of infection (UNICEF, 01/12/0214).
Somalia has been polio-free for six months, although humanitarian actors on the ground state that vaccination campaigns must continue as risk remains (WHO, 19/02/2015). 199 polio cases were confirmed in 2014 (WHO, 19/02/12015). Large, insecure areas of south-central Somalia have not conducted immunisation campaigns since 2009, leaving 600,000 children vulnerable, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
In south-central Somalia, there is no functioning national education system, and around 1.7 million children are out of school (OCHA, 23/01/2015).
2.75 million people need safe water. Access to water remain a major need in Bakool, Bay, Bari, Gedo, Galgaadud, Hiraan, Mudug, Nugaal, Sanaag and Sool. Populations displaced by the AMISOM offensive in Bay, Bakool, Galgaduud, Gedo, and Hiraan require emergency interventions (OCHA, 27/01/2014).
The major protection issues in Somalia are physical insecurity during the first SNAF-AMISOM offensive; SGBV, including cases of sexual violence during interclan conflict; child protection violations; killing of civilians (including children); separation of children; and forced/secondary eviction. The areas most affected are Middle and Lower Shabelle and Lower Juba (UNHCR Protection Cluster, 10/2014).
Forced eviction remains a critical protection concern in Mogadishu (UNHCR, 16/02/2015).
Reports on 7 January indicate that Al Shabaab executed four people in Bardhere, in the Gedo region, accused of spying for the United States and Ethiopia (AFP, 07/01/2015).
The prevalence of gender-based violence in Somalia, including rape, is reported to be one of the highest in the world, with IDPs and migrants the most vulnerable (IOM, 08/08/2014). About 1,000 cases of SGBV were reported in Mogadishu in the first six months of 2014 (OCHA, 17/10/2014). On 8 September, a Human Rights Watch report stated that AU forces have been raping and sexually exploiting women and girls in their bases in Mogadishu, sometimes using humanitarian assistance to coerce them into sexual activities (HRW, 08/09/2014).
Children are at high risk of forced recruitment, sexual exploitation and abuse in many parts of the country due to conflict. 4,314 cases of child exploitation and abuse were reported January–November 2014 (OCHA, 30/11/2014). In Tayeeglow, Lower Shabelle, an estimated 115 children have been abducted by Al Shabaab, 80 of whom are still held. It reportedly costs around USD 2,000 to secure the return of a child (OCHA, 21/11/2014).
Journalists continue to be targeted. In December, a bomb attack in Baidoa killed 15 people, including two journalists (IFJ, 15/12/2014). On 13 December, and Independent Expert on Human Rights in Somalia called on government authorities to ensure the safety of journalists (AMISOM, 13/12/2014).
South Sudan Country Analysis
21 February: An unidentified armed group abducted at least 89 boys, some as young as 13, from their homes in the town of Wau Shilluk, near Malakal (Upper Nile) (AFP, 21/02/2015).
- 50,000 estimated killed in violence since December 2013 (International Crisis Group, 15/11/2014)
- 6.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance in 2015; 4.1 million people to be assisted by the end of 2015 (OCHA, 08/01/2015).
- 2.5 million people expected to be in Crisis or Emergency Phase of food insecurity January–March 2015, including nearly half of the population of Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile (IPC, 02/2015).
- 1.5 million IDPs since December 2013 (OCHA, 01/2015). Almost 103,000 are in UNMISS bases (UNMISS, 31/12/2014). 68% of IDPs are estimated to live in flood-prone areas (OCHA, 08/2014).
- 249,000 refugees in South Sudan (mainly from Sudan, DRC, Ethiopia and CAR).
- Over 505,000 South Sudanese refugees since December 2013 (UNHCR 02/2015)
Jonglei, Upper Nile, and Unity are priority states, and the priority sectors are food security and livelihoods, health, NFIs and shelter, nutrition, and WASH. Insecurity is hampering the delivery of assistance. The UN reports widespread violation of human rights and targeted violence against civilians.
Violence has spread across eastern South Sudan since December 2013. Fighting is most intense in the oil-rich northeastern states. Strife has progressively adopted the characteristics of an inter-communal conflict between the Dinka tribe allied to South Sudan President Kiir and government forces, and the Nuer loosely allied with former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar.
New Insurgent Groups
South Sudan Resistance Movement/Army
Most violence is occurring in the oil-rich northeastern states of Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei, violence between government and opposition forces escalated in Unity and Upper Nile states in April–May 2014. It calmed during the rainy season, then recommenced at the start of the dry season, at the end of October, as mobility increased.
At least 50,000 may have died since December 2013, although access restrictions make numbers hard to verify (International Crisis Group, 15/11/2014). On 3 April, according to local media, representatives of the Nuer community stated that over 17,000 Nuer had been killed by pro-government forces since December. Over 5,900 people had sought treatment for gunshot wounds between mid-December 2013 and 12 March 2014, according to humanitarian partners.
International Military Presence
In March 2014, South Sudan approved the deployment of a regional force drawn from IGAD member states. The size, mandate, command, and deployment time frame of the contingent are still under discussion.
The UN Security Council voted on 24 December 2013 to increase the number of peacekeepers in the country from 10,000 to 12,500.
Clashes between the Government and SPLM-in-Opposition
In November and December, heavy fighting was frequently reported in Khorfulus areas of Canal/Pigi and Fangak counties, with displacement of tens of thousands into Ayod county and New Fangak areas (OCHA, 07/11/2014).
On 10 February, heavy and sporadic artillery shelling was heard in Bentiu town (OCHA, 12/02/2015).
On 31 January, fresh clashes were reported in Mayom county (local media, 02/02/2015). Mayom county is an SPLA stronghold and provides strategic access to routes in Warrap state. The county had been relatively free of clashes since August 2014 (Small Arms Survey, 29/01/2015).
Renewed fighting between government and opposition forces was reported 2–3 January near Bentiu, killing six civilians (Reuters, 04/01/2014). There were reports of rockets on Unity oil fields at the end of December (OCHA, 1/1/2015). Heavy fighting occurred between government and opposition forces in Bentiu and Rubkona between 27 and 29 October, and in November (AFP, 10/11/2014).
On 10 February, SPLA accused opposition forces of shelling in Malakal and Nasir counties; the extent of damage and injuries is not known (local media, 11/02/2015; OCHA, 12/02/2015).
Shelling was reported in Nasir county in January, along with small arms, rocket-propelled grenade, and indirect fire (OCHA, 31/01/2015; 01/01/2015).
On 8 January, renewed fighting between SPLA and opposition forces killed 50 fighters from both sides in an area northeast of Malakal. According to the SPLA spokesperson, 2,000 opposition fighters attacked SPLA bases and positions (VoA, 15/01/2015). On 23 January, OCHA reported escalated fighting in Jammam and Renk, causing displacement in neighbouring counties.
Inter-clan animosity stems from competition over water resources and grazing land. Deaths from inter-communal fighting have increased since the second Sudanese civil war (1983–2005), as have attacks, abductions, and population displacement.
Eleven people were reportedly killed and three wounded in Kwarijik, outside Juba, in clashes over 18–22 January. Some villagers were reportedly seeking refuge in a primary school, while others fled to Gondokoro (OCHA, 23/01/2014).
Inter-communal violence has been reported in counties across Lakes state since September 2014. At the end of December, 44 fatalities were reported due to fighting in Rumbek East.
Clashes were reported between refugees and the host population in Gendrassa refugee camp in Maban county, Upper Nile state in early February. Two people were reportedly killed and four injured (OCHA, 09/02/2015).
On 3 February, a cattle raid in Jalle Payam, Bor South county, killed five people. (local media, 03/02/2015).
Western Bahr el-Ghazal
On 26 January, 11 people, including four journalists working for state media, were killed in an ambush in Raga county. Several armed groups are known to operate in the area, although no group has yet taken responsibility of the attack (AFP, 26/01/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of 30 October, 3.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance; 3.5 million had been reached (OCHA, 30/10/2014). The delivery of aid is restricted by heavy fighting, logistical constraints, and administrative impediments.
According to local media, humanitarian assistance has been blocked by armed groups in Old Fangak town, Jonglei (26/01/2015). Insecurity on the road between Juba and Unity has affected movement of goods across Unity state (OCHA, 09/02/2015).
On 2 July, international media reported that authorities prevented four UN staff from taking a plane, and confiscated their passports.
In March, the South Sudan Government announced it would implement routine searches of UN and relief organisation convoys, claiming it had intercepted arms and ammunition in UNMISS-contracted vehicles in Rumbek, Lakes state (UNHCR, 21/03/2014).
The establishment of a humanitarian corridor between South Sudan and Sudan has been approved by both Governments and will enable the delivery of food assistance by WFP (UN, 26/08/2014).
Roads across the country have dried up and are now passable (OCHA, 12/02/2015). As of 20 February, WFP reported that road access was impossible between Leer (Unity) and Langohok (Lakes). Road access to southern Unity counties from Bentiu is difficult (OCHA, 12/02/2015).
Incidents against humanitarian personnel and assets reported in 2014 included assault, burglary, harassment and ambush in Central Equatoria, and arrest, detention, and threats in Unity and Jonglei. On 17 February, a British aid worker was shot outside of his compound in Juba (international media, 18/02/2014). In December 2014, Lakes state reported 12 access incidents, the highest in the country, related to insecurity and inter-communal tensions (OCHA, 31/12/2014). Increased insecurity in Lakes led to suspension of activities by humanitarian organisations for several weeks from October (OCHA, 20/10/2014). A WFP staff member and one UNMISS contractor is still being held after abduction in Malakal in October (UNMISS 17/10/2014; WFP, 17/10/2014).
In late January, heavy rains in Mayom county, Unity state, caused the river to burst its banks, flooding the areas. A joint UNMISS-humanitarian team is assessing the security and humanitarian needs in the area (UNMISS, 02/09/2015).
As of 31 December 2014, over 1.44 million South Sudanese had been displaced internally and over 488,000 South Sudanese refugees had moved across borders since December 2013 (OCHA, 31/12/2014). Fluid displacement patterns and limited access to rural areas make numbers difficult to verify (UNHCR 11/07/2014).
Between 24 November and 16 December 2014, 3,140 South Sudanese crossed into Uganda at the Nimule border crossing and registered as refugees – a significant spike in daily arrival rates to more than 140 from 12 in October. The main driver of displacement seems to be fear of insecurity, rather than actual worsening of security (UNHCR, 16/12/2014).
As of 6 February 2015, 1.5 million people were displaced in South Sudan: 621,000 in Jonglei, 366,000 in Unity, 257,000 in Upper Nile, and 157,700 in Lakes (OCHA, 12/02/2015). An estimated 748,000 IDPs are under 18 (UNICEF, 02/01/2015). Displacement patterns remain fluid, driven by violence, floods, and the search for emergency assistance (IOM, 03/09/2014).
875,000 IDPs live in flood-prone areas (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
112,000 IDPs are sheltering in ten Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites on UNMISS bases: 52,900 in Bentiu, 34,000 in Juba UN House, 21,000 in Malakal, and 2,600 in Bor (UNMISS 16/09/2015). Between 19 and 25 January, 9,000 new IDPs were registered at Bentiu PoC site (IOM, 31/01/2015). More than 700 people arrived in Malakal PoC site in December 2014. 50% of the new arrivals cite access to services as the main reason for seeking refuge in the PoC site (OCHA, 12/02/2014)
Heavy fighting in Khorfulus areas of Canal/Pigi and Fangak counties, Jonglei state since early November has displaced approximately 100,000 people in northern Jonglei, primarily in Ayod county and New Fangak areas (USAID, 05/01/2015). In early December, an estimated 25,000 were newly displaced from New Fangak and Pigi/Canal and another 43,200 people displaced in Old Fangak town (OCHA 12/12/2014).
An escalation of conflict in Jamman and Renk, Upper Nile, has reportedly displaced people in Maban, Kilo 10 (Melut), and Renk (OCHA, 23/01/2014). Assessments are under way (OCHA, 23/01/2015).
Refugees in South Sudan
254,120 refugees are in South Sudan: 232,000 from Sudan, 15,500 from DRC, 4,900 from Ethiopia, and 2,040 from CAR. Over 133,000 refugees are based in Upper Nile and around 90,000 in Unity (UNHCR, 19/02/2015). Most of the Sudanese refugees in Upper Nile state reside in four refugee camps in Maban county (OCHA, 03/04/2014).
Between 23 December 2014 and 14 February 2015, more than 5,000 refugees from South Kordofan and Blue Nile states arrived in Yida town, Unity state (UNCHR, 19/02/2015). Arrival rates exceed 500 people per week, double the rate during the same period a year ago. Nearly 70% are children. Refugees cited aerial bombardments, ground attacks and lack of livelihood and education opportunities as reasons for leaving (UNHCR, 30/01/2015). The South Sudanese Government wants to close Yida camp by June 2015 and relocate refugees to other camps. The South Sudan Government and UNHCR have agreed to expand Ajuong Thok refugee camp to accommodate up to 40,000 people. Pamyr, a new site 8km from Yida, has been identified as a potential refugee camp (UNHCR, 19/02/2015).
As of 28 August, 186,000 people have returned since the beginning of the crisis: 70,000 in Jonglei, 109,000 in Unity, and 5,000 in Northern Bahr el Ghazal (OCHA, 28/08/2014). This is a downward revision from 227,000 returnees reported in July (OCHA, 29/07/2014).
Earlier reports indicated a total of 1.9 million returnees from Sudan since 2007.
South Sudan Refugees in Other Countries
Over 505,000 South Sudanese have sought refuge in neighbouring countries since the onset of the conflict (UNHCR, 20/02/2015).
Sudan: 121,000 South Sudanese nationals have arrived in Sudan since 15 December 2013 (UNHCR, 19/02/2015). In December, more than 2,000 were registered per week but since mid-January the numbers have increased less drastically (UNHCR, 29/01/2015).
As of late March, the Sudanese Government has refused to recognise South Sudanese nationals as refugees and instead considers them to be Sudanese citizens (UNHCR, 03/04/2014). UNHCR has declared that this constitutes an obstacle to access to humanitarian assistance.
Ethiopia: 196,000 South Sudanese refugees (UNHCR, 17/02/2014). The rate of arrival saw a sharp decline in the rainy season, from an average of 2,000 per day in May to 92 in the first week of October (WFP, 10/10/2014).
Uganda: 142,000 refugees (UNHCR, 12/02/2015).
Kenya: 45,000 refugees (UNHCR, 12/01/2015).
Renewed conflict and displacement in early 2015 will limit the coping capacity of households in conflict-affected areas. An estimated 90,000 people are in need of food assistance in Guit county, Unity state (12/02/2015).
From January to March 2015, 2.5 million people will be in Crisis or Emergency food insecurity, 60% of whom are in the states of Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei (IPC, 02/2015). 890,000 will be in Phase 4 and 1.63 million in Phase 3 (IPC, 09/2014). 515,000 people will be in Phase 3 or 4 in Jonglei; 525,000 in Unity; 530,000 in Upper Nile; 320,000 in Northern Bahr el Ghazal; 200,000 in Lakes; 145,000 in Warrap; 80,000 in Eastern Equatoria; 20,000 in Western Bahr el Ghazal, 180,000 in central Equatoria (IPC, 09/2014). An early onset of the lean season is expected, and needs will peak from May to July (FEWSNET, 11/2014).
The food security situation has worsened in Warrap and Lakes states, as they experienced above-normal flooding in 2014, which affected crop harvests, livestock migration, and disease patterns. In Lakes state, increased inter-clan fighting and cattle raiding has affected the stability of livelihoods (IPC, 02/2015). According to WFP’s Vulnerability Analysis Mapping, 15% of households in Warrap state are severely food insecure, the highest percentage in South Sudan (WFP, 12/2014).
Livestock are moving into agricultural areas, rather than conflict-affected pastoral zones. This has destroyed crops, heightens the risk of livestock disease transmission, increases competition for natural resources, and is likely to have an impact on local power structures (FAO, 12/2014).
Conflict has affected trade flows and market infrastructure, and weakened financial systems, which has further affected food availability (WFP, 02/2015). The country depends on food imports, and a de facto devaluation of the national currency between 2011 and 2013, the reduction in oil exports, and the increase in imports, all have a negative impact on households’ purchasing power.
Health and Nutrition
5.8 million people need health assistance, 3.4 million of whom have been reached since January 2014. Waterborne diseases in flooded areas, as well as kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis) in Jonglei, are the most pressing health concerns (WHO, 10/2014).
One new hepatitis E virus case was reported from Mingkaman IDP settlement in the first week of December 2014. The cumulative caseload in Mingkaman for 2014 is 128, including four deaths (CFR 3.23%) (WHO, 28/12/2014).
An estimated 10% of the new refugee arrivals in Yida suffer from measles (UNHCR, 30/01/2015).
The screening of over 600,000 children across the country in 2014 found an SAM rate of 6.7% and an MAM rate of 12.6% (UNICEF, 19/08/2014). 675,000 children are estimated to be moderately malnourished and 235,000 severely malnourished (OCHA, 29/07/2014). Twice as many will need treatment for SAM this year than in 2013 (UNICEF 15/07/2014).
GAM levels are above the emergency threshold of 15% in conflict states of Upper Nile (15.2%) and Jonglei (16.2%). In the traditionally high burdened states in the non-conflict affected areas, the GAM rates were highest in Warrap (17.2%) and Northern Bahr el Ghazal (14.6%) (WFP, 12/2014). The highest rates GAM were recorded in Leer county (34.1%) and Panyijar (32.8%), Unity state; Akobo East, Jonglei State (31.8%) and Uror (27%), Jonglei; and Aweil South, Northern Bahr el Ghazal (26.1%) (UNICEF, 20/11/2014).
A lack of nutrition supplies have been reported in Mayom, Abiemnon, Rubkona (except the PoC) and Guit counties, Unity State because of lack of transport (OCHA, 09/02/2015).
7,204 cases of kala azar (visceral leishmaniasis) and 199 deaths were recorded in 2014, compared to 2,992 cases and 88 deaths for all 2013 (WHO, 08/01/2015). Most cases were reported in Jonglei (OCHA, 30/10/2014). Kala azar is a chronic and potentially fatal parasitic disease transmitted by the bite of infected sandflies (Sudan Tribune, 07/09/2014).
Water supplies were reportedly insufficient in a quarter of displacement sites. Health partners have reported an over 5% increase in diarrhoeal diseases due to the disruption of sanitation and hygiene campaigns in PoC sites (OCHA, 14/11/2014).
In 40% of sites, IDPs rely on unimproved or surface water sources (IOM 15/07/2014). Water access in the Bentiu PoC site was 13.2L per person in early January 2015 (OCHA, 02/01/2015). Latrine provision has improved from 99 to 69 persons per latrine (UNICEF, 20/11/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
Living conditions in the PoC site in Malakal are dire, with two families (eight people) living in one tent, for lack of space for additional tents (OCHA, 26/10/2014).
Bad road conditions and insecurity in Jalhak (Upper Nile) is delaying the delivery of NFI support to the area (OCHA, 26/10/2014).
1.7 million children and adolescents are in need of emergency education, including 400,000 who have dropped out of school (UNICEF, 16/01/2015).
Children are not attending school in 70% of IDP sites (CCCM, 17/04/2014). The inability to pay teachers’ wages has limited education activities in displacement areas (OCHA, 26/10/2014). Many schools remain closed in Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile. 99 schools have are occupied by armed groups or IDPs (OCHA, 12/02/2014).
A new report by the UN Security Council suggests that all parties to the conflict since December 2013 are responsible for grave violations against children in 2014, including killing and maiming, recruitment and use, abduction, and rape and other forms of sexual violence (UN, 30/12/2014).
On 21 February, an unidentified armed group abducted at least 89 boys, some as young as 13, from their homes in the town of Wau Shilluk, near Malakal (Upper Nile). According to witnesses, armed soldiers went house-to-house and took by force any boys thought to be over 12 years old (AFP, 21/02/2015).
12,000 children were reportedly recruited by armed groups in 2014 (AFP cited UNICEF, 14/12/2014). On 27 January, UNICEF secured the release of 3,000 child soldiers recruited by the South Sudan Democratic Army/Movememnt (SSDM) Cobra Faction, the largest ever demobilisation of children (UNICEF, 27/01/2015).
UNICEF has identified over 5,830 unaccompanied and separated children since the conflict began in December 2013 (UNICEF, 02/09/2014).
According to the UN Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict, rape has been used as a weapon of war between government and opposition forces (international media, 23/10/2014). Early and forced marriage, rape, and domestic violence have been reported in Maban refugee camps (Batil, Doro, Gendrassa and Kaya) (OCHA, 16/10/2014). In Melut (Upper Nile), firewood collection remains a major safety concern for women and girls, with reports of GBV (OCHA, 26/10/2014). Gang rape and forced marriage are increasing in Cuibeit county, Lakes state, and Magwi and Torit counties, Eastern Equatoria state, as a result of inter-communal violence (OCHA, 09/02/2015).
Mid-February: An estimated 3,000 previously displaced people have spontaneously returned to the Kereinik and Beida localities, West Darfur, according to Sudan’s Humanitarian Aid Commission (OCHA, 15/02/2015).
Mid-February: Drinking water crises were reported in Kereinik locality, West Darfur and El Jeer district, Nyala, South Darfur (local media, 22/02/2015).
January: Hundreds of families in Graida, South Darfur, are facing food shortages following clashes between Falata and Massalit tribes that destroyed more than 165 homes (local media, 22/02/2015).
- Protracted insurgencies by armed groups are occurring across Darfur, and South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states. The conflict in South Sudan has also raised tensions.
- 6.6 million people (20% of the population) need humanitarian assistance (OCHA 17/11/2014): 4.4 million in Darfur and 980,000 in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states (OCHA, 11/2014).
- 2 million children under five acutely malnourished (OCHA, 08/2014).
- Renewed fighting took place between armed opposition groups, militias, and the Sudanese army in Darfur since March.
- 3.1 million IDPs. Two million in Darfur prior to the latest clashes (OCHA, 03/2014), and 431,000 displaced in 2014 (OCHA, 10/2014).
- Humanitarian access remains a significant problem due to insecurity, mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), logistical constraints, and restrictions placed by the authorities.
Several regions of Sudan are facing large-scale internal displacement due to violence, widespread food insecurity, malnutrition, lack of access to basic services, and recurrent natural disasters. Humanitarian access to conflict zones is severely restricted.
Numerous, protracted insurgencies are being waged by several armed groups across Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile. Darfur has been the scene of inter-communal clashes and conflict between the government and armed opposition for over a decade, and fighting intensified in March 2014. Violence in Blue Nile and South Kordofan grew significantly after South Sudan won independence in 2011. Tensions also continue to run high between Sudan and South Sudan.
Profound divisions within Sudanese society have persisted since independence in 1956, and the Government’s exploitation of intercommunal differences has aggravated the situation.
Parliamentary and presidential elections are scheduled for 13 April (AFP, 31/12/2015). On 11 January, President Omar al Bashir launched his bid for re-election. It is unclear whether anyone will challenge Bashir (AFP, 11/01/2015). Both the Sudan Revolutionary Front and the National Umma Party have announced they will not participate in the elections.
Tensions between Khartoum and Juba, persistent since South Sudan’s independence in 2011, increased when violence erupted in South Sudan in December 2013. The disruption of oil flow is a key concern for both countries.
The Sudanese Government has accused Juba of using Sudanese militia groups. The South Sudanese army (SPLA) has accused Khartoum of supporting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)-in-Opposition. Both the opposition and Khartoum denied this accusation.
In November, South Sudanese officials accused the Sudanese Government of bombing Raga county, Western Bahr el Ghazal state, and Maban county, Upper Nile state, where more than 220,000 Sudanese refugees are living (AFP, 14/11/2014).
Sudan Revolutionary Front
The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), formed in 2011, is seeking a comprehensive peace process covering the whole country. The Government is only willing to discuss the conflict in Darfur.
The SRF is made up of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), mainly active in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, as well as Darfur’s three largest opposition groups: the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM); the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al Nur (SLM-AW); and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Arkou Minnawi (SLM-MM).
The Darfur peace process is stalled, and does not include the SRF members, who have consistently rejected the process. SRF has said it is ready to join the national dialogue with Khartoum and enhance its cooperation with the UN–AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), provided the Government lifts the state of emergency and allows unimpeded humanitarian access to war zones. To date, no settlement has taken place.
Blue Nile and South Kordofan States
While the SPLM governs the independent South Sudan, the SPLM-North continues an insurgency in Sudan’s Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, which have routinely opposed government rule. Talks between Khartoum and the SPLM-N have repeatedly failed, and negotiations last collapsed in April, reportedly over the SPLM-N’s demand for a comprehensive peace process.
Extensive military operations aimed to end armed opposition in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile began at the end of 2013. On 11 April 2014, local media reported that the Sudanese Defence Minister had stated that continued armed opposition would be crushed by a military offensive in 2014. Tribal fighting also intensified in Darfur and Kordofan regions in 2013 and 2014, leading to thousands of deaths and injuries and forcing over 300,000 people to flee their homes.
UN Peacekeeping Mission
On 30 November, President Omar al-Bashir called for a “clear programme” for the exit of the UNAMID mission in Darfur. Relations deteriorated following the Sudanese Government’s refusal to allow a UNAMID investigation of mass rape in Tabit, North Darfur (AFP, 30/11/2014).
Armed Conflict and Violence in Darfur
Security in Darfur has reportedly deteriorated significantly since late December 2013, with almost daily air strikes from the Sudanese Air Force (SAF). Attacks on IDPs and villagers, their shelters, and commercial convoys, are frequent. IDPs in camps across Darfur have requested protection (local sources, 12/03/2014).
In early January, 15 villages were burned and another 30 abandoned during fighting between government forces and armed groups in Tawila locality, North Darfur, with thousands displaced (OCHA, 08/01/2015; local media, 06/01/2015). On 14 January, the Sudanese paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) continued raids on villages in Tawila and Um Baru in North Darfur, reportedly plundering goods and large numbers of livestock (local media, 15/01/2015).
Raids and attacks by pro-government forces were reported in North Darfur, South Darfur, and Central Darfur in September and October 2014 (OCHA, 26/10/2014; local media, 13/10/2014, 29/10/2014, 23/10/2014, 14/10/2014, 5/09/2014).
Jebel Marra: In early January, government and opposition forces were reported to be fighting for control over Jebel Marra region. According to the army, Sudanese troops had driven insurgents out of the Fanga area in the Jebel Marra region on 1 January. SLMM denied these reports (AFP, 02/01/2015). 21 villages in Fanga have been attacked and burned by armed groups. Up to 50,000 people could have been displaced, according to community leaders (OCHA, 08/01/2015). On 28 January, bombing injured seven people in the area of Darsa and Sur Reng, an SLM-AW stronghold (local media, 29/01/2014). On 1 February, 11 bombs were reportedly dropped in Golo locality, but no one was killed (local media, 02/01/2014).
Inter-communal violence: In January, clashes between Falata and Massalit tribes, in Graida, South Darfur, killed nine people and destroyed 165 homes (local media, 22/02/2015). Earlier in 2014, there were serious clashes between Misseriya and Salamat in Central Darfur, between Misseriya clans in West Darfur, and between Maaliya and Rizeigat in East Darfur (local media, 20/08/2014).
Armed Violence and Conflict in Kordofan and Blue Nile
Information on Blue Nile and South Kordofan states is difficult to obtain as government authorities severely restrict access to the fighting zone. The Sudanese Government announced that it would expand its counter-insurgency operations in Blue Nile state on 23 May 2014. There were reports of an SAF offensive in North Kordofan in April, intensified bombings in the region in May, bombardments in South Kordofan in September and October, and in Blue Nile state in November (OCHA, 22/10/2014; local media, 25/11/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
6.6 million people (20% of the population) are in need of humanitarian assistance; more than half are in Darfur and South Kordofan and Blue Nile states (OCHA 17/11/2014).
In October, 4.4 million people in Darfur, more than half of the region’s population, needed humanitarian assistance (OCHA). This includes 2.4 million IDPs, 1.9 million non-displaced severely affected by violence, and 136,000 returnees or refugees from neighbouring countries.
In South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, 940,000 need assistance in government-controlled areas (OCHA), and 540,000 are estimated displaced by conflict in SPLM-N territory. Limited access to non-government areas makes verification impossible.
Humanitarian access for international relief organisations is a major problem. Humanitarian operations are heavily hampered by insecurity, the presence of mines and ERW, logistical constraints, and government restrictions. The number of humanitarian aid workers in Darfur declined from 6,850 in November 2013 to 5,440 in August 2014 (OCHA, 17/11/2014).
Administrative and Logistical Constraints
August 2013 regulations ban foreign humanitarian groups and UN agencies from working for human rights, and the Government has banned humanitarian access to areas controlled by opposition groups.
East Jebel Marra has been virtually inaccessible since 2010. Access to IDPs in Darfur is constrained by militia checkpoints and insecurity.
The Sudanese Humanitarian Aid Commission banned international staff from UN agencies and international NGOs from participating in an inter-agency multi-cluster needs assessment in Blue Nile state in November (local media, 19/10/2014). There has been no humanitarian access from Sudan to opposition-held areas in South Kordofan since October 2013.
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
On 8 February, three Sudanese Red Crescent workers were killed in Blue Nile state. Details of the incident are still unclear (ECHO, 10/02/2015). On 25 January, SPLM-N shot at a WFP helicopter, east of Kadugli, South Kordofan, forcing it to land. SPLM-N stated that six crew members are unhurt and ready for immediate release (local media, 26/01/2015). On 20 January, a hospital operated by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Frandala, South Kordofan, was directly targeted and bombed by SAF. One staff member and one patient were injured. All medical activities have been suspended (MSF, 22/01/2015). On 14 January, a national staff member working for an international NGO was abducted by armed men in Nyala, South Darfur (OCHA, 22/01/2015).
25 aid workers were abducted in Darfur in 2014, the highest number of abduction cases recorded since 2004 (OCHA, 22/01/2015).
At least ten people, including six children, died of cold between 5 and 11 January, local media reported, citing an IDP organisation. Most were in Darfur, newly displaced by fighting around the Jebel Marra region, according to a spokesperson for the Darfur Displaced and Refugees Association (OCHA, 15/01/2015).
IDPs in Darfur
2.4 million IDPs reside in 46 camps and 68 settlements in Darfur (82,530 orphans, 34,099 widows, and 52,352 sick and elderly), according to a survey conducted by the Darfur Regional Authority (DRA) from December 2013 to April 2014.
457,000 people were displaced in Darfur January–December 2014, more than in any year since 2004: 316,000 remain displaced and 141,000 people reportedly returned (OCHA 31/12/2014; 20/07/2014). OCHA reported in June that government policy to prevent the creation of new camps is an obstacle to the verification and registration of IDPs.
41,304 newly displaced have been verified in North Darfur since early January, with an additional 63,900 reported but not verified in North and Central Darfur, including Jebel Marra (OCHA, 05/02/2015; 15/02/2015).
North Darfur: 107,000 IDPs; 124,000 returnees in 2014 (OCHA 31/12/2014). 729 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014). OCHA has verified another 38,602 newly displaced: 5,600 in Zamzam camp; 4,458 in Rwanda camp; 11,620 in Shagra A, B, C, Behair, and Um Hajaleed towns; 4,587 in Tawila town; 6,189 in Argo camp; 7500 in Um Baru UNAMID site; 1,031 in Majdob town; and 624 in Nifasha camp (OCHA, 05/02/2015). Militia in Kutum locality were reported to be imposing protection fees on displaced farmers in September 2014 (local media, 21/09/2014; 15/02/2015).
South Darfur: 105,000 IDPs (OCHA 31/12/2014). 736 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014).
Central Darfur: 68,000 IDPs; 5,000 returnees in 2014 (OCHA 31/12/2014). 778 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014). Some 50,000 IDPs are thought to have arrived in Wara and Niscam villages in January, according to estimates by community leaders (OCHA, 08/01/2015). Over 1,700 people fled to central Jebel Marra and are in need of food, water, health services, and NFIs (OCHA, 08/01/2015).
East Darfur: 35,000 IDPs as of end November (OCHA, 31/12/2014). 331 villages destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014).
West Darfur: 1,300 IDPs were reported by OCHA in December 2014, in stark contrast with an earlier local government figure of 373,000 (OCHA, 07/09/2014; DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014).
Blue Nile and South Kordofan: In South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, 540,000 are estimated displaced in SPLM-N territory (OCHA, 17/11/2014). With no presence in SPLM-N controlled areas, the UN is unable to verify these figures (OCHA, 19/05/2014). Between November 2014 and mid-January 2015, 820 new displaced people from SPLM-N areas sought shelter in government-controlled areas of South Kordofan (OCHA, 22/01/2015). According to the HAC in South Kordofan, a large but unknown number of displaced people are expected to arrive in Kadugli, El Abassiya, Rashad, Talodi and Gadier localities from areas controlled by SPLM-N (08/01/2015).
West Kordofan: More than 52,000 reported displaced in September (OCHA, 21/09/2014).
Refugees in Sudan
As of 19 February 2015, more than 121,000 South Sudanese nationals had arrived in Sudan since 15 December 2013. An estimated 67,000 refugees live in White Nile, 32,000 in Khartoum, 14,000 in South Kordofan, 3,800 in West Kordofan, and 3,600 in Blue Nile (UNHCR, 19/02/2015). An estimated 347,000 people of South Sudanese origin are in Sudan (OCHA, 30/04/2014). 6,800 displaced South Sudanese are living in the disputed area of Abyei (OCHA, 17/12/2014).
In White Nile, arrival rates increased from 500–600 people per week to around 1,000 in September, due to a surge in violence in South Sudan (ECHO, 23/09/2014). 71% of all individuals registered in White Nile are children (UNHCR, 16/12/2014). 91% of households are female-headed (UNHCR, 29/1/2015). All sites in White Nile state are currently beyond capacity. Access for aid workers is a concern (ECHO, 23/09/2014).
On 1 June, Sudan was hosting 157,000 refugees, mainly from Eritrea, with smaller numbers from Chad, Ethiopia, and Somalia, according to UNHCR figures. As of 8 February, UNHCR reported 2,270 CAR refugees in Nyala, South Darfur. They will be relocated to Um Shalaya refugee camp in Central Darfur (OCHA, 08/02/2014).
Over 9,300 Sudanese have returned from CAR to Um Dafug town, South Darfur (OCHA, 15/02/2015). An estimated 3,000 people had spontaneously returned to the Kereinik and Beida localities, West Darfur, by mid-February, according to the Humanitarian Aid Commission (HAC) (OCHA, 15/02/2015).
Sudanese Refugees in Other Countries
As of January 2015, OCHA reported 367,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad, 232,000 in South Sudan, 33,000 in Ethiopia, and 5,500 in Central African Republic (UNHCR, 19/02/2015).
3,000 refugees from South Kordofan are reported to have fled to South Sudan (Yida, in Unity state) since 23 December 2014. At 500 people a week, the rate of arrival is double that of the same time period in 2013 (UNCHR, 30/01/2015).
Despite improved food security conditions, acute food insecurity persists among 3.5 million IDPs and host communities in conflict-affected areas. An estimated 20–30% of IDPs in Darfur are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through June 2015 (FEWSNET, 01/02/2014). An estimated 25–30% of IDPs in SPLM-N-controlled areas of South Kordofan will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) (FEWSNET, 01/02/2014).
Food availability has otherwise improved country-wide. Harvests in North and West Darfur are above-average due to good rains and increased cultivation in some areas. The preliminary findings of the joint Crop and Food Supply Assessment Mission (CFSAM) estimates that 2014/15 national production will be 50% above the five-year average. Staple food prices continue to decline in most markets, increasing access for poor households. From October to November, sorghum, millet and local wheat prices decreased by 8–30% in most markets (FEWSNET, 12/2014).
Hundreds of families in Graida, South Darfur are facing food shortages after clashes between Falata and Massalit tribes destroyed more than 165 homes (local media, 22/02/2015).
Health and Nutrition
The UN estimated in mid-December 2013 that 165,000 children in SPLM-N-controlled parts of South Kordofan and Blue Nile do not have access to basic health services. Health clinics in El Redis and Al Alagaya relocation sites, White Nile state, have reported a shortage of drugs. In El Redis clinic, lack of lighting, refrigeration, and an ambulance, severely hinder the delivery of health (OCHA, 17/11/2014).
There are indications that the health situation in Darfur is deteriorating; many have no access to healthcare. Local reports indicate that schistosomiasis, visceral leishmaniasis, scabies, and ringworm have increased since 2012.
WHO and the State Ministry of Health reported that between 28 August and 14 December 2014, 132 cases (three deaths) of haemorrhagic fever had been registered in North Darfur since late August: 20 cases were confirmed as dengue, including three fatalities (OCHA, 17/11/2014).
593 cases of measles have been confirmed in 12 localities of Gedaref and Kassale states (UNICEF, 20/01/2014).
Two million children under five were acutely malnourished as of 30 September, an upward revision from 1.4 million at the beginning of August (OCHA, 15/10/2014). An estimated 500,000 were severely malnourished in 2014 (OCHA, 24/08/2014).
WASH support to schools in relocation sites in White Nile state remains critical; no water is currently available (UNHCR, 05/12/2014). In the Al Alagaya relocation site for South Sudanese refugees in White Nile state, the construction of 800 latrines has been delayed due to lack of space, despite the allocation of resources and staff (OCHA, 17/11/2014).
A severe shortage of drinking water was reported in February after two wells were damaged in Tabit, Tawila locality, North Darfur (local media, 09/02/2015). Drinking water crises were also reported in Kereinik locality, West Darfur and El Jeer district, Nyala, South Darfur (local media, 22/02/2015).
In White Nile state, poor incentives for community teachers interrupt refugees’ education. Many classrooms are occupied by refugees due to lack of alternative space (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). Overcrowding remains a concern in relocation sites in White Nile state (UNHCR, 05/12/2014).
According to local media in July, insecurity in Darfur is affecting the supply of teaching staff, with thousands of teachers in Nyala requesting transfers. In North Darfur, IDP camps in Saraf Omra locality lack educational services, and IDP children cannot afford fees to attend other schools in the area.
Mines and ERW
250 locations covering an estimated 32km2 are contaminated by mines and ERW, with the greatest concentrations in Kassala, Gedaref, Red Sea, Blue Nile, South Kordofan, and Darfur (UNMAS). South Kordofan is the most heavily mined area of Sudan, according to the Landmine and Cluster Munition Monitor.
Sexual and Gender-based Violence
Rape cases by pro-government militia against the displaced population have been frequently reported in the local media in North, South and Central Darfur and Jebel Marra in 2014.
Reports in early November suggested that more than 200 women and girls had been raped by Sudanese soldiers in Tabit area in North Darfur. Sudanese troops denied UNAMID access to assess the situation (Reuters, 17/11/2014).
As of March 2014, the Sudanese Government refuses to recognise South Sudanese nationals as refugees and instead considers them to be Sudanese citizens (UNHCR, 03/04/2014). All foreigners in Sudan had to register with the immigration administration by 1 April. UNHCR has declared this constitutes an obstacle to humanitarian assistance.
Syria Country Analysis
19 February: Kurdish forces, backed by Ar-Raqqa armed groups including Shams al Shama and Jabhat al Akrad, were able to gain control over 242 villages around Kobane, most of them in Aleppo governorate and some in Ar-Raqqa (SOHR, 19/02/2015).
- Over 200,000 deaths documented March 2011–December 2014, including over 63,000 civilians, almost 11,000 of whom were children (SOHR 12/2014). 2014 recorded the highest number of deaths, with 76,000 fatalities.
- 12.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including 5.6 million children (OCHA/UNICEF 12/2014). Winter aid is a priority (UNHCR 11/2014).
- 7.6 million IDPs (OCHA 28/12/2014).
- 4.8 million people live in hard-to-reach areas (OCHA 12/2014).
- 3,823,577 Syrians are registered or waiting to register as refugees outside Syria as of 23 February. Lebanon: 1,174,313; Turkey: 1,622,839; Jordan: 623,241; Iraq: 242,468; Egypt: 136,661 (UNHCR 23/02/2014). Children make up 51.6% of the refugee population.
- 711 of 1,921 primary health centres and more than one-third (37 of 92) public hospitals are out of service. 26 of 41 basic emergency obstetric care centres are reported non-functional (Syrian Ministry of Health/UNFPA 30/11/2014).
The humanitarian situation continues to worsen. The conflict has killed over 200,000 people and caused large-scale displacement. Over 2014, more people moved to camps than the previous year, and the humanitarian needs of non-displaced people continued to grow. The country has also experienced severe drought. Protection concerns are widespread. WASH and access to food are high priorities as well as access to health services. Humanitarian needs in areas under prolonged and ongoing siege are particularly high as access is obstructed.
Russia-mediated peace talks began on 26 January, including some members of the Syrian opposition, but not the National Coalition (AFP, 26/01/2015). The talks did not yield significant results; the next round of negotiations is scheduled for February (Reuters, 30/01/2015). Previous attempts have failed.
In a separate process, UN Envoy Mistura continues to advocate for the establishment of ‘freeze zones’ in Aleppo (UN/BBC 11/2014; Reuters, 05/02/2015).
Widespread conflict and high levels of violence continue, including indiscriminate aerial bombings by government forces and indiscriminate shelling by armed opposition (UNSC 21/11/2014).
In 2014, 76,000 people were killed in the conflict, the highest toll since the war began. 18,000 civilians, including at least 3,500 children, were among the victims (SOHR, 02/01/2014). At least 6,550 civilians died during airstrikes, half of them in Aleppo. Aerial bombardment injured 40,000 in 2014 (SOHR, 05/01/2015). More than 200,000 people have died since fighting began in March 2011 (SOHR 02/12/2014) and more than 1.5 million people were wounded or suffered permanent disabilities (SOHR, 07/02/2015).
Government forces: Syria's military has increasingly used barrel bombs. Over January, government forces carried out almost 1,000 airstrikes and dropped more than 1,000 barrel bombs, killing 271 civilians, wounding over 1,000 people, and displacing thousands (SOHR, 02/01/2015).
Islamic State (IS, formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) declared an Islamic caliphate on 30 June, defining the group's territory as running from northern Syria to the Iraqi province of Diyala, northeast of Baghdad. IS has been in full control of Ar-Raqqa governorate, its stronghold in Syria, since October 2014. It holds significant swathes of territory in Aleppo, Al Hasakeh, and Deir-ez-Zor, and is fighting in Rural Damascus, Damascus, and Homs. Over 6–9 February, IS sources reportedly confirmed that it plans to withdraw from areas under its control in rural Aleppo, including the towns of al Bab, Manbij, Jarablus, and Akhtarin in order redeploy to Ar-Raqqa, Deir-ez-Zor, and Al Hasakeh (ISW, 11/02/2015).
Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People’s Protection Units (YPG): Syrian Kurds, repressed by the current Syrian Government, have been in de facto control of Kurdish zones in the north since Government forces withdrew mid-2012. Kurdish leaders from the PYD formed an armed wing, the YPG, aiming to secure control over predominantly ethnic Kurdish areas in northern and eastern Syria (ISW 19/09/2014). On 5 February, the YPG entered an alliance with Aleppo-based Jahbat Shamiya, agreeing to unify judicial systems under Sharia law and to coordinate security in opposition and YPG-controlled areas. This complements joint YPG and opposition military action against IS around Kobane, and may bolster anti-IS in the area (ISW, 11/02/2015).
Jabhat al Nusra (JAN), linked to Al Qaeda, is increasingly consolidating its control in northwestern Syria, previously held by the collapsing moderate opposition. JAN has turned against other opposition factions, such as the Syria Revolutionaries’ Front (SRF) and the Hazm Movement, which are considered mainstays of the Free Syrian Army (FSA). In contrast, mainstream Islamist groups have begun to strengthen relations with JAN.
Opposition alliances: Ahrar al Sham has been reconstituted following the merger of two group members, indicating growth and consolidation within the alliance (ISW 09/12/2014).
International intervention: As part of a multinational campaign against Islamist militant groups, a US-led coalition began airstrikes in mid-September on IS and JAN military installations. In November, there were 160 airstrikes, down from 220 in October (SOHR 12/2014). Jordan has carried out nearly 20% of all sorties. In early February, following IS’s execution of a Jordanian captive, Jordan carried out 56 airstrikes on IS targets in three days, with military sources claiming to have degraded 20% of the militants’ capabilities (BBC, 08/02/2015). More than 1,600 people have been killed by coalition airstrikes since the beginning of the offensive, the vast majority of them IS fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR, 23/02/2015).
Aleppo: IS has been clashing with Kurdish forces in the area of Kobane since September, when IS took control of over 300 villages and advanced toward the city (The Guardian, 11/10/2015). Kurdish forces have recaptured the Kobane city area, and YPG backed by Ar-Raqqa armed groups including Shams al Shama and Jabhat al Akrad was able to gain control over 242 villages around Kobane, most of them in Aleppo governorate and some in Ar-Raqqa (SOHR, 19/02/2015).
In Aleppo city, opposition forces have launched an incremental counteroffensive that has reversed government forces’ most recent gains (OCHA, 02/01/2015). Five major factions, including Ahrar al Sham, Jaysh al Mujahideen, and Harakat Nour al Din al Zenki, have united in a new military command called the Sham Front (ISW, 30/12/2014). Opposition groups including JAN have sustained their offensive on Nubul and Zahra villages, held by the Government (OCHA, 05/12/2014). Government forces had regained control of several areas north of Aleppo in 2014.
Al Hasakeh: YPG seized several government positions in northern Al Hasakeh city in mid-January. Government forces shelled YPG-held neighbourhoods, with the YPG alleging that regime forces also used cluster munitions (ISW, 20/01/2015).On 30 January, YPG and regime forces in Hasakeh city reached a cease‑fire agreement (ISW, 04/02/2015).
Deir-ez-Zor: IS made minor advances in government-controlled areas of Deir-ez-Zor city over 5–16 January; its advance on Deir-ez-Zor airport has slowed after a campaign of several months. Recent reports indicate that IS has retreated from several positions east of the airbase (OCHA, 16/01/2015, SOHR, 12/2014; SOHR, 06/02/2015).
Idleb: Since mid-2014, JAN has seized towns and extended its influence along the border with Turkey. In mid-December, JAN seized two key military posts, thereby gaining control of most of Idleb governorate (AFP, 16/12/2014). At end January, JAN seized the town of Hamadiyat al Shahad in Idleb, not far from the besieged government airbase of Abu Dhuhur (OCHA, 30/01/2015). JAN has attempted to consolidate its influence in rural Idleb, setting up checkpoints on key access routes. Its activities have resulted in protests, and in Salqin in western Idleb, clashes between Ahrar al Sham and JAN (OCHA, 02/01/2015).
Central and southern governorates: Opposition groups consider the south, especially Dar’a, as a main stronghold, away from the threat of IS. Central governorates have witnessed an increase in airstrikes and the use of barrel bombs, especially Rural Damascus. The Government controls most of Rural Damascus, Homs, Hama, Tartous, Lattakia and As-Sweida governorates. Over 13–15 January, JAN fighters reportedly withdrew from the southern Beit Sahem neighbourhood of Damascus city following two weeks of anti-JAN demonstrations by local residents (ISW, 20/01/2015). On 4 February, government airstrikes on Eastern Ghouta region killed 82 people, the deadliest such attack since November (SOHR, 05/02/2015). The operation launched on 9 February by pro-government forces in Dar’a province marks the first significant government offensive in southern Syria since an operation against the town of Nawa in May 2014. Increasing Iranian involvement may reinvigorate the Government’s southern campaign, and potentially serve larger Iranian strategic objectives by positioning Iranian forces in closer proximity to the disputed Israeli-controlled Golan Heights (ISW, 11/02/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Some 12.2 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance inside Syria, including 5.6 million children. The humanitarian situation appears most critical in the governorates of Aleppo, Ar-Raqqa, Rural Damascus, and Deir-ez-Zor (SNAP, 28/01/2015).
Parties to the conflict continue to target public infrastructure and facilities. Water cuts in Aleppo, rural Damascus, Deir-ez-Zor, Ar-Raqqa, and Idleb are frequent and deliberate (UNICEF, 15/02/2015). after Syria experienced severe drought conditions in 2014, impacting the availability of drinkable water and the health status of the population, as well as reducing agricultural output and local food production.
Winter aid is a priority (OCHA/UNICEF/UNHCR 11/2014). 11 people in opposition-held areas, including seven children, have died from the extreme winter conditions (AFP, 11/01/2015).
The UN’s response efforts are chronically underfunded: only 47% of the Syria component of OCHA’s appeal is covered (Financial Tracking Service, 06/01/2015).
4.8 million people are living in hard-to-reach areas, including up to two million children (UNICEF, 12/2014).
There is a trend of tit-for-tat blocking of access between IS and its opponents, making IS-controlled areas hard to reach, particularly from northern Al Hasakeh, underlining the importance of cross-border access (OCHA, 16/01/2015). Similarly, stakeholders do not allow assistance to reach people perceived to be affiliated with opposing parties, for example in government-controlled areas of Lattakia, Hama, and Idleb.
Over January, deteriorating security conditions affected the delivery of humanitarian assistance to besieged areas in Rural Damascus, Aleppo, Deir-ez-Zor and Dar’a (UNFPA, 08/02/2015).
After JAN fighters reportedly withdrew from the southern Beit Sahem neighbourhood of Damascus city following two weeks of anti-JAN demonstrations by local residents, government forces allowed an aid convoy to enter Beit Sahem and neighbouring Babbila neighbourhood in mid-January (ISW, 20/01/2015).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
69 humanitarian workers have been killed in the conflict since March 2011. Twenty-seven United Nations staff (including 24 UNRWA staff) have been detained or are missing (UNSC 21/11/2014).
Trapped and Hard-to-Reach Communities
212,000 people remain besieged at the end of 2014: in Nubul and Al Zahra in rural Aleppo; Eastern Ghouta, Daryya, and Moadamiyah in Rural Damascus; the Old City in Homs; and Yarmouk camp in Damascus (UNSC 21/11/2014; UNICEF, 12/2014). Shortages of food and medicine caused the deaths of more than 300 civilians, including about 100 children, in areas besieged by the Syrian regime in 2014, mostly Eastern Ghouta (AFP, 27/12/2014).
Aleppo: Aid delivery to Aleppo is rarely possible (UN, 10/2014).
Ar-Raqqa: Volatile security conditions and the presence of armed groups along access routes have prevented deliveries since July (WFP, 11/11/2014). IS has closed down the offices of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, as well as several small local charities, and appropriated warehouses and equipment. Several INGOs continue to operate cross-border into Ar-Raqqa (OCHA, 30/01/2015).
Damascus: Food, healthcare, NFIs, and shelter needs are unmet for 18,000 civilians in Yarmouk Palestinian camp. Persistent armed violence prevented any successful UNRWA aid distribution between 6 December 2014 and 10 February 2015 (UNRWA, 10/02/2015).
Deir-ez-Zor: Volatile security conditions and the presence of armed groups along access routes have prevented deliveries since May (WFP, 11/11/2014). IS restricts access to government-controlled areas, affecting approximately 150,000 civilians (UNSC, 21/11/2014).
Hama: Between end October and beginning November, the deterioration of the security situation and numerous checkpoints in rural areas slowed deliveries (WFP, 11/11/2014).
Homs: Under partial siege since October 2013, over half of Al Waer’s 350,000 residents are IDPs, who are mostly living in substandard accommodation (WFP, 22/10/2014). Following intense negotiations, the first UN aid delivery for six months reached Homs in November (AFP 13/11/2014). On 14 January, a ten-day ceasefire was announced in Al Wa’er.
Idleb: JAN’s seizure of two strategic military bases opens up large stretches of the highway for humanitarian access, and has reportedly led to the return of many refugees and IDPs (OCHA, 19/12/2014).
Border closures or tight restrictions by neighbouring countries are dissuading people in life-threatening situations from seeking refuge abroad. Additionally, humanitarians have voiced concern over the inconsistent application of regulations at border crossings. Palestinian refugees are particularly affected by closed borders and forced returns from neighbouring countries (UN 24/11/2014).
Turkey: At the two fully open crossing-points between Turkey and Syria, as of 1 January 2015, Syrian refugees crossing back and forth will only be able to spend three out of every six months in Turkey or face fines. Those without a valid passport or travel document will be turned back. The new regulations may hamper the movement of local aid staff and leave them stranded in Syria (IRIN, 14/01/2015).
There are 7.6 million IDPs within Syria; 50% are children (OCHA 25/11/2014). Between January and September 2014, the number living in IDP camps grew by 56%, from 108,000 to approximately 165,000. IDPs generally account for a third of the population. There are 147 IDP camps in northern Syria and 175,520 IDPs are sheltering in reported camp settlements (OCHA, 30/01/2015).
Displacement in September–November was mostly due to intensified conflict and most reported in Aleppo, Dar’a, Hama, and Lattakia, followed by Ar-Raqqa, Deir-ez-Zor, and Al-Hasakeh. Lattakia, Ar-Raqqa saw the biggest increases in population (WFP 11/11/2014; MSNA 30/10/2014). In Rural Damascus the number of IDPs was revised upwards in November from 770,000 (27%) to 1.4 million (49%) (MSNA, 30/10/2014; Data Review, 11/2014).
Multiple displacement is increasing, due to changed conflict dynamics, ongoing violence, the depleted capacity of host families, depletion of savings, and the search for better livelihoods (MSNA 30/10/2014; OCHA/REACH 30/10/2014).
Palestinian refugees in Syria: Over 50% – or 280,000 – of approximately 540,000 Palestine refugees registered with UNRWA in Syria have been displaced within Syria (UNRWA 28/10/2014).
Iraqi refugees: There are an estimated 29,000 Iraqi refugees in Syria (UNHCR 25/11/2014). Over 21-22 December, more than 1,000 Iraqi refugees arrived in Al Hasakeh governorate (UNHCR, 31/12/2014)
Syrian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
3,823,577 Syrians are registered or waiting to register as refugees outside Syria as of 16 February (UNHCR, 23/02/2015).
Turkey: 1,622,839 refugees, almost 892,000 of whom are outside camps (UNHCR, 31/12/2014). The Government suspended pre-registration in October to focus on the full registration process: as of 11 December, at least 52,000 Syrian refugees have been biometrically registered (UNHCR, 05/01/2014). The rate of full biometric registration is reportedly 400 people a day (UNHCR, 20/11/2014).
Lebanon: 1,174,313 refugees (UNHCR 13/02/2015). Lebanon’s borders have been closed to Syrian refugees since 24 October. Since January, Syrians wanting to enter Lebanon must apply for a visa (BBC, 05/01/2015).
Jordan: 623,241 refugees (UNHCR 23/02/2015), with an average of 100–150 people returning to Syria per day (IFRC, 18/12/2014).
Egypt: 136,661 refugees (UNHCR 02/02/2015). 150 have been deported to Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey. More have received deportation orders (Amnesty International 14/11/2014).
Iraq: 242,468 refugees (UNHCR 16/06/2015).
Palestinians: 45,000 have been recorded with UNRWA in Lebanon, 14,642 in Jordan and 860 in Gaza. Around 4,000 are reportedly in Egypt (UNRWA 28/10/2014).
In Kobane, Aleppo governorate, local sources estimate up to 10,000 civilians in Kobane city, with some sources reporting up to 500 returns a day. While many are temporary visitors looking to assess their houses, some are staying on, or else are unable to return to Turkey given restrictions on re-entering Turkey. Civilians in Kobane city are in need of emergency assistance, given that most of the city and its infrastructure have been destroyed (OCHA, 17/02/2015).
Almost 4.5 million are in need of food assistance. In many areas of Syria, food security is deteriorating (WFP, 19/12/2014).
Food aid was resumed in mid-December, having been suspended on 1 December following a funding crisis (WFP, 09/12/2014, WFP/UNHCR 01/12/2014). The food aid basket for 4.2 million Syrians had been cut by 40% in October (AFP, 10/2014). Food dispatches continue to be hindered by worsening security, particularly in the northeast and south (WFP 25/11/2014).
IDPs outside formal camps are most susceptible to food shortages. The most acute needs are reported in Aleppo, Dar’a, Quneitra, and Rural Damascus, including 600,000 besieged civilians in Eastern Ghouta (MSNA, 10/2014).
Government subsidies have brought down inflation in some parts of the country. However, in parts of opposition-held Dar’a, Deir-ez-Zor, and Rural Damascus, prices have risen over 75% in just over three months (WFP, 10/2014). It is expected that 60% of Syrians will not be able to secure their own food requirements in 2015 (WHO, 10/2014).
In Idleb, there is an acute bread shortage after most government-run bakeries were closed. Kafr Nabool, Salqin, Khan Shaykun and Ma’arat al Nu’man remain vulnerable sub-districts with large population and high prices.
Agriculture and Markets
The cereal belt of Syria includes Ar-Raqqa, Aleppo, Al-Hasakeh, Deir-Ez-Zor, Hama, and Idleb, and produces more than 80% of the country’s wheat. Drought and conflict have both impacted production. According to FAO estimates, Syria’s overall cereal production in 2014 was approximately 18% below total production in 2013 and 38% below the five-year average (2009–13) (FAO, 14/10/2014).
More than half the population lived in extreme poverty at the end of 2013. Unemployment is at 54% (3.39 million people) (Syrian Centre for Policy Research/UNDP, 19/10/2014). The conflict has set the economy back more than three decades. Gross domestic product has contracted by more than 40%, and exports have fallen by 90%. Oil production has dropped by 96% (World Bank/IMF/AFP, 02/12/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Over 2.4 million people are in need of health assistance, with highest numbers reported from Ar-Raqqa (627,600), Aleppo (475,270), and Al Hasakeh (356,200).
Tuberculosis, typhoid, and scabies have become endemic in northern Syria (AFP, 28/11/2014). In opposition-held Aleppo, these diseases as well as cholera, are spreading, according to local doctors (Reuters, 08/01/2015). WHO has not been able to deliver medical aid to the opposition-held parts of Aleppo, despite a government promise to allow access end of December (Reuters, 08/01/2015). Only four public hospitals remain operational in Aleppo governorate, and only 132 primary health care centres (WHO, 22/02/2015). In Deir-ez-Zor governorate, contamination of the Euphrates River, violence, damaged water infrastructure, overcrowded shelters, and frequent power cuts have contributed to a rise in typhoid and hepatitis A (PHR, 10/2014).
Since the start of the conflict, some 200,000 Syrians have died from chronic illnesses due to lack of access to treatment and medicines. Hospitals are unable to cope with the demand for surgery, due to the increase in the number of injured – averaging 25,000 each month – combined with a lack of (female) medical staff, severe supply shortages, and frequent power cuts (PHR, 10/2014).
Only 43% of hospitals are fully functioning (UNICEF, 29/01/2015). 711 of 1,921 primary health centres are out of service (Syrian Ministry of Health/UNFPA, 11/2014). Five governorates (Aleppo, Rural Damascus, Homs, Dar’a, and Deir-er-Zor) have the highest number of non-functional public hospitals. Local drug production has fallen by 70% (WHO, 10/2014).
Attacks on Health Workers and Facilities
Between March 2011 and August 2014, 560 medical personnel had reportedly been killed, mostly in targeted killings (PHR, 10/2014). In the same period, PHR documented 195 attacks on 155 medical facilities. Of these, 176 were committed by government forces, 13 by non-state armed groups, and six by unknown forces (PHR, 25/09/2014).
The number of acute diarrhoea cases continues to increase, with 60,012 reported by mid-September 2014, up from 22,169 reported in July (WHO, 22/08/2014; WHO, 30/10/2014). Diarrhoea is one of the main causes of death for children under 12 months old (IFRC, 24/07/2014).
3 million women and girls of reproductive age are in need of care in Syria, including around 432,000 pregnant women. Every day, some 1,480 women give birth in dire conditions. 26 of 41 basic emergency obstetric care centres are reported as non-functional (Syrian Ministry of Health/UNFPA, 30/11/2014).
4,200 cases of measles were reported in Syria in 2014 (Reuters, 19/12/2014).
More than 350,000 individuals in Syria are estimated to suffer from severe forms of mental illness; over 2 million people suffer from mild to moderate problems such as anxiety and depression disorders, and a large percentage have moderate to severe psychological/social distress (WHO/UNHCR, 19/10/2014).
In areas with high IDP concentration, 2.3% SAM – above the 2% crisis threshold – and 7.2% GAM rate has been reported (UNICEF, 21/10/2014). It is estimated that four million women and children are in need of preventative and curative nutrition assistance (UNICEF, 15/02/2015).
More than 6,500 cases of typhoid were reported in Syria in 2014 (Reuters, 19/12/2014).
4.6 million people are in need of WASH assistance. Six out of ten governorates report major problems in the WASH sector. Syrian families consume 40% less water than they did pre-crisis.
The reliability of urban piped water is severely reduced and the quality of drinking water cannot be guaranteed due to a lack of testing facilities. Fuel shortages also affect water supply (UNICEF, 15/02/2015). One-third of water treatment plants no longer function, and sewage treatment has halved. In Aleppo, as of September, three of four water pumping stations have been shut down, affecting over two million people (PHR, 10/2014; WHO/UNICEF, 22/07/2014). More than 400,000 are reported in acute need of water in Al Bab subdistrict of Aleppo governorate alone (MSNA, 30/10/2014).
The cut-off of a main water source feeding Damascus has aggravated the already scarce resource triggered by drought (UNICEF, 12/2014).
In November, after three months, UNRWA was permitted to transport limited amounts of clean water into Yarmouk camp (UNRWA, 10/11/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
1.6 million people are in need of shelter assistance (MSNA, 30/10/2014). 1.2 million houses have been damaged, 400,000 of which have been totally destroyed (UNHCR, 30/10/2014). Only IDPs in government-controlled areas receive shelter response, through collective shelter rehabilitation and private shelter upgrade (UNHCR, 20/11/2014).
Winter conditions have caused increased hardship since early January in IDP camps and settlements in Idleb, Lattakia, and Homs. Urgent needs are heating fuel, tents, and in some cases fuel stoves. Ar-Raqqa, Homs, Hama, and Lattakia governorates remain with lower response coverage and are in need of shelter and NFI assistance. Preliminary analysis indicated that fighting in Kobane destroyed 1,200 structures and severely damaged 1,170 (UNOSAT, 11/02/2015).
The CCCM indicates that 174,624 IDPs were affected by a storm on 7 January in Aleppo, Idleb, Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zor governorates (ECHO, 08/01/2015; OCHA, 16/01/2015). The most severely affected areas are in Lattakia governorate. Several IDP camps in northern Idleb, along the border with Turkey, were flooded. A large number of families have been forced to move after their tents and belongings were damaged.
2.7 million people are in need of NFI assistance. The dispatch of non-food items (NFIs) has fallen significantly since April 2014 (MSNA, 30/10/2014).
Dar’a, Lattakia, and Quneitra have acute needs, followed very closely by Hama, Ar-Raqqa, Aleppo, Al-Hasakeh and Rural Damascus. 40% of people identified in need of shelter are located in Aleppo governorate, as are 34% of people identified in need of NFI assistance (MSNA, 30/10/2014).
The estimated number of children enrolled in basic education increased from 2.9 million in the 2012/13 academic year to 3.6 million in 2014/15. Likewise, the gross enrolment ratio in basic education rose from 66% in 2012/13 to 79% in 2013/14 (UNICEF, 15/02/2015).
4,000 Syrian schools have been destroyed, damaged, or used to house IDPs, leaving the educational system on the verge of collapse.
In 2014 there were at least 68 attacks on schools across Syria, killing at least 160 children and injuring over 340 (UN, 06/01/2015). 76 UNRWA schools – more than two-thirds – have become unusable. Continued conflict and the recent closure of some schools in Ar-Raqqa and Deir-ez-Zor governorates and parts of rural Aleppo in Syria are believed to have disrupted education for 670,000 school-aged children. The primary reason for student drop-out is the need to work to support the family (Syrian Interim Government/OCHA, 07/11/2014).
Protection is a priority concern. Human and organ trafficking are reported (UNHCR 20/11/2014).
Non-state armed groups continue to commit violations, including summary executions. Ethnic and religious communities in IS-occupied areas have been targeted directly (UN Human Rights Council 11/2014). IS has executed 1,429 people in Syria since June, the majority civilians (UN Human Rights Council, 14/11/2014; SOHR/AFP, 17/11/2014). Over November–December 2014, IS killed 120 of its own members, most of them foreign fighters trying to return home (SOHR, 28/12/2014).
On 21 February, it was reported that the Syrian Government had executed at least 48 people, including ten children – the families of opposition fighters – in Rityan village, north of Aleppo (AFP, 21/02/2015).
Over October-January, government forces carried out more air strikes and barrel bombings on opposition-held areas in the central and southern governorates, killing and wounding civilians.
Improvised mortar bombs, used by Syrian fighters, killed 311 civilians between July and December 2014, two-thirds in Aleppo (SOHR/Reuters, 12/12/2014).
Non-state armed groups and the Government’s Popular Committees are increasingly recruiting children: over 120 cases – more than half by the Free Syrian Army – were documented between 1 January and 19 August, including girls, and some as young as eight (UNSC, 08/2014). In Ar-Raqqa, IS is using education to foster a new generation of recruits (UN Human Rights Council, 14/11/2014).
The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) maintains a presence in Syria (UNSC, 10/2014). There have been allegations of chlorine attacks, the most recent reported on the town of Kafr Zeta on 28 August (OPCW, 09/2014). An OPCW commission found confirmation that a toxic chemical was used in three villages of northern Syria earlier in 2014.
Mines and ERW
In 2013, there were 2,403 civilian casualties from landmines, victim-activated improvised explosive devices (IEDs), cluster munition remnants, and other explosive remnants of war (International Campaign to Ban Landmines/Cluster Munition Coalition, 19/11/204). Landmines in a restricted zone, laid decades ago by the Turkish military, killed at least three civilians trying to flee Syria and injured at least nine others (HRW, 02/12/2014).
As of mid-February, a large quantity of unexploded ordnance and many booby-trapped houses in the Eastern sector of Kobane city and the surrounding countryside are preventing return (OCHA, 17/02/2015).
200,000 people are estimated to be in government detention, including 20,000 detainees who are unaccounted for (SOHR/HRW, 02/12/2014). In 2014, 2,100 people died in Syrian prisons from torture, starvation, and lack of medical treatment; 27 were under the age of 18 (SOHR, 10/01/2015; AFP, 11/2014).
Some 7,000 government troops held by opposition forces are unaccounted for (SOHR, 07/2014). Another 1,500 IS, other opposition, and Kurdish fighters have been kidnapped during battles in the first half of 2014 (AFP, 07/2014).
Sexual and Gender-based Violence
IS has sought to exclude Syrian women and girls from public life. Forced marriage of girls to IS fighters and the selling of abducted girls into sexual slavery have been reported (UN Human Rights Council, 14/11/2014).
Journalists and other media workers are systematically targeted.
Yemen Country Analysis
21 February: President Hadi left Sanaa for the city of Aden, rescinded his resignation (AFP, 21/02/2015; Reuters, 21/02/2015).
21 February: UN-chaired negotiations yielded an agreement by the Houthis to a transit legislative authority (Al Jazeera, 21/02/2015).
20 February: A bomb attack on a road in Hadramaut targeted an Army General, killing one soldier and wounding four (AFP, 20/02/2015).
20 February: In Aden, a soldier from the special police forces and two members of a local militia were killed in a gunfight (AFP, 20/02/2015).
31 January: 1,490 migrants and refugees arriving in Yemen were reportedly abducted in January. 234 were women. A further 243 migrants and refugees reported being physically assaulted and 63 reported being robbed or extorted (Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, 31/01/2015).
- 15.9 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 28/12/2014).
- 10.6 million are food insecure, including 5 million severely food insecure (Comprehensive Food Security Survey 2014; WFP, 31/12/2014). Levels of food insecurity have doubled since 2009 (FAO, 06/2014).
- 8.6 million have no access to healthcare (OCHA, 09/10/2014).
- One million children under five are acutely malnourished; 280,000 are severely malnourished (OCHA, UNICEF 06/2014).
- 13.1 million do not have access to safe water and improved sanitation; 4.4 million lack access to adequate sanitation (OCHA, 09/10/2014). Open defecation remains the practice for more than 20% of the population (UNICEF 2014)
- 335,000 IDPs, 227,000 returnees and 245,000 refugees in the country (OCHA, 09/10/2014).
- Extreme access constraints prevail in Hadramaut, Shabwah, and Marib governorates. The governorates with the highest severity of needs are Aden, Abyan, Amanat Al Asimah, Al Jawf, Sa’ada, Hajjah (OCHA, 22/12/2014).
The highest priority humanitarian needs include food and nutrition assistance, access to healthcare, shelter – primarily for conflict-affected people – protection, and provision of water and sanitation
Yemen’s political transition has been upended by factional violence and failed negotiations toward restoring political order. In addition to economic challenges, it continues to face three concurrent security challenges: Houthi insurgents from the north; southern secessionists; and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) throughout the country.
Instability and violence continue across the country, and attempts at political transition have been upended. Shia Houthi insurgents from the far north have de facto control over Sa’ada and neighbouring Amran, and parts of Al Jawf, and Hajjah governorates, and have rejected the proposed federal division of the country. By September, the Houthi had taken control of much of Sana’a, and in February 2015 dissolved Parliament and replaced the Government with a presidential council. Houthis claimed the council will fill the presidential vacuum for two years. The move was widely condemned as a coup by other parties and Yemen’s neighbour countries. UN-chaired negotiations commenced on 9 February. Negotiations yielded agreement by the Houthis to an interim legislative authority on 21 February, according the UN. The House of Representatives, made up overwhelmingly of MPs thought to be sympathetic to the Houthis, will stay in place. The upper house will be replaced by a transitional council of traditionally unrepresented sectors among Yemen's formerly independent South, women, and young people (Al Jazeera, 21/02/2015).
The Prime Minister and President Hadi’s cabinet continue to be effectively under house arrest. Hadi left Sanaa on 21 February, for the city of Aden (AFP, 21/02/2015). Hadi rescinded his resignation of January (Reuters, 21/02/2015). Powerful tribes in Marib have urged Hadi to declare Aden, which was the capital of South Yemen, the temporary capital of Yemen (AFP, 26/02/2015).
Most governorate level offices are reported to be functioning (UNICEF, 29/01/2015). Analysts doubt that it is viable for the Houthis to govern Yemen alone (AFP, 08/02/2015). Southern and southeastern governorates (Aden, Abyan, Lahj, Shabwah, Al Dahle’e and Hadramaut) have rejected the takeover,. Anti-Houthi protests have continued, with demonstrations in Sanaa, Taizz, Hudayda, Dhammar, Daleh and Aden. On 8 February, the Houthi-controlled interior ministry banned all unauthorised anti-Houthi protests (AFP, 08/02/2015).
Southern Movement (Al Hirak)
Various leaders of southern provinces announced their secession following events in Sanaa in January. As none speak for the entire region, there are fears of fighting among southerners (Reuters, 25/01/2015).
Rallies in the south calling for secession had gained momentum since October due to the developments in the capital and northern governorates (Yemen Times, 19/10/2014; AFP, 01/01/2015). The Southern Movement’s two existing councils merged in October to represent all southerners, calling for the south’s full independence, a federal and parliamentary political system, the restoration of the legitimacy of Ali Salem Al Beidh, president of South Yemen before 1990, and his appointment as president of the south (Yemen Times, 28/10/2014).
Oil production represents over 70% of total government revenue. Production was suspended in January in the major oil-producing governorates of Shabwah and Hadramaut, and is likely to be disrupted in Marib. Saudi Arabia and other regional partners have suspended much of their assistance to Yemen, placing further pressure on government revenue (FEWSNET, 18/02/2015).
Oil revenues had already declined almost 30% between January 2013 and January 2014 (Yemen Central Bank, 02/2014). In July 2014, the Government increased the price of petrol by 60% and diesel by 95%. Observers have warned that the economy will continue to decline if the Government cannot protect pipelines. Attacks on oil pipelines are regularly reported (Al Jazeera).
International media report that violence resulted in more than 1,500 deaths in 2014, a 150% increase on 2013 (USAID, 13/02/2015). According to the Ministry of Health, more than 100 people have been killed and over 300 wounded since the beginning of 2015 (WHO, 16/02/2015).
The inability of internally divided state forces to check the Houthis' ascent or dampen sectarianism has galvanised separatist groups (Reuters, 09/11/2014). AQAP, Al Qaeda’s powerful Yemeni branch, backed by Sunni tribesmen, have fought to halt the Houthis’ advance (AFP, 20/10/2014).
The Houthis, also referred to as Ansarullah, are based in Sa’ada governorate. Their advance in 2014 has seen fighting in Al Jawf, Amran, Al Bayda, Dhamar, Ibb, Marib, and Hajjah governorates, as well as Sanaa and Al Hudaydah. On 31 December, Houthis seized Raymah governorate (Yemen Times, 01/01/2015). The Houthis virtually control Ibb governorate, with the exception of Udain, which AQAP and its allies recaptured in October (29/10/2014). Houthis seized the Red Sea port city of Hudaydah in October.
Houthis took control of much of Sanaa in September. Violence persisted despite a peace agreement and an annex covering security and military conditions in Amran, Al Jawf, Marib, and Sanaa governorates, as well as other governorates witnessing violence (Yemen Times, 29/09/2014).
The Houthis have taken up arms before, citing political, economic, and religious marginalisation (Al Jazeera, 16/11/2009).
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and Ansar al Sharia
AQAP, based in the south and east of the country, has expanded its presence in Hadramaut. According to analysts, the Houthi advance has bolstered support for AQAP and Ansar al Sharia: tribes in Ibb and Al Bayda, for example, who are opposed to the Houthi advance, have allied themselves with Ansar al Sharia (Reuters, 09/11/2014). According to the national security service, there are around 1,000 Al Qaeda militants in Yemen from 11 Arab and non-Arab countries (AFP, 17/01/2015).
AQAP regularly targets army and security forces, foreigners for abduction, and oil pipelines. In late December and early January, AQAP targeted several members of the security forces, including in Al Bayda and Shabwah. Yemeni authorities blame AQAP for a campaign of targeted killings in which up to 350 senior army officers have died in the past three years (Reuters, 04/01/2014).
Security Incidents and Conflict Developments
Sanaa: On 7 February, a bomb explosion outside the republican palace wounded three Houthi militia (Reuters, 07/02/2015). Fighting between Houthis and security forces between 19 and 21 January caused the deaths of 35 people, wounded 94, displaced hundreds of families and damaged a hospital (OCHA/IRIN, 20/01/2015). On 7 January, a car bomb hit applicants lining up at a police academy. 37 people were killed and 66 wounded (AFP, 07/01/2015). Reportedly, Houthis have seized a number of key military facilities in late January (AP, 29/01/2015).
The Houthis occupied much of the capital in September. In mid-October they began dismantling protest camps but were still in control of much of the city (Reuters, 19/10/2014). By December, armed Houthi ‘popular committees’ had mushroomed at improvised checkpoints across the city. Houthis have been accused of violently suppressing dissent (IRIN, 03/11/2014). A large attack in October targeted a gathering for Houthi supporters, killing 47 and wounding dozens more. Al Qaeda claimed responsibility (AFP, 09/10/2014). A number of bomb and IED attacks were reported in December (Yemen Times, 08/12/2014).
Aden: On 20 February, a soldier from the special police forces and two members of a local militia were killed in a gunfight (AFP, 20/02/2015).
Al Bayda: According to local officials, an Al Qaeda leader died in clashes with the military on 1 February (AFP, 01/01/2015). Over January, attacks by AQAP and affiliated forces killed at least 15 people and wounded an unknown number (Reuters, 01/02/2015; Yemen Times, 12/01/2015; Reuters/Yemen Times 06/01/2015).
Clashes between Houthis, AQAP and affiliated tribes began in October and intensified in November, with violence mainly centred in Wald Rabi, Al Quraishyah and Rada districts. Over November–December, the governorate witnessed 28 security incidents, a 370% increase over the previous year (31/12/2014). Clashes have involved attacks on schools and hospitals used by the warring parties (AFP, 17/10/2014; 20/10/2014; 08/11/2014).
Abyan: On 31 January, Ansar al Sharia killed two Yemeni soldiers and wounded two others in the city of Abyan. Clashes between the army and the militants also led to the death of at least three Ansar al Sharia, according to local officials (Reuters, 01/02/2015).
Dhamar: On 4 January, four people were killed and 25 wounded in a bomb attack targeting a Houthi gathering in Dhamar city (AFP; Reuters, 04/01/2015).
Ibb: On 21 February, one protester was shot dead and another wounded, during demonstrations against the Houthi takeover of the city of Ibb (Reuters, 21/02/2015). On 1 February, Ansar Al Sharia fighters killed a Houthi commander in the city of Ibb (Reuters, 01/01/2015). On 31 December, 49 people were killed and 70 wounded in a suicide attack on a religious celebration by Houthi supporters in Ibb city (AFP, 01/01/2015).
Hadramaut: On 20 February, a bomb attack targeted an army general on a road between the main towns of Sayun and Shibam. One soldier was killed and four were wounded (AFP, 20/02/2015). On 9 December, a suicide attack on the headquarters of the First Military Command in Seyoun killed at least five people, according to officials (Al Jazeera, 09/12/2014).
Lahj: On 30 January, Ansar Al Sharia reportedly shot an army officer (Reuters, 01/01/2015).
Marib: On 22 January, two tribesmen were killed and six wounded in an ambush by Houthi militias in Naqil al Watada, an area between Marib and Sanaa. Several Houthis were also killed, according to sources. Abdul Malik al Houthi had previously threatened to take control of Marib, which supplies electricity and fuel to most of Yemen (AFP, 22/01/2015).
Sunni tribes in Marib are heavily armed and have been mobilised to resist Houthi advances (AFP, 22/01/2015). A large influx of armed tribesmen have entered the governorate since 10 January. Reinforcements from Al Jawf, Al Bayda, and Sa’ada governorates are joining local tribes to defend the governorate against possible Houthi assaults. According to tribal sources, upwards of 30,000 armed tribesmen are stationed in Sahil area (Yemen Times, 12/01/2015). On 1 January, clashes broke out in the city of Marib between tribesmen and government troops, whom the tribesmen suspected to be Houthi supporters. (Al Jazeera, 02/01/2015). On 14 December, AQAP claimed an attack which killed a leading General People’s Congress figure, accusing him of supporting Houthis (Yemen Times, 16/12/2014).
Taizz: Anti-Houthi demonstrators gathered in Yemen's third city Taizz on 26 January, according to sources (AFP, 26/01/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Extreme access constraints prevail in Hadramaut, Shabwah and Marib governorates (OCHA, 22/12/2014). On 21 January, it was reported that Aden had shut its airport, seaport and entrances to the city, in a bid to back President Hadi’s rule (AFP, 21/01/2015; 22/01/2015).
The ongoing fuel crisis and insecurity are slowing humanitarian operations and access. Road closures further hamper aid deliveries.
Several waves of conflict, lack of access, and the fluidity of displacement all make it extremely difficult to estimate new displacements and needs.
In 2015, an estimated 915,000 refugees and migrants will require multi-sector humanitarian assistance – an increase of 16% on 2014’s estimate (OCHA, 22/12/2014).
As of end of December, there were 334,000 IDPs in Yemen (OCHA, 22/12/2014). The vast majority are hosted in five governorates: Sa’ada (103,014 people); Hajjah (88,603 people); Amran (71,548 people); Sanaa (46,228 people); and Al Jawf (24,700) (OCHA, 11/2014).
90% of IDPs are estimated to live outside camps (OCHA, 3/09/2014; Global CCCM Cluster, 27/03/2014).
Over 2014, localised conflicts displaced approximately 100,000 Yemenis – most returned home within days, according to the UN. These conflicts were primarily associated with the movement of Houthi forces into new areas, including Amran, Al Bayda, Al Jawf, Marib, Sanaa, and Ibb governorates (USAID, 13/02/2015).
Around 800,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants require humanitarian assistance. Over January, an estimated 2,750 migrants and refugees from the Horn of Africa arrived in Yemen, the large majority of them Ethiopians (Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, 31/01/2015). In 2014, nearly 91,600 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants arrived in Yemen, a 40% increase compared to 2013, according to IOM. More than 71,000 people arrived from Ethiopia and more than 19,600 from Somalia (USAID, 13/02/2015). As of end November, 82,680 refugees and migrants had arrived in Yemen in 2014 (OCHA, 31/12/2014).
At least 2,000 Syrians refugees have been registered in Yemen since August. The total number of Syrians in Yemen is estimated to be more than 10,000 (OCHA, 5/11/2014). There has been a marked increase in arrivals of refugees and migrants from Africa, in excess of 10,500 people in August. Border controls have been relaxed between Ethiopia and Somalia since early 2014 (OCHA 29/09/2014). Over 240,000 Somali refugees are living in precarious conditions either in the only refugee camp, Kharaz, or in urban areas. One million undocumented Ethiopian migrants also live in Yemen (ECHO, 27/08/2014: UNHCR, 12/2014, ECHO, 09/02/2015). Ethiopians account for the largest group of new arrivals, with 5,900 now registered as refugees (ECHO, 09/02/2015).
During October, IOM recorded 25,940 Yemeni returnees at the Al Tuwal border crossing point between Yemen and Saudi Arabia (IOM, 14/11/2014). Between January 2013 and September 2014, 936,408 Yemenis returned from Saudi Arabia, as the Saudi Government restricted the activities of foreign workers (OCHA, 30/11/2014). Most returnees have acute humanitarian needs.
At the end of November, 215,400 IDPs had returned home (OCHA, 31/12/2014). Returnees were located in Abyan (138,631), Sa’ada (68,618) and Al Bayda (8,155) (OCHA, 31/12/2014).
The food security situation shows a slight improvement since 2011. Nonetheless, 5 million people are severely food insecure (WFP, 31/12/2014). Nearly half of the rural population and over one quarter of the urban population are food insecure (Comprehensive Food Security Survey, 11/2014).
Sa’ada, Hajjah, Shabwah, Abyan and Lahj are in Phase 4 (Emergency), while Hudaydah, Rayma, Al Dhale’e, Al Bayda, Ibb, Taiz, Al Mahweet, Sana’a (rural), Marib, Dhamar, Amran and Al Jawf are in Phase 3 (Crisis). Sa’ada governorate has the country’s most food insecure areas; more than 40% are of the governorate’s population severely food insecure (Comprehensive Food Security Survey, 11/2014).
Crisis levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) are expected in the country between January and June (FEWSNET, 12/2014). Emergency levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 4) are expected in Shabwah, Abyan, Sa’ada, Hajjah and Lahj governorates over January- June 2015 (IPC, OCHA, 22/12/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Insecurity is hampering agricultural activity as well as agricultural assistance programmes (FAO cited in OCHA, 08/10/2014).
Food supply is expected to remain stable in the early months of 2015 (WFP, 31/12/2014). Yemen imports up to 90% of its main staple foods, including wheat and sugar. Continued instability, currency depreciation, and low foreign reserve levels have all contributed to costlier food imports and higher local commodity prices (WFP, 31/07/2014).
The declining supply of cooking gas led to a 30–40% increase in prices in January. Shortages may worsen if the current political tension in Marib deteriorates, as this governorate supplies cooking gas to Sana’a and other central and northern governorates (FEWSNET, 18/02/2015).
The conflict in Sanaa has disrupted livelihoods and hurt the local economy (Yemen Times, 06/11/2014).
The loss of remittances due to the expulsion of Yemeni migrant workers from Saudi Arabia is likely to have a severe impact on the lives of thousands of families (ECHO, 27/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
An estimated 8.6 million people have limited access to health services (OCHA, 09/09/2014). Qualified medical staff are in short supply, as is medical equipment.
Limited access to essential health care services as a consequence of ongoing conflict have increased the risk of higher morbidity and mortality from mass casualty events and common diseases (diarrhoea, respiratory infections and vaccine-preventable diseases) in areas such as Al Bayda, Marib, Taizz and Aden.
Over 2015, an estimated 7,500 children are expected to contract vaccine-preventable diseases with serious consequences. 400,000 children are estimated to need psychosocial support due to the humanitarian situation (UNICEF, 29/01/2015).
The number of acutely malnourished children under the age of five has fallen from an estimated one million at the end of 2013 to just over 840,000 in 2014, according to the Nutrition Cluster. In the same period, the number of severely acutely malnourished children declined from 279,000 to about 170,000. However, more than one in ten children is still acutely malnourished, with boys more affected than girls (Comprehensive Food Security Survey, 11/2014).
National GAM has slightly improved: 12.7% of under five children are malnourished compared to 13% in 2011 (OCHA, 31/08/2014; FEWSNET, 16/09/2014). The Comprehensive Food Security Survey shows that GAM has improved considerably in Al Hudaydah, Aden, Lahj, Marib, Al Dhale’e, Hadramaut and Al Bayda; but severely deteriorated in Taizz, Ibb, Dhamar and Al Maharah, due to various factors including poor water and sanitation conditions, poor food consumption habits, and scarce health facilities. In early February, 61 out of 333 districts in Yemen were reported to have critical levels of GAM (over 15%) and another 105 with serious levels (10–14.9% GAM) (OCHA, 14/02/2015).
An estimated 13.1 million people do not have access to safe water (OCHA, 09/09/2014), 12.1 million are without access to improved sanitation, and 4.4 million lack access to adequate sanitation (OCHA, 28/02/2014).). An estimated 68,000 IDPs, many of whom are in protracted displacement, and their host communities in Hajjah require WASH assistance. About 9,000 people (1,500 families) affected by conflict in Al Jawf over August–September need WASH assistance (OCHA, 14/02/2015). Open defecation remains standard practice for more than 20% of the population and appears to be higher for young children (UNICEF 2014
In 2015, 1.1 million people affected by conflict or other disasters will require education services, including provision of education or rehabilitation of schools, among other things (OCHA, 22/12/2014). Over 350 damaged schools require rehabilitation or reconstruction, affecting some 72,000 children (Yemen Times, 04/11/2014).
Nationwide, an estimated 2.5 million children are not in school (OCHA, 04/2014). 69% of the estimated 1.14 million 6–14 year-olds not in school are girls (UNICEF cited in Yemen Times, 04/11/2014).
Conflict in Sanaa has raised critical protection concerns regarding systematic violations of human rights and international humanitarian law (OCHA, 08/10/2014).
Protesters against the Houthi takeover have been illegally detained and tortured, according to several reports. One protester was reported dead on 14 February, after sustaining severe injuries while being detained by Houthi militias (AFP, 14/02/2015; Amnesty, 16/02/2015).
Over January, 1,490 migrants and refugees arriving in Yemen were reportedly abducted. 234 were women. A further 243 migrants and refugees reported being physically assaulted and 63 reported robbery or extortion (RMMS, 31/01/2015).
Due to their marginalisation, the Mumasheen minority has higher humanitarian needs than the average population (UNICEF, 20/02/2015).
In 2015, an estimated 3.9 million children are living in areas where violations of their rights constitute a serious risk. Of these, an estimated 2.6 million are in need of child protection services (OCHA, 22/12/2014). In December 2014, at least 83 children were reportedly killed or maimed because of armed conflict (UNICEF, 28/01/2015).
The Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict has reported that Houthis, Ansar al Sharia, AQAP and state forces are all recruiting children (01/10/2014). Child recruitment by armed forces and armed groups was also reported during the Amran conflict (UNICEF, 31/07/2014). Armed children guard checkpoints throughout Sa’ada, Ibb, Hudaydah, and Amran (UNICEF, 31/12/2014; 20/01/2015). In January, the UN verified 27 cases of children aged 14–17 manning Houthi checkpoints (UNICEF, 29/01/2015).
About 100,000 people are predicted to require support related to gender-based violence in 2015. GBV in Yemen remains critically under-reported. From January to mid-October 2014, 8,300 GBV cases were reported (OCHA, 22/12/2014). In the first half of 2014, 285 cases of gender-based violence were reported in Aden (OCHA, 05/06/2014).
Mines and ERW
Landmines and explosive remnants of war are a major concern in the northern governorates. There were several incidents repored in Sanaa, Sa’ada, Al Dhale’e, Amanat Al Asimah and Ibb in September and October (UNICEF, 31/10/2014).
In 2013, there were 49 casualties from mines or ERW, including 40 children (Landmine & Cluster Munition Monitor, 19/11/2014).
20 February: The US has sent military equipment to Cameroon to support the fight against Boko Haram (VoA, 20/02/2015).
- 2.1 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 17/12/2014).
- 280,000 refugees have arrived and been registered from CAR and Nigeria (OCHA, 30/01/2015).
- Cameroon hosts approximately 50,000 Nigerian refugees (UNHCR, 01/02/2015).
- The 2011–2012 drought impact continues, with 615,000 people in the north at risk of food insecurity and malnutrition (WFP, 2014).
Conflict in both Nigeria and CAR continues to displace vulnerable refugees to Cameroon, and the spillover from the Boko Haram conflict in Nigeria in particular threatens security in Cameroon. 2.1 million people, 10% of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance, primarily in the Far North, North, Adamawa, and East regions.
Boko Haram Attacks
The armed Islamist group Boko Haram (BH), based in Nigeria, has intensified attacks in neighbouring Cameroon since the beginning of the dry season at the end of December (ECHO, 06/01/2015). The number of security incidents had already increased drastically over 2013–2014, as BH targeted villages with more sophisticated weapons taken from the Nigerian army (UNICEF, 08/2014). While attacks are still concentrated in the Far North region, they have spread southward. Authorities in the Far North region have imposed a curfew and banned vehicle and motorcycle movement at night (IRIN, 15/08/2014). BH began its campaign of armed violence in northeastern Nigeria in 2009.
In mid-December, hundreds of BH had crossed into Far North region from Lake Chad, ransacking towns and villages and stealing livestock. BH also attacked military vehicles in Amchide (Reuters, 18/12/2014; VoA, 13/12/2014). At the end of December, BH sent up to 1,000 fighters into Cameroon. They took control of the military base in Achigachia and five villages in the Far North region, prompting Cameroon’s first airstrike against BH (BBC, 29/12/2014). BH carried out a cross-border raid on a military base in the northern town of Kolofata on 12 January (Daily Mail, 14/01/2015).
Hundreds were killed in fighting in October and November. In early December, following reports of increasing recruitment of Cameroonian youth into BH, Cameroon announced it will recruit 20,000 more defence and security forces to fight the militants (VoA, 02/12/2014). The United States has announced it will supply equipment and logistics training to the Cameroonian military to aid the campaign (VoA, 12/12/2014). The Chadian Government has also pledged to support Cameroon in fighting BH (Daily Mail, 14/01/2015).
20 passengers were kidnapped from a bus in the Far North region on 8 February (BBC, 09/02/2015). On 4 February, an attack on Fotokol left 70 civilians dead and infrastructure burned (AFP, 04/02/2015). Ten people were killed by Boko Haram in Achigachia between 27 and 28 January (AFP, 29/01/2015). At least 80 people were kidnapped and three killed in a cross-border raid on 18 January, with 24 hostages subsequently freed. The raid was in response to Chad’s troop deployment to combat BH (Al Jazeera, 19/01/2015). On 11 January, at least 143 BH fighters were killed during an attack on a military camp in Cameroon (Reuters, 13/01/2015). On 3 January, Boko Haram attacked a bus in the department of Logone-et-Chari, killing at least 11 people and injuring ten (VOA, 03/01/2015).
The security situation is unstable in East region due to the conflict in CAR. Armed violence between anti-balaka militia from CAR and Cameroonian forces in late November caused displacement (OCHA, 04/12/2014; local media, 21/11/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
2.1 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 17/12/2014).
The limited number of humanitarian actors involved in the response in the Far North has made comprehensive humanitarian intervention almost impossible.
The delivery of aid is complicated by the low presence of humanitarian actors in Cameroon (OCHA, 17/12/2014).
Bad road conditions delay the provision of assistance.
The deterioration of the security situation has made access to the Far North extremely difficult. UN agencies have only been undertaking priority activities such as assisting refugees and some host communities, according to WFP (IRIN, 15/08/2014). Organisations like UNHCR do not have access to certain localities where refugees are present due to heightened insecurity (UNHCR, 25/01/2015).
As of September, there are 291,000 refugees in Cameroon (OCHA, UNHCR, and partners, 09/2014). It is estimated that 50,000 people have been displaced in the Northern regions (OCHA, 14/01/2015). As attacks increase, people are moving toward central Cameroon (OCHA, 06/01/2015).
Refugees from the Central African Republic
As of 30 January, 241,000 CAR refugees are in Cameroon: 135,000 have arrived since December 2013 (OCHA, 30/01/2015). But the border is open and extensive, and there are refugees who cross without being registered. In January 2015, it was reported that the influx of CAR refugees has dropped from 10,000 per week to 8,000. 600 people fled to Gbiti, eastern Cameroon, due to ex-Seleka attacks on 29 January (OCHA, 03/02/2015). The drop in numbers has been attributed to the dire physical condition of CAR refugees preventing them reaching the border (VoA, 06/01/2015).
Close to 60% of newly arrived refugees are children, 20% of whom are under five years of age. 96% of refugees are Muslim. The refugees are spread across the East (95,075), Adamawa (23,060), Douala (3,820), Yaounde (3,540), and the North (3,540) (UNHCR, 31/08/2014).
59,160 refugees have been transferred to sites. In the East: 10,750 in Lolo, 17,540 in Gado, 9,700 in Mbile, 5,900 in Timangolo, and 760 in Ngari-Singo. In Adamawa: 11,380 in Borgop and 3,120 in Ngam (UNHCR, 19/09/2014).
In most locations, the number of refugees and third-country nationals exceeds the local population. Host communities and refugees are competing over already inadequate resources and living conditions have become very difficult for host communities (FAO, 11/12/2014).
Refugees from Nigeria
50,000 Nigerians are estimated to have fled to northern Cameroon since May 2013. The number of pre-registered refugees doubled from 20,000 to 40,000 in just 21 days in February (UNHCR, 22/01/2015; 25/01/2015; 01/02/2015; VoA, 23/02/2015).
31,200 refugees have been registered in Minawao camp, in the Far North region (UNHCR, 25/01/2015; 01/02/2015). The camp’s maximum capacity is 15,000, and the population was only 6,000 in August 2014. The rapid growth in population has put health and education services under severe strain, with water use restricted to 7 L/person/day (UNHCR cited by IRIN 06/10/2014; AFP, 15/11/2014; FAO, 05/11/2014; UNHCR, 25/01/2015; VoA, 23/02/2015). The needs among refugees are largely WASH, health, and nutrition-related.
People living outside the camp do not receive humanitarian assistance and lack of identification is a concern.
Returnees and Third-Country Nationals
At least 17,500 third-country nationals are currently living in Garoua Boulai and Kentzou transit sites, or in host communities (UNHCR, 07/2014 and IOM, 25/07/2014; 19/02/2015).
As of January, 1.08 million people are food insecure, mostly in the Far North, North, Adamawa and East regions, with 244,000 in severe food insecurity (OCHA, 17/12/2014; 30/01/2015). 54% of households in the Far North and North regions face shortages. An estimated 34.4% of refugee households from CAR are food insecure (FAO, 11/12/2014).
70% of farmers in the Far North region have deserted their farms during the last six months and missed out on planting (AFP, 28/01/2015). Dryness in the Sahel belt, and the strain of hosting so many refugees, are also affecting food security (ECHO, 06/11/2015).
20.4 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) are expected to suffer from food insecurity in 2015 (OCHA, 10/02/2015). In 2014, food insecurity rose dramatically to 24.7 million food insecure people, compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
As of September 2014, 6.8 million people are in need of health services (IOM, 09/2014).
Cameroon's Far North, North, Adamawa, and East regions suffer chronic shortages of health workers. The concentration of health staff in wealthier areas leaves around 40% of Cameroonians without access to healthcare. 46% of health centres do not have access to electricity and 70% do not have piped water (Inter Press Service, 19/08/2014).
CAR refugees mostly suffer from malnutrition, malaria, and respiratory infections, according to an ECHO needs assessment. A number of measles cases have been reported among child refugees.
In 2014, 3,400 cases of cholera and 178 deaths were reported, compared to 29 cases in 2013 (UNICEF, 24/12/2014; OCHA, 30/01/2015). The outbreak is concentrated in the north (IFRC, 20/10/2014).
Approximately 800 measles cases were reported in 2014 (OCHA, 30/01/2015).
There have been 40% more cases of severe malnutrition in January 2015 compared to the start of 2014 (OCHA, 30/01/2015). There were 54,000 cases of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) among children under five in 2014. Most in Far North, North, Adamawa, and East regions and 132,000 cases of moderate acute malnutrition (MAM) (OCHA, 30/01/2015; UNICEF, 08/2014).).
As of June, up to 30% of refugees from CAR under the age of five were suffering from acute malnutrition: 7–8% of cases were infants under six months and 18% children over five years (UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP).
As of September, two million people were in need of WASH (IOM, 09/2014). Regions affected by the CAR refugee crisis have particularly poor access to drinking water (East: 54% and Adamawa: 70%) and basic sanitation (East: 22% and Adamawa: 64%) (UNICEF, 05/08/2014). The quantity of water provided per day to refugees remains at 6.5 litres in Minawao camp (UNHCR, 25/01/2015; 01/02/2015).
At least 130 schools have been closed near the country’s northern border with Nigeria, according to the Government. In 2014, more than 200 trained teachers did not take up their posts in the Far North region (IRIN, 01/12/2014). Most students have left the area for safer places in the country’s interior (VoA, 25/11/2014). With some schools either destroyed or occupied by BH, the Government has said it will relocate populations to more secure areas (Voice of America, 08/09/2014).
Only a small number of CAR refugee children reportedly attend public schools in host communities (UNHCR, 07/2014).
Chad Country Analysis
21 February: Following the Ngouboua attack by Boko Haram on 13 February, 5,000 IDPs have sought refuge in Baga Sola (OCHA, 21/02/2015).
20 February: Chad plans to provide military support to fight Boko Haram until 9 March (20/02/2015).
- 5.5 million affected by a humanitarian crisis, including 2.2 million children (UNICEF, 10/11/2014).
- 460,000 refugees in Chad, including 93,474 CAR refugees at November, 20,000 of whom have arrived since December 2013 (UNHCR, 02/11/2014; 19/12/2014).
- 2.6 million Chadians are food insecure. 681,000 were considered to be severely food insecure during the lean season (OCHA, 28/01/2015).
Regional Military Involvement
In January, the Chadian Government pledged to support the fight against Boko Haram (Daily Mail, 14/01/2015). Between 31 January and 2 February, Chadian forces aided Nigerian security forces reclaim several towns in Borno state (AP, 03/02/2015; VoA, 01/02/2015). On 8 February, Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad and Benin agreed to send a joint force of 8,700 troops to fight Boko Haram (10/02/2015). Chad will continue providing support until 9 March (OCHA, 20/02/2015).
Chad withdrew its troops from the African Union Peacekeeping Force in CAR in April 2014, after accusations of violence against civilians. Chad denies the charges.
International Presence in Chad
In August, France deployed a 3,000-strong counterterrorism operation across the Sahel region based in Chad. Operation Barkhane is active in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger (local media, 01/08/2014).
Boko Haram Attacks
Boko Haram launched its first attack in Chad, killing at least ten and burning Ngouboua, by Lake Chad, where some 7,000 Nigerians have taken refuge (Aljazeera, 14/02/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
5.5 million people are affected by humanitarian crisis, including 2.2 million children; 3.2 million need humanitarian assistance (UNICEF, 10/11/2014; OCHA, 31/08/2014; 28/01/2015).
Chad’s President Idriss Déby announced in May that the southern border with CAR would be closed to all except Chadian citizens until the CAR crisis is resolved. Concerns over reports of refusal of refugee entry have been raised. The Government deployed additional security forces to the border, after expressing concern that armed fighters might be infiltrating refugee populations in the area.
Nearly 90,000 IDPs are living in protracted displacement in the east, facing difficulties accessing shelter, land, and income-generating activities (OCHA, 19/11/2013). The arrival of CAR refugees since December 2013 is further increasing competition for scarce resources (IDMC, 24/10/2014).
As of 10 February, Chad hosts 515,000 refugees from Sudan, CAR, Nigeria, and DRC (OCHA, 10/02/2015). Of those, 367,000 are Sudanese (UNHCR), 94,000 are from CAR (UNHCR, 13/02/2015), 17,600 are Nigerian (IOM, 23/02/2015), and 36,500 from DRC.
Most refugees are in Wadi Fira (157,500), Ouaddai (114,350), Sila (84,650), and Logone Oriental (47,500), while 22,750 are in Dosseye camp, and 26,420 in Belom camp, Moyen Chari, and 3,000 in Dar es Salam camp in the Lac region (UNHCR, 28/01/2015; 02/11/2014; OCHA, 08/02/2015).
The Chadian Prime Minister has appealed for international aid for Nigerian refugees (Reuters, 08/01/2015). More than 15,000 have entered Chad since 3 January (OCHA, 21/02/2015). Some 6,900 remain stranded on small islands on Lake Chad, where they are living with host communities (OCHA, 21/02/2015). Resources are limited for both refugees and host communities, especially food, shelter, and essential household items (OCHA, 12/01/2015). At least 37,000 people in host communities are affected by the influx of refugees (OCHA, 19/01/2015).
There are approximately 257,000 returnees in Chad, including 130,000 from CAR and 100,000 Chadian migrants returning from Libya (OCHA, 10/02/2015; 31/12/2014).
There are 8,500 Chadian returnees from Nigeria in Lac region (OCHA, 21/02/2015).
Returnees from CAR
As of 2 October, there are 113,500 returnees from CAR (IOM, 16/02/2015). Although the Chad–CAR border remains officially closed, people continue to arrive at a number of points and are in a very vulnerable condition (UNHCR, 07/2014). 92% of arrivals lack any form of identity documentation (OCHA, 16/07/2014).
Returnees in the southeast – 7,000 have been identified in Salamat – are less targeted by humanitarian assistance and have little means of subsistence (ICRC, 19/11/2014).
90% of evacuees are in camps (OCHA, 15/10/2014). The Government has increased the maximum stay in transit centres from ten days to one year to allow the restoration of family links and better prepare relocation (OCHA, 30/09/2014).
The situation in southern transit sites is critical.
7,600 people are estimated to be in Kobitey transit site (IOM, 06/10/2014). Urgent humanitarian needs are reported in all sectors; 1,200 shelters are needed (OCHA, 15/10/2014).
The intention is to relocation people from Sido and Doyaba to Maingama temporary site. 17,400 returnees remain in Sido transit site as of February 2015 (IOM, 16/02/2015). At 1 December, almost 5,900 returnees were still in Doyaba (IOM, 01/12/2014). As of 5 January, 12,600 returnees, third-county nationals and CAR refugees had been transferred from Doyaba and Sido to Maingama (IOM, 05/01/2015).
Maingama temporary camp in Moyen Chari, hosts 15,910 returnees, and does not have sufficient shelter and WASH capacity to host the entire population of Doyaba and Sido sites (IOM, 16/02/2015; OCHA, 18/09/2014; 25/10/2014). Work is under way to increase the hosting capacity to 30,000 people (OCHA, 30/09/2014).
Danamadja temporary site, in Logone Oriental, has reached its current maximum capacity with over 11,000 inhabitants, although only 40% of the camp is completed (OCHA, 16/02/2014).
30% extra shelters are needed in Gaoui sites, in Zafaye, close to N’Djamena, where 4,250 returnees were hosted as of mid-October (OCHA, 30/09/2014; 15/10/2014).
Over 25,000 people who entered Chad since the CAR crisis are living in small villages and remote communities throughout the south, including 22 villages in Mandoul and Logone Oriental hosting around 15,000 returnees (OCHA, 30/09/2014). Pressure on resources is high and conditions are poor, with urgent need for shelter, food, health, WASH and livelihood support. 3,480 CAR arrivals in Bether have increased the population by five times, putting pressure on access to water, education, and shelter (UNHCR, 30/11/2014).
2.4 million people in Chad are food insecure (OCHA, 10/02/2015).
Between January and March 2015, poor households will depend on market purchases and reduced food consumption resulting in Stressed food security conditions (IPC Phase 2) (FEWSNET, 31/01/2015). Early exhaustion of food stocks due to deficits in Wadi Fira, Guera, east Batha, Kanem, and Bahr El Ghazel in the Sahel strip, are likely to put poor households in these areas in Stressed conditions (IPC Phase 2) from February (FEWSNET, 25/10/2014). Refugees and returnees are putting pressure on household demand, consumption, and spending in Logone Oriental, Moyen Chari, Mandoul, and Salamat (WFP, 07/2014).
Refugees: Funding difficulties and cuts to transport budgets have forced WFP and UNHCR to severely cut food rations for refugees since 1 July 2014 (international media, 12/09/2014; WFP, 14/08/2014). Some 300,000 refugees, primarily from Darfur and CAR, are reported to be among the worst affected.
Regional Outlook: Sahel
20.4 million people in the Sahel are expected to suffer from food insecurity in 2015 (10/01/2015). In 2014, food insecurity rose dramatically to 24.7 million food insecure people, compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2015).
Health and Nutrition
2.5 million people are in need of healthcare (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Only 34% of children under one have been vaccinated in returnee sites in eastern Chad (UNICEF, 10/11/2014).
In 2014, 172 cases of cholera were reported (OCHA, 17/12/2014), including two deaths, compared to two cases in 2013 (UNICEF, 10/12/2014).
97,000 children suffer from SAM while 257,000 suffer from MAM, a slight fall on the numbers reported in October 2014 (OCHA, 10/02/2015). In September, Kanem, Bahr El Ghazel, Gera, and Wadi Fira all reported GAM above the emergency threshold of 15% (OCHA, 19/09/2014).
1.3 million people are in need of WASH assistance: only 50% of the population has access to safe water and 12% to adequate sanitation (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Access to primary and secondary education is a need in Danamadja, Kobitey, and Djako sites (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
An assessment on child refugees from Nigeria showed that 72% of the 296 school-aged children identified had never been to school (OCHA, 21/02/2015).
Sexual and Gender-based Violence
A trend of increasing SGBV incidents has been noted in Doyaba, Maingama, and Kobitey camps; 28 incidents were recorded 15 September–15 October 2014 (OCHA, 25/10/2015).
Family reunification is a major protection challenge (OCHA, 25/10/2014). Over 600 unaccompanied minors and separated children and 44 children associated with armed groups were reported among the CAR returnee population between December 2013 and August 2014, according to UNICEF (OCHA, 31/08/2014). Only 59% of identified unaccompanied and separated children had been reunited with their families as of mid-November (UNICEF, 10/11/2014).
Second and third-generation Chadians from CAR have been recognised as de facto nationals by the Government, and UNHCR is working with authorities to formalise recognition and avoid statelessness. The Government will provide birth certificates to every child born in a transit site (UNHCR, 07/2014).
22 February: The Colombian army said they killed six ELN fighters in Catatumbo, Norte de Santander department. This comes following a number of recent attacks and kidnappings by the armed group (local media, 22/02/2015).
- 4.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 20/01/2015).
- Estimated 224,324 IDPs (OCHA, 31/01/2015).
- 262,000 people are trapped in their communities due to armed violence (OCHA, 20/01/2015).
- Approximately 1.5 million people are affected by natural disasters (flood, wind, heat wave, drought) every year (OCHA, 20/01/2015).
Five decades of armed violence coupled with the country’s frequent natural disasters have had serious humanitarian consequences. Forced displacement, landmine contamination, as well as gender-based violence are among the major concerns. For rural communities, movement restrictions by armed groups limit access to basic health services, crops and labour markets.
Colombia’s armed conflict has spanned five decades, pitting the central government against armed groups such as the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) and the National Liberation Army (ELN). Created by landless peasants, the FARC-EP stated aim is to “end social, political, and economic inequalities”. The ELN was founded on Marxist-Leninist ideals (In Sight Crime). Attempts at peace negotiations in the 1980s and 1998-2000 failed. The latest FARC-EP–Government peace negotiations began in November 2012 in Havana, Cuba. Agreements have been reached on agrarian reform, political participation, and illicit drugs. Negotiations resumed on 2 February and will focus on the end of the armed conflict (World Bulletin, 20/01/2014; AFP, 02/02/2015). The U.S. named special envoy Bernard Aronson to the Colombian peace negotiations (Reuters, 20/02/2015).
The intensity of the armed conflict has decreased substantially since peace negotiations began in 2012. Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration programmes have been operational since 2003: 56,903 people have been demobilised from armed groups, including 47,770 people who have gone through reintegration programmes with the Colombian Reintegration Agency (Government, 16/12/2014).
Nonetheless, violence and insecurity persist, including kidnappings and extortion by armed groups and BACRIM.
On 20 December 2014, FARC-EP announced a unilateral ceasefire (Washington Office on Latin America, 2014).
FARC-EP: The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia – People’s Army (FARC-EP) is the oldest left-wing militant group in Colombia. It was formed in 1964 by the Colombian Communist Party as a result of rural unrest from fighting between the liberal and conservative parties. Approximately 7,000 fighters make up the FARC-EP today, which allegedly makes between USD 500 and 600 million in profits from the illicit drug trade (UNRIC 2013; BBC 29/08/2013). The FARC-EP has been active throughout the country, but especially in Arauca, Meta, Norte de Santander, Cauca and Antioquia. In November 2012, the group joined peace negotiations with the Government.
ELN: The National Liberation Army is a left-wing militant group formed in 1965 and composed of 1,500 fighters. On 7 January, it stated that it intended to join the peace talks and would consider disarmament (AFP, 07/01/2015; BBC, 07/01/2015). The ELN have been active in Arauca, Norte de Santander, Nariño and Cauca Departments (Kienyke, 2013). The Colombian army said they killed six ELN fighters in Catatumbo, Norte de Santander department following a number of recent attacks and kidnappings by the group (local media, 22/02/2015).
Government forces: The Government of Colombia’s strategies to combat non-state armed have been closely linked to eliminating the cultivation of illicit crops in the country, which finance the armed groups.
BACRIM: Criminal gangs (bandas criminales) under the names Black Eagles, Erpac, and Rastrojos, among others, are generally made up of former paramilitary fighters and another former armed group, the United Armed Forces of Colombia (AUC). They are involved in drug-trafficking and extortion throughout the country as well as in Venezuela and Panama, but are particularly active in Antioquia department as well as the Pacific and Caribbean regions (BBC 29/08/2013).
During the fourth quarter of 2014, Antioquia, Cauca, Arauca, Meta and Norte de Santander departments were the most affected by armed activity (OCHA, 07/01/2015).
Since FARC-EP’s unilateral ceasefire in mid-December, the number of violent incidents related to the armed conflict has dropped to levels not seen since the 1980s (Missionary International Service News Agency, 12/01/2015). FARC-EP claimed at the end of January that 20 of its fighters had been killed by the military since FARC-EP’s ceasefire (AFP, 27/01/2015). On 7 February, the FARC-EP stated that it would be ready to give up its arms and become a political party if the Colombian Government meets its side of recent agreements, which include a bilateral ceasefire, the suspension of investments in mining projects, and the reform of armed forces and state security (El Espectador, 07/02/2015).
The Colombian army said they killed six ELN fighters in Catatumbo, Norte de Santander department following a number of recent attacks and kidnappings by the group (local media, 22/02/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
4.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Colombia, including 1.5 million affected by natural disasters and 262,000 in trapped communities, primarily in Chocó department and made up mostly of indigenous communities and afrocolombians (OCHA 2014; 20/01/2015).
Approximately 262,000 people are trapped and need assistance due to ongoing conflict where they live (OCHA 20/01/2015). In Chocó, an estimated 6,500 people are trapped. The situation is critical for 2,000 (OCHA, 31/01/2015).
Approximately 566,300 people have been affected by drought in the north (OCHA, 22/08/2014). Since the week of 22 December, drought has heightened the propensity of forest fires, cold waves in the high plains, and a decrease in river levels in the Magdalena River between Port Berrio and Port Wilches (El Espectador, 07/01/2015). Over 80 emergencies have been recorded in the departments of Antioquia, Quindio, Santander, and Valle (OCHA, 05/01/2015). 30 hectares of crops have been affected by forest fires in Boyaca department (El Espectador, 18/01/2015).
In Chocó department, 200 drought-affected areas lack proper access to water, food security, and are reporting health issues (OCHA, 15/01/2015).
11,200 Afro-Colombians and indigenous people have been affected by flooding and landslides due to heavy rains in Quibdo, Bojaya, and Alto Baudo (Chocó department) (OCHA, 03/02/2015). 600 people are affected in Circasia and Cordoba municipalities, Quindio department (local media, 10/02/2015).
Colombia has 5.1 million IDPs. In 2014, there were 97,450 new IDPs (OCHA, 20/01/2015). 39% of the IDP caseload between 2012 and June 2014 was concentrated in the Pacific region. In 2014, new displacement was primarily concentrated in Cauca and Chocó (OCHA, 07/01/2015).
Colombian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
400,000 Colombians have sought refuge in neighbouring countries. 900–1,000 are arriving in Ecuador every month; the rate has dropped 30% since 2012 (Nuevo Municipio, 26/11/2014).
1.2 million people are food insecure due to in part to low food production, poverty and internal displacement from conflict (OCHA, 20/01/2015; USAID). Indigenous communities in Nariño are among the most affected. 223,000 people affected by conflict are food insecure, with 557,000 requiring support to receive food assistance (OCHA, 20/01/2015).
Health and Nutrition
Only 30% of victims of the armed conflict have access to healthcare (OCHA, 20/01/2015).
In 2014 there were 88 deaths related to dengue, of 108,290 cases (REC, 15/01/2015).
The city of Medellín, Antioquia Department, declared a health alert after detecting 600 cases of the chikungunya virus. Countrywide, 74,566 cases have been reported as of 7 January, primarily in the Caribbean region (local media, 07/01/2015).
From January to November 2014, 240 children under the age of five died due to malnutrition (RCN, 25/11/2014).
1.1 million people are in need of WASH (OCHA, 20/01/2015). Only 35.5% of the population consumes potable water, with only 15% of rural areas consuming treated water (OCHA, 20/01/2015).
Flooding in Quibdo, Bojaya, and Alto Baudo (Choco department), has caused river sedimentation, cutting off access to water (OCHA, 03/02/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
916,000 people need shelter (OCHA, 20/01/2015). Many of those displaced by armed conflict come from rural areas and have difficulty in re-obtaining rights to their homes upon their return. A legal process is in place in the departments of Atlantico and Magdalena in northern Colombia, though some claimants have received threats from paramilitary groups (Amnesty, 23/01/2015).
One million school-aged children are in need of education; 70% in rural regions and 30% in urban areas (OCHA, 20/01/2015; Enseña por Colombia, 2015). More than 3,000 children living in institutions do not have access to school kits or feeding programmes (OCHA, 20/01/2015).
Afro-Colombians and indigenous peoples are highly vulnerable groups, as they are minorities and generally live in areas more likely to be trapped by conflict (NRC, 09/2014).
In the municipality of San Miguel, Putumayo department, pamphlets distributed by the FARC-EP warn citizens of antipersonnel mines; 1,284 people are unable to fish, hunt, or work regular hours (OCHA, 16/01/2015).
Reports show that since peace negotiations began in 2012, 76% of children fighting with the FARC-EP and 18% with the ELN have been reintegrated into society (UNICEF, 2014).
Gender and Gender-based Violence
52% of displaced women have suffered some type of sexual violence after displacement, according to a study by OHCHR. Women in the Pacific region are particularly affected (NRC, 09/2014).
No new significant developments this week, 17/02/2015. Last update: 10/02/2015.
An estimated 300,000 people need humanitarian assistance, including more than 24,000 refugees (ECHO, 01/08/2014; OCHA, 30/11/2014)
Djibouti plays a significant role in international efforts to combat piracy in the region and restore peace in Somalia. This has led to infrequent reprisal attacks in the past (UNHCR).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Stress on rural livelihoods has triggered movement from rural to peri-urban areas of the capital, putting additional pressure on the delivery of basic services (UN, 12/06/2014).
A lack of access due to insecurity, on top of reductions in assistance, has placed Obock in a particularly precarious situation (FEWSNET, 25/08/2014).
IOM estimates that over 100,000 migrants transit the country every year, heading towards Yemen. Almost 90% are Ethiopian; the rest are usually Somali. Children account for 32% of the migrant population (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).
Migrants arrive in dire conditions and vulnerable to a number of protection issues. A large number need medical assistance, which strains health facilities in Dikhil, Tadjourah, and Obock (IOM, 21/11/2014). Migrants/refugees continue to report lack of access to food and water during their transit through Obock (UNHCR, 12/2014).
A UNICEF report indicated that thousands of families displaced by drought live in illegal settlements, without basic water or sanitation facilities (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).
Refugees in Djibouti
24,430 refugees, the majority of Somali origin, are registered in Djibouti (OCHA, 11/02/2015). 70% of these are women and children who depend entirely on humanitarian assistance and protection services (UNICEF, 15/01/2015). There are also 4,220 asylum-seekers, mostly from Ethiopia (3,230). They reside in two camps: Holl Holl and Ali Addeh (UNHCR, 31/12/2014).
14.5% of households in the country are food insecure and 32% are vulnerable to food insecurity. 14,200 people are in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis), while 56,000 are in IPC Phase 2 (Stressed). The region with the highest food insecurity rate is Obock (58.1%), followed by Dhiuhil (42.3%), Arta (32.5%), Tadjourah (25.6%), and Ali Sabieh (23.8%) (WFP, 13/01/2015).
Due to below-average rainfall throughout 2014, rural populations in the Southeast Pastoral Border, Northwest Pastoral, and Central Pastoral zones are expected to be in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity through June 2015 (FEWSNET, 31/01/2015).
Forecasts for the heys/dadaa rainy season (until March) predict normal levels of rainfall, which could improve access to resources, and provide better food security for rural livelihoods (FEWSNET, 31/01/2015).
In rural areas, one in five people need to walk over half an hour to reach a water source (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).
Health and Nutrition
In 2014, OCHA reported that 300,000 people are in need of healthcare services. There is a high rate of communicable diseases, such as diarrhoeal diseases.
According to OCHA, 277,000 people are in need of nutritional aid, compared to 195,400 in 2013. A food security survey conducted in November 2014 indicated that the more food insecure are suffering from malnutrition, acute diarrhoea, and other diseases (GIEWS, 11/11/2014). In Obock region, acute malnutrition rates have increased from 25.7% in 2014 to 29.9% (UNICEF, 15/01/2015). WHO reported in May that child malnutrition rates in the most affected areas had surpassed the organisation’s emergency thresholds (FEWSNET, 05/2014).
During transit, migrants/refugees are exposed to theft by criminal gangs, and detention by authorities (Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, 31/05/2014). In 2014, 241 migrants were reported dead or missing, compared to 15 in 2013 (IOM, UNHCR, 21/11/2014).
As of January 2015, nearly 41.6% of girls and 33.3% of boys aged 6-10 are out of school (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).
Ethiopia Country Analysis
23 February: Around 23,500 people in drought-affected Legahida and Salahad woredas of Nogob zone (Somali region) are in need of emergency water trucking (OCHA).
23 February: Acute water shortages have also been reported in Deka Siftu woreda of Liben zone (OCHA).
- Armed insurgencies continue to affect Ogaden region, with inter-communal tensions contributing to frequent violence.
- 2.7 million people are in IPC Phase 3 and 4 food insecurity. The most affected regions are Oromia, Somali, Amhara, Tigray, and Afar (15/12/2014, FAO).
- 1.2 million people are in need of improved access to safe water and water sources (UNICEF, 31/10/2014).
- There are 665,881 refugees, mainly from Somalia and South Sudan (UNCHR, 31/01/2015).
- A majority of refugee camps have reached, or are reaching, full capacity. Main concerns include overcrowding, malnutrition, and critical shortfalls in humanitarian aid.
Ethiopia is considered comparatively stable, but deep clan tensions and intra-communal violence persist. Two decades of deadly conflict in the southeastern region of Ogaden have had a severe impact on the Ethiopian Somali population, especially after years of a relatively successful government counter-insurgency campaign. The Government has yet to address the root causes of the violence.
However, weak political opposition, and the Government’s determination to accelerate economic growth all make continued stability likely.
Elections are scheduled for May 2015 (Amnesty International, 22/09/2014). Four opposition party members were arrested in July 2014 for alleged connections with terrorist organisations (Crisis Watch, 01/08/2014). In September, Amnesty International reported violations of civil and political rights. In January, opposition parties reported roadblocks obstructing their efforts to register for the elections (VOA, 14/01/2015).
Participation in Regional Military Operations
Ethiopia has historically been a key player in peacekeeping and counter-terrorism operations in East Africa. Peace talks on the South Sudan conflict, under the mediation of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, are taking place in Addis Ababa. In 2014, Addis also hosted peace talks over conflict in Sudan.
In January 2014, the Government pledged that Ethiopian troops, currently part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) would remain in Somalia until durable peace and security is achieved. The Somali militant group Al Shabaab has repeatedly threatened Ethiopia since Ethiopian troops arrived in Somalia. On 13 October 2013, a bomb blast killed two people in Addis Ababa. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
South Sudanese refugees are arriving only through Pagak and Akobo, as reception centres in Matar and Pamdong have been closed (IOM, 07/01/2015).
After severe flooding affected the region in August, maintenance of the road between Gambella and Nyinyan began on 18 December (UNHCR, 18/12/2014).
The majority of refugees displaced by heavy rains in August and September, which flooded 95% of Leitchuor and most of Nip Nip, self-relocated in different parts of Nyinyang and along Nip Nip–Jakawo corridor and Gambella–Matar highway Leitchuor and Nip Nip way station were dismantled due to the continued risk of flooding and are being rehabilitated.(UNICEF, 15/08/2014; UNHCR, 10/11/2014).
Heavy rains in September also caused flooding in areas of Afar, SNNP, and Somali regions (OCHA, 27/10/2014). More than 100,000 people were affected in Somali region, particularly in Adadle, Argele, Berano, Dollo Ado, Dolo Bay, East and West Imey, Ferfer, Korahe, Kelafo, and Mustahil woredas (OCHA, 10/11/2014).
As of 11 February 2015, Ethiopia had 495,680 IDPs (IOM through OCHA, 11/02/2015), who mostly live in Sumale (Donor, 2014). About 60% of IDPs represent protracted displacement cases (OCHA, 2014).
Refugees in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa (UNHCR, 19/08/2014). As of 31 January, Ethiopia hosts up to 665,881 refugees; mainly Somalis, South Sudanese, Eritreans, and Sudanese (UNHCR, 31/01/2015). South Sudanese account for the biggest refugee population (UNHCR, 20/10/2014). Environmental degradation in camps, the fragile ecosystem, and scarce resources have led to tensions between host communities and refugees in some locations (UNHCR, 20/01/2015).
South Sudanese Refugees
As of 12 February, 195,547 South Sudanese have sought asylum in Ethiopia since December 2013. 57% are female and 67% children, and arriving in critical nutritional condition (UNHCR, 12/02/2014). The daily arrival rate as of 9 February is 73 people, a gradual decline since August 2014 (UNHCR, 09/02/2015). The majority of arrivals come from Upper Nile state and are predominantly from Gajaak, Gajiok, and Luo-Nuer tribes (UNHCR, 03/07/2014). 57,483 South Sudanese refugees were in Ethiopia before December 2013 (UNHCR, 12/02/2015).
Matar reception centre has been closed. As of 5 February, 9,100 of 15,000 refugees had been transferred from Matar to Pugnido (UNHCR, 05/02/2015). The number of refugees volunteering for relocation has been decreasing (IOM, 07/01/2015).
As of January, two sites, Koben, with a capacity of 50,000 and Cholan, with a capacity of 20,000, near Gambella, have been identified and approved for development as refugee camps (UNHCR, 09/01/2015, 15/01/2015).
Eritrea: As of 31 January, Ethiopia hosts 126,363 Eritrean refugees (OCHA, 3101/2015); including 33,000 new arrivals in 2014 (UNHCR, 09/02/2015). There was a spike in daily arrivals in the last quarter of 2014: about 5,000 refugees, mainly from Asmara, arrived in October, and an additional 3,588 in November (OCHA, 24/11/2014). New arrivals are transferred to Hitsat camp, which now hosts 27,560 people (OCHA, 24/11/2014). The recent spike has led to a shortage of health services, shelter, and core relief items. UNHCR has highlighted that the large number of unaccompanied minors is cause for grave protection concern (OCHA, 26/01/2015).
Somalia: As of January 2015, there are 245,326 Somali refugees in Ethiopia. 4,621 arrived in 2014 (UNHCR, 31/01/2015).
Sudan: As of 31 January 2015, there are 35,870 Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia (UNHCR, 31/01/2015).
Ethiopian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 1 July, there are 30,343 Ethiopian refugees in Kenya (10/07/2014, UNHCR).
An estimated 6,820 Ethiopians made their way to Yemen in May, a 31% increase over the number of arrivals in May 2013. They left predominantly for economic reasons and fear of persecution. New arrivals in Yemen have reported cases of arbitrary detention and torture as a result of perceived affiliation to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), and repression premised on political affiliation, given that general elections are scheduled for 2015 in Ethiopia (RMMS, 31/05/2014).
The 2014 meher harvest between October and December has improved food security and nutrition in most parts of the country for the start of 2015 (OCHA, 16/02/2015). In Borema zone of southern Oromia, and northeastern Afar, consecutive seasons of below average rainfall have led to poor rangeland and livestock conditions. Households are likely to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) until the next rainy season in March. From March to May, these areas will be under Stressed conditions (IPC Phase 2), with humanitarian assistance (FEWSNET, 31/01/2015).
In June 2014, an estimated 2.7 million people were in Phase 3 (Crisis) and Phase 4 (Emergency) food insecurity (WFP, 06/2014). The most affected regions are Oromia, Somali, Amhara, Tigray, and Afar. According to UNICEF, 3.2 million people in Ethiopia required emergency food assistance in 2014 (UNICEF, 30/10/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Malaria remains the main public health concern in all refugee camps, followed by respiratory tract infections and diarrhoeal diseases (IFRC 30/12/2014). Monitoring in Gambella region showed critical gaps in medical personnel and supplies, as well as funds for public health clusters (OCHA, 11/08/2014).
In 2014, 302 measles outbreaks were reported in 249 woredas. Oromia, Amhara and SNNP accounted for more than 80% of the total measles caseload. There were 13,301 confirmed cases of measles throughout 2014, and 66% of the cases were children above five years, and 33% children under five. The measles outbreaks have continued in 2015 (OCHA, 23/02/2015).
Malnutrition rates at the start of 2015 have decreased in comparison to previous months, except in woredas that received poor kiremt rains, in North Gonder and Washmira zones of Amhara region (OCHA, 16/02/2015).
As of 1 January, GAM in Leitchuor, Kule, and Tierkidi camps was 25.8%, 28%, and 30.3%, respectively; SAM rates were 5.7%, 7.8%, and 10%, respectively (UNHCR, 01/01/2015).
264,298 children required treatment for severe acute malnutrition between January and October 2014 (UNICEF, 31/10/2014).
1.2 million people are in need of improved access to safe water and water sources (UNICEF, 31/10/2014). In Legahida and Salahad woredas of Nogob zone, in the Somali region, around 24,000 people require emergency water trucking (OCHA, 26/01/2015). Seasonal rains have recently improved water availability in Oromia (OCHA, 08/12/2014).
The ratio of latrines per person in Leitchuor is 1:76, in Pagak 1:76, and in Burbiey 1:103, considerably higher than the UNHCR standard of 1:50 (UNHCR, 01/11/2014). Water supply is meeting UNHCR standards of 20L per person per day, except Tierkidi, where water supply is at 13L per person per day (UNHCR, 30/01/2014).
In late February, around 23,500 people in drought-affected Legahida and Salahad woredas of Nogob zone (Somali region) are in need of emergency water trucking. Acute water shortages have also been reported in Deka Siftu woreda of Liben zone (OCHA, 23/02/2015).
As of 31 January 2015, 33,772 unaccompanied minors and separated children were identified among the refugee population (UNHCR, 31/01/2015).
In December women have been more susceptible to attacks and assaults outside Leitchuor refugee camp, as lack of firewood and cooking gas forces them to travel further in search of wood (UNHCR, 11/12/2014).
No significant developments this week 25/02/2015. Last update 07/01/2015.
- Almost 290,000 people are in need of healthcare (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
- 202,500 people are food insecure and in need of food assistance. 49,000 children are acutely malnourished (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Political and Security Context
On 30 December, an attempted coup was reported as gunfire was heard outside the presidential palace in the capital Banjul while President Yahya Jammeh was out of the country (UN, 01/01/2015). Gambian security forces went door-to-door in the capital in search of coup participants (AFP, 01/01/2015). The situation in Banjul has since calmed.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
289,200 people are in need of humanitarian assistance, given increasing commodity prices, resurgence of epidemics, and limited access to basic social services (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
Refugees in the Gambia
As of September 2014, around 9,500 refugees, mostly Senegalese from the Casamance region, live in the Gambia (OCHA, 31/08/2014). Smaller numbers of refugees come from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo.
265,500 people are food insecure and in need of food assistance (OCHA, 10/02/2015).
Aggregate cereal production in 2014 will drop by 75% compared to 2013, to about 57,000 metric tons, due to irregular rains causing poor growing conditions. Production of groundnut, the main cash crop, is anticipated to decline by over 80%. Access to food will further be restrained by high cereal prices and the depreciation of the national currency, which has increased domestic prices of imported food commodities (FAO, 05/11/2014). The Ebola epidemic in neighbouring countries is further aggravating food insecurity, as the crisis has affected tourism, a significant source of income (Reuters, 01/10/2014)..
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
20.4 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) are expected to suffer from food insecurity in 2015 (OCHA, 10/02/2015). In 2014, food insecurity rose dramatically to 24.7 million food insecure people, compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Around 290,000 people are in need of healthcare, over 15% of the population. The supply of essential drugs is low, as is laboratory capacity. Staff and equipment are not sufficient to meet even the most urgent needs (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
In August, around 49,000 children were reported to be acutely malnourished, 7,800 of themseverely (OCHA 31/08/2014). This represents 3,000 more SAM cases than in July 2013 (OCHA 25/07/2014). The situation was worst in Central and Upper River regions, with GAM rates above the 10% serious threshold (OCHA, 31/09/2014).
287,000 people are in need of WASH assistance. Inadequate access to safe drinking water, basic sanitation, and poor hygiene practices continue to be an issue. 20% of deaths among under-fives are WASH-related (OCHA, 31/08/2014).
22 February: Liberia announced the reopening of borders with Guinea and Sierra Leone (UNMEER, 23/02/2015).
21 February: 3,155 cumulative cases have been reported, including 2,086 deaths (WHO, 23/02/2015).
18 February: An outbreak of measles has been confirmed in Gaoual prefecture, Boke region (UNICEF).
17 February: 58 people were convicted of an attack on Ebola workers in January (UNMEER, 18/02/2015).
- 23,539 cumulative reported cases across the region, including 9,541 deaths (Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone each reported over 17-21 February) (WHO, 23/02/2015). The numbers of registered cases and deaths are largely inaccurate, underestimating the gravity of the situation on the ground.
- 970,000 people, or 9% of the population, were estimated to be severely food insecure in December 2014; EVD effects account for 230,000. 3 million individuals are estimated to be vulnerable to food insecurity. 1.2 million are projected to be food-insecure in March 2015; 470,000 Ebola-driven (FAO, 28/01/2015).
- Resistance to the Ebola reposne remains high. The Red Cross says its staff in Guinea are attacked on average 10 times per month (IFRC, 12/02/2015).
President Condé has suggested delaying presidential elections, due in 2015, because of the EVD crisis (International Crisis Group, 01/11/2014). The opposition demanded electoral reforms by 15 December, threatening countrywide protests otherwise. Discord over electoral preparations has intensified. The opposition held anti-Condé rallies on 7 and 22 January, restating their demands for electoral commission reform (International Crisis Group, 01/02/2015).
On 15 November, France announced it would coordinate Ebola containment efforts in Guinea, at the UN’s request (AFP, 15/11/2014).
Cuba has sent 465 health workers to West Africa (international media, 20/10/2014). The UN Security Council adopted a resolution establishing a special mission to lead the global response to contain Ebola on 18 September (UN, 18/09/2014). The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has also been declared a Grade 3 Emergency under WHO’s Emergency Response Framework (ECHO, 29/07/2014). WHO declared the epidemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
On 6 January, trade unions launched a general strike throughout the country, mainly over salary. Limited demonstrations and road closures were reported in Conakry (UNMEER, 06/01/2015). On 8 January, an agreement was reached with the Government (UNMEER, 08/01/2015).
The Ebola response has increased tensions between President Condé’s ethnic group, the Malinke, who make up about 35% of the population, and the Fulani ethnic group, about 40% of the population (local media, 18/10/2014).
Claims of excessive use of force by the national army against the local population in Sinkine district, Forecariah prefecture, have been reported (local media, 18/01/2015). Clashes between armed forces and the population were reported in Matoto in Conakry, following the arrest of an imam who had been in contact with a confirmed Ebola case (UNMEER, 09/02/2015).
Resistance to the Ebola response
Widespread reports of resistance to the Ebola response persist. In the week to 15 February, 13 prefectures reported at least one security incident, includigng Boffa, Conakry, Dubreka and Forecariah (WHO, 18/02/2015). The Red Cross said members of its staff in Guinea are attacked on average ten times per month (IFRC, 12/02/2015).
Contact tracers have received death threats in Diecke and Bignamou sub-prefectures, in Nzerekore region. In Kissidougou, several students refused to attend sensitisation sessions due to rumours (UNMEER, 23/02/2015). Rumours of the Guinean Red Cross (GRC) spraying schools to infect children with Ebola prompted community members to threaten GRC headquarters (IFRC, 20/02/2015).
On 17 February, 58 people were convicted of an attack on Ebola workers in January 2015 (UNMEER, 18/02/2015).
In Forecariah, community resistance is fuelled by mistrust and misinformation about Ebola, but the high number of reported cases may be due to a segment of the community who continue to provide reports about sick patients (UNMEER, 13/02/2015). On 8 February, two Red Cross volunteers were beaten while attempting to provide a safe burial in Forecariah (IFRC, 12/02/2015). On 20 January, three people were assaulted in Kabac, Forecariah prefecture, as residents suspected they were health workers who would expose them to the Ebola virus (international media, 20/01/2015). On 10 January, two men were killed by villagers of Dar es-Salaam, Forecariah prefecture, as they were accused of spreading Ebola (local media, 14/01/2015; UNMEER, 15/01/2015). 26 people were arrested and tension remains high in the prefecture, with several villages inaccessible (international media, 18/01/2015; UNMEER, 15/01/2015).
There have been several incidents of violence associated with rumours about Red Cross vaccination programmes in schools. Students and parents have threatened to attack health workers, and remove themselves or their children from school. On 13 February, students destroyed a transit centre in Faranah, Upper Guinea, and an MSF vehicle was set on fire (international media 15/02/2015).
On 23 January, medical kits sent by the government to school children were destroyed by villagers in Ourekaba, southern Guinea (international media, 23/01/2015). On 6 January, a community transit centre was burned down in Bossou, Lola prefecture (UNMEER, 07/01/2015). On 3 and 4 January, response teams were attacked in Coyah. On 1 January, a safe burial team was assaulted in Kindia prefecture, resulting in one injured and the intervention of the military (UNMEER, 05/01/2015). The Red Cross has suspended its operations in Koropara for security reasons (UNMEER, 25/11/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Poor road infrastructure means many communities outside the capital are inaccessible (OCHA, 16/09/2014). Community resistance, especially in Forecariah, poses challenges to relief activities, as the community does not want to receive support associated with the response to the EVD epidemic (WFP, 13/02/2015).
Based on WFP estimates, 970,000 people, or 9% of the population, were estimated to be severely food insecure in December 2014; EVD effects account for 230,000. Almost 90% of the Ebola-driven food insecure live in rural areas. 3 million people were estimated to be vulnerable to food insecurity. However, as of late December, FEWSNET reported most households were consuming their own crop production and were facing Minimal (IPC phase 1) acute food insecurity (FEWSNET, 31/12/2014). In Nzerekore and Conakry, poor households were facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food insecurity and had difficulties affording certain essential non-food items (FEWSNET, 31/12/2014).
The number of food insecure is projected to increase to 1.2 million in March 2015, 470,000 due to Ebola. (FAO, 28/01/2015). 57% of Guinean households were already food insecure or at risk of food insecurity before the EVD outbreak (WFP, 29/10/2014). Those who have not been able to harvest their crops, due to rupture of activities and containment measures related to the Ebola outbreak, have already entered the lean season (PI, 18/02/2015).
Agriculture and Markets
All agricultural sectors have been hit by the crisis. In the Forest region, Ebola-related fears have reduced the availability of agricultural labour, resulting in reduced yields. The largest production declines compared to 2013 levels were estimated for Nzerekore (-8%), while other regions are projected to experience only slight decreases (up to -3%) (FEWSNET, 31/12/2014). Overall, rice production is estimated to decline by 3.7%, with a relatively localised impact: most disruption will be in the Forest region (WFP, 05/01/2015). Based on commercial forecasts, Guinea has a rice import gap of about 44,000 metric tons (WFP, 05/01/2015).
National cocoa production is estimated to have fallen by a third, coffee production by 50%, and palm oil by 75%. Corn production has declined by 25% (World Bank, 02/12/2014; UNECA, 15/12/2014; UNDP, 19/12/2014). Fish exports have fallen by more than 40% (World Bank, 02/12/2014).
UNDP estimates that household income had dropped by 12.7% as of October (UNDP, 14/11/2014). In the regions of Nzerekore and Conakry, many poor households are facing below-average incomes and decreased purchasing power, despite stable or declining food prices (FEWSNET, 31/12/2014). In the Forest region, 91% of communities surveyed by WFP and FAO indicate that the availability of labour has decreased, and its cost has increased (WFP and FAP, 31/12/2014).
Difficulties marketing over long distances have resulted in excess supply in many places, bringing prices of local rice in December to below their 2013 levels (FEWSNET, 31/01/2015). Prices for local rice declined between 3% and 10% in December; prices of palm oil also fell (WFP, 18/12/2014). In Guinea and Senegal border areas, however, palm oil prices increased 40% and coffee prices increased 50% in less than four weeks. Traders indicate a 50% drop in market activities (WFP, 15/09/2014).
In the central Fouta Djallon region, potato exports to Senegal have dropped by 90% to 22 metric tons in 2014, compared to 2013. In August 2014, the wholesale price for 1kg of potatoes fell to 200 Guinean francs from 3,500 (local media, 15/01/2015). In Labé, potato crops have spoiled, in some cases more than 50%. Similar issues have been reported by fruit and tomato producers in Kindia, who typically export to Senegal. To cope, certain producers have increased exports to Conakry, although local demand is not sufficient to completely absorb the excess supply (FEWSNET, 31/12/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Attendance at health facilities fell sharply from August 2013 to August 2014. Primary medical consultations dropped by 58%, hospitalisations by 54%, and vaccinations by 30%. A 10–25% decline in antenatal consultations has been reported, as well as a 7–20% drop in births attended by the health service (UNDP, 19/12/2014).
An estimated 400,000 children were due for routine vaccinations in 2014. However, there has been an almost 50% reduction in the numbers of children vaccinated due to Ebola. From 27 November to 3 December 2014, a catch-up campaign covered the 20 districts with no Ebola cases or declared Ebola-free for 42 days (UNICEF, 17/12/2014).
As of 21 February, 3,155 cumulative Ebola cases, including 2,086 deaths, have been reported in Guinea (WHO, 23/02/2015). The utility of case numbers has been questioned; statistics are reported to be highly unreliable due to a lack of a comprehensive contact tracing, timely case investigation, and rapid Ebola testing (UNICEF, 06/09/2014).
Transmission has decreased since December. 52 confirmed cases were reported in the week to 15 February, compared to 65 the week before, the first decline in four weeks. Cases are concentrated in the west of the country, where Forecariah reported 24 confirmed cases, Conakry 13, Dubreka seven, Coyah five and Boffa one. Two cases were reported in the northern prefecture of Mali, and these are linked to the first case reported in Mali prefecture. 14 prefectures that previously reported confirmed cases did not report any in the 21 days to 15 February.
The incidence of health worker infections rose in Guinea throughout December. As of 1 February, 164 health workers have been infected, 88 of whom have died (WHO, 04/02/2015).
Containment measures: New chains of transmission have been reported in areas previously considered Ebola-free. A number of unreported community deaths and unsafe burials are taking place, especially in Conakry (MSF, 10/02/2015; Reuters, 12/02/2015). In the week to 15 February, 16 confirmed cases were identified through post-mortem testing of bodies found. Over the same period, 39 unsafe burials were reported (WHO, 18/02/2015). 30% of new confirmed cases arose among registered contacts 19–25 January; a fall from 53% the previous week, highlighting problems with contact-tracing (WHO, 28/01/2015).
In the week to 25 January, this percentage climbed back to 54% (WHO, 04/02/2015). On 9 January, the “Zero Ebola in 60 days” campaign, launched a week earlier, was put on hold due to local communities’ persistent resistance to the Ebola response (UNMEER, 09/01/2015). The Prime Minister has announced measures against resistance, especially in Coyah district, including prosecution of those who hide patients from medical teams or those who hold medical teams hostage (International media, 12/01/2015).
On 22 February, the Liberian Government announced the reopening of its borders with Guinea and Sierra Leone (UNMEER, 23/02/2015). On 26 January, Senegal reopened its land border with Guinea (international media, 27/01/2015).
Healthcare provision: In the Forest region, insufficient supply of thermo-flash thermometers, lack of equipment and electricity, and weak coordination among response partners are hampering response (UNMEER, 30/12/2014).
23,182 cumulative reported cases across the region, including 9,353 deaths, as of 14 February (WHO, 16/02/2015).
80% of people living with HIV in the three most Ebola-affected countries have not been able to access treatment (UNDP, 14/11/2014). Around 217,000 people are estimated to be living with HIV in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone (international organisation, 20/10/2014).
44% of Guineans, about five million people, are affected by malaria each year; the disease kills at least ten people every week. The recent gains from the past ten years in reducing malaria mortality by 50% have been seriously hampered by the Ebola outbreak (international media, 14/11/2014).
An outbreak of measles has been confirmed in the Gaoual health district in Boke region (UNICEF, 18/02/2015).
Women in the three most-affected countries are no longer giving birth in health facilities and the number of prenatal consultations and assisted births has dropped (UNMEER, 03/11/2014; IASC, 01/02/2015). In addition, Ebola-infected pregnant women are often not permitted in Ebola treatment centres because of the high risk of contamination during delivery. Maternal deaths are projected to have double to over 1,000 per 100,000 live births in Liberia from pre-Ebola levels (UNFPA, 13/02/2015).
Most schools reopened on 19 January. A reported 159 primary and secondary schools remain closed, notably in Forecariah, Boffa and Faranah (UNICEF, 11/02/2015; international media, 19/01/2015; Government, 11/02/2015). Around 1.3 million children have returned to school, bringing attendance to 85% of pre-Ebola levels (UNICEF, 11/02/2015). Many parents are reportedly refusing to send their children to school, or students are declining to attend classes due to EVD fears (USAID, 28/01/2015). In Faranah and Forecariah, a lower percentage of schools have reopened, because of community resistance and a lack of teachers (UNICEF, 04/02/2015). There are also rumours about the harmful impact of spraying/disinfecting schools, leading some students not to attend, particulary in Conakry (UNMEER, 13/02/2015).
A UNDP study suggest women have been disproportionately affected by the Ebola virus as they are the primary caregivers in a family, health workers, take part in traditional practices, and trade across borders. In Gueckedou, women represent 62% of the infected, and in Télémilé, women make up 74% (UNMEER, 11/02/2015).
As of 18 February, 4,344 children who lost one or both parents to Ebola have been identified (UNICEF, 18/02/2015). All 773 children who lost both parents have been placed with extended family (UNICEF, 06/02/2015).
Health workers and survivors are stigmatised (MSF, 26/01/2015).
25 February: Thousands took the streets to denounce violence against Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic, following the killing of two Haitians in the Dominican Republic in February; the border between the two countries was closed on 20 February (Alter Press).
- Ongoing severe dryness, particularly in the southern peninsula and the Central Plateau, and below-average rainfall through December, is likely to result in the second consecutive below-average harvest and increase food insecurity (FEWSNET, 18/12/2014).
- Despite a progressive decrease in cholera cases since January 2013, a spike in cases was reported over the September–November rainy season (PAHO, 02/12/2014).
- 79,400 IDPs remain in 105 camps as a result of the 2010 earthquake, including 62,637 not targeted by any return or relocation programme (IOM, 09/01/2015; OCHA/UN, 31/12/2014).
- The resilience of the population and its capacity to cope with new crises are generally weak.
An estimated three million Haitians have both chronic and acute humanitarian needs, and are facing displacement, food insecurity, and malnutrition. Haiti’s political and economic situation is extremely fragile, and the country is vulnerable to natural disasters, including hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, landslides, and droughts. The resilience of the population is extremely low.
President Martelly appointed a unity government on 19 January, and on 22 January the new Prime Minister set up a new electoral council, but tensions with opposition demonstrators are expected to persist, as new ministers have been reshuffled from the previous Government (AFP, 19/01/2015, 22/01/2015). Elections have been postponed since 2011.
Armed criminal violence is reportedly increasing in the country (Alter Press, 24/02/2015). While the UN stabilisation mission, MINUSTAH, maintains police in regions, the Haitian National Police are not yet fully capable of dealing with civil unrest (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The number of humanitarian actors has continued to decrease, from 512 in 2010 to 147 by the end of 2014, and government capacity has not always improved, creating critical sectoral gaps (OCHA/UN, 31/12/2014).
Nearly 91,000 Haitians were affected by heavy floods that hit northern and western departments in November 2014. 18 people were killed and more than 22,000 houses damaged. At end December, Nord department still reported significant NFI and WASH needs (OCHA, 31/12/2014).
As of early January, 79,400 IDPs remain in 105 camps following the 2010 earthquake, including 62,637 who are not targeted by any return or relocation programme (IOM, 09/01/2015; OCHA/UN, 31/12/2014). At end December, 80% of displaced households were living in Delmas (49%), Croix-des-Bouquets (15%), Tabarre (9%) and Leogane (8%) (IOM, 27/01/2015). Priority needs include the provision of minimum basic services, including WASH and health, protection monitoring and response, and promotion of durable solutions (OCHA, 03/11/2014).
Population numbers in open camps grew over the first six months of 2014, as other camps closed, and insecurity elsewhere has increased (OHCHR, MINUSTAH, Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014). 56 camps are targeted for closure, affecting 16,760 IDPs (CCCM, 27/01/2015). Basic services in camps have declined faster than the pace of return or relocation. Only one-third of camps have access to water and access to healthcare is problematic due to lack of infrastructure and funding (OCHA/UN, 31/12/2014).
Haitian Migrants in Neighbouring Countries
Thousands took to the streets on 25 February to denounce violence against Haitian migrants in the Dominican Republic, following the killing of two Haitians in the Dominican Republic in February; the border between the two countries was closed on 20 February (Alter Press, 20/02/2015; 25/02/2015).
605,000 Haitians are food insecure, including 165,000 in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security due to early exhaustion of food stocks as a result of the drought (OCHA/UN, 31/12/2014).
Below-average food stocks due to the prolonged drought are expected to result in higher food prices between March and April 2015 (AlterPress, 21/10/2014).
Around 67,500 people (16,000 families) are reportedly affected by the drop in cereal production in Central Plateau, Nord-Ouest, Sud-Est, and Ouest departments (FAO, 02/12/2014).
Heavy rainfall at the beginning of November affected agricultural output, with 62% and 29% losses in breeding production in the north and northeast, respectively (Government, 20/11/2014). In contrast, prolonged drought conditions over Haiti in January are reducing the availability of water for irrigation systems; Nord-Ouest, Artibonite, Nord, Grand’Anse and Sud departments are most affected. Potential above-normal temperatures until March could reduce water availability for crops and increase the cost of cropping activities in Artibonite Valley, in Plaine de l’Arcahaie and Plaine du Cul de Sac in Ouest, Plaine des Cayes in Sud, and St Raphael and Grison Garde in Nord (FEWSNET, 19/01/2015).
Health and Nutrition
Five million Haitians (half of the total population) lack access to basic health services (UN, 27/10/2014). Some hospitals have still not been fully rehabilitated since the earthquake (MSF, 08/01/2015). Lack of mental health support is also reported, with only seven mental health professionals in the country (Alter Press, 10/01/2015).
The upward trend in incidence continues at the beginning of 2015, with 50% more cases than in the same period last year (ECHO, 16/01/2015).
27,753 suspected cases of cholera and 296 deaths were recorded in 2014, a 53% and 50% reduction on 2013, respectively; an increase was reported over September–November however, with 918 weekly cases on average, compared to 251 in the previous months (PAHO, 30/01/2015). The departments of Artibonite, Centre, Ouest, and Nord are most affected (PAHO, 02/12/2014). A national plan to provide urgent care for cholera patients is still lacking (MSF, 08/01/2015).
725,476 suspected cholera cases and 8,824 deaths have been reported by the Ministry of Health since the start of the epidemic in October 2010 (ECHO, 16/01/2015).
At end December, 51,000–63,000 children suffered from acute malnutrition, including 12,000–15,000 requiring immediate assistance (OCHA/UN, 31/12/2014).
Malnutrition rates in IDP camps are of great concern. In May, GAM in 20 camps stood at 12.5% (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
More than 3.4 million Haitians lack access to safe water (one-third of the total population and 47% of the rural population) (UN, 30/09/2014). 38% do not have access to improved water sources and 69% lack access to improved sanitation (World Bank, 30/09/2014). 60% of schools have no toilets and more than three-quarters lack access to water (HRW, 08/10/2014). Waterborne diseases are one of the main causes of infant mortality (World Bank, 09/10/2014).
Access to water sources in Belladere in Centre department is reportedly limited (Alter Press, 14/01/2015). As of June, 50% of camps lack adequate sanitation facilities; only one-third have a water point.
94% of people left homeless by the 2010 earthquake have been relocated outside camps. Their living conditions are poorer than before the earthquake (UN, 27/10/2014).
17% of IDPs in camps surveyed in 2014 have not received any education services (OHCHR, MINUSTAH and Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014).
Five years since the earthquake, many children still show signs of emotional and psychological stress 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).
22,810 people in 21 camps are considered at risk of forced eviction, especially in Port-au-Prince, Delmas, Croix des Bouquets, as landowners seek to reclaim their land (OCHA/UN, 31/12/2014).
Sexual and Gender-based Violence
The number of rapes reported in the first half of 2014 is double that of the same period in 2013. More than two-thirds of the rapes reported involved minors (OHCHR and Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014). Gender-based violence continues to be of great concern in IDP camps (OHCHR, MINUSTAH and Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014).
Kenya Country Analysis
23 February: Kenya´s High Court discarded key aspects of the security law, including those which curbed media freedom and the refugee cap (BBC).
22 February: The number of cholera cases in Homa Bay and Migori has risen in the past week from 186 to 644 (local media).
- Violence in the capital Nairobi, as well as northeastern and coastal areas; two-thirds of attacks were attributed to the Somali Islamist Al Shabaab movement.
- Inter-communal tensions are running high: Inter-communal violence in Kenya caused 310 deaths, 214 injuries and displaced 220,200 in 2014. Tana River, Mandera, Marsabit, and Moyale counties are the most affected (OCHA, UNHCR, 12/2014).
- More than 585,076 refugees, including at least 450,000 Somalis and 90,714 South Sudanese (UNHCR 01/02/2015).
- 1.5 million people are acutely food insecure (FEWSNET).
Kenya is considered relatively stable in the Horn of Africa and held peaceful presidential elections in March 2013. However, the country remains ethnically polarised and affected by two decades of conflict in neighbouring Somalia. The implementation of a devolution process, land reform, and national reconciliation all challenge stability in a country where institutions are perceived to be weak.
On 5 December, the International Criminal Court dropped charges against President Uhuru Kenyatta, stemming from 2007–08 post-election violence, when more than 1,000 people died (BBC, 07/10/2014, 05/12/2014).
On 16 December, the Government de-registered 510 NGOs, accusing them of using their charitable status as a front for raising funds for terrorism. Many of the NGOs appear to be aid agencies, Christian organisations, orphanages, or organisations working in development and health (The Guardian, 16/12/2014).
The frequency and scale of militant attacks in Kenya have increased dramatically since 2011, when Kenyan troops began operating in Somalia, as has the nature of the violence. Al Shabaab has built a cross-border presence and clandestine support network among the Muslim population in the northeast, in Nairobi, and on the coast. The increasing radicalisation of the ethnic Somali Muslim population is allegedly fuelled by systematic ethnic profiling and discrimination. Muslims make up 11% of Kenya’s 40 million population.
In addition, deadly inter-communal violence remains common in a number of areas.
Al Shabaab-related Violence
On 22 November, Al Shabaab gunmen killed 28 non-Muslims taken from a Nairobi-bound bus in Mandera, in retaliation for Kenyan police raids of suspected radical mosques in Mombasa earlier in the month; one person had died in the raids (OCHA, 28/11/2014). 500 non-locals and professionals to a military landing strip, but were not evacuated (Red Cross, 03/12/2014). On 27 November, significant numbers were reported to be leaving Mandera, mainly health workers, teachers, and civil servants (Kenya Daily Nation, 27/11/2014).
In response to the attack, the Kenyan military launched operations in Somalia, reportedly killing 115 Al Shabaab militants (BBC, The Guardian, 24/11/2014). The attack was not been independently confirmed; Al Shabaab denied that any attack took place (Al Jazeera, 24/11/2014).
On 1 December, one person was killed and 12 wounded in an attack in Wajir, close to Mandera (AFP, 01/12/2014). On 2 December, Al Shabaab carried out a second attack in Mandera, killing 36 quarry workers (AFP, 02/12/2014).
A growth in the population of both people and livestock has led to more frequent cattle raiding and violence, fed by the availability of small arms. As of the end of November, inter-communal violence in Kenya had caused 310 deaths, 214 injuries and displaced 220,200 in 2014 (OCHA, 31/11/2014). The areas most affected by inter-communal violence are the northern Rift Valley and northeastern regions.
On 31 January, armed raiders attacked a Turkana village in the Rift Valley, killing three herdsmen and stealing livestock (local media, 01/02/2015).
Conflict in Mandera and Wajir
In May and June, and then August–September, clashes between Garre and Degodia communities in Mandera and on the border between Wajir and Mandera resulted in 110 deaths. Some 75,000 were displaced in the first bout of violence, and 19,000 later (OCHA, 23/06/2014; Kenya Red Cross, 05/09/2014). The Garre and Degodia Somali clans have been feuding over natural resources since March 2012. On 4 Febuary, three people were injured after a hand grenade was thrown at a food kiosk in Mandera (Kenya Daily Nation, 06/02/2015).
Conflicts in Baringo and Turkana
Despite the deployment of additional security forces, reports suggest that tensions in Baringo and Turkana remain high. People fled raids in Baringo North in December (Kenya Daily Nation, 18/12/2014). 17,600 displaced people are facing acute food shortages, and are also in need of shelter support (local media, 25/01/2015). Kenya Defence Forces’ (KDF) ongoing operations to seize illegal firearms have affected trade, as commuters and motorists avoid roads connecting the two counties. Individuals have also complained of harassment at road blocks (local media, 26/01/2015). On 5 February, the leaders of the Turkana and Pokot tribes met to commence peace talks (Finn Church Aid, 05/02/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Acute water shortages have affected parts of Western Kenya, following a long-drawn dry spell, particularly parts of Homa Bay, Siaya, and Kisumu counties. Residents have to walk several kilometres to retrieve water. The situation has also cause a food shortage, as most of these areas rely on rain-fed agriculture (Kenya Daily Nation, 10/02/2015).
An alert has been issued over droughts in part of Meru county, specifically Tigania West and Tigania East. All subcounties in Meru have recorded a decline in vegetation conditions, particularly for maize and beans (local media, 20/01/2015). In the past, food insecurity has been the cause of inter-clan violence in these areas.
Marsabit county, in northern Kenya, is suffering from acute food and water shortages due to inadequate rains in the past three years (local media, 19/01/2015).
On 11 February, Kenya had 309,200 IDPs (OCHA, 11/02/2014).
As of 31 November, inter-communal violence had caused the displacement of 125,107 people in Mandera, 84,980 in Wajir, 4,920 in Lamu and 1,730 in Turkana throughout the year.
Conflicts in Baringo in December 2014 caused the displacement of at least 17,600 people. Mid-January reports indicate that the displaced are facing acute food shortages and are still in need of shelter support (local media, 25/01/2015).
As of 1 February, Kenya is hosting more than 585,000 refugees and asylum-seekers. 225,773 are located in Dadaab, 127,929 in Alinjugur, 179,728 in Kakuma and 51,646 in Nairobi (UNHCR, 01/02/2015).
From Somalia: As of February 2015, 425,028 Somali refugees are in Kenya. 13,162 arrived in 2014, indicating a considerable drop in arrivals (UNHCR, 31/12/2014). Most are in the northeastern Dadaab and Alinjugur refugee camp complex (UNHCR, 01/07/2014).
The Tripartite Agreement between the Kenyan and Somali Governments and UNHCR, signed in November 2013, establishes the legal framework for those Somali refugees wishing to return home (IOM, UNHCR, 09/12/2014). As of 23 February, 1,593 returnees had arrived in Somalia (UNHCR, 23/02/2015).
From South Sudan: As of 12 February, more than 45,098 South Sudanese refugees had crossed into Kenya through Nadapal border since mid-December 2013 (UNHCR, 15/02/2015). Around 64% of these are children (UNICEF, 05/02/2015). The total population of South Sudanese refugees in Kenya has reached 90,714 in February 2015 (UNHCR, 01/02/2015).
There is a critical need for land. Kakuma camp has surpassed its capacity of 125,000 by over 55,000 refugees (UNHCR, 28/01/2015). The overpopulation and burden on services is causing friction among refugee communities, and security forces are finding it more difficult to manage situations (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). Regular relocations from the reception centre, which started in late November, stalled as a result of rains and flooding, and the need for dry, safe areas is urgent (UNHCR, 09/01/2015).
From Ethiopia: As of 1 February, There are 30,504 Ethiopian refugees in Kenya (UNHCR, 01/02/2015).
From DRC: As of 1 February, There are 17,624 DRC refugees in Kenya (UNHCR, 01/02/2015).
Humanitarian workers on the ground have reported that poor roads, hilly terrain and protection concerns along the northern Rift Valley and northeastern regions hamper the delivery of aid (OCHA, 31/11/2014).
Due to below-average rains, constrained food access and high food prices, over 1.5 million people, mainly in the northern pastoral areas, are food insecure. Compared to 2013, the food insecure population is 75% higher (UNICEF, 05/02/2015).
Pockets of northeastern pastoral areas will be in Crisis food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) until March: Isiolo, Dadaab subcounty in Garissa, and Hadado and Sebule subcounties in Wajir. The majority of households in southern areas are expected to remain Stressed (IPC Phase 2) through June (FEWSNET, 31/01/2015). Food security conditions are expected to deteriorate in southeastern and coastal agricultural areas, as well as northeastern pastoral areas (FAO, 04/02/2015).
On 10 February, authorities reported that 25 constituencies located in Mandera need emergency food supply. WFP, the leading food supplier in the area, is said to have stopped supplies in the region (local media, 10/02/2015).
Agriculture and Markets
October to December rainfall was below average. The driest areas are reportedly in the northeast pastoral zone: Isiolo, Garissa and Wajir. Crops have so far not developed to normal levels in southern marginal agricultural areas (FEWSNET, 31/12/2014). The short rains’ crops are expected to be 40% to 50% below average in volume (FEWSNET, 04/02/2015).
Due to the recent cholera outbreak in Migori county, the sale of food on the street has been banned. Local media have reported that the ban has affected 10,000 traders (local media, 11/02/2015).
Health and Nutrition
Lack of medical staff was reported in Kakuma camp, creating a gap in consistent service delivery. Insufficient supply of condoms, vaccines, and associated materials were also reported (UNHCR, 28/01/2015). The ratio of hygiene promoters to refugees in Kakuma camp is 1:2,500, well below the UNHCR standard of 1:500 (UNHCR, 09/01/2015).
Following an exodus of non-locals in Mandera, 11 out of 26 health facilities have closed (UNICEF, 05/02/2015).
A cholera outbreak has been reported in Homa Bay, Migori, and Nairobi counties (local media, 13/02/2015). As of 22 February there were 644 confirmed cases and 17 deaths, most in Migori (local media, 22/02/2015). There are fears that the outbreak will spread to neighbouring counties of Kisii, Nyamira, and Kisumi due to a lack of safe drinking water (local media, 10/02/2015).
Around 310,000 pastoral children in northern Kenya suffer from acute malnutrition (UNICEF, 29/01/2015).
SAM rates among South Sudanese refugees arriving in Kakuma between 14 and 20 October were at 15.4%, up from 10% among new arrivals in May. GAM was at 29.3%, up from 16.3% in May (UNHCR, 23/05/2014, 23/10/2014).
Sexual offences have been on the rise in Kwale county, in eastern Kenya, which has forced girls to drop out of school (Kenya Daily Nation, 07/02/2015).
Access to education has been disrupted for 9,000 school children in Mandera, because non-local teachers were advised by their Unions not to report to duty in 2015 (UNICEF, 05/02/2015).
More than 20 schools have been closed in Baringo North and South due to insecurity. An attack on a primary school in Baringo South, where armed raiders shot dead a security guard, has further aggravated the situation (local media, 21/01/2015).
Following Al Shabaab attacks in Mandera in late November, a new security bill was introduced limiting the rights of people who are arrested and accused, adding harsh criminal penalties, and restricting freedoms of expression and assembly. The law also stipulated that the number of refugees and asylum seekers permitted to stay in Kenya shall not exceed 150,000 (IRIN, 05/01/2014). In January, Human Rights Watch issued a report that highlighted the government’s efforts to tackle insecurity have been marred by serious human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary detentions and torture by security forces (HRW, 29/01/2015). On 23 February, Kenya´s High Court discarded key aspects of the law, including those which curbed media freedom and the refugee cap (BBC, 23/02/2015).
7,298 South Sudanese refugee children are unaccompanied or separated minors (UNICEF, 29/01/2015). Trafficking of separated South Sudanese children is a growing phenomenon in Kenya. Traffickers find the children on their way to or inside refugee camps and take them to southern Africa, often Malawi, where they use or sell them as slaves (Jesuit Refugee Service, 14/01/2015).
There are reports of Kenyan immigration officials charging visa fees to asylum seekers at the border crossing points in Kakuma, in contravention of international humanitarian law (UNHCR, 23/01/2015).
26 February: In Ras Baalbek, it was reported that the Lebanese Army ousted suspected IS militants from Lebanese territory, and took two hilltop positions (The Daily Star, 26/02/2015).
- 1,175,913 Syrians are registered as refugees in Lebanon. 10,413 are awaiting registration (UNHCR 24/02/2015). Over 44,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria have been recorded (OCHA 15/01/2015).
- More than three million people are directly affected by the Syrian crisis in Lebanon (UNHCR, 25/01/2015).
- As of December, 35,000 families still need winterisation assistance (Shelter Cluster, 12/2014).
- 300,000–400,000 refugee children of school age not being educated within Lebanon; between 210,000 and 320,000 are involved in some form of child labour (VoA, 23/01/2015)
- Only 30% of Syrian children born in Lebanon have birth certificates (UNHCR 10/11/2014).
Lebanon has the highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide. While the country struggles to deal with the refugee influx, which exceeds a quarter of the Lebanese population, tensions between host and refugee populations are increasing due to food price hikes, and pressure on health and education systems, housing, and employment. The number of poor living in Lebanon has risen by nearly two-thirds since 2011, to 2.1 million, and Lebanese unemployment has doubled (UNHCR 18/12/2014).
On the grounds that elections would present too much of a security risk, the Lebanese Parliament extended its mandate for another two years and seven months in November 2014, after a similar move in 2013. The Reform and Change bloc boycotted the extension vote and said it would challenge the extension at the Constitutional Council (Daily Star, 12/11/2014).
Hezbollah has ruled out imminent presidential elections, despite admitting increased domestic stability as a result of dialogue between Hezbollah and the Future Movement bloc (Daily Star, 14/01/2015). Former president Michel Sleiman’s term expired on 25 May. The March 8 bloc, which includes Hezbollah, has boycotted voting for the new president, arguing that the sessions are futile until rival groups agree on a consensus candidate.
The Government, formed in February 2014 after ten months of political stalemate, brings together the Hezbollah movement and its allies, and the Future Movement bloc, who back opposing sides in the Syria war. Neither side has veto power over the other.
Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria, and the alleged presence of Jabhat al Nusra (JAN) and the Islamic State (IS) in Lebanon, raises destabilisation concerns in Lebanon. Longstanding tensions between Lebanon and Israel have flared up occasionally in the context of the Syrian civil war.
South Lebanon: On 28 January, Hezbollah launched rockets into Shebaa Farms, a disputed landstrip at the intersection of the Lebanese-Syrian border and the Israeli Golan Heights. The Israeli Defence Forces returned fire and carried out mock air raids. A UN peacekeeper and two IDF soldiers were killed (UNIFIL/Daily Star, 28/01/2015; NYT, 28/01/2015). On 18 January, an Israeli air strike in Quneitra, in Syria’s Golan Heights, reportedly killed ten, including senior Hezbollah figures as well a General of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (Washington Post, 19/01/2015; BBC, 19/01/2015; Middle East Monitor, 21/01/2015). Syrian warplanes reportedly entered Lebanese airspace on at least three occasions between 1 December 2014 and 10 January 2015, killing at least one person (OCHA, 15/01/2015).
Bekaa Valley: Along its northern and northeastern border with Syria, Lebanon is engaged in a battle against armed groups reportedly affiliated to Islamic State (IS) and JAN. JAN hinted at attacks on Hezbollah strongholds in November, which observers perceive as consistent with JAN’s stated strategy to force Hezbollah to withdraw from Syria and refocus on Lebanon. However, analysts estimate that no more than 3,000 IS and JAN fighters are in Syria’s Qalamoun area on the border with Lebanon, which is insufficient to wage a large-scale assault on the country (Stratfor, 03/01/2015; Daily Star, 06/01/2015).
On 26 February, it was reported that the Lebanese Army ousted IS militants from Lebanese territory, taking two hilltop positions. The Lebanese Army has continuously attacked militant positions since 23 January (The Daily Star, 26/02/2015). On 3 February, Hezbollah attacked hideouts of militants with yet unspecified affiliations in Nahle. According to security sources, militants have reinforced their positions after heavy clashes with Hezbollah in the previous week. Separately, the Lebanese Army opened fire at militant positions in the outskirts of Arsal (Daily Star, 03/02/2015). On 23 January, clashes between the army and Syria-based militants, suspected to be IS, near Ras Baalbek killed 53, and wounded 22 (Daily Star, 26/01/2015; Al Jazeera, 05/02/2015).
In August, armed fighters briefly took over the town of Arsal, with air raids along the border and bomb attacks targeting military and Hezbollah in Arsal and Bekaa Valley. Violence in Arsal, and sporadic incidents across the country, have been followed by an increase in raids and arrests by the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF). Around 950 people were arrested in November, for residing in Lebanon without a valid permit, or on terror or drug-related charges, among others (Daily Star, 06/12/2014). A decrease in security incidents had been recorded between 1 December 2014 and 10 January 2015; the majority occurred in the Arsal-Baalbeck area. Ten instances of armed clashes between the LAF and armed opposition left at least seven LAF and three opposition fighters dead (OCHA, 15/01/2015).
Tripoli: Since October, there have been several bouts of fighting between Sunni groups in Tripoli sympathetic to armed opposition groups in Syria, and Alawite groups supporting the Syrian Government. Fighting was recurrent before the alleged presence of IS and JAN, and is mostly a manifestation of longstanding socio-economic grievances and sectarian tensions (SNAP 06/11/2014). The fighting caused major damage to the impoverished Sunni neighbourhood of Bab-al-Tabbaneh, home to some 100,000 people, including over 6,600 registered Syrian refugees (SNAP 06/11/2014; UNHCR 07/2014). On 10 January, a double suicide attack killed nine people and wounded 37 others in an Alawite neighbourhood (AFP, 11/01/2015). JAN claimed responsibility for the attack (OCHA, 15/01/2015). Lebanese security forces cracked down on Islamist militants in Roumieh prison, Beirut, relocating inmates into higher security blocs and confiscating possessions, as prisoners were allegedly linked to the bombings (Daily Star, 13/01/2015).
Since clashes in early August, IS and JAN are believed to be holding about 25 Lebanese soldiers and members of security forces. Arsal Deputy Mayor Fliti is mediating an exchange. On 5 December, JAN executed a hostage, a Lebanese policeman, and vowed to kill another unless the Government released women and children related to IS leader Baghdadi and another IS commander. The execution led to unrest, including a spike in security incidents targeting Syrian refugees. JAN again threatened again to kill captives after the raid of Roumieh prison (Daily Star, 12/01/2015). According to sources, the negotiations are progressing and both sides have listed their conditions (Al Monitor, 25/01/2015). As of 24 February, analysts expected a breakthrough in the hostage negotiations in the coming days (The Daily Star, 24/02/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Some 3.3 million people in Lebanon, including 1.2 million children, are directly affected by the Syria crisis (UNHCR 16/12/2014). Lebanon is also hosting 270,000 long-term Palestinian refugees (UNICEF 12/12/2014).
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 for humanitarian workers (OCHA 30/11/2041), and the UN will only carry out critical missions to parts of those areas (WFP 03/12/2014).
In early January, stormy weather and snow cut off all routes in and out of the Bekaa Valley (Medair 07/01/2015).
A backlog of work permits and delays in issuing visas to international staff is forcing INGOs to possibly reduce their operations in Lebanon (OCHA, 15/01/2015).
Over 10–11 February, storm Yohan hit Lebanon, leading to road closures, as well as heavy snow in mountainous areas. The vital Dahr al Baidar road, connecting eastern and western Lebanon, was closed, as were several other highways (Daily Star, 11/02/2015).
In October, the Government formally agreed to stop welcoming displaced people, barring exceptional cases, and to ask UNHCR to stop registering the displaced. The policy has resulted in a substantial reduction in refugees registering and raised serious protection concerns (UNHCR, AFP 24/10/2014; UNHCR 07/2014). During the last quarter of 2014, some 14,000 refugees per month were registered by UNHCR, a sharp decline compared to 2013’s monthly average of 59,000.
Since January, Syrians wanting to enter Lebanon must apply for a visa; previously, Syrians were automatically allowed to stay up to six months (BBC, 05/01/2015; Daily Star, 14/01/2015). The new regulations allow Syrian refugees already in Lebanon to renew their residency permits every six months from within Lebanon, for a fee. Syrian nationals who wish to enter Lebanon must declare their purpose for entry. Syrians with eligible purposes and supporting documentation will then be given entry from 72 hours and up to six months renewable. Syrians who do not specify their purpose for entry require sponsorship by a Lebanese national (UNHCR, 25/01/2015). On 3 February, three Syrian nationals were arrested for forging entry permits (Daily Star, 05/02/2015).
An average of 13% of registered refugees have entered through unofficial border crossings and are not able to pay the prohibitive regularisation fees. Those who entered through official crossings often have difficulties meeting the residency renewal fees (UNHCR 10/2014).
The unpredictability of policies and their implementation severely hampers the provision of services and frustrates advocacy efforts aimed at a solid legal framework (SNAP 07/12/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: Since May, PRS entry to Lebanon has been almost entirely limited to those transiting to a third country. An increasing number of PRS remain in Lebanon without legal stay, and face an array of protection concerns (OCHA 01/09/2014).
The shortage of surface water, partly due to little rainfall last winter, has reduced hydroelectric power generation, leading to a scarcity of electric power (UNHCR 11/2014).
Refugees in Lebanon
1,175,913 Syrians are registered as refugees in Lebanon. 10,413 are awaiting registration (UNHCR 24/02/2015). Bekaa is hosting 411,919 refugees; Beirut 339,383; North Lebanon 284,189; and South Lebanon 139,422 (UNHCR 24/02/2015). The number of Syrians in Lebanon who are not registered with UNHCR is unknown.
26% of refugees are women, and 53% children. 32% of registered families are headed by women. Over 38% of households include at least one person with specific needs (UNHCR 09/2014). Most refugees come from Homs, Idleb, and Jebel Saman (Aleppo) (UNHCR 30/11/2014).
More than half of refugees coming to Lebanon moved at least once before crossing the border; one in ten moved more than three times (UNHCR 01/09/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: 44,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) reside in Lebanon (OCHA 15/01/2015).
All 446 host communities have reported inadequate or insufficient access to water, waste water management systems, affordable housing, and employment opportunities. Conditions in urban locations are better than in rural communities (OCHA 09/2014).
86% of Syrian refugees are living in Lebanon’s 242 most vulnerable locations. Competition for scarce income-generating opportunities, more expensive goods and services, and less affordable accommodation, are the main drivers of tensions (UNHCR 09/2014; REACH 08/2014)
As of August, 13% of households were classified as moderately food insecure, and less than 0.5% were considered severely food insecure. The highest levels of food insecurity are found in North Lebanon (Akkar) and the Bekaa Valley (WFP 18/12/2014). 27% of new Syrian refugees have poor to borderline food consumption scores (UNHCR 08/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
A severe drought has resulted in a substantial decline in agricultural production throughout the country (FAO 11/2014). Average rainfall in 2014 is estimated at 470mm, far below annual averages of 824mm (Inter Press Service 07/2014). Prices inflated as a result, with fruit and vegetables most affected. Aid workers say much of the suffering due to water shortages could be alleviated by repairs to infrastructure (VOA, 23/12/2014).
Aggregate cereal consumption has increased from 0.9 million metric tons a year (2004–2008) to 1.2 million. Lebanon relies heavily on imports: national grain production is tentatively put at just under 200,000 metric tons, similar to last year and the five-year average (FAO 11/2014).
78% of refugee households are not able to generate an income, citing a lack of work as the main issue. 28% of Syrian refugee households resorted to emergency coping strategies in 2014, up from 22% in 2013. Newcomers arriving in 2014 are in general more vulnerable. 39% of refugees surveyed in July were unemployed for over 12 months in Syria before fleeing to Lebanon (UNHCR 09/2014).
30% of refugees are unemployed and 88% of the employed are paid 40% less than the minimum wage. Female Syrian workers earn 30% less than male workers (UNHCR 09/2014). 68% of refugee households reported that WFP vouchers were their main source of income (WFP 09/2014). Approximately 80% of households borrowed money or received credit and/or money to buy food (WFP 09/2014)
Palestinian refugees from Syria: More than 37% of PRS have reported cash and food aid as their main source of income (UNRWA, 03/2014). The majority of employed PRS cannot rely on wages to ensure a decent standard of living. Only 11% of PRS households were able to rely on previous savings and remittances.
Health and Nutrition
72% of primary health centres assessed by UNICEF lack sufficient essential drugs, 67% lack sufficient medication for chronic diseases, and 49% lack sufficient antibiotics for children (08/2014).
Lebanon has a private healthcare system, and cost is a major obstacle for refugees, despite UNHCR covering 75% of medical charges (MSF 19/11/2014). Short opening hours and lack of trained health personnel further limit access. In Akkar, Tripoli, and Bekaa, people have to travel over 2km to access services (OCHA/REACH 10/2014).
Around 300,000 displaced Syrians are estimated to be most vulnerable to mental health concerns; 60% are women and children (WHO 07/2014). 89% of Syrian youth (18–25 years of age) have described themselves as depressed, anxious, or afraid most of the time (UNFPA; UNHCR 10/2014).
Demand for water has increased by 7% due to the refugee influx: 33% of refugee households do not have drinking water, compared to 28% in 2013 (VASyR 08/2014; UNHCR 07/2014). In some areas, water shortages can only be addressed through infrastructure projects (UNHCR 09/2014). An estimated 55.4% of households reported storing water in containers at home, which can increase the risk of infectious disease transmission (UNHCR 10/2014).
Lack of funding in the Tripoli area has led to the suspension of WASH activities in Koura and Batroun districts (UNHCR 31/10/2014).
WASH conditions are worse for refugees in informal settlements, in difficult-to-access locations in the Bekaa Valley and the north, and PRS (UNHCR 07/2014). Informal settlements have limited or no sanitation facilities.
Approximately 12% of households (twice the percentage in 2013) do not have access to a place for washing. Of those who had access, over 7% were sharing bathrooms and latrines with 15 people or more (VASyR 08/2014).
Only 8% of wastewater in Lebanon is treated, and the increase in the population has led to an 8–14% increase in the amount of wastewater generated (Ministry of Environment; UNHCR 16/12/2014).
Waste management: Waste management remains poor in most places where refugees live. Diminishing funding has reduced waste management activities in Bekaa and the north, and municipalities do not have the capacity to collect (UNHCR 09/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
Shelter remains an urgent concern. The number of evictions is growing every month (UNHCR 10/2014). 55% of Syrian refugees live in substandard housing, including 38% in insecure dwellings; and 17% in improvised informal settlements (UNHCR 09/2014). There is a 41% gap in substandard shelter assistance because of lack of funding (UNHCR 31/10/2014).
The number of refugees forced to move to tents in informal shelters continues to grow (MSF, 26/01/2015). As of 1 September, 1,392 informal settlements house 186,240 refugees; in June 2012, there were 282 informal settlements (UNHCR 09/2014, 07/2014). Bekaa has over 700 settlements, and Akkar has over 300, some of which were severely damaged by heavy rainstorms in October. In Akkar, the majority of informal settlements had existed for a year or more, and are generally on private land, on the outskirts of host communities. The populations are highly dependent upon assistance and loans (UNHCR/ REACH 11/2014). In Beirut, many Syrian refugees have settled in Palestinian refugee camps, where WASH and shelter conditions are often substandard (IFRC, 03/02/2015).
On 25 February, heavy rains flooded refugee tents in Zahrani, southern Lebanon (The Daily Star, 26/02/2015).
Winterisation: An approximate 47% gap is recorded in weatherproofing assistance for substandard shelters (OCHA, 15/01/2015). 35,000 families need winterisation assistance (Shelter Cluster, 12/2014). In UNICEF target areas, needs for winter items have more than doubled since the previous winter – over 60% of Syrian refugees live in the north or the Bekaa Valley, where winter conditions are more severe than in the rest of the country. There have been reports of more than 100 shelters and tents damaged. Flooding and standing water is a problem in many places. In southern coastal areas, high waves have flooded some settlements (UNHCR, 09/01/2015). Akkar and the Bekaa Valley are particularly affected by snow (OCHA, 15/01/2015). Unconfirmed reports by local sources indicate that ten Syrian refugees died due to low temperatures during the snowstorm (Reuters, 20/01/2015).
Storm conditions over 10–11 February led to power outages and damage to makeshift houses in Bekaa Valley (Daily Star, 11/02/2015).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: The PRS population has increased from 110,000 to 140,000 since 2011: 44,000 are Palestinian refugees from Syria (OCHA 09/2014; 01/2015). PRS households are residing in alarmingly crowded dwellings, with an average of 4.6 persons per bedroom; 8.4 people on average share one bathroom. Most households (71%) reported paying rent for shelter. Slightly over a quarter of households (27%) were hosted free of charge.
Lebanese returnees: At least 20,000 Lebanese nationals had returned from Syria by mid-December (UNDP, UNHCR, 18/12/2014). Assessments indicate that at least 51% of returnees are shelter insecure: 27% live in single-room structures, warehouses, garages, or unfinished buildings; 4% live in informal settlements and collective shelters; 4% are classified as homeless (IOM/OCHA 09/2014; UNHCR 07/2014).
The school-aged population has increased by almost 480,000 as a result of the refugee influx.
According to ILO estimates, 300,000–400,000 refugee children of school age are not being educated (VoA, 23/01/2015). 90,000 Syrian refugee children between the ages of 5 and 17 were enrolled in public schools in 2013/2014.
Roughly 65% of community representatives in Akkar and Tripoli have reported improving access to education as urgent or critical (OCHA/REACH 10/2014). The biggest barrier to schooling is financial. Other obstacles are a lack of awareness of available educational support; a lack of space in public schools; and the cost of transportation. Language barriers and safety concerns contribute to a high drop-out rate among refugee children (REACH 11/2014; UNHCR 09/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: About 6,600 PRS students have enrolled in 60 UNRWA schools for the 2014/2015 school year (UNRWA 03/12/2014). School enrolment rates have doubled since the previous academic year, to 64%. Enrolment rates are lower for PRS living outside camps, and decrease as children grow older (even within the same household): children aged 13 years and older are facing difficulties adjusting to UNRWA’s Lebanese curriculum, taught in English or French.
Members of the Lebanese army have committed serious violations, including violations of the rights of detained refugees, evictions, and threats of eviction. In addition, 45 Lebanese municipalities have imposed curfews on Syrian refugees since the clashes in Arsal in August. Such curfews violate international human rights law and appear to be illegal under Lebanese law (HRW 10/2014). 570 people were evicted by security forces in October, down from 3,855 in September (UNHCR 31/10/2014). As of February, the Lebanese army has ordered 17,000 refugees in eastern Bekaa Valley to vacate informal tented camps, according to UNHCR, reportedly in an attempt to prevent infiltration by militants (Daily Star, 07/02/2015).
Statelessness: Stateless refugees in Lebanon include Syrian Kurds who were denaturalised in Syria in 1962. Between March 2011 and August 2014, 34,272 Syrian refugees have been born in Lebanon. 72% do not possess an official birth certificate (UNFPA 30/11/2014). The exact number is difficult to ascertain.
Upon arrival, refugees require prompt registration and documentation to ensure access to services, relief assistance, and effective protection interventions. The lack of a legal or administrative refugee framework; the dispersed refugee population; lack of civil status documentation; irregular legal statuses; physical safety and security; and limited access to justice remain challenges (UNHCR 31/10/2014).
Sexual and Gender-based Violence
Displacement increases the risk of SGBV, as does overcrowding, lack of income-generating opportunities, and lack of privacy. Unaccompanied girls and adolescents, single heads of households, child mothers and spouses, and women and girls living with disabilities are the most at risk (UNHCR 14/11/2014). 25% of survivors of reported SGBV cases are under 18 years of age.
The mobility of refugee women in Lebanon is reportedly restricted due to fear of sexual harassment and exploitation (UNFPA 13/08/2014).
A weak legal framework, limited resources, and social barriers prevent refugees at risk of SGBV, or victims, from seeking and receiving adequate protection. Other challenges include lack of documentation and growing tension between refugees and host communities.
Only 30% of Syrian children born in Lebanon have birth certificates (UNHCR 10/11/2014).
There are no official statistics on child marriage, which exists in some areas; but the rate has risen with the influx of Syrian refugees (UNICEF, AFP 08/2014). Child labour is also reported to be increasing. The fragile national child protection system, compounded by protracted displacement and a dispersed refugee population, remain the main challenges in addressing refugee child protection risks (UNHCR 31/10/2014).
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). The main factors that cause children to live or work on the streets are social exclusion, vulnerability of households, the influx of Syrian refugees into Lebanon, as well as organised crime and exploitation of children (ILO et al., 16/02/2015).
Mines and ERW
Lebanon has nearly 1,400 confirmed minefields and 520 cluster munitions strike areas, including in areas hosting refugees. In March 2014, refugees were living within 10–20m of known minefields in West Bekaa and Rashaya (Mine Action Group).
21 February: As of 21 February, 9,229 cumulative cases had been reported, including 4,032 deaths (WHO, 23/02/2015).
22 February: The Government lifted the 12 am - 6 am curfew (AFP, 20/02/2015), and announced that its borders with Sierra Leone and Guinea would reopen on 22 February (UNMEER, 23/02/2015). However, the Guinea and Sierra Leone sides remain closed (Global Communities, 23/02/2015).
20 February: There have been reports of people being forcibly placed under quarantined by the government. INGOs are concerned about the effectiveness and consequence of quarantining suspected patients not showing symptoms (PI, 20/02/2015).
11 February: Rumours which confused the Ebola vaccine trails a recent vaccination campaign led to resistance from many parents and a number of children not being vaccinated. Suspected cases of Measles continue to be reported in Montserrado, Lofa and Marghibi counties (UNICEF, 11/02/2015).
- 23,539 cumulative cases have been reported across the region, including 9,541 deaths, as of 23 February (WHO, 23/02/2015).
- About 630,000 people, or 14% of the population, were estimated to be severely food insecure in November 2014; the EVD impacts accounting for 170,000 people. These numbers are projected to increase to 750,000 and 290,000, respectively, by March 2015. 1.1 million people were estimated to be vulnerable to food insecurity (FAO, 05/01/2015).
- Non-Ebola medical needs cannot be met, leading to an increase in non-Ebola related morbidity and mortality.
For more information on the Ebola crisis in West Africa, visit the ACAPS Ebola Needs Analysis Project page.
The opposition won most seats in the 20 December senatorial elections. Turnout was less than 30% (international media, 24/12/2014; BBC, 23/12/2014).
On 11 February it was announced that of the 3,000 US Department of Defense personnel currently deployed in Liberia, only 100 will remain by the end of April (USAID, 11/02/2015).
On 15 December, the Security Council extended the mandate of the UN Mission in Liberia until 30 September 2015, in light of the consequences of the Ebola outbreak for national reforms (UNSC, 15/12/2014).
Cuba has sent 465 health workers to West Africa (international media, 20/10/2014).
The outbreak in West Africa has been declared a Grade 3 Emergency under WHO’s Emergency Response Framework (ECHO, 29/07/2014). WHO declared the epidemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC).
In the poorest parts of Monrovia and Nimba county, armed attacks and opportunistic crime have increased (DRC, 24/09/2014; UNMEER, 12/11/2014). Several police stations in Monrovia have closed after officers became ill or died of Ebola (AFP, 30/09/2014; UNMEER, 12/11/2014).
Resistance to the Ebola Response
WHO reported that levels of resistance to the Ebola response have increased this week as a result of misinformation about the Ebola vaccine trials (18/02/2015). Social mobilisation efforts are being fuelled by rumours that the Ebola crisis is over as the state of emergency has ended. The senatorial election campaigns of December 2014 strengthened this view (UNMEER, 11/01/2015).
On 13 January, burial teams were reportedly chased away by communities in Konton, Garwula district, Grand Cape Mount (UNMEER, 15/01/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The humanitarian response remains hampered by transportation problems, including a lack of vehicles in good condition, and poor road network due to heavy rains (UNMEER, 05/02/2015; UNICEF, 11/02/2015). In Grand Bassa county, canoes have been banned from crossing the Timbo River, cutting residents off from neighbouring towns (international media, 25/11/2014).
There are concerns that the growing calls for a strike at the national customs authority at the port may delay the delivery of supplies (UNICEF, 11/02/2015).
In October–December, about 18% of households indicated that a household member had left since the Ebola outbreak, with approximately a third leaving the county, predominantly for Monrovia (World Bank, 19/11/2014; 12/01/2015). The migration patterns are similar to standard patterns prior to the Ebola crisis and Ebola does not seem to have led to any major population movements. Many local chiefs have forbidden community members from spending the night outside the village (Food Security Cluster, 30/11/2014).
In November 2014, about 630,000 people, or 14% of the population, were estimated to be severely food insecure; EVD impact accounting for 170,000 people. 1.1 million were estimated vulnerable to food insecurity. The number of food insecure is projected to increase to 750,000 by March 2015, 290,000 of whom due to EVD. Rural areas account for about 76% of EVD-related food insecurity.
As of October 2014, all areas of Liberia are affected by food insecurity (WFP, 10/11/2014). The most food insecure households include food crop producers, fishermen and hunters, and unskilled labourers (FAO, 22/01/2015). In central Liberia, households were using fewer negative coping strategies in December compared to November, but still more than average, with Lofa being the worst affected (WFP, 18/12/2014, WFP, 31/12/2014). Even in counties less affected by Ebola, people have adopted negative coping strategies (Food Security Cluster, 30/11/2014). About two-thirds of surveyed households in December reported not being able to buy enough rice to meet their needs, mainly for lack of money (World Bank, 12/01/2015).
Agriculture and Markets
Quarantine has disrupted trade throughout the country. Inadequate food supplies are reported in Bomi, Bong, Margibi, Montserrado, and Sinoe counties (FEWSNET, 31/12/2014). In rural areas, community members had very limited access to food supplies, as the cost of transportation has risen (Food Security Cluster; 30/11/2014; FAO, 22/01/2015). Most weekly markets have reportedly reopened, but only 60% were and functioning normally in the week of 22 December. Inadequate food availability was reported by 25–50% of traders on markets in Lofa, Gbapolu, Montserrado, Margibi, Bong, Nimba and Grand Gedeh counties (FEWSNET 07/01/2015).
Nationally, rice production in 2014 is estimated to have declined by 12%, and cassava by 5%. In Lofa and Margibi, a 20-25% decrease in rice production has been reported because of limited maintenance of the fields (Food Security Cluster, 30/11/2014; FAO, 05/01/2015; FAO, 22/01/2015). There has been a substantial return to agriculture since early October (World Bank, 19/11/2014).
Based on commercial forecasts, there is a rice import gap of 90,000 metric tons, which is exacerbating national food insecurity, as 60% of Liberians rely on imported staple crops (FAO, 05/01/2015; 22/01/2015). Surveys indicated that rice prices are 40% above the January baseline in more than seven counties, with the largest increase in Lofa (World Bank, 12/01/2015; BBC, 27/01/2015). This is attributed to the interruption of trade as a consequence of Ebola, as well as the devaluation of the Liberian dollar (UNDP, 24/12/2014; ECHO, 31/12/2014).
In 2014 GDP growth fell to 2.2% from 5.9% expected before the Ebola crisis (FAO, 22/01/2015). Household income had dropped by 35% as of October (UNDP, 14/11/2014). 10% of businesses in a joint survey had closed in relation to the Ebola crisis; the numbers of employees has decreased by 33% in all sectors and locations. 31% of businesses that use transportation reported an increase in transportation costs during September 2014 (Building Markets, WFP and African Development Bank, 12/2014; Building Markets, 11/2014). 95% of small loan associations reported high absenteeism at weekly meetings, and over 90% reported zero cash balances (FAO, 19/12/2015).
In an Oxfam survey, 75% of families have seen their incomes decline, with an average income drop of 39% (Reuters, 27/01/2015). Wage rates have dropped 12–20% since November in all monitored areas, as demand for labour declined in the post-harvest period. The drop is steeper in western counties (-33%), possibly as a consequence of the increased Ebola caseload (WFP, 18/12/2014). In counties severely affected by Ebola, household incomes have decreased as food sales have been affected (Joint assessment by UN, Government and Food Security Cluster, 30/11/2014).
The self-employed, over 30% of working households before the crisis have been hardest hit. Women are particularly vulnerable since they work disproportionately in non-farm self-employment. 60% of women have ceased working since the crisis began, compared to 40% of men (World Bank, 12/01/2015).
Health and Nutrition
Only 44% of routine health services are reported to be operational by the Ministry of Health, despite a large number of health facilities being listed as open (Government, 30/11/2014; UNMEER, 12/12/2014). Only 27% of routine health facilities reported carrying out triage (UNMEER, 29/12/2014).
Routine immunisation teams have reported community resistance in various districts. In some of these the resistance is linked to misconceptions about Ebola vaccine trials that are ongoing at the same time, leading to some children not receiving the vaccinations in various districts (UNMEER, 05/02/2015).
As of 21 February, 9,229 cumulative cases had been reported, including 4,032 deaths (WHO, 23/02/2015). The utility of case numbers has been questioned; statistics are reported to be highly unreliable due to a lack of a comprehensive contact tracing, timely case investigation, and rapid Ebola testing (CDC, 09/2014; international media, 20/11/2014).
Two confirmed cases were reported in four days to 12 February. All confirmed cases were reported from Montserrado and are linked to the same chain of transmission. Montserrado is the only county to have reported a confirmed case in 29 days (WHO, 18/02/2105). All districts in Liberia have reported at least one case of EVD since the start of the outbreak. 371 health workers have been infected, 179 of whom have died (WHO, 28/01/2015).
Healthcare provision: The caseload of suspected and probable reported cases remains high, requiring resources for laboratory confirmation and alternative diagnosis and treatment for those who are Ebola-negative (WHO, 09/02/2015; 06/02/2015). A clinical trial of an experimental drug has been halted due to the decrease in Ebola cases (international media, 03/02/2015; MSF, 05/02/2015). On 26 January, it was announced that an ETU in Foya, Lofa, at the epicentre of the outbreak, would be closed (AFP, 27/01/2015). County health teams report inadequate training in case investigation, contact tracing, and collecting and handling patient specimens. They reported limited supply of PPEs, no training in its proper use, and lack of essential drugs, as well as challenges because of poor transportation and communication networks (CDC, 19/12/2014). There are shortages of ambulances, vehicles for case investigations, and thermometers (UNMEER, 11/02/2015). The lack of basic supplies and of payment of hazard benefits is leading to difficulties retaining medical staff in Cestos City, Rivercess county, and health workers refusing to enter isolation units in Sinoe county (UNMEER, 21/01/2015; UNMEER, 18/02/2015). Storage capacity for medical supplies remains a main constraint, causing major delays in distribution to health facilities (UNICEF, 07/01/2015).
Containment measures: On 22 February the 12 am - 6 am curfew was officially lifted (AFP, 20/02/2015), and the government reopened its borders with Sierra Leone and Guinea, which have been closed since the 29 July (UNMEER, 23/02/2015). However, the Guinea and Sierra Leone sides remain closed and people are not travelling freely across the border (Global Communities, 23/02/2015). On 3 February, the first large-scale trials of two Ebola vaccines was halted because the low case numbers in the country being unlikely to lead to a clear result (Guardian, 03/02/2015). Future trials are planned for Sierra Leone. There were conflicting reports concerning the reception of the trials, with many sources reporting widespread resistance and some government sources reporting a high level of enthusiasm (Government, 10/02/2015; PI, 13/02/2015).
On 20 February, 30 people were placed under observation after a women with the Ebola virus entered a hospital in Monrovia without being screened or declaring her illness (AFP, 20/02/2015). On 29 December, 2,000 people were quarantined in Lofe town, Margibi county after a corpse transported for burial was confirmed infected with Ebola (international media, 29/12/2014). All or parts of Lofa, Bomi, Bong, Gbarpolu and Grand Cape Mount counties have been under quarantine since 8 August and Montserrado, Margibi, Grand Bassa and Grand Gedeh counties since 14 August (IFRC, 12/11/2014). Limited information is available about their current status. The chairman of the National Council of Chiefs and Elders asked all traditional spiritual healers to stop activities and bush schools until Liberia is declared Ebola-free (international organisation, 26/01/2015).
There have been reports of people being forcibly placed under quarantine by the government. Recently, a “gang” of young males were allegedly placed inside an ETU scheduled for decommission after one member died of suspicious circumstances. (PI, 20/02/2015). On 3 October, Parliament criminalised the deliberate concealment of information about people with contagious diseases such as Ebola and HIV, after a similar law was passed in Sierra Leone (UN, 04/10/2014).
Prior the borders reopening, there had been reports of a number of illegal border crossing points continuing to operate due to extensive cultural, economic, and family linkages (USAID, 05/02/2015; UNMEER, 12/02/2015). Guineans have crossed into the area of Saclepea, Nimba county to escape a recent flare-up in Lola (UNMEER, 11/02/2015). The movement of goods and people may facilitate cross border contamination (UNICEF, 07/01/2015).
Regional Ebola Outbreak
23,539 cumulative cases have been reported across the region, including 9,541 deaths, as of 23 February (WHO, 23/02/2015).
Before the Ebola outbreak, more than 70% of the 30,000 HIV patients in Liberia had access to treatment, but more than 60% of the facilities distributing antiretroviral medicines have since closed, according to the National AIDS Control Program (IRIN, 21/11/2014).
Women in the three most-affected countries are no longer giving birth in health facilities and the number of assisted births has decreased (UNMEER, 03/11/2014; IASC, 10/02/2015). In addition, Ebola-infected pregnant women are often not permitted in Ebola treatment centres because of the high risk of contamination during delivery. Maternal deaths are projected to have double to over 1,000 per 100,000 live births in Liberia from pre-Ebola levels (UNFPA, 13/02/2015).
In response to the measles outbreak in Lofa county a second round of periodic intensification of routine immunisation was conducted in all 15 counties for measles and other vaccinations, with an emphasis on children under one year who missed their routine vaccination. However, rumours which confused the Ebola vaccine trails and routine vaccination led to resistance from many parents, and a number of children were not vaccinated. Suspected cases of measles continue to be reported in Montserrado, Lofa, and Margibi counties (UNICEF, 11/02/2015).
52,000 children are estimated to be at risk of severe acute malnutrition (SAM). However, there is no nutritional status information post-Ebola, since “no-touch” policy has prevented screenings. 73 acute malnutrition treatment sites remain open. Rapid nutrition assessments are planned end of February (UNICEF, 24/01/2015).
Half of the population have no access to toilets (UNMEER, 20/11/2014). Two million people are in need of WASH, being directly or indirectly affected by the EVD epidemic (UNMEER, 12/12/2014). The supply of buckets and chlorine water solution for hand washing is inadequate (UNMEER, 16/01/2015). WASH services in the Ebola treatment centres have been prioritised, leading to regular acute shortages of safe water supply among communities (PI, 24/01/2015).
Challenges remain regarding on-site and off-site management of liquid waste from some of the first Ebola treatment units constructed (UNICEF, 07/01/2015).
16 February was the official date for schools to open, though many remain closed. More continue to open, but the exact numbers are unknown. An SMS survey indicates 38% of schools report they are open, but there was a very low response rate to the survey. (UNMEER, 19/02/2015: PI, 20/02/2015). Many schools are still lacking chlorinated water and thermometers (BBC, 04/02/2015). 54% of schools have no access to water (PI, 09/01/2015).
Traditional coping mechanisms and social bonds are breaking down, as people who exhibit symptoms of Ebola or are related to sick people are being rejected from communities (CARE, 30/09/2014). Many survivors returning home find their possessions have been destroyed to prevent spread of the virus. Fear and distrust among the community lead to isolation and loss of income. Women and girls are especially vulnerable as they have lower access to jobs and education (UNFPA, 03/02/2015). Families of victims, survivors and people quarantined are experiencing physical and verbal abuse and lack access to health facilities, food and water sources (UNMEER, 30/11/2014; UNMEER, 11/01/2015).
5,688 children have been identified as affected, which is defined as quarantined, unaccompanied, orphaned and separated children, in treatment and discharged (UNICEF, 20/02/2015). It is estimated that up to 7,500 children are orphaned by EVD (UNICEF, 11/02/2015). Social workers have raised fears of child trafficking and exploitation, after some children, who have been placed into foster care and are receiving material support or onetime cash grants, have been claimed by strangers who failed to come forward previously (UNICEF, 31/12/2014).
Libya Country Analysis
25 February: Some 20,000 Egyptians have fled Libya since 15 February, many of them from Sirte (AP, 25/02/2015).
24 February: Libya’s Tobruk-based House of Representatives officially declared Khalifa Hafta army chief (Middle East Eye, 24/02/2015).
23 February: Libya’s House of Representatives suspended its participation in UN-brokered peace talks, citing the rival government’s alleged failure to condemn the IS attack (BBC, 23/02/2015).
20 February: Armed groups claiming affiliation to IS carried out twin suicide attacks in Al Gubba, near Derna, in eastern Libya, killing at least 44 people, including six Egyptians, and injuring dozens more (HRW, 24/02/2015; The Daily Star, 24/02/2015). IS stated the strikes were in retaliation for Egyptian airstrikes (BBC, 23/02/2015).
16 February: Egypt carried out airstrikes on the city of Derna, IS stronghold in Libya, reportedly killing seven civilians (Reuters, 23/02/2015).
15 February: Militants pledging allegiance to Islamic State killed 21 Coptic Christians, 20 of whom were Egyptians that had been previously abducted (HRW, 23/02/2015).
- The conflict has affected more than two million people (UN, 03/09/2014)
- There are 393,420 IDPs in 35 cities and towns in Libya (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). More than 150,000 people have sought refuge abroad (UNHCR 10/10/2014).
- Over 331,000 people are at risk and in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 08/10/2014).
- Indiscriminate shelling and targeting of civilian areas (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
- Access is a major concern (OCHA, 03/09/2014).
It is estimated that two million people have been affected by the conflict, which has generated shortages of food, fuel, water, medical supplies, and electricity, as well as reduced access to healthcare and public services.
The rapidly deteriorating security situation has caused waves of displacement, particularly in the western outskirts of Tripoli and the eastern city of Benghazi. The fighting deepened the humanitarian needs of IDPs and communities affected by the fighting. The price of food and basic items, such as cooking fuel and wheat flour, have doubled.
Most displaced people are living in schools and host communities are under growing strain. Access is difficult, with blocked roads preventing the delivery of food and medical supplies to areas most affected by conflict.
Libya has two rival parliaments and governments, with militias exerting much control on the ground. The political crisis led to worsening armed conflict over 2014. Rival economic policies and a potential struggle over the control of resources is likely to exacerbate the crisis, and worsen the economic situation (Financial Times, 08/12/2014).
The House of Representatives was elected in June and Prime Minister Al Thani’s Government was sworn in on 28 September. It moved to Tobruk in early August and towards the end of 2014 to the town of Shahat (AFP, 12/11/2014). In October, Libya’s the House of Representatives officially endorsed former General Haftar and his Operation Dignity (now known as the Libyan National Army) against Islamist militias. On 6 November, Libya’s Supreme Court ruled the House of Representatives unconstitutional. Certain members of the House of Representatives declared that they did not recognise the ruling (UNHCR, 14/11/2014).
The Islamist-dominated General National Congress (GNC), which preceded the House of Representatives and had never stood down, reconvened and voted to replace the House on 25 August.
UN-brokered talks between the House of Representatives and elected members who boycotted the assembly and had links to the GNC began on 29 September (Reuters, 01/10/2014).
During peace talks, opposing factions have agreed on a roadmap to form a unity government. A provisional ceasefire was later agreed by the main warring factions, beginning on 18 January (NYT, 18/01/2015). Libya Dawn was not at the negotiations, but agreed to a unilateral provisional ceasefire (AFP, 15/01/2015; BBC, 22/01/2015). Following the provisional ceasefire agreement, Libya Dawn announced it would ensure safe passages to channel humanitarian aid, particularly to Benghazi (AFP, 18/01/2015).
Fighting has since been reported in several locations, potentially jeopardising the ceasefire and durable solutions to the crisis. (AFP, 16/01/2015).
Another round of peace talks was held in Geneva over 26–27 January, without key representatives from the GNC. On 11 February, yet another round of talks began, involving both governments (AFP, 11/02/2015). On 23 February, the House of Representatives suspended its participation in UN-brokered peace talks that had started on 19 February in Morroco, citing the GNC’s alleged failure to condemn the recent IS attack (BBC, 23/02/2015).
The surge in violence since mid-July has affected more than two million people (UN, 03/09/2014). In 2014, there were 2,383 reported fatalities from battles and remote violence (ACLED, 15/01/2015). Fighting was concentrated mainly in Tripoli and Benghazi. An abundance of weapons from the NATO-backed uprising against Gaddafi are sustaining warring factions (AFP, 14/07/2014). The United Nations Stabilization Mission for Libya (UNSMIL) left the country in mid-July. Analysts believe the fighting to be rooted in struggles about patronage, control over wealth and resources and influence in the central government, rather than ideological rifts between Islamists and anti-Islamists (ACLED, 15/01/2015; NYT, 21/01/2015).
The Libya Shield brigades, tied to the city of Misrata, are allied to Islamist political forces, as are the Shura Council of Benghazi Revolutionaries (SCBR), a Benghazi-based alliance including Ansar al Sharia, Libya Shield units and other armed groups. Together with insurgents from Tripoli and other towns including al Zawiya and Gheryan, these groups make up the Libya Dawn.
Ansar al Sharia has declared an Islamic emirate in the eastern city of Derna and pledged allegiance to Islamic State (Al Arabiya, 06/10/2014).
The Al Qa’qa’ and Al Sawai’q brigades, allied with the city of Zintan, and fighters from the Warshefana region west of Tripoli, back the House of Representatives, as does former General Khalifa Haftar, supported by units of Libya's regular armed forces. Haftar launched Operation Dignity in May, aiming to break the strongholds of Islamist forces. At end October, the House of Representatives declared a formal alliance with former General Haftar (Reuters, 20/10/2014). Operation Dignity and its supporters are now called the Libyan National Army (LNA) (ICG, 05/01/2014). On 24 February, the House of Representatives officially declared General Haftar army chief (Middle East Eye, 24/02/2015). The House of Representatives has repeatedly appealed to the international community for more weapons since January (AFP, 05/01/2014).
The Battar brigade is the main Islamic State (IS) force in Libya and based in Derna. It is not affiliated with either of the rival governments and has warned all governments and militia groups not to interfere with its activities. Reportedly, the group has been operating in Leithi neighbourhood of Benghazi (Libya Herald, 23/02/2015).
Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria have been concerned that the violence will spill into their territories (Reuters, 11/10/2014). In August, the United States said Egypt and the United Arab Emirates secretly bombed Islamist militia positions near Tripoli's airport (AFP, 08/10/2014). On 8 October, Prime Minister Al Thani announced that Egypt would help to train the Libyan army.
According to intelligence sources, Islamist groups have set up training camps in Libya. Islamist fighters pushed out of Mali following French intervention are also said to be hiding in Libya’s south. Experts see links between these groups and Islamist militias in northern and eastern Libya (AFP, 26/10/2014). Islamic State (IS) has set up training camps in eastern Libya for several hundred fighters, according to US officials (BBC, 04/12/2014).
Palestinian, Sudanese, and Syrian nationals have been banned from entering Libya. The Interior Minister stated he had received intelligence reports indicating that nationals of these counties were heading to Libya to join opposition forces in the west (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).
On 15 February, militants pledging allegiance to Islamic State executed 21 Coptic Christians, 20 of them Egyptians that had been abducted earlier (HRW, 23/02/2015).
El Sharara oilfield in the south of the country was attacked and shut down by gunmen supporting Libya Dawn in early November; Libya Dawn has taken control of the field by early December (Reuters, 11/11/2014; Daily Mail, 08/12/2014).
Tripoli and Western Libya
Tripoli has witnessed a wave of violence since 13 July, when Operation Dawn was launched, but has largely been under the control of Operation Dawn. In November, clashes and airstrikes by Operation Dignity forced the temporary closure of Mitiga Airport, the last functioning airport in the capital.
In October and November, there were clashes between militias from Zintan and supporters of Operation Dawn in the town of Kekla (AFP, 13/10/2014). Operation Dawn expanded south into the Nafusa mountain region, with factional fighting between Zintan militia and Misrata and other tribal and city-based militia groups (ACLED, 24/11/2014).
In December, Operation Dignity reportedly targeted Dawn strongholds in Zwara, 110km from Tripoli, and close to the Tunisian border (AFP, 02/12/2014; Reuters, 05/12/2014; Asharq Al Awsat, 6/12/2014; Libya Herald, 07/12/2014).
On 27 January, gunmen killed nine people in a hotel in Tripoli before blowing themselves up. The attack was claimed by Islamic State. The GNC stated the attack was an attempt to assassinate its chief, Omar al Hassi, who was inside the hotel at the time, and blamed Haftar (AFP, 29/01/2015).
Benghazi and Eastern Libya
Operation Dignity began an offensive on Benghazi on 15 October; SCBR had apparently been in control since mid-July (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). In December, Ansar al Sharia was reported to be firing missiles indiscriminately into Benghazi (Libya Herald, 07/12/2014). Between mid-October and January, 600 people were killed due to fighting in the city, according to medical staff (Reuters, 18/01/2015). On 18 December, Libya Dawn forces had reportedly withdrawn from the area between Sirte and Benghazi (ANSAmed, 18/12/2014). In early January, the Libyan National Army claimed to have almost full control of Benghazi’s Laithi district, which had been a key Ansar Al Sharia stronghold (Libya Herald, 06/01/2015). On 6 February, the LNA claimed to have taken control of central Bengahzi’s port area as well as taken part of the neighbouring Suq Al-Hout district following heavy fighting there the day before (Libya Herald, 06/01/2015).
Oilfields and Terminals
In December, Libya Dawn announced a campaign for the control of oilfields and terminals (The Telegraph, 14/12/2014). As Sidr, Libya’s biggest oilfield, and Ras Lanuf oil terminal, between Sirte and Benghazi, were closed following clashes. Fighting was reported at Al Ghani oilfield, near Zillah (IHS Jane, 18/12/2014). Misrata was later raided (AFP, 30/12/2014, 05/01/2015). On 20 January, renewed Libya Dawn–LNA clashes were reported near As Sidr (Reuters, 20/01/2015). On 3 February, Libya Dawn affiliated Islamist militants temporarily seized Al Mabruk oilfield south of Sirte, leaving at least 11 dead, one of them a foreign national. According to local sources, three Filipino nationals have possibly been kidnapped (BBC, 04/02/2015).
Over 3-4 January, the LNA launched airstrikes on an oil tanker in the Islamist-held port of Derna, killing two crew members and wounding others (AFP, 05/01/2014).
On 16 February, Egypt carried out airstrikes on the city of Derna, IS’ stronghold in Libya, reportedly killing seven civilians (Reuters, 23/02/2015). Days later, armed groups claiming affiliation to IS carried out twin suicide attacks in Al Gubba, near Derna, killing at least 44 people, including six Egyptians, and injuring dozens more (HRW, 24/02/2015, The Daily Star, 24/02/2015). IS stated the strikes were in retaliation for Egyptian airstrikes (BBC, 23/02/2015).
Intermittent violence in the south, linked to inter and intra-ethnic rivalries, has been exacerbated by geopolitics and shifting allegiances. Conflict, particularly in and around the cities of Sabha and Ubari, has resulted in displacement (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). Ubari saw repeated armed clashes between the Tebu (allied with the House of Representatives) and Tuareg (allied with Libya Dawn) communities between mid-September and December. Tuareg families sought shelter and medical aid outside the city (WHO, 24/11/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Indiscriminate fighting has led to restrictions of movement for people trying to flee conflict areas. Violence and checkpoints along the route to Zawia from Tripoli are preventing people from reaching the Tunisian border. The Salloum border crossing between Libya and Egypt has been closed indefinitely (Libya Herald, 21/01/2015). All commercial flights to Libya have been suspended (The Telegraph, 06/01/2015).
Access to areas most affected by conflict is difficult, with security constraints and blocked roads preventing the delivery of food and medical supplies. Armed groups lack knowledge of humanitarian organisations and restrict their access to people in need. Following the provisional ceasefire agreement, Libya Dawn announced it would ensure safe passages to channel humanitarian aid, particularly to Benghazi (AFP, 18/01/2015).
Most humanitarian agencies have left. Even before the worsening security situation, there were few humanitarian agencies with staff on the ground in Libya. The lack of available cooperating partners is a major challenge for aid delivery (IRIN, 30/09/2014). The national agency tasked with leading the humanitarian response evaluates its own response capacity as almost non-existent (IRIN 07/08/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
On 4 June, an ICRC staff member was assassinated in Sirte, prompting the ICRC to suspend its work in the country (UN Security Council, 05/09/2014).
Significant damage and destruction has been reported to public installations in Tripoli’s southern and western suburbs (UN Security Council, 05/09/2014). In October, power outages were reported in Tripoli (IRIN, 01/10/2014). Shortages of diesel have been reported (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). Numerous civilian aircraft have been damaged at Tripoli airport. Bridge 27, linking Tripoli and western Libyan cities, has been damaged (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
As of 14 November, there are 393,420 IDPs in 35 cities and towns in Libya (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). Additionally, at least 56,544 IDPs are still displaced since the 2011 conflict (IDMC, 23/09/2014).
Near Tripoli, NGOs and the local council estimate some 83,270 people are living in settlements, schools and abandoned buildings (UNHCR, 16/01/2015).
In Benghazi, the local council is reporting around 90,000 people unable to return home. The displacement has been centred around Benghazi, Derna, and near the Gulf of Sidra, in Ben Jawad and Ras Lanuf (UNHCR, 16/01/2015).
Around Ubari, local crisis committees in the southeast confirm 18,492 people from Ubari are displaced in six towns: Sabha, Wadi Shati, Jufra, Ghat, Murzuq, and Lewenat (UNHCR, 16/01/2015). IDPs from Ubari are facing difficulties as services have been severely disrupted by fighting. Schools, hospitals and markets remain completely inaccessible (UNHCR, 16/01/2015).
In the west, civilian groups report 38,640 people have been displaced by fighting in Kikla, including many women and children (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). 100,000 people have been displaced from the area around Warshefana since mid-September (UNHCR, 10/10/2014).
As of early October, most displaced people were living with local families (UNHCR, 10/10/2014). However, many IDPs are now reported to be living in schools. Some local councils have stopped registering new arrivals due to limited response capacity.
According to UNSMIL, the Benghazi Local Council has registered some 34,000 IDPs in need of basic assistance (UNHCR, 14/11/2014). Al Marj, near Benghazi, has had to close its schools to accommodate people unable to stay with host families. Al Bayda and Tobruk are also under pressure. Schools in Tobruk will be closed so they can host IDPs.
An estimated 35,000 of Tawerghan IDPs have been sheltering in temporary camps in Tripoli and Benghazi since 2011. No aid has been provided to the Tawergha camps since February 2014. While 10,000 Tawergha who had fled Tripoli have mostly returned, in the east, where the community is estimated to be 18,000-strong, many families are still displaced (IRIN, 10/12/2014). Some 2,500 Tawergha left their camp in Benghazi because of fighting and were staying in parks, schools and parking lots in and around the town of Ajdabiya, many with only thin plastic sheets for shelter (UNHCR, 14/11/2014).
Migrants, Refugees and Asylum-seekers in Libya
Prior to the crisis, in addition to IDPs from the 2011 conflict, Libya was supporting a growing population of refugees and asylum seekers using the country as an exit point to Europe. At end December, the total number of refugees in Libya was 36,984 (OCHA, 28/12/2014). In addition, IOM estimates that there are at least 150,000 migrant workers in Libya, 5,000 of whom might be vulnerable and in need of evacuation assistance, health services, and psychosocial support (IOM, 08/01/2015).
Detention of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in Libya is widespread and prolonged; conditions, which were poor prior to the current fighting, have worsened (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). Third-country nationals face extreme difficulties leaving the country as passage through Libya’s borders with Egypt and Tunisia is restricted (IOM, 14/09/2014).
Refugees and Third-country Nationals in Neighbouring Countries
By September, more than 150,000 people, including third-country nationals (estimated at 15,000) had sought refuge abroad since the beginning of the conflict (OCHA, 03/09/2014).
Since 15 February, some 20,000 Egyptians have fled Libya, many of them from Sirte (AP, 25/02/2015).
Main departure points to Europe have shifted from Tripoli towards Benghazi, from where the journey is longer and more dangerous (IRIN, 06/08/2014). According to estimates, more than 3,000 migrants died trying to cross the Mediterranean between January and September 2014, more than double the previous peak in 2011 (IOM, cited in AFP 02/10/2014). The vast majority of refugees and migrants who arrived in Italy in 2014 had departed from Libya (AI, 30/09/2014).
Approximately 1.8 million people have fled to Tunisia since 2011 (NYT, 09/09/2014).
Insecurity is affecting the food supply chain, with some estimates indicating a substantial decline in food imports into eastern Libya since May. Food prices in Tripoli remain volatile, reducing the purchasing power of the poorest households (WFP, 18/12/2014).
Shortages of basic food supplies have been reported in all areas of Tripoli and food prices have risen drastically (IOM, 12/08/2014; UNHCR, 14/11/2014). Warehouses (both public and private) are situated in conflict areas, and fuel shortages are aggravating the situation.
Fighting has disrupted oil exports as well as imports of goods by road and sea, and caused problems purchasing food on international markets. The HoR has reported it had started tapping into the country’s strategic wheat reserves to ensure bread supplies. In recent weeks some bakeries in Tripoli and Benghazi have closed or produce less (Reuters, 04/02/2015).
People in Benghazi and Tripoli specifically, and in other cities in general, have been facing regular electricity cuts, plus interruptions to the internet and wider communications. In Tripoli, fuel shortages and water cuts have affected livelihoods (IFRC, 12/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Large numbers of expatriate medical personnel have left Libya, and such staff make up 80% of all medical personnel, according to the Ministry of Health.
Access to health services has become a major concern mainly in Benghazi. Ongoing fighting has led to restrictions of movement for people and health workers in the conflict areas (WHO, 24/11/2014).
The hospitals that remain operating in Tripoli and Benghazi have been overstretched dealing with casualties. Many national medical personnel have not been able to work due to insecurity. Tripoli hospitals have been hit by shelling, leading to suspension of services. Ambulances have been stolen. In Warshefana, fighting has disrupted health services (ICRC, 17/09/2014).
In August and September, a number of reports indicated shortages in medical supplies, destruction of storage facilities, and problems access warehouses in a number of towns (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014; IOM, 12/08/2014; IFRC, 12/08/2014; ICRC, 17/09/2014).
In Tripoli, shortages of water were reported in November (UNHCR, 14/11/2014).
Alongside civilian properties, factories, mosques, and shops have also been destroyed in residential areas (Amnesty International, 08/08/2014).
Abductions, looting, burning of homes and other acts of revenge have all been frequently reported (UN Security Council, 05/09/2014). With some exceptions, civilians have not been given the chance to evacuate before hostilities commenced and severe fighting has taken place in and around houses and other places of refuge (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
In Benghazi and nearby Derna, there were at least 250 politically motivated killings in 2014 (HRW, 24/09/2014). Armed militias controlling Derna are reported to have carried out summary executions, public floggings, and other violent abuse (HRW, 27/11/2014). In Tripoli, a number of activists and other public figures have been abducted, received threats or had their homes looted or burned (UNHCR, 14/10/2014).
Abduction and Detention
In mid-January, a group claiming affiliation with Islamic State claimed to have 21 Coptic Egyptians seized from various places in Tripoli province (Libya Herald, 14/01/2015). Militants pledging allegiance to IS on 15 February beheaded 21 Coptic Christians, 20 of them Egyptian (HRW, 24/02/2015).
In addition to the detention of fighters or suspected fighters, dozens of civilians remain missing (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014).
Third-country refugees and asylum-seekers, including unaccompanied children, face arbitrary arrest and indefinite detention for migration control purposes by both state and non-state actors. Torture and ill-treatment have also been reported (AI, 30/09/2014).
Mines and ERW
Incorrectly armed fuses or faulty ammunition have resulted in large quantities of unexploded ordnance in conflict areas (UNSMIL, 04/09/2014). According to Islamist militias, approximately 600 anti-personnel mines have been cleared since they seized Tripoli airport on 24 August (HRW, 05/11/2014).
No significant developments this week, 25/02/2015. Last update: 18/02/2015.
- 638,000 affected by rains and floods in January, in urgent need of food, shelter and NFI, health, WASH and protection support (Government/OCHA, 22/01/2015).
- Up to 55% of girls and more than 70% of boys experienced some form of violence while growing up (UNICEF, 30/06/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
740,000 people are in need of assistance in 2015, including almost 400,000 children (UNICEF, 29/01/2015).
Information on the number of people in camps and the shelter needs of people outside camps is lacking (Government/UN, 11/02/2015).
Access to the worst-hit flood areas has been constrained by damaged roads and bridges (WFP, 23/01/2015). Road access to the east bank in Nsanje and to Chiwalo in Phalombe is limited (Government/UN, 11/02/2015). Around 20,000 people affected by the floods in remote areas of the south remained cut off from assistance at 22 January (MSF, 22/01/2015).
At 17 February, the Preliminary Response Plan to the Malawi floods, appealing for USD 81 million, was 40% funded, with big gaps in critical humanitarian sectors (Government/UN, 17/02/2015).
Heavy rains since early January have led to severe flooding across Malawi and caused great damage to crops, livestock, food stocks, and infrastructure; they were continuing mid-February (ACT, 15/01/2015; Government/UN, 17/02/2015). The southern districts of Nsanje, Chikwawa, Phalombe, and Zomba are most affected, and 15 districts declared a state of emergency.
Around 638,000 people have been affected overall, 104 have died and 645 injured and 172 are missing. Priority needs are for food, shelter and NFIs, WASH and protection (Government/UN, 11/02/2015; Government/UN, 22/01/2015).
At 11 February, nearly 230,000 people had been displaced, mostly in the southern districts of Zomba, Blantyre and Mulanje (Government/UN, 11/02/2015).
The majority of the displaced have sought shelter with relatives, and are living in precarious and unsanitary conditions. There are increasing reports of displaced populations moving back to their homes, especially in Zomba; shelter support is a priority (Government/UN, 24/02/2015).
At August 2014, there were 19,923 refugees and asylum seekers in Malawi, mostly from DRC, Burundi and Rwanda, residing in Dzaleka camp in Dowa district in central Malawi or among host communities (UNHCR, 30/08/2014).
370,000 people are in need of urgent food assistance in the 15 flood-affected districts. As a result of reduced market access and supplies after the floods, displaced households are in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and the remaining affected people are Stressed (IPC Phase 2). Assistance is required until at least June (FEWSNET, 11/02/2015).
Poor households in Middle Shire Valley (Balaka, Neno, Mwanza, and Blantyre districts) and Phalombe plain (Mulanje and Phalombe districts) affected by the poor harvest in 2014 were facing Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food security levels in December, but only due to assistance (11/02/2015). 640,000 people in 19 districts were food insecure in November (FEWSNET, 29/11/2014).
Around 64,000 hectares of land have been submerged, including 42,000 hectares of cropland, affecting 116,000 farmers (Government/UN, 03/02/2015). An estimated 4,300 hectares of farmland have been destroyed in Chikwawa, 1,500 in Nsanje, and 8,550 in Phalombe (Government/UN, 27/01/2015). The extent of inundated cropland might result in total loss of production and significant food gaps, particularly for poor households during the 2015/16 consumption year (FEWSNET, 31/01/2015).
Health and Nutrition
Health facilities in affected districts have been damaged by floods; lack of personnel and medical supplies to cope with the needs of the displaced populations is also an issue (Government/UN, 23/01/2015).
The spread of waterborne diseases is a major concern due to overcrowding in shelters, shortage of WASH services, and stagnant waters (IFRC, 22/01/2015). 39 cases of cholera were confirmed in Nsanje and Mwaza, which was not affected by floods, on 17 February, including two deaths (Government/UN, 24/02/2015). Malaria outbreaks and diarrhoea, eye infections, and scabies cases are also increasingly reported (Government/UN, 03/02/2015). Health sector interventions are a priority in displacement sites in Phalombe (Government/UN, 30/01/2015).
A rise in malnutrition cases among children under five and pregnant and lactating women has been reported (Government/UN, 30/01/2015). 25,313 children aged 6–59 months were suffering from SAM as of July (UNICEF, 27/09/2014).
70,000 people are in need of WASH assistance (Government/UN, 03/02/2015). Water sources have either been damaged or contaminated in the affected areas. Pit latrines have also been damaged, contaminating water sources (UNICEF, 26/01/2015).
WASH services, including shower and latrine facilities, are lacking in displacement sites in Nsanje, especially in the east bank, where the current sanitation ratio is one drop hole for 150 people (Government, 17/02/2015, 24/02/2015). Tensions between villagers and IDPs on the use of boreholes have been reported in Chikwawa (Government/UN, 30/01/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
31,636 families are in need of emergency shelter as a result of the floods, while 2,700 need to be relocated from sites due to overcrowding. In Nsanje, relocation from schools is challenged by lack of shelter and access to WASH in the district (Government/UN, 03/02//2015).
Improved temporary shelter and NFI support is required in most IDP sites. IDP sites in Nsanje and Chikwawa are in urgent need of consistent food and NFI distributions, increased site management, and shelter and protection support. 232 tents are required overall (Government/UN, 06/02/2015, 03/02/2015).
415 schools and 350,000 students have been affected by floods, including 181 schools being used as camps. Phalombe is the most affected with 37 damaged schools, while children in Chabuka and Savala displacement sites in Chikwawa are currently not attending school (Government/UN, 03/02/2015). 800 tents are needed to host schools, as are school kits and psychological support for children (Government, 17/01/2015).
School dropouts were reported in Nsanje due to poor/non-existing school facilities and bullying (Government/UN, 11/02/2015).
Protection issues include cases of sexual abuse and transactional sex, and lack of well-lit latrines in Nsanje, especially in IDP sites (Government/UN, 30/01/2015). Around 1,600 children were separated from their families (SOS Children's Villages International, 10/02/2015).
Up to 55% of girls and more than 70% of boys experienced some form of violence while growing up in Malawi. Two in five girls and two out of three boys experience physical violence, while one in five girls and one in three boys experience emotional and sexual violence (UNICEF, 30/06/2014).
Mali Country Analysis
24 February: Armed groups accused each other of acts of violence days after an agreement to cease hostilities (AFP).
- Security, particularly in the north, remains volatile, and access is limited for aid workers. Security in and around the northeastern region of Kidal remains of particular concern, and security incidents in Gao have increased since late 2014.
- 181,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition (OCHA, 10/02/2015).
- 263,000 people are in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) food insecurity and more than 1.6 million people are in IPC Phase 2 (Stressed) (Cadre Harmonise, 09/11/2014).
- 690,000 million people are in need of health assistance and 840,000 are in need of WASH (OCHA, 31/01/2015).
The state lost control of the north of the country in 2012, after Tuareg groups from the northern region known as Azawad began a campaign for greater autonomy, and a separate coup d’état further destabilised the country. However, the fragile alliance between Tuareg and Islamists was quickly broken, and Islamists took control of key northern cities. Civilian rule was re-established in mid-2013, with the aid of French and African Union troops, and a UN mission, MINUSMA, was set up, but Mali continues to face security and political challenges. The truce in the north remains fragile, and key government institutions need strengthening. Limited access to basic social services and the poor capacity of public administration are key drivers of the crisis.
On 15 June 2014, the Azawad Movement Coalition – 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) – signed the Algiers Declaration with the Government of Mali. The coalition has agreed to engage with the Government on a path of dialogue and negotiation after several bouts of violence broke the June 2013 peace agreement (AFP, 01/09/2014).
However, continued violence put the peace talks on shaky ground (UN, 07/08/2014). On 28 October 2014, the Azawad Movements Coalition announced united military efforts to stem insecurity in the north (ICG, 01/11/2014). The Government agreed a deal to cease hostilities with six armed groups, including the MNLA and HCUA, on 19 February 2015. The deal does not include Al Qaeda-linked groups (international media, 19/02/2015). On 24 February, some groups included in the agreement accused each other of violating the accord (local media, 24/02/2015).
Hundreds of people occupied the airport of Kidal in protest against UN air strikes on Tuareg opposition forces on 21 January, in which several people died (local media, 21/01/2015; international media). On 27 January, four civilians died and several were severely injured as thousands protested against MINUSMA in Gao. The Azawad Movements Coalition and MINUSMA had agreed to make Tabankort, Gao, a buffer zone, which requires the disarmament of pro-government militias – protesters were opposing the weakening of these militia. Following the protest, the UN mission announced the withdrawal of the document, and opened an inquiry (international media, 26/01/2015; local media, 27/01/2015; UN, 28/01/2015).
Violence has increased since late 2014. Attacks from both Islamist and Tuareg groups, and clashes with pro-government armed groups are of particular concern in the regions of Kidal and Gao. Landmines and improvised explosive devices (IED) are a particular threat. Attacks on MINUSMA vehicles, camps, and peacekeepers have spiked since mid-August 2014 (AFP, 21/09/2014).
The Movement for Unity and Jihad in West Africa (Mujao), which split from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in 2011, and Ansar Dine, are among the main Islamist groups active in northern Mali, carrying out attacks on pro-government and international forces.
The stability of the Sahel region relies on the presence of foreign troops. In addition to Malian forces, there are French forces, MINUSMA, and the EU military training mission (EUTM), mainly in Bamako (53% of forces) and in northern cities such as Kidal, Gao, Timbuktu, and Menaka (28%) (OCHA, 31/05/2014).
MINUSMA is to set up a military headquarters in Kidal, while French forces have increased their presence in northeast Mali near Tessalit and Angueldoc, and set up a military base in Madama, at the Nigeria border, since late October (AFP, 23/10/2014). MINUSMA’s mandate expires on 30 June 2015. 34 peacekeepers have died since the start of the UN mission in July 2013 (UNSC, 06/01/2015; international media, 17/01/2015).
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 16 February, seven UN peacekeepers were wounded in Tabankort, Gao (international media, 16/02/2015). On 4 February, pro-government armed groups and the Azawad coalition clashed near Tabankort. The pro-government groups have taken control of the area (local media, 04/02/2015). On 28 January, a suicide attack by pro-government militia against separatist Tuareg groups killed around 12 people in Tabankort, Gao (international media, 28/01/2015; 31/01/2015).
On 31 January, an unidentified armed group killed one person and kidnapped some 20 others for several hours in the village of Kano, east of Timbuktu. The kidnapped were later released. The village of Bamba, Gao, was raided on the same day (international media, 31/01/2015).
In January, several attacks on MINUSMA soldiers and UN bases in the regions of Kidal, Segou and Gao killed and injured peacekeepers as well as civilians (international media, 09/01/2105; 05/01/2015; 04/01/2015; 03/01/2015; 29/12/2014). Clashes between rival armed groups and with government forces have become more frequent, and have killed a number of people in Segou and Mopti since January (international media, 17/01/2015; local media, 07/01/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Though insecurity in the north limits humanitarian access to certain regions, no movement restrictions exist in Mali (OCHA, 15/01/2015). Insecurity has forced an international NGO, the main health service provider in Tenenkou and Youwara, Mopti region, to temporarily suspend its activities and relocate its staff (OCHA, 31/01/2015). An increase in IEDs, mortar attacks and other security incidents limit movement of staff (WFP 22/01/2015). Security incidents involving NGOs almost tripled over the course of 2014 (Première Urgence - Aide Médicale Internationale, 10/10/2014). Several humanitarian organisations suspended their activities in the Intillit area, Gao, following violent clashes on 16 October 2014, and six INGOs preventively evacuated part of their staff from the Timbuktu region fearing the spread of the conflict (ECHO, 19/10/2014; OCHA, 24/10/2014).
As of 4 December 2014, about 86,000 people are internally displaced as a consequence of the 2012 conflict, a decrease from 101,300 recorded in August. In northern Mali these include 11,944 IDPs in Timbuktu, 12,025 in Kidal, and 7,070 in Gao. In addition, 31,146 IDPs have been registered in Bamako,13,111 in Koulikoro, 4,665 in Mopti, 4,716 in Ségou, and several hundred in Kayes and Sikasso (OCHA, 04/12/2014). In September 2014, around 9,700 IDPs were considered vulnerable (IOM, 10/09/2014). 55% of IDPs in the south are children (IOM, 08/2014).
Refugees in Mali
As of 31 July 2014, Mali hosts over 14,525 refugees from countries including Mauritania (12,900) and Côte d’Ivoire (1,110) (OCHA, 16/09/2014).
361,000 IDP returnees have been identified in Gao, Timbuktu, Kidal, and Mopti (IOM, 10/09/2014). 35,800 IDPs went back to their place of origin between June and September 2014 (IOM, 10/09/2014). The arrival of returnees has exacerbated needs in the north (OCHA, 10/09/2014). The majority of people displaced within Gao since 2012 have returned, although fighting in October led to some new displacement (IOM, 16/10/2014).
Some 35,000 Malian refugees have returned: more than 10,000 from Burkina Faso; about 12,000 from Niger; around 7,300 from Mauritania; and 2,200 from Algeria (OCHA, 31/01/2015; UNHCR, 14/08/2014).
Malian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 30 November 2014, an estimated 143,500 Malians refugees are recorded in neighbouring countries (OCHA, 04/12//2014). As of 9 September, 54,000 Malians were recorded in Mauritania, 50,000 in Niger, 32,000 in Burkina Faso, and 1,500 in Algeria (OCHA, 10/09/2014; UNHCR, 30/11/2014).
As of October 2014, 263,000 people are in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) food insecurity. 60% of them live in Gao, Mopti, Kidal and Timbuktu. More than 1.6 million people are in IPC Phase 2 according to the Cadre Harmonisé, fewer than in 2013 (FEWSNET, 09/11/2014).
The harvest will improve food security conditions from October 2014 to March 2015. As of January 2015, cereal prices are average or below-average, increasing household access to food. Nonetheless, there are pockets of deficit in some regions of Timbuktu, Gao, Mopti, and Kayes, where under-average harvests and livestock products are expected (FEWSNET, 25/10/2014; 31/01/2015; Food Security Cluster, 27/10/2014; international organisation, 19/01/2015). Early end of stock and resorting to coping strategies is expected from March in Gao, Bourem, Goundam, Niafunké and Youwarou, reaching Stressed levels of food insecurity (IPC phase 2). In north riverine areas, vulnerable households are likely to reach Crisis levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) from July (FEWSNET, 31/01/2015; international organisation, 19/01/2015).
Rainfall has improved the situation in northeast and central Mali, inducing reconstitution of water reserves and pastoral vegetation (WFP, 30/09/2014; Food Security Cluster, 27/10/2014; FAO, 26/01/2015).
However, livestock farming conditions are likely to worsen as of February 2015 in agro-pastoral areas previously affected by rain deficits in May-October 2014, and those which recorded high cattle mortality impairing farmers’ livelihoods (Food Security Cluster, 27/10/2014).
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
As of December 2014, the number of people suffering from food insecurity in the Sahel has reached 20.4 million and least 2.6 million have crossed the emergency threshold and require urgent food assistance (OCHA, 31/12/2014). In 2014, food insecurity rose dramatically to 24.7 million food insecure people, compared to 2013 when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2015).
Health and Nutrition
690,000 people are estimated to be in need of health assistance (OCHA, 31/01/2015).
On 18 January, Mali was declared Ebola-free by the Government and WHO, after 42 days without reporting any new cases (WHO, 18/01/2015).
As of 10 February, 181,000 children suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), and 534,000 suffer from moderate acute malnutrition (OCHA, 10/02/2015). According to a nutritional survey in 2014, GAM rates are particularly concerning in Yelimane, Kayes, and relatively high in most of the country, except Sikasso and some areas of Mopti and Kayes (OCHA, 27/08/2014).
About 840,000 people are in need of WASH assistance, the majority of whom live in the northern regions of Gao, Kidal, Timbuktu, Mopti, and Segou, and are IDPs, returnees, and host families without access to safe drinking water (OCHA, 15/01/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
Some 378,000 people are in need of NFIs and 137,000 in need of shelter. Those of concern are mainly IDPs and returnees (OCHA, 15/01/2015).
In the three northern regions as well as several areas in Mopti affected by the conflict, access to education has been disrupted for an estimated 260,000 children. This includes 20,000 displaced children expected to return to the north in 2015, about 16,000 children who have been out of school for two years, and those living in areas affected by insecurity and who have limited access to schools.
Only 76% of schools in the north that were functional before the crisis are still functional as of December 2014. Only 23% of children in school before the crisis are currently enrolled. More than 300 schools are still closed in Gao, Kidal, Mopti and Timbuktu; 79% of schools in Kidal are not functioning, 69 schools closed in Segou and Mopti after attacks in January. Education has been temporarily suspended for some 9,000 children (UNICEF, 27/01/2015). (OCHA, 15/01/2015; UNICEF, 15/01/2015). In the communes of Nampala (Segou), Dioura, Tenenkou and Youwara (Mopti) parents refuse to send their children to school and teachers have left due to insecurity (OCHA, 31/01/2015).
About 860,000 people are in need of protection, including 313,000 non-displaced in the north (OCHA, 31/01/2015). Explosive remnants of war (ERW) caused 101 casualties from 2012 to June 2014 (OCHA, 30/06/2014).
In early May 2014, a UN report on the situation of children in Mali noted grave violations by armed groups active in the north and, to a lesser extent, by Malian armed forces and pro-government militias, including killings, sexual violence, and recruitment (UN Security Council, 15/05/2014). Allegedly carrying out forced recruitment, suspected Islamist fighters kidnapped ten children and killed two who tried to escape on 22 November, near Aguelhoc and Kidal (Reuters, 22/11/2014).
Myanmar Country Analysis
18 February: Myanmar President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency and imposed martial law in the Kokang region (Reuters, 18/02/2015).
17–22 February: Unknown attackers shot and wounded two people in a convoy of eight Myanmar Red Cross Society vehicles in the Kokang area, Shan state, along the Chinese border. The vehicles were carrying civilians displaced by fighting in Laukkai (Reuters, 17/02/2015). On 22 February, another five people were wounded in an attack on a local aid organisation’s vehicle. Government troops blamed MNDAA for both the attacks; the group has denied responsibility (AFP, 22/02/2015).
9–23 February: 61 soldiers from Myanmar’s military and more than 72 MNDAA were killed in clashes (international media, 21/02/2015). Nearly 90,000 civilians are believed to have been displaced in northeastern Myanmar. 40,000 people, mainly ethnic Chinese Kokang, have crossed the border into China; 8,000 have fled to central Myanmar; more than 40,000 people are displaced internally near the Chinese border (AFP, 18/02/2015).
- Repeated bloodshed between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine state since 2012, with human rights abuses reported against the Muslim minority (UN).
- 640,000 IDPs, resulting from years of internal conflict, including mainly Rohingya Muslim 137,400 IDPs in Rakhine state (OCHA, 08/2014).
Myanmar’s first democratic elections in 25 years are scheduled for October or November 2015 (local media, 21/10/2014). In October 2014, unprecedented talks were held between President Thein Sein and his political rivals, including Aung San Suu Kyi, as well as senior military and election officials. On 12 February, the President approved a law allowing a referendum on changes to the constitution. This move could lift Suu Kyi’s ban from the presidency (Reuters, 12/02/2015).
Nonetheless, local activists report that the prosecution of dissidents is continuing. In October, civil society representatives stated that political reform has stalled (HRW, 17/10/2014).
Minority groups make up some 30% of the 51.4 million population, and ethnic and political groups have conducted protracted insurgencies mainly in remote and economically marginalised areas such as Kachin, Kayin (Karen ethnic group), Kayah (Karenni), Rakhine, and Shan states (Government, 28/08/2014).
In 2013, authorities signed several peace deals with various insurgent movements, with the exception of the Kachin Independence Army (the armed wing of the Kachin Independence Organisation, or KIO), and the ethnic Ta’aung army (TNLA). In mid-August 2014, leaders of ethnic groups announced that the Government had agreed to include their longstanding demand for a federal system in a draft accord (Center for International and Strategic Studies, 22/10/2014). On 12 February, four of the 13 ethnic armed groups signed a Deed of Commitment for Peace and National Reconciliation at a meeting held by the Government. The signatories agreed to build a union based on democratic and federal principles and agree upon a nationwide ceasefire, ahead of the 2015 general elections (local media, 13/01/2015).
Despite peace negotiations, the security situation remains tense in parts of Myanmar. The Government came under criticism in October, for what has been perceived as a series of offensives against ethnic armed groups in Kachin, Karen, Mon, and Shan states (local media, 20/10/2014). In the west, massive human rights infringements against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine state continue to be reported.
In early December, the United Nationalities Federal Council, the largest coalition of ethnic armed organisations, announced the establishment of the Federal Union Army (VoA, 02/12/2014).
Tensions remain high in Rakhine state, with authorities imposing restrictions on the displaced Muslim minority after government attacks on Rohingya Muslims were reported in January 2014. The Government denies the incident.
The KIO still has administrative control over several key areas of Kachin, and clashes between its army, the KIA, and the Myanmar army have been intermittent since the termination of a 17-year ceasefire in June 2011 (local media, 06/10/2014). Renewed fighting between Myanmar government troops and the KIA started on 15 January in the area of Hpakant. The KIA took the state transport minister and three police hostage, releasing them on 20 January (AFP, 15/01/2015; local media, 20/01/2015). On 26 January, a bomb exploded in Hpakant township, injuring two people. No group has yet claimed responsibility for the bomb (local media, 27/01/2014). There had been reports of shelling by government forces in November near Laiza and Mai Ja Yang (OCHA, 24/11/2014). 23 militants were also killed in an attack on a KIA camp near Laiza; the victims were not Kachin, but members of affiliated militias (local media, 28/11/2014).
According to reports from early December by local activists, government military forces have been expanding their presence in Kayah state with various measures, including the confiscation of land for military purposes (local media, 08/12/2014).
Kayin and Mon States
On 14 October, the commanders of units of different Karen armed groups, including the Democratic Karen Buddhist Association (DKBA) and parts of the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), the armed wing of the Karen National Union, announced they would begin military cooperation in order to confront the increase in army operations in their areas over past months (local media, 14/10/2014).
In November, fighting between a Karen armed group and the military displaced 700 people (WFP, 15/11/2014). Fighting in October reportedly displaced 2,000 people towards Thailand (local media, 08/11/2014). In September, in some of the worst fighting since 2012, mortar fire and rocket-propelled grenades were reported in Mon state’s Kyaikmayaw township and near Kayin state’s Myawaddy town (local media, 29/09/2014).
On 9 February, fighting between Myanmar’s army and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), an insurgent group in Kokang area of Shan state, near the Chinese border, displaced tens of thousands of people (AFP, 10/02/2015). Other groups joined the fight, including the Kachin Independence Army, the Ta’ang National Liberation Army, the Arakan Army and the Shan State Army-North, as well as former Chinese soldiers (Deutsche Welle, 13/02/2014; Al Jazeera, 21/02/2015). Myanmar’s army also launched airstrikes (AFP, 10/02/2015; international media, 16/02/2015). On 21 February, shelling and heavy artillery fire was heard throughout the day (Al Jazeera, 21/02/2015). 61 soldiers from Myanmar’s military and more than MNDAA were killed (international media, 21/02/2015). On 18 February, Myanmar President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency and imposed martial law in the Kokang region. This is the first time military rule has been invoked under Myanmar’s 2008 constitution (Reuters, 18/02/2015).
In December, clashes were reported between the Myanmar army and KIA, TNLA, and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) in Muse district, in Namhsan Township and Kyaukme Township (local media, 12/12/2014). Fighting was also reported in October, and July. In 2009, serious clashes between MNDAA and the army almost wiped out the MNDAA (Deutsche Welle, 13/02/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
According to local NGOs, the delivery of aid to conflict-affected communities in remote areas within Shan and Kachin states is hampered by the categorisation of some areas as “black zones” by the Myanmar army, restricting foreign groups’ access (IRIN, 08/10/2014). Insecurity also impedes access.
Kachin state: By mid-December, villages in Kachin state, particularly in the Hpakant area, reported movement restrictions due to fighting between the Myanmar army and the KIA (local media, 16/12/2014).There has been no cross-line humanitarian assistance to non-government-controlled areas in Kachin state since September, due to the volatile security situation and delays in government authorisation. None of the food distributions planned by WFP and its partners were able to take place in non-government areas in October and November (local media, 05/12/2014; UNHCR, 30/11/2014). More than 20 IDP camps are under KIO management, with an estimated total population of 50,000 (local media, 05/12/2014).
Rakhine state: Access to services is impeded by tension and restrictions on freedom of movement. As of mid-July, a vulnerability mapping exercise showed that 36,000 Rohingya Muslims in 113 isolated villages in Rakhine state have no or limited access to basic services, including markets, education, and healthcare (OCHA). Buddhist Rakhine activists and politicians have campaigned to restrict healthcare and other aid for the Rohingya living in the state.
International media reports from the end of July indicate that access to northern Rakhine state along the Myanmar–Bangladesh border is tightly restricted. The Government has designated a specific area of Sittwe – the Southern Quarter – for relief organisations to establish offices and accommodation. NGOs and UN agencies say limited space in the Southern Quarter is a key constraint to operating at full capacity (USAID 02/07/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
On 17 February, unknown attackers shot and wounded two people in a convoy of eight Myanmar Red Cross Society vehicles in the Kokang area, Shan state, along the Chinese border. The vehicles were carrying civilians displaced by fighting in Laukkai (Reuters, 17/02/2015). On 22 February, five more people were wounded in an attack on a local aid organisation’s vehicle. Government troops blamed MNDAA for both the attacks; the group has denied responsibility (AFP, 22/02/2015).
Nearly 90,000 civilians in northeastern Myanmar are believed to have fled clashes between troops and MNDAA and allied insurgent groups. 40,000 people, mainly ethnic Chinese Kokang, have crossed the border into China (AFP, 18/02/2015).
As of 1 August 2014, there are 639,500 IDPS in Myanmar (OCHA, 08/2014). An estimated 236,000 IDPs require humanitarian assistance in Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan states (USAID, 20/10/2014).
Fighting in February in Kokang area, Shan state, has prompted 8,000 people from central Myanmar to flee through Lashio, the largest town in northern Shan state. Another 40,000 people from Kokang and other ethnic minorities have fled to areas near the border for their safety (AFP, 18/02/2015).
Rakhine: There are approximately one million Rohingya in Rakhine state; most are considered crisis-affected and need humanitarian assistance. 139,000 people, mainly Rohingya Muslims, continue to be displaced as of end October, after the Government moved some 140,000 Muslims into closed camps following inter-communal violence in 2012 (IRIN, 05/11/2014; OCHA, 31/10/2014).
Rohingyas not living in camps are restricted to their communities in northern Rakhine state and unable to move freely (Refugees International, 14/11/2014). An estimated 50,000 displaced people live in host communities and 50,000 in isolated villages (OCHA 31/07/2014).
Kachin: 98,371 people are displaced in Kachin and Shan states, with more than half living in areas where government services are not available (OCHA, 12/2014). Renewed fighting between government forces and KIA in Hpakant has displaced an estimated 1,500 civilians. 2,500 people remain blocked around around Kan See village (ECHO, 21/01/2015).
Many have been displaced for up to two years, triggering both emergency and medium-term needs. Shelters and water systems in camps need repair or replacement and families lack the means to generate income (OCHA, 30/09/2014). On 29 December, Sin Kyaing IDP camp in Kachin state caught fire, leaving 100 households without shelter or food in winter (local media, 29/12/2014). An estimated 20,000 IDPs live with host communities.
Mandalay region: Approximately 3,300 people are displaced in Meiktila (UNICEF, 30/11/2014).
Land taken by the military, the state, and companies close to the Government impedes the orderly future return of refugees, particularly from Thailand, and the resettlement of IDPs to their home communities or new sites (Center for International and Strategic Studies, 22/10/2014).
Refugees from Myanmar
According to UNHCR as of late March, over 415,000 refugees originate from Myanmar. In early November, UNHCR reported that an increasing number of people, mainly Rohingya, are setting out to sea on smuggling boats; many capsize. As of end November, the number of Rohingya to have fled since early October was thought to have reached 19,000 (AFP, 30/11/2014).
China: Fighting between Myanmar’s army and insurgent groups in Kokang area, Shan state, has cause large-scale displacement. More than 40,000 people, mainly of ethnic Chinese Kokang, have crossed into Nansan, in Yunnan province, China (AFP, 18/02/2015). The Chinese Government has yet to release official figures (AFP, 10/02/2015).
Bangladesh: To date, most Rohingya are denied refugee status by the Bangladeshi authorities. An estimated 30,000 Rohingya Muslims live in official camps, where they are assisted by aid agencies, and another 200,000 refugees reside in unofficial camps or Bangladeshi villages where they get little or no humanitarian assistance and almost no protection from human rights abuse. On 6 November, the Bangladeshi Government announced that Rohingya refugees will be relocated from the existing camps, as the area will be developed for tourism (local media, 09/11/2014).
Malaysia: As of end November, over 40,000 Rohingya registered with the UN are in Malaysia. Rohingya activists say a roughly equal number are unregistered (AFP, 30/11/2014).
Thailand: Since June 2014, movement restrictions have been more strictly enforced; Myanmar refugees are banned from leaving the camps, confined to their homes 1800–0600, and threatened with deportation if they do not comply (Refugees International 29/08/2014). In July, the Thai authorities pledged to send back to Myanmar about 100,000 of the 120,000 refugees living in border camps (UNHCR has registered 76,000 refugees). According to senior Thai military officials, measures are in place to deter boats from approaching the country's shores (Reuters, 15/11/2014). Rohingya Muslims are reportedly subject to human trafficking in Thailand (international human rights organisations, 12/2013).
Overall, the food security situation has improved, although recurrent inter-communal tensions have negatively impacted the situation, mainly for IDPs (FAO, 24/09/2014). 70,000 people are food insecure in Rakhine state (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
As of September, WFP expected that funding shortfalls would limit the ability of humanitarian actors to address food needs in Myanmar beginning in November (USAID, 30/09/2014).
Drier than average conditions were the norm in 2014, affecting cultivation, although aggregate national crop production is not expected to be significantly affected (WFP, 09/12/2014).
The trend for poppy cultivation in Shan state, which was on course to be wiped out ten years ago, has reversed. Poppy cultivation has tripled since 2006, with close to 60,700 hectares of poppy farms, according to UN surveys (NY Times, 03/01/2015)
Rohingya fishermen of Maungdaw township, Rakhine state, have been barred from fishing since 7 November (local media, 10/11/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Access to healthcare is the biggest challenge in Rakhine (OCHA, 30/09/2014). If Rohingya camp residents wish to leave their camp to see a doctor, they must first obtain a referral by a government doctor and reportedly must also often bribe the security guards (Center for International and Strategic Studies, 22/10/2014). Only patients in the most critical condition tend to reach hospital.
In Rakhine state, GAM is above 20% in some areas (UNICEF, 01/02/2015). In June 2014, 2.1% SAM and 6.8% MAM was found among 32,000 children under five screened in Rakhine, indicating a deterioration in parts of Rakhine state since March. Severely malnourished children are being referred to Sittwe hospital; fewer referral services, high transportation costs, and fear of travelling to Sittwe are preventing many children from receiving medical care (OCHA 30/06/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
In Rakhine state, 15,000 people are in urgent need of shelter repair. In Kachin, there is a major need to scale up maintenance and repair work, to reduce the need for reconstruction (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
Displaced people and vulnerable communities in Rakhine have limited access to cooking fuel and energy. The situation is particularly difficult for over 80,000 IDPs who have been in camps in Sittwe Township for over two years. Households in camps and isolated villages are relying on negative coping strategies, using shelter materials or unsustainable and hazardous materials as fuel, the exchange of food rations for fuel, and over-exploitation of surrounding forest and woodland (OCHA, 30/11/2014).
In Rakhine state, a general deterioration in the WASH situation in camps is aggravating health problems and increasing the risk of waterborne disease (OCHA, 11/09/2014).
In Rakhine state, 28,000 vulnerable children require education support. 60,000 adolescents in isolated communities are without any education opportunities (OCHA, 08/2014).
About 200 Shan people are alleged to have been forcibly recruited into the Kachin Independence Army since the start of armed clashes with the army in June 2011 (local media, 11/11/2014).
Legal Status of Rohingya Muslims
On 11 February, the Myanmar Government said that temporary identity cards issued to those without full citizenship, including Rohingya Muslims, will expire at the end of March 2015. These identity cards were part of a citizenship application process. This move came after dozens of protesters gathered in Yangon to call on the Government not to allow people without full citizenship to vote in the referendum on amending the constitution (AFP, 11/02/2015).
Over 800,000 people, mostly Rohingya Muslims, are estimated to be without citizenship in the northern part of Rakhine state (UNHCR). Myanmar continues officially to state that the Rohingya Muslims are migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, thus excluded from citizenship under the 1982 Citizenship Law. The Government has drafted a plan which would force Rohingya Muslims either to register as Bengalis or be detained. Rakhine authorities would construct temporary camps for people who refuse to be registered or who are without adequate documents. Rights advocates say this could put thousands of Rohingya at risk of indefinite detention. Accepting the term Bengali could leave the Rohingya vulnerable if authorities class them as illegal immigrants and attempt to send them to Bangladesh (Reuters, 27/09/2014).
42 children were released from the armed forces on 24 January. In 2014, 376 children were released (AFP, 24/01/2014).
In 2014, the Women’s League of Burma released a report that documented more than 118 victims of sexual violence at the hands of the Myanmar army since Thein Sein’s government took power (local media 26/11/2014).
Assessments in northern Shan state indicate that domestic violence is prevalent in IDP camps. Drug consumption and other negative coping mechanisms among men were identified by the women as a contributing factor. Adolescent girls are exposed to particular protection risks, according to the assessment findings. Cross-border trafficking for the purposes of domestic servitude, sexual exploitation, and forced marriage was identified as a major protection concern by respondents (OCHA, 30/11/2014).
Mines and ERW
Around five million people in Myanmar live in mine-contaminated areas (Mines Advisory Group, 05/2014). Mine clearance has not begun in Kayah state, despite a ceasefire since 2012, and around 15–20 people are injured annually, although the number of fatalities is unknown. More than 34,000 IDPs are at greatest risk due to their being in unfamiliar areas.
An assessment in Kachin and Northern Shan states concluded that the majority of reported landmine victims over the second half of 2014 were male farmers, and 56% were displaced people. Myths and wrong beliefs about mine risks persist. Most of the accidents registered happened while people were travelling on foot to areas they visit often, such as fields. More than 25% of landmine victims knew the area was dangerous before entering it (UNICEF, 30/11/2014).
According to local media, citing intelligence reports by the Bangladeshi border security forces, Myanmar security forces have planted mines along the border between Myanmar and Bangladesh (local media, 23/11/2014). Myanmar has previously denied this practice, while Bangladesh has claimed to have found and removed mines in the border area.
Niger Country Analysis
24 February: The Government of Niger has decided to renew the state of emergency for an unspecified period (AFP).
20 February: Seven Niger soldiers and 15 BH militants were killed in heavy clashes between the two parties on Karouga island on Lake Chad (Reuters, 21/02/2015).
18 February: 36 people were killed and 27 wounded in a funeral ceremony when an unidentified plane bombarded a village near the Nigerian border (AFP, 18/02/2015).
January – February: 51 cases of cholera were registered throughout Niger. 25 cases were registered in Tillabery region, and 26 cases in Diffa region (OCHA, 02/2015).
Late December – February: A new wave of Nigerian refugees from Damatrou, Yobe and surrounding communities arrived in Zinder, either directly from Nigeria or via Diffa. More than 2,800 refugees were reported in the Zinder region: 1,128 in the department of Gouré, 1,083 in department of Magaria, and 373 people in the department of Dungass (OCHA 02/15).
- An estimated 3.5 million people are food insecure (OCHA, 02/2015).
- 1.3 million acutely malnourished children, 356,320 of whom are severely malnourished. 13.3% GAM among children 6–59 months (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
- More than 150,000 Nigerian refugees have fled to Niger since May 2013 (OCHA, 22/01/2015).- 1,749 cases and 64 deaths have been recorded since January in a cholera epidemic, reportedly linked to the one in neighbouring Nigeria (UNICEF, 11/2014).
Insecurity has been rising in Niger and across the region due to crises in Libya, Mali, and Nigeria. Terrorist threats from Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Boko Haram 999BBBH), and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) are all of concern. France announced mid-July that some 3,000 French troops based in Chad will operate counterterrorist operations in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, and Chad (Reuters, 18/07/2014).
On 6 February, Boko Haram (BH) launched an attack on Bosso town, just across the border from Nigeria. This was the first BH attack in Niger. Niger’s army, together with Chadian armed forces, repelled the attack (AFP, 06/02/2015). On 8 February, a BH suicide bombing in Diffa town killed one child and injured 20 (AFP, 08/02/2015). On 9 February, BH militants attacked a prison and set off a car bomb, which killed five people and injured five others (Reuters, 09/02/2015). This incident occurred just a day before Niger's parliament authorised deployment of 750 Niger soldiers in a regional offensive against BH (BBC, 10/02/2015).On 18 February, 36 people were killed and 27 wounded in a funeral ceremony when an unidentified plane bombarded a village near the Nigerian border (AFP, 18/02/2015). On 20 February, seven Niger soldiers and 15 BH militants were killed in heavy clashes between the two parties on Karouga island on Lake Chad (Reuters, 21/02/2015)
On 10 February, the Government of Niger declared a state of emergency in Diffa for 15 days. This measure granted increased powers to security forces (AFP, 10/02/2015). The Government of Niger has decided to renew the state of emergency, for an unspecified period. The renewal measure must be soon validated by the Niger National Assembly (AFP, 24/02/2015).
On 18 January 2015, violent riots in the capital Niamey, over the depiction of Prophet Mohammed on the cover of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, killed five people and injured 128 others. Buildings were set on fire, including 45 churches, hotels, an orphanage, and businesses of non-Muslim or French origin. In Zinder, five were killed and 45 injured after the Franco-Nigerien cultural centre and several churches were set on fire (AFP, 18/01/2015; 19/01/2015).
On 19 November, MUJAO attacked the town of Bani-Bangoe near the Malian border and exchanged fire with Niger’s security forces, killing one soldier and injuring two others. They also sabotaged the telephone network (AFP, 20/11/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Movement within Diffa, northern parts of Zinder, Tahoua, and Tillabery regions is possible only with military escorts (OCHA, 16/02/2015).
The cost of the seat in any vehicle travelling to Zinder from Diffa has tripled, as thousands of people are fleeing Diffa town (Reuters, 12/02/2015).
150,000 people are estimated to have settled in Diffa region from Nigeria since the beginning of the crisis in May 2013, according to the Coordination and Management Team for Refugees and Returned Nigeriens (OCHA, 22/01/2015). Since late 2014, a new wave of Nigerian refugees from Damatrou, Yobe and surrounding communities arrived in Zinder, either directly from Nigeria or via Diffa. More than 2,800 refugees were reported in the Zinder region: 1,128 in the department of Gouré, 1,083 in department of Magaria, and 373 people in the department of Dungass (OCHA, 02/2015).
New arrivals have settled in 104 sites. 87,520 people, including 45,330 children, have been registered in 71 sites, as of 5 December (OCHA, 22/01/2015).
Following Boko Haram attacks in Diffa, there are reports of large-scale displacement from Diffa town towards Zinder, Niger’s second-largest town, 480km west of Diffa. According to one estimate, more than 7,000 people arrived in Zinder over 6–12 February. According to local authorities in Zinder, at least 4,000 people had arrived in Zinder town (Reuters, 12/02/2015).Displaced persons are transiting through Zinder to travel further toMaradi and Tillabery regions, including Niamey. According to OCHA, 1,500 vulnerable displaced persons from Diffa have been identified in Zinder (OCHA, 02/2015).
At the beginning of the insecurity, approximately 70% were Niger returnees and 30% Nigerian refugees; more recently, the majority of arrivals are Nigerian refugees (UNHCR, 09/2014; OCHA, 12/12/2014). The rate of arrival increased in the second half of 2014, with more than 42,000 people arriving since August (UNHCR and IRC; OCHA, 3/12/2014). They have settled in villages and Diffa town. Most are young men who fled forced recruitment to Boko Haram; unaccompanied children were also reported (OCHA, 28/11/2014).
The newly displaced are in a critical situation, and have shelter and NFI, food, water, and health and nutrition needs (OCHA, 24/09/2014).Sayam Forge camp was opened on 30 December, and has started voluntary relocation of refugees settled in Gagamari area. As of 10 February, 704 Nigerian refugees have been relocated to the camp (OCHA, 11/02/2015).The initial camp capacity is 5,000 persons, though the camp can be extended (OCHA, 14/01/2015). A second camp is scheduled to open soon (UNHCR, 07/01/2015; 09/01/2015). Insecurity is limiting assistance to those who have settled on the islands (OCHA, 12/12/2014).
Refugees who arrived earlier in the year are becoming host families for new arrivals, adding to the burden on families with very limited resources (IFRC, 03/10/2014). Internal displacement within Diffa region is increasing, driven by the search for means of subsistence and pasture: Diffa is vulnerable to both flooding and drought, and has long faced serious gaps in the provision of food staples, healthcare and potable water.
The Government has reportedly been slow in giving newly arrived Nigerians refugee status, despite a December decree granting refugee status to people fleeing the states under a state of emergency in Nigeria. As of September, only 18% of newly arrived people had identity documents (UNHCR, 09/2014).
47,348 Malian refugees are in Niger (OCHA, 02/2015). In March 2014, 80% of refugees were women and children. Most live in three camps in Tillabery region: Abala, Mangaize, and Tabareybarey. Two refugee hosting areas have been established in Intikane and Tazalit, Tahoua, for refugees from nomadic communities.
In May, Mali, Niger, and UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement on the voluntary repatriation of Malian refugees, although the situation in northern Mali is not yet favourable for the promotion of massive returns. As of 31 August, over 12,000 Malians have returned to their homes (UNHCR, 31/08/2014).
There are also 5,700 returnees from Mali (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
CAR Crisis: Returnees
Since December 2013, 1,160 Niger nationals have been repatriated from CAR by IOM in coordination with the Government of Niger.
3.5 million people are estimated to be food insecure in 2015, compared to 5.3 million in 2014 (OCHA, 02/2015 and 30/09/2014).
In Diffa region, almost 161,200 people (one fifth of the surveyed host population) reported suffering from food insecurity (OCHA, 10/08/2014). IDPs and host communities in the Diffa region will continue to face Stressed food insecurity (IPC Phase 2) in January–March 2015 as a result of cereal deficit, deterioration of livelihoods and pressure of existing resources. Diffa region will face Crisis food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) beginning April, following high cereal prices and poor pastoral revenues (FEWSNET, 01/02/2014).
Households in the departments of Ouallam (Tillabery), Tchintabaraden and Abalak (Tahoua) and Gouré (Zinder) may face cereal deficits and will also be in the IPC Stressed phase in January–March 2015 (FEWSNET, 01/01/2015).
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
20.4 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) are expected to suffer from food insecurity in 2015 (OCHA, 10/01/2014).In 2014, food insecurity rose dramatically to 24.7 million food insecure people, compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Boko Haram-related market disruptions have restrained trade flows towards Diffa and increased marketing costs (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014).The new wave of internal displacement following Boko Haram attacks comes ata time when farmers should be preparing to plant crops for the next harvest season. This has raised concerns about the long-term economic impact of the violence (Reuters, 12/02/2015).
Agropastoral areas of northern Tillabery, Tahoua, and eastern Zinder will face food deficits as a result of early depletion of cereal and food stocks from May or June 2015 (FEWSNET, 01/02/2014).Poor pastoral resource availability in parts of the northern Sahel will begin to stress pastoral households from June to September 2015 (FEWSNET, 11/2014).
Health and Nutrition
MSF has temporarily withdrawn from Diffa region and relocated to other parts of the country, following increase violence by Boko Haram (MSF, 12/02/2015).
In 2015, 51 cases of cholera have been registered throughout Niger. 25 cases were registered in Tillabery region, and 26 cases in Diffa region (OCHA, 02/2015).
On 13 December, The Ministry of Health declared a cholera outbreak in two municipalities of Chétimari and Diffa, in Diffa region. As of 31 December, 291 cases and 18 deaths have been reported (OCHA, 12/2014). After the first few days of the outbreak, the incidence rate dropped sharply (OCHA, 14/01/2014).
Around 1.3 million children are acutely malnourished in Niger; 366,858 of them are severely malnourished, and 12,710 are in Diffa (OCHA, 22/12/2014; OCHA, 01/2015). GAM among children 6–59 months is at 14.8% nationwide as per the SMART nutrition survey conducted between July and August, and exceeds the 15% emergency threshold in Maradi region (OCHA, 09/2014).In September, GAM was at critical levels in Agadez (14.0%), Tahoua (14.7%), Tillabery (13.4%), and Diffa (13.8%), according to OCHA.
48% of the population does not have access to safe drinking water (OCHA, 17/07/2014).
In Diffa region, 35 schools have been closed due to insecurity, and others are occupied by new arrivals from Nigeria (OCHA, 12/12/2014).
Occupied Palestinian Territories Country Analysis
19 February: Demonstrations against the halt of rental subsidies and slow pace of reconstruction continue; civil unrest continues to rise. UNRWA and UNDP declare they “have no money” to reinstate the subsidies (UNRWA, 19/02/2015).
- 1.9 million people need humanitarian assistance; 1.3 million in Gaza and 600,000 in the West Bank (OCHA, 12/02/2015).
- 1.45 million people, or 33% of the people in oPt, including 57% the Gaza population, are estimated to be food insecure (WFP, 19/12/2014). 868,000 people in Gaza alone require food aid (UNRWA, 05/02/2015).
- 1.4 million people are in need of WASH assistance, particularly access to water (OCHA, 12/02/2014).
- Continuity of medical care is threatened by the financial crisis and electricity shortages in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (OCHA).
- The ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip limits access and movement of both people and goods.
On 16 January, the International Criminal Court (ICC) launched a preliminary examination of the events of the 50-day war (ICC, 16/01/2015). This followed Palestine officially joining the ICC on 7 January. The United States and Israel opposed the move, citing that oPt is not a sovereign state. From April, Palestinian officials will be able to launch war crimes complaints against Israel. Israel has frozen approximately USD 127 million in tax revenue due to the Palestinian Authority, while the US has threatened to withhold USD 440 million in aid (AFP, 07/01/2015).
Israel has announced a series of measures affecting occupied territory since August 2014, beginning with the appropriation of some 400 hectares in the occupied West Bank, which an anti-settlement group termed the biggest in 30 years (Reuters, 31/08/2014).
The Palestinian reconciliation Government, made up of members of both Hamas and Fatah was sworn in before President Abbas in June, ending seven years of division (AFP, UN, 02/06/2014). It had a six-month mandate, but no formal announcement regarding the passing of the six months has been made (UNRWA, 14/12/2014).
There were 17 incidents involving Israeli forces opening fire into the Access Restricted Area (ARA) between 10 and 16 February; no injuries were reported as injured. The boundaries of the ARA have not yet been defined by Israeli authorities, increasing the risks to civilians (OCHA, 16/02/2014). On 8 February, Israeli forces entered Gaza and shot and subsequently detained a 21-year-old Palestinian man (OCHA, 09/02/2015).
On 3 and 5 February Egyptian security forces opened fire on two Palestinian military posts near the border following a bomb attack. Hamas has been blamed by Egypt, but it has denied responsibility (OCHA, 09/02/2015; Reuters 03/02/2015). On 23 January, Egyptian naval forces opened fire on a Palestinian boat accused of infiltrating Egyptian territorial waters (OCHA, 30/01/2015). On 8 January, Egypt began doubling the width of the buffer zone along the Gaza border to 1km. The objective is to deter militants from crossing to Egypt (AFP, 08/01/2015).
Operation Protective Edge
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on 8 July, striking Gaza with intensive aerial bombing, aimed at ending cross-border rocket fire. Hamas and Israel agreed to a permanent ceasefire on 26 August (AFP). At least 2,257 people were reported killed, including 539 children: an estimated 1,473 victims were civilians (UNICEF, 02/01/2015). Thousands of structures were destroyed. On the Israeli side, 66 soldiers, and five civilians, including one child, were killed (OCHA, 29/08/2014).
Only USD 135 million out of USD 720 million requested for repairs and rental subsidies has been received (OCHA, 30/01/2015; AFP, 28/01/2015). Demonstrations and sit-ins over the halt of subsidies and lack of reconstruction continue across the Gaza Strip outside the offices of UN organisations and INGOs (UNRWA, 19/02/2015). The growing unrest has been linked to an increase in the number of violent incidents, such as shootings and detonated explosive devices, not linked to the conflict (Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, 16/02/2015). Tensions are unlikely to ease as UNRWA and UNDP have stated in official documents they “have no money” to continue the halted projects (UNRWA, 19/02/2015).
West Bank and East Jerusalem
Between 10 and 16 February, Israeli forces injured 30 Palestinians (OCHA, 16/02/2015). Clashes associated with the construction of the West Bank Barrier, or during search and arrest operations, are the most frequent cause of injury and death. 16 injuries took place on 13 February during clashes between Israel forces and Palestinian stone throwers in Jerusalem (19/02/2015). In 2014, 56 people were killed and 5,868 injured by Israeli forces.
Between 10 and 16 February there were seven Palestinian attacks on settlers (OCHA, 16/02/2015). There have been two hit-and-run incidents so far in 2015 (09/02/2015). On 3 January, 50 armed settlers tried to detain five Palestinians next to the settlement of Itamar near Nablus, leading to further clashes (OCHA, 12/01/2015).
In 2014, 330 incidents of settler-related violence resulted in Palestinian casualties or property damage in the West Bank and 237 incidents resulted in Israeli casualties or property damage. 91 structures have been demolished and 117 people displaced in 2015. 590 were destroyed and 1,177 people displaced in 2014. (OCHA, 16/02/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Donors have pledged over USD 5.4 billion, half of which will go towards rebuilding Gaza (Reuters, 12/10/2014; 14/10/2014). The Palestinian Authority estimates it will cost USD 7.8 billion to reconstruct bombed areas (ACT Alliance, 10/10/2014).
Border crossings continue to be highly restricted and closures in response to security incidents are frequent. The Rafah Crossing between Gaza and Egypt was closed for 207 days in 2014 (31/01/2015). 30,000 people are waiting to exit Gaza; 17,000 are registered with the border authority (OCHA, 09/02/2014). On 8 January, Erez crossing closed following a disagreement between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority and is only operating for medical patients, Israeli citizens, and other exceptional circumstances (Gisha, 12/01/2015).
Since October, approximately 3.9% of all materials needed for reconstruction have been delivered (Gisha, 19/01/2015).
On 21 January, the Gaza Power Plant shut down one of three operating turbines due to lack of fuel and continues to run at half its operational capacity (OCHA, 30/01/2015; 09/02/2015). Sewage systems and the electricity grid remain damaged throughout the Gaza Strip (ICRC, 20/02/2015).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
Nine UNRWA staff members were killed in July and August (UNRWA, 03/08/2014).
On 7 January, Storm Huda brought heavy snow to the West Bank and flooding in Gaza (Al Jazeera, 11/01/2015). The harsh winter conditions are linked to at least five deaths and nine injuries due to inadequate shelter (OCHA, 12/01/2015; UNICEF, 22/01/2015, UNRWA, 27/01/2015). The Palestinian Authority declared a state of emergency across oPt (AFP, 08/01/2015).
Between 27 January and 2 February, at least 162 Palestinians were displaced in the Jordan Valley and Hebron by the Israeli military, due to their proximity to an Israeli-declared ‘firing zone’ (OCHA, 02/02/2015). As of 9 January, 110,000 people remain displaced since the July–August conflict (Act Alliance, 09/01/2015). 17,910 IDPs were residing in collective shelters as of 28 December (UNICEF, 05/01/2015).
1.45 million, or 33% of Palestinians, are food insecure: 57% of the population of Gaza and 19% of the population of the West Bank (WFP, 19/12/2014). 868,000 people in Gaza alone require food aid (UNRWA, 05/02/2015). If funding to humanitarian organisations in oPt continues to decline, fewer Palestinians may receive the food assistance they require in 2015 (OCHA, 08/12/2014)
Electricity shortages have impacted food production and refrigeration. Delays at crossings are complicating deliveries. Destruction of tunnels bringing inexpensive goods has also impacted access to food and supplies.
Some 85% of Israel’s separation barrier runs inside the West Bank, rather than along the internationally recognised Green Line, cutting off Palestinians from 30% of their land (AFP, 29/10/2014). In Gaza the ARA and blockade severely restricts their access to agricultural production, as well as the primary sources of income for thousands of residents (OCHA, 16/02/2015).
As of September, a quarter of the Palestinian workforce was unemployed: 16% in the West Bank and 45% in Gaza (World Bank, 10/09/2014).
The majority of the Gaza population lost its productive assets in the July–August conflict. The livelihoods of 28,600 households have been severely affected or destroyed (Food Security Cluster, 28/08/2014). Losses to the farming sector are estimated at USD 450 million (Ministry of Agriculture cited by OCHA, 18/08/2014). Up to 720 fishers lost their livelihoods (Food Security Cluster, 28/08/2014). According to the Palestinian Federation of Industries, 419 businesses and workshops were damaged, including 128 completely destroyed (OCHA, 04/09/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Longstanding shortages of electricity, equipment, and drug supplies persist. Fifty primary health centres and 17 hospitals reported infrastructure damage during the conflict; one hospital and seven clinics were destroyed (OCHA, 04/09/2014; WHO, 05/09/2014).
The health system was already overstretched before the conflict (WHO, 30/09/2014). In the West Bank, stocks of 150 (of 525) essential medicines were at zero in May; the main government pharmacy in the Gaza Strip reported stocks of 118 (of 481) essential medicines were at zero (OCHA, 31/05/2014).
425,000 children are in need of direct and specialised psychosocial support, including 373,000 children in the Gaza Strip (OCHA, 03/08/2014: UNICEF, 31/01/2015).
95% of groundwater in the Gaza Strip is unfit for human consumption, forcing residents to rely on aid (UNICEF, 22/01/2015). 400,000 people in the Gaza Strip, including those still displaced, have no or reduced access to water supply and sanitation services (EWASH, 14/01/2015). Although extensive repairs have restored 70–80% of the water and sanitation network to pre-conflict conditions, significant constraints still impair the delivery of services (OCHA, 29/10/2014). In addition, 30–50% of water storage capacity at the household level is damaged (ECHO, 02/10/2014).
Gaza’s only water reserve is the coastal aquifer, which it shares with Israel and Egypt, and which is 55 million cubic metres; Gaza needs 190 million cubic metres every year, according to senior officials. The aquifer could be unusable by 2016 and the damage it has suffered may be irreversible by 2020 (AFP, 05/09/2014).
Only 50% of wastewater in Gaza is treated, and treatment is currently of low quality (World Bank, 10/09/2014).
Although solid waste is being collected in most areas, it is being left in temporary sites rather than dumped in designated landfills.
An estimated 500,000 people are in need of shelter assistance (OCHA 12/02/2014).
Approximately 124,000 housing units have been damaged, including 17,000 that were severely damaged or destroyed (AFP, 08/01/2015, Gisha, 19/01/2015). This is in addition to the pre-crisis housing deficit of 80,000 units (NRC, 11/10/2014). Winter conditions have further slowed reconstruction efforts (Al Jazeera, 11/01/2015).
In the West Bank and East Jerusalem, demolition of houses, stop-work orders for houses and structures, as well as confiscation of building materials, pose critical challenges (OCHA, 03/12/2014).
22 schools were completely destroyed and 118 schools damaged during Operation Protective Edge. Many higher education facilities, including the Islamic University in Gaza, were also damaged (OCHA, 04/09/2014). The education sector already had a shortage of almost 200 schools before the conflict (Gisha, 19/01/2015). 90% of the 252 UNRWA schools in Gaza run on a double shift basis, and some on triple shifts, affecting some 400,000 students (UNRWA, 29/01/2015; OCHA, 12/02/2015).
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, 12/01/2015). Most of the around 7,000 Palestinian Bedouins and herders, some 60% of them children, have demolition orders pending against their homes, and over 85% lack connection to the electricity and water networks. Two-thirds of communities reported facing settler violence during the past three years (OCHA, 23/09/2014).
3,436 children were injured in 2014; 54,000 were homeless. Up to 1,500 orphaned children will need sustained support (OCHA, 04/09/2014; UNICEF, 02/01/2015).
151 Palestinian children are current being held in Israeli detention (Defence for Children International Palestine Research, 09/02/2015).
At the end of August, 473 Palestinians were under administrative detention in Israel without trial, compared to 250 in June–July. It is the highest number since April 2009 (Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories, 07/10/2014).
Mines and ERW
On 4 February, a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was injured as a result of unexploded ordnance near Qalqiliya (OCHA, 03/02/2015). On 28 January, a 17-year-old Palestinian was injured by unexploded ordnance in the northern Jordan Valley, which is located in an Israeli-declared ‘firing zone’ (OCHA 02/02/2015).
It is estimated that more than 1,900 ERW have yet to be secured (UNRWA, 23/09/2014). In 2014, ERW killed 31 civilians and injured ten in Gaza, and injured 18 in the West Bank (UNICEF, 23/10/2014; 27/10/2014; OCHA, 02/02/2015).
Pakistan Country Analysis
22–24 February: Two separate explosions in Chaman, Balochistan – one of the two main crossing-points for supplies to international troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan – killed two and wounded 13 (DAWN; AFP).
- Nearly 900,000 displaced by military operations in Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency (UNHCR, 31/01/2015). There were already 930,000 IDPs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA as of mid-December 2013.
- Drought in Tharparkar in Sindh affected nearly 1.74 million people (259,946 families) in 2014 and killed 650, mostly children. 3,800 livestock have died (USAID, 04/12/2014; IPS, 03/01/2015). Dadu, Jamshoro, and Thatta districts were classified as calamity-hit areas in October (USAID, 27/11/2014).
Priority humanitarian needs are health, nutrition, and food assistance. The security situation remains volatile due to militant attacks in urban centres and military operations against the Taliban in the tribal areas.
Opposition protests demanding a probe into allegations of vote rigging by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif began in mid-August, led by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Tahirul Qadri’s Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT). There are signs that the military has been exploiting these protests as a means of re-asserting its dominance over civilian authorities (AFP, 10/12/2014). The PTI called off its opposition campaign following the 16 December attack on a school in Peshawar but warned of further protests mid-January should an independent judicial commission not be formed (The Express Tribune, 30/01/2015).
Violence in Pakistan in 2014 involved military operations in tribal areas but also armed group attacks in urban areas and in Balochistan, and tensions along the Pakistan–India border. 1,781 civilians were killed in terrorist violence in Pakistan in 2014, compared to 3,001 in 2013 (SATP, 01/01/2015).
On 21 January three Islamic State (IS) recruiters were arrested in Lahore, raising fears of an IS infiltration in the region (Le Monde, 21/01/2015). In early September, a new branch of Al Qaeda was announced. Al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent will cover Myanmar and Bangladesh, the Indian states of Assam and Gujarat, and the disputed territory of Kashmir (Financial Times, 03/09/2014).
Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Both militant and security sources have stated that a ceasefire with the Taliban, which expired in April, was used by the Taliban to preserve militant bases, and on 10 June, the Taliban vowed to start all-out war. The Government launched operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan Agency on 15 June, after the declaration of war and a Taliban attack on Karachi airport. A second operation, Khyber 1, began on 18 October in Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency. At 1 December, the army had reportedly killed more than 1,400 militants and 95 soldiers had died. Operations were continuing end January (Al Jazeera, 01/12/2014).
A blast in Kurram Agency on 15 February killed one and injured 14; security forces repulsed a militant attack on a checkpoint the same day, killing 15 attackers –others fled back to Afghanistan (DAWN, 15/02/2015). A Taliban attack targeting a Shi’ite mosque in Peshawar on 13 February killed at least 16 people and injured a further 62; the attack was in retaliation for the execution of one of their leaders in December (AFP, 13/02/2015). A bomb targeting Shi’ite Muslims in Orakzai Agency killed four and injured eight on 4 January (AFP, 04/01/2015).
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, 141 people were killed, including 132 children, at an army-run school in Peshawar on 16 December in the Pakistan Taliban’s deadliest attack to date, in retaliation for the Government operation in FATA (BBC News, 17/12/2014). Following the massacre, Sharif ended a six-year moratorium on the death penalty, which, at February, had led to the execution of 22 convicted under anti-terrorism law (Pakistan Tribune, 12/02/2015).
The United Baloch Front (UBF) has opposed the alleged annexation of Balochistan since 1948. 2014 saw a sharp rise in acts of violence. Attacks by Islamist armed groups are also a problem in the state.
An explosion in Chaman – one of the two main crossing-points for supplies to international troops fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan – killed one and wounded seven on 24 February; another explosion on 22 February had killed one and wounded six (DAWN, 24/02/2015; AFP, 22/02/2015). A landmine explosion in Dera Murad district on 26 January killed five and injured one (AFP, 26/01/2015). Two people were killed and four injured in three separate incidents in Quetta on 8 January (DAWN, 08/01/2015). Nine people, including four officials, were kidnapped by militants in Zhob district over 4–5 January (DAWN, 05/01/2015).
Tensions along the Pakistan–India border
Indian and Pakistani troops exchanged fire along the Line of Control on 5 January, killing four near Sialkot. Tensions escalated on 31 December, when an Indian border guard and two Pakistani paramilitary soldiers were killed during exchanges of fire (AFP, 05/01/2014).
In November, 55 were killed and 120 wounded by a suicide bombing at the main Pakistan–India border crossing near Lahore. The attack was claimed by several factions within the TTP (AFP, 02/11/2014).
Extremist groups are increasingly active in the central and northern districts of Sindh, and sectarian violence against Shi’ites is mounting (USIP, 26/01/2015). A bombing targeting a Shi’ite mosque in Shikarpur in Sindh on 30 January killed more than 60 people (AFP, 30/01/2015).
A Taliban attack near police headquarters in Lahore in Punjab on 17 February killed five and injured 17; the attack was in retaliation for the execution of imprisoned Taliban members (AFP, 17/02/2015). A suicide blast in Rawalpindi in Punjab injured three on 20 January (DAWN, 21/01/2015). A Taliban attack targeting a Shi’ite mosque in Rawalpindi killed seven people and wounded another 15 on 9 January (AFP, 09/01/2015).
At least three people were killed and two others injured in an attack on a Shi’ite mosque in Islamabad on 18 February (AFP, 18/02/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Humanitarian actors have reported serious funding constraints on assistance to IDPs, with shortfalls likely in access to health, food, nutrition, education, and child protection (OCHA, 15/12/2014).
Access in Balochistan remains challenging due to insecurity (ECHO, 20/10/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
At least three peace volunteers were killed and a further two injured on 2 February in a bomb blast in Tirah Valley in Khyber Agency (DAWN, 03/02/2015).
Four members of a polio team were killed on 17 February in Zhob district in Balochistan; they had been kidnapped by unknown militants four days earlier (AFP, 18/02/2015). A polio-team driver was killed in an attack on 14 February in the Shalman area of Khyber Agency (AFP, 14/02/2015). Two separate attacks against polio vaccination teams in Balochistan and Sindh on 4 February killed one and injured two (AFP, 04/02/2015; DAWN, 05/02/2015).
By November, 79 aid workers, including 36 police escorts and 21 polio workers, had been attacked in 2014 in 71 incidents, 51 of which were linked to polio (OCHA, 30/11/2014). The highest number of incidents occurred in KP, FATA and Sindh (OCHA, 31/08/2014). In 2013, 155 aid workers were killed, 171 seriously wounded, and 134 kidnapped – a 66% increase on 2012 (OCHA, 19/08/2014).
Monsoon rains and floods in October affected more than 2.53 million people, caused 367 deaths, and injured 673 people in Punjab, Azad Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan. More than 107,000 houses had been damaged and 971,000 hectares of cropped areas affected. At end January, 70,000 people were still targeted for emergency health, food, shelter and NFIs assistance by IFRC (IFRC, 29/01/2015).
Over the past three years, the monsoon region has shifted 100km west. As a result, heavy and unpredicted rainfall has occurred in Pakistan, especially in KP, causing massive destruction (Government, 20/08/2014). Short, intense rainfall is becoming common during Pakistan’s monsoon seasons and undermining underground water resources (Trust, 04/11/2014).
As of 11 February, 77 children have died from malnutrition in Thar in 2015 (Alhasan Systems, 16/02/2015). Drought conditions in Tharparkar affected nearly 1.74 million people (259,946 families) in 2014 and killed 650, mostly children. 3,814 livestock have died, many families have migrated (USAID, 04/12/2014; Inter Press Service, 03/01/2015; DAWN, 16/02/2015). Dadu, Jamshoro, and Thatta districts in Sindh were classified as calamity-hit areas in October (USAID, 27/11/2014). 50,585 hectares have reportedly been damaged in Chhore-Qambar, Gozo and Buriro union councils in the Kachho belt in Dadu, affecting around 50,000 people (DAWN, 21/01/2015).
The Government of Balochistan has warned 29 of its 34 districts of a Sindh-like famine due to the prolonged dry spell; families are reportedly moving to the provincial capital (Alhasan Systems, 26/01/2015). Anticipated needs are supplementary nutrition feeding, drought-tolerant agriculture inputs, animal fodder, available water management and building of water reservoirs (USAID, 29/10/2014).
At 31 January, there were nearly 1.9 million IDPs (277,810 families) in FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including 94,256 families (34%) displaced from NWA and 35,178 from Khyber Agency (13%) since military operations began in 2014. The majority of IDP families are in Peshawar, Bannu and D.I. Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There are 8,816 families in three IDP camps in Khyber, Orazkai and Kurram in FATA (UNHCR, 31/01/2015). Lack of identification documents, education facilities and psychological support were reported as priority needs for IDPs in FATA and Khyper Pakhtunkwa in a 2014 assessment (Protection Cluster, 31/12/2014).
The repatriation of IDPs from North Waziristan and Bara following military operations is scheduled to start on 15 February; at least 55,000 families are expected to be returned to five de-notified areas in Bara from February, where infrastructure repair, health, food, nutrition and WASH support is required (OCHA, 30/01/2015; DAWN, 21/01/2015). IDPs from Khyber Agency are not planning to return to their homes until security is provided to them, destroyed houses rebuilt and local schools, hospitals, government offices and markets re-opened (DAWN, 27/01/2015).
Refugees in Pakistan
At end December, 1.5 million Afghan refugees were in Pakistan, mostly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (UNHCR, 29/12/2014). Approximately one-third live in refugee villages, and two-thirds in urban and rural host communities; the exact number is difficult to ascertain (UNHCR, 1/11/2014).
As of 20 October, nearly 59,200 IDPs (8,837 families) had returned to their place of origin in 2014, including 27,780 to Kurram Agency and 31,425 to KP. In total, 165,603 families had returned to FATA between 2010 and 2014 (UNHCR, 20/10/2014). Many families in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are not intending to return due to houses destroyed, insecurity, and lack of health services; information regarding the return process is also lacking (Protection Cluster, 12/2014).
Pakistani Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
At 8 January, nearly 283,590 refugees (39,494 families) from Pakistan had arrived in Afghanistan’s Khost and Paktika provinces since mid-June and needed humanitarian assistance (UNHCR, 08/01/2015).
1.83 million people are in need of food assistance (Food Security Cluster, 04/02/2015). Economic access to food continues to be the main limitation to household food security. 12 districts and agencies are in Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security and 35 districts in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
Populations displaced from FATA continue to be vulnerable to acute food insecurity, particularly with the new influxes from North Waziristan and Khyber Agency (WFP, 31/12/2014). Most conflict-related IDPs rely on negative coping mechanisms and need food support (ECHO, 20/10/2014).
Tharparkar and parts of Umerkot, Sanghar, Khairpur, Sukkur and Ghotki districts in Sindh are in Emergency food insecurity (IPC Phase 4) due to prolonged drought conditions (USAID, 04/11/2014). Populations away from irrigated agricultural land are expected to face difficult conditions in the months ahead (WFP, 09/12/2014).
Increasing demand for food and NFIs has resulted in massive inflation: nominal oil prices and sugar prices increased by 8 and 9% between July and September, following the trend of previous quarters (WFP, 27/10/2014).
Health and Nutrition
1.21 million people are in need of basic health and quality maternal and child health services. The influx of IDPs has severely strained health facilities and the lack of medical staff to provide care for displaced women is a critical challenge (UN Population Fund, 03/10/2014).
At 22 November, over 2.7 million cases of acute diarrhoea had been reported in 2014, and 48,786 cases of bloody diarrhoea (Government, WHO, 26/11/2014). 150,000 cases of diarrhoea, including 15 deaths, have been reported in Sindh, highlighting a lack of clean water and sanitation facilities (DAWN, 12/01/2015).
A four-day measles vaccination drive for IDPs in Dera Ismail Khan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was cancelled on 29 January due to recent security operations against suspected militants in the area (DAWN, 29/01/2015).
Ten new polio cases have so far been reported in 2015 from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, South Waziristan, Khyber Agency, and Nowshera (DAWN, 25/02/2015).
297 wild polio cases were reported in 2014 in Pakistan, from FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Balochistan, and Punjab; the previous peak was 199 cases in 2000 (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 15/01/2015; DAWN, 01/01/2015).
A vaccination campaign could not be launched in four northern districts of Balochistan on 19 January due to security threats (DAWN, 19/01/2015).
An estimated 2.86 million children and pregnant and breastfeeding women are undernourished in Pakistan (OCHA, 25/11/2014). In Sindh, 1.1 million children under five are acutely malnourished; 400,000 of them are suffering from SAM (ECHO, 20/10/2014). Preliminary findings of an ACF December 2014 assessment in Dadu district in Sindh found that 10.5% of U5 children suffer from GAM and 3.8% from SAM (ACF, 03/02/2015).
Nutrition is also a concern in the Neelum Valley in Azad Kashmir, with an estimated 21% of children acutely malnourished, well above the emergency threshold (WFP, 12/2013). In Balochistan, maternal mortality rates have been increasing due to malnourishment and anaemia (DAWN, 29/11/2014).
1.1 million people are in need of WASH (OCHA, 25/11/2014). An estimated 690,000 people – largely IDPs and returnees in KP and FATA – urgently need assistance in accessing safe drinking water. 186,000 IDPs do not have access to safe drinking water, more than 128,000 remain in need of improved sanitation facilities, and approximately 256,000 people require critical hygiene services (USAID, 04/10/2014).
Over 80% of water resources in Pakistan’s southern Tharparkar district have become unsafe for drinking due to worsening drought in the region (Reuters, 02/02/2015).
Shelter and NFIs
Inadequate shelter services, overcrowding, harsh weather conditions, and high rental charges are key challenges for displaced families (OCHA, 15/08/2014). 50% of the population in Tirah valley in FATA has been living in makeshift shelters after having been displaced in 2013 (IOM, 14/11/2014).
960,000 displaced people are in need of shelter, including 85,637 IDP families off-camp and 6,500 in-camp in urgent need of winterised items (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
450,000 children are in need of education. Educational supplies are a major gap in education response, such as school tents, stationery, and other teaching and learning materials. (OCHA, 25/11/2014).
At least 86,000 students from government schools in NWA have been affected by military operations. The number of students enrolled in private schools is unknown (DAWN, 15/07/2014). Around 33% of children in Balochistan are also out of school (DAWN, 20/02/2015).
The majority of school-aged Afghan refugees in camps in Pakistan are unable to attend school after sixth grade due to lack of means to attend private schools (Inter Press Service, 22/12/2014).
An estimated 1.08 million people are in need of protection. This group largely consists of IDPs and returnees in KP and FATA. Women, children, the disabled, and the elderly need referral assistance and specialised protection in displacement and returnee areas (OCHA, 20/02/2014).
421 incidents of violence involving 534 women and girls were reported in Karachi province during the third quarter of the year (DAWN, 11/10/2014).
In areas where the Taliban is active, over 500 girls’ schools have been bombed. In the south and southwest of the country, ethnic violence continues to curtail women’s freedom of movement.
No significant developments this week, 25/02/2015. Last update: 18/02/2015.
- Over 3.8 million people are food insecure, including 927,420 in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) due to erratic rains in 2014 (UN, 16/02/2015).
- 332,300 children suffering from acute malnutrition, 68,650 from severe acute malnutrition (OCHA, 30/11/2014).
Separatists continue to oppose authorities in the coastal Casamance area. Salif Sadio, leader of the separatist movement, declared a unilateral ceasefire on 30 April, as proof of engagement in an ongoing peace process.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
4.3 million people are in need of assistance in 2015 in Senegal (31% of the population), mostly due to climatic conditions, a rise in food prices, and reduced cross-border exchanges; this corresponds to a 266% increase on 2013 (UN, 16/02/2015).
As of February, there are 17,085 refugees in Matam, Saint Louis, and Tambacounda, mostly from Mauritania. 52% of refugees have declared they are seeking naturalisation in Senegal (UN, 18/02/2015).
3.8 million people are expected to be food insecure in Senegal until at least March as a result of the lingering effects of previous crises and the impact of the erratic rains in 2014. This comprises 2.86 million in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) food security and 927,420 in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) mainly in central and southern regions, compared to 1.9 million and 675,000, respectively, in 2013 (UN, 16/02/2015).
A 37% and 51% reduction in 2014 cereal and groundnut production is reducing food availability and households’ purchasing power. Poor households, especially in Thiès, Louga, Matam, and northern Tambacounda, will likely be Stressed by March due to the expected exhaustion of food stocks – which normally does not occur until June (FEWSNET, 29/01/2015).
Agriculture and Markets
Poorly distributed and significantly below-average rainfall led to poor cropping conditions for much of central and northern Senegal. Pasture deficits will affect animal production and reduce breeders' purchasing power; there is also a high risk of increased livestock mortality from April (FEWSNET, 29/01/2015).
As a result of the closure of borders and markets due to Ebola containment measures, trade volumes have fallen 50% below last year’s levels, leading to a 40% and 50% increase in the prices of palm oil and coffee, respectively, in less than four weeks (WFP, 15/09/2014). Senegal reopened its border with Ebola-hit Guinea on 26 January (Reuters, 26/01/2015).
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
20.4 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) are expected to suffer from food insecurity in 2015. In 2014, food insecurity rose dramatically to 24.7 million food insecure people, from 11.3 million in 2013 (OCHA, 10/01/2014, 03/02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Porous borders between Senegal and Guinea and trade flows via regular weekly markets constitute a serious risk to the spread of Ebola to the country (Red Cross, 29/09/2014).
332,300 children are acutely malnourished, including 68,650 suffering from SAM. 319,000 were acutely malnourished in 2013. Matam, Saint Louis (Podor department in particular), and Tambacounda regions are most affected (UN, 16/02/2015).
38.7% of rural families and 61.7% of urban households have access to sanitation (OCHA, 30/11/2014).
Ukraine Country Analysis
25 February: Evacuation from social care institutions is particularly difficult for elderly. Members of armed groups have on several occasions stated that they will not allow the evacuation of people from such institutions to Government controlled areas (HelpAge, OCHA).
24 February: The health budget for 2015 will only cover an estimated 30% of needs (OCHA).
20 February: According to a rapid joint assessment conducted by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food in January 2015, there are about 26,750 small farming families, around 66,875 people, in immediate need of assistance (OCHA).
20 February: Seasonal flu incidence has crossed normal threshold in Khmelnytska, Vinnytska and Volynska oblasts (OCHA).
- 5.2 million people in need of protection. Need for humanitarian aid is still important, especially with winter ongoing (OCHA, 09/01/2015).
- Bureaucratic, security and financial restrictions are impeding response (OCHA, 26/12/2014). Getting in and out of the conflict zone is becoming more and more difficult (MSF, 23/01/2015).
- 4.5 million people are estimated to be in need of healthcare, as they are unable to purchase out-of-pocket health services (OCHA, 24/02/2015).
More than 1 million people have been displaced internally and over 670,000 externally, while continued fighting and lack of transportation make it difficult for civilians to escape contested areas. The affected populations, especially in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, are in most urgent need of shelter, healthcare and protection. There is a critical need of clean water. Medical supplies are lacking and health services are extremely limited. Infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed. The human rights situation is deteriorating.
Ukraine and pro-Russian separatist forces signed a peace roadmap on 12 February. A ceasefire started on 15 February and an expanded buffer zone around the frontline has been set up. All hostages and illegally detained prisoners are supposed to be released and exchanged. Ukraine also announced they will restore the banking system in the conflict zones (international media, 12/02/2015).
Parliamentary elections were held on 26 October (AFP, 26/10/2014). On 2 November, opposition groups held elections, and Alexander Zakharchenko was announced head of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (international media, 03/11/2014).
On 15 November, Ukraine's President ordered the withdrawal of all state services from the eastern regions held by armed groups, as well as the evacuation of state workers (international media, 15/11/2014). Since 1 December, allocations from the state budget to areas controlled by the armed groups have been halted, including for social payments (UN, 15/12/2014).
As of 19 February, at least 5,793 people have been killed in the conflict and 14,595 people had been wounded (OCHA, 20/02/2015). Between 6 January and 12 February, fighting claimed the lives of at least 131 civilians and wounded 428 people (OCHA, 06/02/2015; 13/02/2015). The death toll could be significantly higher, according to the UN, since access to conflict-affected areas is restricted (UN, 24/01/2015).
Armed groups control most of eastern Donetsk region and a small area of southern Luhansk region (Government, 13/01/2015). Hostilities intensified in January (AFP, 25/01/2015). Fighting is mainly in Donetsk and Luhansk (OCHA, 13/02/2015). In February, most of the fighting was around Debaltseve, Horlivka and Svitlodarsk, in Donetsk region (international media, 02/02/2015). Fighting around the port city of Mariupol have been reported on 23 February (AFP, 24/02/2015). Donetsk airport is reported to have fallen under armed groups’ control (international media, 22/01/2015). On 18 February, Ukrainian forces started to withdraw from Debaltseve (BBC, 18/02/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
An estimated 3.2 million people are highly vulnerable and in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 24/02/2015). 5.2 million people live in areas directly affected by the conflict and are in need of protection (OCHA, 24/02/2015). There is a 4% contribution to the humanitarian plan launched in December 2014 (OCHA, 20/02/2015).
Getting in and out of the conflict zone is becoming more difficult (MSF, 23/01/2015). Obligatory permit controls have been in force since 21 January for anyone crossing the lines separating government- from opposition-controlled areas. However, it is unclear how to obtain a permit, which prevents the local population from accessing humanitarian aid (OSCE, 14/01/2015). Clearance processes are bureaucratic, slow and inconsistently enforced, leading to significant supply problems for the humanitarian organizations (OCHA, 13/02/2015). Convoys of humanitarian aid organised by local volunteer organisations were denied access in eastern Ukraine, due to lack of proper documentation (UNHCR, 06/02/2015). Armed groups have reportedly blocked aid entering territories controlled by the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (Amnesty International, 23/12/2014).
The Government has decided to halt public transportation in areas controlled by armed groups, hampering humanitarian access (OCHA, 09/01/2015). Months of conflict have severely damaged Donetsk international airport (international media, 01/12/2014). Limited rail transport to the region continues to impede humanitarian access (OCHA, 28/11/2014).
Bus connections and private vehicles crossing the administrative border to and from Crimea are often delayed for several days (UNHCR, 06/02/2015). International shipping has been prohibited from the ports of Evpatoria, Kerch, Sevastopol, Theodosia, and Yalta, on the Crimea peninsula, since 15 July (GARD, 17/07/2014).
Trapped and Hard-to-Reach Communities
Some of the inhabitants of Horlivka and Svitlodarsk, in Donetsk region, have managed to escape, but many civilians still remain stranded in these hard-to-reach areas (UN, 30/01/2015). 5,000 civilians are estimated to be trapped in Debaltseve as of 20 February (ICRC, 22/02/2015).
As of 26 February, more than 1 million IDPs had been registered in eastern Ukraine since March 2014 (Ministry of Social Policy, 26/02/2015). 19,000 people are estimated to be displaced within Crimea (IDMC, 31/10/2014). Between 28 January and 20 February, 9,476 people were evacuated from Donetsk and Luhansk regions (OCHA, 20/02/2015). The discrepancy between the real and registered numbers of IDPs is a major issue hampering delivery of assistance (OCHA, 30/01/2015).
61% of the IDP population are pensioners, 12% children, and 4% disabled people. The proportion of pensioners among IDPs rises to 72% and 74% in Luhansk and Donetsk regions, respectively. Many pensioners have registered as IDPs solely to be able to access their pension payments. They then move back home (UNHCR, 06/02/2015).
The western and central regions of Ukraine received 35% of the displaced population. Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia (regions bordering on conflict areas) have undergone a massive influx of displaced people; 43% of IDPs have fled there. Donetsk and Luhansk regions host 22% of the displaced population (OCHA, 24/02/2015). The Government of Ukraine is encouraging IDPs to move west, to ease pressure on accommodation, but without proper coordination: a free rail ticket scheme has been reintroduced for the most vulnerable IDPs, and newly displaced people have been transported to Kyiv (OCHA, 13/02/2015; UNHCR, 06/02/2015). Some evacuees have been temporarily accommodated in train carriages at the railway station in Slovyansk, awaiting onward transportation (UNHCR, 06/02/2015).
IDPs need information, notably regarding evacuation, safe roads, travel permits, markets, laws and regulations, and where to access humanitarian aid (international organization, 02/2015).
95% of IDPS are in private accommodation and are often not supported by the humanitarian community (OCHA, 12/12/2014; 24/02/2015). The absorption capacity within host communities has been weakening and tensions are rising between the host population and the IDPs (IOM, 22/10/2014; International Medical Corps, 31/01/2015; international organisation, 02/2015). Authorities in Odessa have stressed that their capacity to cope with the IDP influx is exhausted (OCHA, 06/02/2015).
Back and forth movements continue to be reported in territory back under government control (OCHA, 08/12/2014). Some IDPs are reportedly returning to conflict despite insecurity due to exhausted coping mechanisms and rising rent prices (OCHA, 31/10/2014, 14/11/2014).
Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 18 February, about 670,000 people have fled to neighbouring countries, including around 500,000 of whom have crossed into Russia since the beginning of 2014 (international media, 18/02/2015; OCHA, 23/01/2015). However, the UN and Russian authorities estimated in October that 875,000 Ukrainians had actually fled to Russia. Little humanitarian assistance is provided in Russia, despite signs of a long-term population shift (international media, 03/10/2014). Since July, Russian authorities have prevented Ukrainians from obtaining refugee status in several regions, including border areas and major cities such as Moscow. Most asylum seekers have been unable to collect the required documents and access refugee status (international organisation, 09/12/2014).
1.8 million people are estimated to be in need of food (OCHA, 24/02/2015). Food needs, including baby food, are exceeding available resources and are high priorities in both government-controlled and non-government-controlled areas of Luhansk and Donetsk regions (OCHA, 30/01/2015). Eastern Ukraine’s food reserves are fully depleted and infrastructure is partly destroyed (FAO, 26/01/2015). Food shortages have been reported in Luhansk for two weeks (OCHA, 13/02/2015).
In December 2014, the price of the minimum food basket in Donetsk and Luhansk is higher than the national average by 6.3% and 12.5%, respectively (WFP, 01/12/2014; OCHA, 08/12/2014). In some areas, food is available but buying capacity does not exist, for lack of cash and exhausted savings (WFP, 21/01/2015). Preliminary results from the WFP food security assessment indicate that at least 20% of the population living in Luhansk, Donetsk, Kharkiv, Dnepropetrovsk and Zaporizhzhia have limited access to markets, due to increased food prices, disrupted transport systems, high insecurity, remoteness and lack of hard currency. According to a rapid joint assessment conducted by the Ministry of Agrarian Policy and Food in January 2015, there are about 26,750 small farming families, around 66,875 people, in immediate need of assistance (OCHA, 20/02/2015).
Food production in eastern Ukraine is set to drop in the coming months, as farmers do not have regular access to seeds and fertilizers, according to FAO. Some farms have lost up to 30% of their winter wheat harvest, and planting for the spring crop has been severely hit (international media, 10/02/2015).
2.7 million people are estimated to be in need of a livelihood (OCHA, 24/02/2015). At the end of November, around 650,000 pensioners have not received any pensions since August (AFP, 28/11/2014). IDPs from Crimea are often unable to transfer their pensions to mainland Ukraine since banks ceased the use of electronic banking, yet displaced pensioners from Crimea have reportedly been told that they will no longer receive pension payments unless they provide proof that they are not receiving a pension in Crimea (UNHCR, 06/02/2015).
As of 10 October, nearly 40,000 small and medium businesses in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions had ceased activity (OCHA, 10/10/2014). Industrial production had declined 60% in Donetsk region and 85% in Luhansk by September 2014 (OCHA, 08/12/2014).
Health and Nutrition
4.5 million people are estimated to be in need of healthcare (OCHA, 24/02/2015).
Due to the ongoing devaluation of the Ukrainian currency, the health budget for 2015 will only cover an estimated 30% of needs (OCHA, 24/02/2015). There are no extra-budgetary resources allocated for IDP health services, overstretching the health system in areas of displacement (OCHA, 24/02/2015). The average vaccination coverage in the country is well under 50% (WHO, 16/01/2015). There is a significant need for insulin for diabetes patients in Donetsk region (OCHA, 13/02/2015). Seasonal flu incidence has crossed normal threshold in Khmelnytska, Vinnytska and Volynska oblasts (OCHA, 20/02/2015). Hepatitis A incidence are growing in Donbas area, 18% above the normal incidence in Khmelnytska, in Khmelnytskyi region (OCHA, 13/02/2015).
At least 45 hospitals in Donetsk and Luhansk regions have been destroyed or damaged (OHCHR, 15/11/2014). Targeted attacks on ambulances have been reported (OCHA, 17/10/2014). The safety and security of health workers remains a major concern in conflict areas, preventing access to emergency and primary health services in Mariupol and Donetsk regions (International Medical Corps, 31/01/2015). Between 30% and 70% of health workers are no longer at their posts (WHO, 16/01/2015). Conflict-affected areas are lacking about 20–30% of doctors, 20–50% of nurses, and 50–70% of paramedics (OCHA, 14/11/2014; 09/01/2015). Only half of ambulances in conflict areas are operational for lack of fuel (OCHA, 23/01/2015). There are concerns that civilians may have less access to inpatient healthcare than military actors (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
Almost 60,000 HIV-infected patients are in urgent need of antiretroviral drugs; the current stock of antiretroviral drugs is sufficient until December, and provision of health products for HIV testing is critical (OHCHR, 15/11/2014).
Opioid Substitution Treatment (OST)
Restrictions on the delivery of narcotic drugs since December 2014 for people undergoing OST in Donetsk and Luhansk regions has resulted in discontinuation of treatment for more than 300 of the 899 patients who reside in the area (OCHA, 23/01/2015). There are concerns that HIV, Hepatitis C, and tuberculosis, could spread, and the lives of many drug users will be at risk (international media, 28/01/2015).
Approximately 100,000 children and adults are estimated to need psychosocial support (UNICEF, 29/01/2015).
Extreme vaccine shortages, a low rate of vaccination – reported to be 50% – an already weak surveillance system disintegrating, armed conflict, and displacement have all aggravated the risk of polio transmission (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 02/10/2014; UNICEF, 20/10/2014).
New TB cases are estimated to have increased by 5% in non-government-controlled areas of Donetsk, mainly among the elderly and combatants (OCHA, 06/02/2015). 48,000 people are registered with the disease; however, one in four people with TB are not officially registered, according to WHO (AFP, 18/08/2014).
In areas under government control, stocks of drug supplies for HIV and TB patients will be finished by March 2015 (OCHA, 23/01/2015). 11,600 multidrug-resistant TB cases also urgently need drugs (OHCHR, 15/11/2014).
Shelter and NFIs
1.4 million people are estimated to be in urgent need of shelter and NFIs (OCHA, 24/02/2015). Many IDPs left their homes without basic belongings and warm clothes (UNHCR, 06/02/2015).
People left in cities where shelling is ongoing are living in underground shelters, in acute need of basic NFIs (OCHA, 30/01/2015). In Donetsk, bunkers are damp and not heated (UNICEF, 06/02/2015). In the Donbas region, the 20% of the population previously receiving social service support are in particular need of NFIs (Shelter and NFI Cluster, 29/12/2014). In the vicinity of Donetsk airport, the situation for the residents is extremely difficult, with no water or electricity supply for the past two months (OCHA, 20/02/2015).
Winterisation is an urgent priority, including the provision of warm blankets and winter clothes for IDPs (OCHA, 09/01/2015). Lack of coal and wood is a pressing issue, and the disruption in electricity supply due to fighting is increasing the risk of heating system breakdown (OCHA, 30/01/2015).
According to estimates, more than 33,000 families, around 82,500 people, living in the non-government-controlled areas need emergency shelter solutions or repairs (Shelter and NFI Cluster, 29/12/2014). Many villages along the conflict line are affected by shelling (OCHA, 13/02/2015). In Luhansk region, more than 10,000 houses are in need of acute emergency shelter (OCHA, 13/02/2015). Around 8,000 people remain without shelter in Petrovskiy, Kuibishevskiy and Kievskiy neighbourhoods of Donetsk city (OCHA, 30/01/2015).
IDPs renting accommodation seem to be excluded from any humanitarian assistance, and in a worse situation compared to those staying in collective centres (UNHCR, 06/02/2015). Collective centres are facing problems due to non-payment of communal and food services, and the prospect of bankruptcy is looming. This is increasing the risk of IDPs being evicted or compelled to return to unsafe areas (OCHA, 23/01/2015).
1.3 million people are estimated to be in need of WASH; most vulnerable people are in Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Luhansk regions (OCHA, 24/02/2015; UNICEF, 08/12/2014). As of 24 Februay, at least 700,000 people are without access to drinking water (OCHA, 24/02/2015). As of 13 February, approximately 461,350 people in Donetsk region and 86,860 people in Luhansk do not have access to safe drinking water (OCHA, 13/02/2015).
Numerous cases of intestinal diseases have been reported in Horlivka, Donetsk region, due to a lack of access to clean water (OCHA, 13/02/2015).
In Donetsk and Luhansk regions, temporary latrines and disinfection materials are required (UNICEF, 12/12/2014; 09/01/2015).
600,000 people in Donetsk and Luhansk need education (OCHA, 24/02/2015). 147 schools have closed in Donetsk region (UNICEF, 19/12/2014). Lack of transportation is preventing children from attending school (OCHA, 09/01/2015). 260,000 children were not able to resume their studies on 1 September (OHCHR, 15/11/2014).
A fourth wave of military mobilisation has been launched. Draftees must notify authorities any change of residence within seven days, in order not to be considered as a draft evader. It is foreseen that men of military-draft age will only be able to leave the country with written permission from local military commissions, de facto restricting population movement (OCHA, 06/02/2015).
Human rights abuses by armed groups continued to be reported, including abduction, torture and ill-treatment, unlawful detention, execution and forced mobilisation of civilians, as well as the seizure and occupation of public buildings (OHCHR, 15/11/2014; Amnesty International, 12/02/2015). Up to 600 people continue to be held by armed groups (OCHA, 23/01/2015).
The requirement to register as an IDP in government-controlled areas to be eligible for social payments and pensions is causing displacement. The deadline for registering as an IDP in order to receive pensions was 1 February, putting people who do not make the journey or meet the deadline at risk of financial and other hardship (UNHCR 31/12/2014; 23/01/2015).
An increasing number of unlawful refusals of registration and financial assistance, violations of employment rights, and limited access to social benefits is being reported. Some IDPs cannot register because their locations of origin are not recognized as a dangerous locality for civilians by the Government (OCHA, 20/02/2015). There are long waits for IDPs to register with the Department of Social Protection in regions near the conflict zone (OCHA, 12/12/2014). UNHCR has reported a pattern of discrimination and stigmatisation against IDPs from the east on political grounds (IOM, 22/10/2014).
Mines and ERW
Evidence of widespread use of cluster munitions in some 12 locations has been documented by Human Rights Watch. While it was not possible to determine conclusively responsibility for all attacks, evidence indicated that Ukrainian government forces were responsible for several cluster munition attacks on Donetsk city in early October (Cluster Munition Coalition, 22/10/2014).
Mines and unexploded ordnance have been increasingly reported in areas of Donetsk and Luhansk, with civilian deaths (UNICEF, 22/10/2014).
An estimated 260,000 Roma live in Ukraine. In August, OCHA reported that the Roma population displaced from Donbas experiences access restrictions to government health and social services: 40% do not have documentation, and many fear registration as IDPs, preventing access to humanitarian assistance. Being registered as Roma may lead to persecution upon return (UNHCR, 17/10/2014; international media, 28/01/2015).
In Crimea, Crimean Tatars and other pro-Ukraine figures have been forcibly disappeared or gone missing since May (HRW, 07/10/2014).
1,000 children in Donetsk city are estimated to be regularly seeking refuge alone during heavy shelling, in underground bomb shelters, with little access to water, sanitation, or food (UNICEF, 27/01/2015). According to the Ministry of Social Policy, almost 4,000 elderly people remain in nursing homes in areas controlled by armed groups (Protection Cluster, 28/01/2015). Evacuation from social care institutions is particularly difficult as many patients, mostly elderly, have not consented to evacuation. Members of armed groups have on several occasions stated that they will not allow the evacuation of people from such institutions to Government controlled areas (HelpAge, 25/02/2015; OCHA, 20/02/2015). There are indications that 50% of state and municipal institutions for the care and guardianship of minors in Donetsk and Luhansk regions are not functioning (international media, 07/10/2014). People with special needs are facing problems accessing services and transportation in areas re-taken by the Government (OCHA, 09/01/2015).
Women face prohibition from leaving conflict zones by their partners; rape; forced domestic labour by insurgents; and violence in collective centres (OCHA, 19/09/2014). An increasing number of cases of gender-based violence are being reported in conflict-affected areas (OCHA, 31/10/2014).
6 February: 73,100 people have been affected by heavy rains and 25 have died (Government, 15/02/2015).
- 500,000 people have been affected by heavy rains (local media, 26/01/2015).
- Around 130,000 affected by drought (Government, Media, 10/12/2014).
- Bolivia is prone to natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, and droughts.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
A series of natural disasters has affected Bolivia since the beginning of the rainy season in October 2013 and had a severe impact on livelihoods and food security.
Around 130,000 people have been affected by drought, including an estimated 20,000 farmers (Government, 05/01/2015). Four districts have declared a States of Emergency: Oruro, Santa Cruz, La Paz and Chuquisaca (local Media, 10/12/2014).
Estimates indicate that close to 63,000 hectares of crops, including rice, maize, and cassava, have been negatively impacted. In six municipalities in the department of Santa Cruz, more than 54,000 acres of maize were affected (OCHA, 27/10/2014). 16,000 head of cattle and camels have died (REDLAC, 17/11/2014). In the municipality of Azurduy, 50% of maize and potato crops are damaged (Government, 9/12/2014). It is estimated that approximately 20,000 farmers in 20 municipalities in Cochabamba are affected (Government, 05/01/2015).
Heavy Rainfall and Floods
Since December 2014, heavy rains have affected 73,100 people in 54 municipalities of La Paz, Cochabamba, Oruro, Santa Cruz, Potosi, and Chuquisaca departments. 25 people have died (OCHA, 26/01/2015; ECHO, 29/01/2015; OCHA, 02/02/2015; 09/02/2015; Government, 15/02/2015). More rain is expected to increase river levels in the departments of Beni, which is on red alert, Pando, and La Paz (OCHA, 02/02/2015; Government, 01/02/2015).
Chuquisaca is worst hit, with 30,100 affected in 13 districts (Government, 23/01/2015). In Santa Cruz, La Paz, and Beni, roads are blocked, and sewer systems and other infrastructure damaged (OCHA, 15/12/2014; ECHO, 07/01/2015; local media, 07/01/2015). 23 people have died (OCHA, 02/02/2015; 09/02/2015). Rains in Cochabamba in mid-December destroyed 4,500 hectares of crops (Government, 17/12/2014; OCHA, 22/12/2014). In the department of Guanay, 40 houses were flooded, affecting 172 people (local media, 04/01/2015). Flooding from the Tipuani River in Tipuani department has placed 215 individuals at risk (Redhum 04/01/2015). Access to Ixiamas and San Buenaventura, La Paz department, is limited due to floods (local media, 06/02/2015).
In September, 146 of 339 communities were still affected by the flooding of the last rainy season; 11 districts north of La Paz were under a state of emergency (Government). The floods in Bolivia’s Amazon valleys, lowlands, and plains during the October 2013–March 2014 rains were the worst in 60 years, affecting an estimated 325,000 people (OCHA 06/2014; ACT Alliance, 24/09/2014).
Around 850 people in Luribay, La Paz, have been affected by landslides caused by a severe hailstorm in early November. The majority of the crops in the town have been lost (PAHO, 04/11/2014; Government, 05/11/2014). North of La Paz, a landslide destroyed the homes of more than 3,600 people (Government, 12/01/2015). 258 people were evacuated from the centre of Huanuni, Oruro department (Government, 15/02/2015).
Despite losses in the department of Beni, harvest prospects for 2014’s verano season (November to March) are favourable, since the main cereal-producing departments of Santa Cruz, La Paz, and Cochabamba were less severely affected by drought, and the abundant rains may have benefited the developing crops in some places.
8,000 hectares of crops have been affected by heavy rains (OCHA, 26/01/2015; 09/02/2015). In Azurduy municipality, Chuquisaca department, more than 2,000 families have been affected by agricultural losses due to heavy rains and have missed the planting season (local media, 02/02/2015).
Health and Nutrition
Santa Cruz department declared a health alert after 13 cases of chikungunya and dengue were reported within six days (local media, 12/02/2015).
In Beni department, 337 cases of dengue were reported in 2014, with 2,889 suspected cases and two deaths (Redhum, 29/12/2014).
No new significant developments this week, 25/02/2015. Last update: 18/02/2015.
As of September, Burundi has 78,940 IDPs (UNHCR, 31/11/2014).
Since the President’s re-election in 2010, scores of political killings, intimidation of the opposition, and a crackdown on media freedom have been reported. Most recently, observers stated concerns on restrictions on civil and political rights, following a series of violent acts by the ruling party’s increasingly militant youth wing, Imbonerakure. On 12 December, the UN political mission in Burundi closed after 20 years (AFP, 12/12/2014).
2015 General Elections: Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Deteriorating relations between the parties within the ruling coalition stem mainly from the desire of President Nkurunziza, first elected in 2005, to run for a third term in 2015. On 9 June 2014, the Government, the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), and all political parties and actors signed the General Principles for the conduct of the 2015 elections (UN, 10/06/2014). The UN Electoral Observation Mission in Burundi (MENUB) is mandated to follow and report on the presidential, parliamentary, and local elections scheduled between May and September 2015, though the Government has stated that MENUB’s mandate is limited, and does not cover validating the results (UN, 03/01/2015; AFP, 12/01/2015). In mid-January, opposition figures were jailed for bribery and rebel links, raising concerns of violence ahead of the elections (AFP, IRIN, 16/01/2015).
The Burundian army claimed it killed 100 armed fighters in the first week of January in Rwesero, north of Bujumbura, after they crossed from East Kivu in DRC. The fighters were reportedly trying to reach Kibira forest, an area used as a base by opposition groups in the past. Army reports have suggested that a major offensive has been planned to destabilise the country ahead of the elections (AFP, 05 06/01/2014). A Human Rights Watch report published in February asserted that Burundian National Defense Forces and police had committed at least 47 extrajudicial executions, adding that armed members of the ruling party’s youth league, the Imbonerakure, also participated in the killings (Human Rights Watch, 12/02/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
On 24 December, heavy rains in Tuyigi province, eastern Burundi, destroyed more than 750 houses (Government, 26/12/2014).
As of September, Burundi has 78,940 IDPs (UNHCR, 31/11/2014). They are mostly ethnic Tutsis, located in and around 120 sites across northern and central Burundi. No new displacement has been recorded since 2008 (Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre).
As of September, Burundi is host to 49,800 refugees, mostly from DRC (UNHCR, 31/11/2014). Refugees are mainly located in the border regions of Ngozi (north, alongside Rwanda), Ruyigi, Muyinga, and Cankuzo (east, alongside Tanzania) and Bubanza (west, alongside DRC).
7,000 DRC refugees living in Musasa camp, in northern Burundi, are demanding better conditions, protesting at poor food availability, reduced health services, and substandard education services (local media, 10/11/2014).
43,000 Burundians living in Tanzania have been forcibly repatriated. 65% are women and children. Many returnees have chosen to return to their province of origin without being registered, due to a lack of reception facilities at entry points (IOM, 01/2014).
The high number of IDPs and refugees returning to their places of origin is aggravating tensions over land ownership, as returnees claim land where other families, often of a different ethnic background, have since settled.
Burundian Refugees in Neighbouring countries
As of 1 September, 14,367 Burundian refugees and asylum-seekers were residing in Uganda. Most Burundian refugees are located in Nakivale and Oruchinga (UNHCR, 23/09/2014).
As of 30 September, 9,233 Burundian refugees were residing in the DRC (UNHCR, 30/09/2014).
As of 31 July, 6,568 Burundian refugees were residing in Kenya (UNHCR, 31/07/2014), most of them located in Kakuma Camp.
Poor households are expecting to face Minimal (IPC Phase 1) acute food insecurity from January to March 2015. As households become more market reliant during the February to May lean season, acute food security is expected to deteriorate to Stressed (IPC Phase 2) in the second quarter of 2015 (FEWSNET, 31/01/2015).
The national rate of chronic malnutrition is 58%. The municipalities reporting the highest rates of malnutrition are Gisuru and Kinyinya, in the eastern province of Ruyigi, with more than 68% (Burundi Red Cross, 15/02/2014).
Nearly 4.3 million people in Burundi (43% of the population) do not have access to improved sanitation facilities (Belgian Technical Cooperation, 10/10/2014).
Several reports have emerged of the Government targeting and incarcerating journalists, activists and members of political parties (Human Rights Watch, 22/01/2015).
No significant developments this week, 24/02/2015. Last update 26/01/2015.
- 1.5 million people have been affected by drought (SESAN MAGA quoted by WHO, 07/11/2014).
- 12,200 cases of acute malnutrition have been recorded among under-fives in Guatemala in 2014, as of 12 October (Government, 12/10/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
9,000 people have been affected by the cold wave that began in November 2014. They sought shelter in 14 centres in Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, Jalapa, Huehuetenango, Quetzaltenango, Quiche, Sacatepequez, San Marcos, Solola and Totonicapan (OCHA, 19/01/2015; Government, 22/01/2015; 13/02/2015).
1.5 million people have been affected by drought (SESAN MAGA quoted by WFP, 07/11/2014; UNHCR, 12/12/2014). 944,000 people in the Dry Corridor are particularly affected, as they are highly dependent on subsistence farming (ACT Alliance, 15/10/2014). The Government declared a State of Public Calamity due to drought in August 2014 in 16 departments: Jutiapa, Chiquimula, Santa Rosa, Quiché, El Progreso, Huehuetenango, Baja Verapaz, Zacapa, Retalhuleu, Solola, Totonicapan, Chimaltenango, San Marcos, Guatemala, Suchitepequez and Jalapa. 73% of the country’s territory was affected (UN Country Team, 28/08/2014). On 26 December, the decree was extended for 30 extra days (local media, 26/12/2014).
The Government appealed for international help to deal with the loss of crops in early December (FAO, 11/12/2014). 98% of harvests have been lost in Chiquimula, El Progreso, and Zacapa (Government, 28/08/2014). 56% of affected communities were left with no possibility of planting, and 99,600 people with no income opportunities (ACTED, 28/08/2014; Government, 11/09/2014).
The current crisis is preceded by two years of bad harvests and aggravated by the impact of reduced employment in the coffee bean sector, caused by the coffee leaf rust epidemic of the last two harvests (UN Country Team, 28/08/2014).
Drought has affected 2.5 million people across Central America: Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador are also affected (Government of Honduras, 13/01/2015). A decrease in rain in 2015 is forecast for Central American’s dry corridor due to the possibility of El Niño (local media, 12/02/2015).
Heavy rains over the May–December season affected 655,200 people and damaged 9,610 houses. 9,978 people were evacuated (local media, 03/12/2014). Zapaca department was the most affected (Siglo XXI, 19/10/2014).
As of 11 December, 1,568 people in Quiché department were affected by flooding from the Chixoy River, in the municipalities of San Jorge, Tres Lagunas I, Nueva Máquina, Tres Ríos, and Tres Lagunas II and III. Families lost all their harvests (local media, 04/12/2014; 11/12/2014).
As of 10 December, 150,000 people (30,000 families) had finished their food stocks and were implementing survival strategies (OCHA, 10/12/2014). 874,000 people are affected by moderate and severe food insecurity (OCHA, 23/02/2015). Exhaustion of food stocks and reduced income will deteriorate food security to Crisis levels (IPC Phase 3) in January–March 2015 (FEWSNET, 18/11/2014). The projected emergency food assistance needs for February–August will be at IPC Phase 3, higher than the same period in 2014 and the five-year average due to poor harvests and coffee rust (FEWSNET, 22/01/2015).
Two million people in Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras are in need of food assistance due to the drought (UN, 06/02/2015). The coffee leaf rust epidemic, which began in 2012, is affecting the entire Central America region (International Coffee Organization). In Guatemala, some 70% of crops have been affected, corresponding to a loss of 100,000 jobs and a 15% drop in coffee output over the past two years (Save the Children, 29/09/2014).
70% of small-scale and subsistence farmers have suffered losses due to the drought. 47% of households affected depend on basic crop production (WFP, 07/11/2014). Over 70% crops have been lost in some affected areas of the Highlands (FEWSNET, 18/11/2014). About 75% of maize and beans harvests have been lost (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
Households most affected by drought decided not to plant crops in the second planting season, and in eight of the 16 affected departments, producers are only growing maize. For the subsistence farmers who decided not to plant, the scenario is very uncertain until the next harvest in August 2015 (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Provision of primary healthcare has been interrupted in rural areas of several municipalities due to budget limitations (Government, 12/10/2014).
As of 2 January, 21,859 suspected cases of chikungunya have been reported and 198 cases confirmed (local media, 17/12/2014; WHO, 29/12/2014).
116 children died from malnutrition in 2014. Between January and November, 14,731 children were reported to be malnourished, a 16% reduction compared to last year (Prensa Latina, 17/12/2014). The highest rate of acute malnutrition was identified in the eastern part of the country with 5.4%. Overall, 4.7% presented total acute malnutrition and 2.5% presented severe acute malnutrition in girls (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
1.6 million people in Guatemala lack access to basic WASH services, including 830,000 who lack access to water (local media, 07/02/2014).
23% of households in drought-affected areas are estimated not to have access to safe drinkable water (SESAN quoted by OCHA, 03/11/2014).
No significant developments this week, 24/02/2015. Last update 07/01/2015.
- 930,000 people in 165 departments have been affected by drought (Government, 13/01/2015). Choluteca, Valle, El Paraíso, Francisco Morazán, Intibuca and Lempira departments are most affected (EU, 20/08/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
930,000 people in 165 departments have been affected by drought (Government, 13/01/2015). 372,000 small-scale and subsistence farmers and labourers were considered to be in need of humanitarian assistance at the end of October (Humanitarian Country Team, 27/10/2014). Choluteca, Valle, El Paraíso, Francisco Morazán, Intibuca, and Lempira departments are most affected (EU, 20/08/2014). The Government declared a state of emergency in the Dry Corridor on 5 August (Government, 05/08/2014).
Drought has affected 2.5 million people in Central America (Government, 13/01/2015).
According to assessments, 682,000 people are affected by moderate and severe food insecurity (OCHA, 23/02/2015). Vulnerable households in parts of southern Honduras will experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity October 2014–March 2015 due to below-average 2014 primera harvests, reduced income from coffee sector employment and sales, and above-average basic food prices (FEWSNET, 18/11/2014).
The projected food security assistance needs for March–August 2015 (until the primera harvest begins) are at IPC Phase 3 in southwestern Honduras, higher than the same period in 2014 and the five-year average (FEWSNET, 22/01/2015).
Two million people in Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras are in need of food assistance due to the drought (UN, 06/02/2015).
Agriculture and Markets
Secondary season production is not expected to offset crop production losses (WFP, 12/2014). Delayed postrera sowing due to moisture deficits in August will result in stepped production.
Maize prices increased by 23% and bean prices by 17% over the third quarter of 2014 (WFP, 27/10/2014).
The coffee leaf rust epidemic, affecting the entire Central American region, is further affecting the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and day labourers. In Honduras, Nicaragua, and El Salvador, 655,000 people are estimated to be food insecure due to the coffee leaf rust infestation (WFP, 15/10/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Limited access to water due to drought is having a negative impact on hygiene, in turn increasing health risks, especially acute diarrhoeal diseases. Health services in rural areas do not have sufficient capacity to meet the needs of the affected population and there is a 50% shortage of medicine stocks (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
As of 2 December, 38,600 cases of dengue have been recorded (local media, 16/12/2014).
7,400 cases of chikungunya have been reported since October 2014 (local media, 23/02/2015), 96% in the Choluteca and Valle departments in the south (local media, 14/01/2015).
3.4% of children under five are suffering from acute malnutrition, with a greater impact on girls (5.6%). At least 19,559 children are malnourished as a direct consequence of the drought (OCHA, 10/12/2014).
The drought hampered access to safe drinking water in the most affected areas (La Prensa, 10/08/2014). 27,300 people were in need of house disinfection, health education and access to safe water, according to a joint assessment between the Ministry of Health and the Water and Sanitation working group (Humanitarian Country Team, 27/10/2014).
25 February: 15,000 cases of swine flu have been confirmed; 874 people have died since the outbreak began in mid-December. Public gatherings in Ahmedabad, Gujarat have been restricted (BBC, Al Jazeera).
- Landslides and floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains in Jammu and Kashmir have left 281 dead. 1,949,790 people have been affected and 67,934 left homeless (Times of India, 30/09/2014).
- Cyclone HudHud affected 920,000 people in October (IFRC, ECDM).
- Floods in Assam and Meghalaya in September and October displaced 164,000 and caused extensive damage. Up to 1.2 million people may have been affected (IFRC).
Kashmir is a region disputed between the Government of India, the Government of Pakistan and Kashmiri insurgent groups, who since the Indo-Pakistan War have fought over control of the area. Pakistan controls the northwest portion, India controls the central and southern portion and Ladakh, and China controls the northeastern portion (Aksai Chin and Trans-Karakoram Tract). Although thousands have died as a result of this conflict, the situation has become less deadly in recent years. UNHCR-supported elections in 2008 resulted in the creation of a pro-India Jammu and Kashmir National Conference, which has now formed a state government.
On 23 December, the Songbijit faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDBF), a separatist group seeking to obtain a sovereign Bodoland in Assam, led an attack that killed 75 people, most of them Adivasis, in Kokrajhar and Sonitpur districts, causing displacement in the region (Times of India, 23/12/2014; AFP, 25/12/2014). As at 4 January, 1,272 people remain displaced in Kumar Gram relief camps, in Alipurduar district, West Bengal (Sphere India, 04/01/2015).
Since August 2014, cross-border fighting between India and Pakistan has left 23 dead, a majority of them civilians (AFP, 08/10/2014, 29/10/2014, 27/11/2014, 03/01/2015). More than 10,000 villagers have been displaced in Samba and Kathua Districts in Jammu and Kashmir, seeking refuge in Hariachak, Hariachak, Hiranagar, Plat, Kanha, Baniyari and Chadwal (Times of India, 07/01/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
According to the State Disaster Mitigation and Management Centre, 117 people had died in Uttar Pradesh as of 29 December due to a cold wave and snowfall (Times of India, 29/12/2014).
Severe cyclonic storm HudHud made landfall on 12 October on India’s east coast, affecting north coastal Andhra Pradesh, south Odisha, and Chattisgarrh (IFRC, ECDM, 13/10/2014). 920,000 people were affected, 41,200 houses and buildings were damaged, and about 180,000 hectares of agricultural land were flooded (OCHA, 20/10/2014). Total damage is estimated at between USD 9.7 and 11 billion (OCHA, 20/10/2014).
9 million farmers have been affected by drought in Maharashtra, particularly Marathwada and Vidarbha regions, following a delayed and inadequate monsoon season (Times of India, 06/02/2015).
Floods in Jammu and Kashmir
More than 1.9 million people were directly affected by flooding in Jammu and Kashmir in September, including 543,380 displaced, 67,930 left homeless and 110,000 evacuated (Caritas India, 25/09/2014). This was the worst natural disaster in 100 years in the area, killing 284 people.
With seasonal snowfall expected soon, displaced and affected populations are facing a precarious food security situation. Although the Jammu and Kashmir state governments have promised six months of free food to those affected, populations in remote areas or with access difficulties had not received food aid as of mid-November (Reuters, 17/11/2014).
15,000 cases of swine flu have been confirmed; 874 people have died since the outbreak began in mid-December (BBC, 25/02/2015). In Gujarat, 231 people have died and 3,500 cases have been confirmed. Public gatherings in Ahmedabad, the largest city in Gujarat, have been restricted (BBC, 25/02/2015). 114 cases have been reported in Mumbai (Al Jazeera, 23/02/2015). Government restrictions and licensing issues have made it difficult for hospitals to obtain bult quantities of antivirals (Al Jazeera, 23/02/2015).
19–22 February: A snow storm resulted in flooding in refugee camps, damaged shelters, and blocked roads (UNHCR).
- 622,583 Syrian refugees since the crisis began in 2012 (UNHCR, 18/02/2015). Another 100,000–200,000 may be unregistered (PI, 12/11/2014).
- Syrians continue to face increasing difficulty accessing Jordan. Official border points have closed or become inaccessible, and entry restrictions have increased (RRP6, 2014-2015).
- Since early 2014, a more rigorous approach to the encampment policy of Syrian refugees has reportedly been implemented (PI, 08/01/2014).
- An estimated 43,000 Iraqi refugees are registered with UNHCR (UNHCR, 01/2015).
The Government has recently cracked down on fighters returning from Syria, and on anyone expressing support for Islamic State (IS), and arrests have increased (Al Jazeera, 07/07/2014). Jordan has also increased pressure on the Muslim Brotherhood, arresting one of its prominent leaders in November for harming Jordan’s relations with a friendly state (Jordan Times, 22/11/2014).
Many analysts have warned the reforms implemented by the Government in 2013 to calm protest movements –mostly calling for economic relief and an end to political corruption– are cosmetic; public worries about potential unrest may stifle dissent in the short-medium term (CS Monitor, 2013).
Social tensions between refugees and host communities are a concern, primarily due to a sense of competition over housing and jobs, and, to some extent, international assistance (Mercy Corps, 12/2014). There have been few notable incidents, but refugees report widespread discrimination and harassment, and some localised protests have taken place among host communities (The Guardian, 01/12/2014).
Concerns over spiralling crises in Iraq and Syria and extremist infiltration have increased since Jordan joined the US-led airstrikes against IS in September. Jordan has reinforced its commitment to fight IS and expanded airstrikes on Iraq since the group released a video showing the assassination of a captured Jordanian pilot on 3 February. There are fears that Jordan will increasingly be the target of asymmetrical attacks against its civilians or security services and that social divisions will be amplified (ISW, 19/02/2015; Al Jazeera, 12/02/2015).
Jordan has a substantial home-grown extremist movement, and thousands of Jordanians are reportedly fighting for opposition groups with links to Al Qaeda, particularly Jabhat al Nusra (JAN), as well as IS, despite the military’s tight control of cross-border movements (NYT, 12/04/2014).
In addition, the country is home to several prominent extremist religious leaders of an older generation, who were linked to Al Qaeda ideology and generally support JAN (Al Jazeera, 07/07/2014). There is debate over whether the group has substantial support in Jordan (AL Jazeera, 05/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The influx of Syrian refugees has placed significant additional stress on Jordan’s already-strained public services. Public health and education services, which Syrians can access, are particularly affected, and water infrastructure, waste collection, and the cost to the national budget of subsidised goods are also significant issues (Government, 12/2014).
International NGOs working in Jordan are required to get all projects approved by the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation (MoPIC), and frustration persists among NGOs about the lengthy approval process, and lack of clear guidelines. MoPIC also informally requires all aid agencies assisting Syrians to include vulnerable Jordanians as 30% of their beneficiaries, and some NGOs have faced pressure to increase the proportion of Jordanians to 50% (PI, 06/2014).
Tension between humanitarian agencies and the Government may increase, as the Jordan Response Plan (JRP) 2015–16 attempts to channel the bulk of international assistance to Syrians through Jordanian government institutions, rather than directly to humanitarian actors (JRP, 12/2014).
In 2014, the Government took several measures that will impact refugees’ access to assistance, and which bring up a number of protection concerns.
A snow storm over 19–22 February led to flooding in camps, damaged shelters, and blocked roads. Damage was addressed quickly thanks to robust contingency plans (UNHCR, 21/02/2015).
Jordan has hosted numerous waves of refugees throughout its history, including major influxes of Palestinians in 1948 and 1967, and more than 100,000 Iraqis during the height of the Iraq civil war.
As of 18 February, 622,583 Syrian refugees were registered with UNHCR in Jordan; 52% are children (UNHCR, 18/02/2015). Around 84% live in urban areas and the remainder in three camps. Another 100,000–200,000 refugees may be unregistered (PI, 12/11/2014). A re-verification exercise, in which Syrians in urban areas will have to update the identity documents issued by the Government, is planned for early 2015; this may make Syrians with no or false documents more vulnerable to deportation.
Nearly 259,000 refugees were in need of winterisation support as of early February (UNHCR, 04/02/2015).
76,000 Syrian refugees have reportedly returned to their country since the beginning of the crisis (Jordan Times, 10/02/2015).
Palestinian Refugees from Syria (PRS)
UNRWA currently records 14,736 PRS who have approached the agency for support since the start of the Syrian conflict (UNRWA, 03/12/2014). It is unclear if these cases represent new arrivals, or simply people approaching UNRWA for the first time. 183 PRS, along with a similar number of Syrians, are held in the Cyber City facility near Ramtha, a government-appointed holding facility for Palestinian and Syrian refugees; this number has dropped from 201 at the start of October (UNRWA, 18/11/2014, UNRWA, 28/10/2014, UNRWA, 03/10/2014).
Since late 2012, the Government has explicitly stated that it would not allow PRS to enter Jordan. Those who do enter are subject to a number of protection issues, including refoulement, confiscation of documents and, for those with Jordanian citizenship, de-nationalisation (HRW 05/2014, 04/07/2012). UNRWA reports 106 cases of PRS deported in 2014, a 40% increase on 2013, but warns the actual number of deportations is likely much higher (UNRWA, 03/12/2014).
As of 31 December, UNHCR had registered more than 43,000 Iraqis, and the Government estimated there were some 58,000 in the country (PI, 07/01/2015, UNHCR, 01/2015). From September 2014, a new surge in the registration of Iraqi refugees was reported, at times as many as 100–150 each day. The majority of arrivals originate from Baghdad, although an increasing number are from IS-controlled areas of northern Iraq (UNHCR, 23/09/2014).
Nearly 2,500 refugees and asylum seekers from Sudan, Somalia, and other countries also currently live in Jordan.
Shelter and NFIs
Refugees in Host Communities
Most of the 84% of Syrian refugees living outside camps are concentrated around the major urban areas of the northwest, such as Amman and Irbid. Refugees are becoming more vulnerable as their displacement continues. While 91% of refugees are renting homes, over half live in substandard shelters, face rising rents, and many are struggling to pay the bills. With an average expenditure 1.6 times greater than income, refugees resort to a range of coping strategies, including spending savings, living with other families, and taking children out of school. Almost half of assessed households in a 2014 UNHCR report had no heating, a quarter had unreliable electricity and 20% no functioning toilets (UNHCR, 14/01/2014).
In June 2014, REACH assessed 10,500 Syrians residing in 125 informal tented settlements (ITS) across six governorates, nearly half in Mafraq. This is the third such assessment, and the number of ITS has increased considerably; in Mafraq, the number of ITS increased fourfold from Dec 2013 to June 2014, and the number of inhabitants more than doubled (REACH, 02/10/2014)
Za’atari camp hosts about 84,000 residents (UNHCR, 24/01/2015). Recently, significant numbers of refugees have been returning to the camp from urban areas, probably linked to the onset of cold weather and cuts to food and health assistance in urban areas. Since the camp was established in 2012, at least 320,000 refugees have left it through both official and unofficial channels (including returns to Syria).
As of 16 February, 12,640 refugees were registered in Azraq camp in Zarqa. The number of refugees returning to Azraq camp now exceeds the number moving to Zaatari from urban areas (UNHCR, 18/02/2015). There are also 4,745 refugees in the Emirati-Jordanian Camp (EJC) The EJC has received extensive support, primarily from the UAE Red Crescent, however, refugees have complained about limited freedom of movement in the camp (UNHCR, 12/02/2015, 24/01/2015, FT, 2014).
In October, WFP began to replace blanket food distribution with targeted distributions, and cut assistance to 37,000 urban refugees (WFP, 11/11/2014, CFSME, 07/08/2014). Of more than 6,400 appeals received so far, 847 have been approved, and 216 rejected (UNHCR, 13/01/2015)
In 2015, the value of food vouchers to Jordanian beneficiaries will be reduced from USD 33.60 to USD 28.00/person/month. For January, available funding only allows WFP to distribute full-value vouchers to the roughly 90,000 refugees in camps, while the more than 400,000 in urban areas are receiving USD 18.20/person/month. Further funding shortfalls are expected over the next two months (PI, 11/01/2015).
In June, 85% of refugees said they would be unable to meet the cost of basic needs without WFP food aid, and 74% said it was their only source of income (CFSME, 07/08/2014). It is reasonable to believe that without food aid, a considerable proportion of refugees will resort to negative coping strategies.
Up to 87% of refugee families living outside camps in Jordan are in debt (UNHCR, 30/11/2014).
Water resources are scarce in Jordan. The 2013/14 rains were only 77% of the long-term annual average, leading to a reduction in underground water reserves and a marked increase in underground water salinity in some well fields. The situation is expected to result in increased stress on existing water resources (UNICEF/REACH, 31/04/2014).
While Jordan has an effective public water system, reports suggest these facilities are under significant strain in areas with high concentrations of Syrians, resulting in shortages. Municipal sewage and garbage removal services are also under stress (REACH, 12/11/2014, Jordan Times, 04/12/2014, UNDP, 2014). Two out of five Syrian refugees live in poor sanitary conditions, especially people in informal shelters (UNHCR, 14/01/2015).
Access to health services is expected to be a significant burden for the most vulnerable Syrian refugees, as free access to health services at Ministry of Health facilities was halted in November 2014. There are also concerns that pregnant Syrian women outside camps do not have access to assistance during childbirth (UNFPA, 31/12/2014).
53% of the roughly 220,000 Syrian school-aged children in Jordan were enrolled in schools in 2014, including 67% of those in camps (UNHCR, 25/01/2015; UNICEF/UNHCR, 30/11/2014).
Barriers to attendance include distance, overcrowding, violence in schools, and harassment and violence on the way to schools (in both camps and urban areas) (IMC-UNICEF, 09/12/2014, REACH, 04/11/2014). A small proportion of children are reported not to attend because they need to work to support their families. A study in Za’atari at the end of the 2013/2014 school year found that 48% of school-aged children in the camp were not attending school and 28% had never attended any form of education in the camp (REACH, 04/11/2014).
37.5% of Iraqi refugees were not enrolled in schools in 2014, while non-attendance was reported among 40% of those enrolled, mostly for financial reasons, fear of bullying and level differences (UNHCR, 31/01/2015).
Over the course of the conflict, the average number of Syrians able to enter Jordan on a daily basis has dropped from more than 1,700 in early 2013 to fewer than 33 in the last quarter of 2014 (RRP6, 2014-2015 R1). The number and accessibility of entry points has been limited, and entry restrictions have increased, forcing Syrians to travel to remote informal crossing-points in the eastern desert. In the last three months of 2014, even those crossings were shut for long periods of time, and refugees have been stranded, leading to protection concerns (IOM, 2014).
There is increasing evidence that the Government is allowing large numbers of refugees into Jordanian territory, screening them, and then returning them to Syria. On multiple occasions in the last quarter of 2014, there were reports that large numbers of refugees had gathered in the no-man’s-land adjacent the last used border crossings, and were inaccessible to UNHCR, though they did receive assistance from the ICRC (NYT, 20/11/2014; UNOSAT, 03/11/2014; UNOSAT/UNITAR, 01/10/2014; PI, 16/12/2014).
In October, 180 out of 950 Syrians allowed to enter Jordan and taken to the Raba’a Sarhan registration center appeared to have been transported to camps (PI, 12/10/2014, 09/10/2014, 18/12/2014, IOM, 01/10-15/10/2014). Mid-December, only 650 out of 1,300 Syrians reported to be in the no man’s-land waiting for entry, were transported to camps (NYT, 12/12/2014; PI, 16/12/2014; IOM, 5/12-19/12/2014). It is assumed that they were returned to Syria; it is also possible that they were allowed entry over a longer period, or that the estimates of the original number were too high. Some reports indicate that large numbers of refugees have been returned from Raba’a Sarhan on other occasions, and that this may be a regular practice in Jordan (PI, 16/11/2014, 15/10/2014).
Jordanian officials continue to maintain that the border is open to refugees, and that Jordan is simply instituting security measures to exclude people connected to “terrorist organisations.” (Al Ghad, 14/12/2014, Jordan Times, 11/12/2014)
Reports suggesting that Syrians residing in Jordan are also being deported are denied by the Government (HRW, 08/12/2014, 21/11/2014; PI 03/12/2014; Jordan Times, 11/12/2014). Current information makes it impossible to estimate how many Syrians have been deported from Jordan, or whether this number has changed over time. The most vulnerable refugees likely include those without identity documents, or with forged documents; and those who had previously returned to Syria, then re-entered Jordan (PI, 29/09/2014).
Evictions and Encampment
Since early 2014, the Government appears to be implementing a more rigorous approach to its encampment policy of Syrian refugees.
Refugees living in urban areas are required to obtain a service card from the Ministry of Interior in order to access public health and education services, or register marriages, births or deaths. The Government has instructed humanitarian agencies not to provide assistance to Syrians who do not have service cards issued by the Ministry of Interior. There is no sign this decision has been enforced, but it creates a vulnerability for agencies (PI, 08/01/2014, 03/12/2014).
Refugees who were brought to camps who wish to move to urban areas must obtain “bail” from the government. However, large numbers of refugees have left the camps without obtaining bail. Significant numbers of refugees are being forcibly returned to camps from urban areas (NRC-IRC, 13/11/2014, PI, 03/12/2014, 12/11/2014). The Government has also asked UNHCR not to issue asylum-seeker certificates to Syrians in urban areas who left the camp after 14 July, and who did not obtain bail (PI 16/07/2014 R1, PI 07/2014 R1) These requests are contributing to a climate of fear and may impact refugees’ ability to maintain regular status and access services.
In December, more ITS were dismantled, affecting more than 100 families. Some of the inhabitants were returned to camps, with their bail deemed invalid by the authorities (PI, 10/12/2014, Jordan Times, 09/01/2015). Eviction threats were also given to Syrians living in ITS (PI, 18/12/2014).
Concern is increasing around recruitment of child soldiers in Syrian refugee camps in Jordan (Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre, 16/02/2015).
Women and Girls
In the first quarter of 2014, about 32% of all registered Syrian marriages were classified as early marriages, compared to 25% in 2013 and 11% in 2011. Early marriage is perceived as a form of security among Syrian refugees, but also as a way to circumnavigate government restrictions, such as the bailout rules in camps (which require a close relative for sponsorship).
No significant developments this week, 17/02/2015. Last update 26/11/2014.
- An estimated 400,000 people have been affected by drought (OCHA, 03/11/2014; ACT Alliance, 31/10/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
An estimated 400,000 people were affected by drought in November, 100,000 of them in dire need of assistance (OCHA, 03/11/2014, ACT Alliance, 31/10/2014). It is estimated that 112 of the country’s 156 municipalities reported damage or loss of crops. Nearly 75% of the primera maize crop was lost (OCHA, 09/08/2014). During the last quarter of 2014, official assessments revised estimated losses upward, to 77,000 metric tons of maize and 45,000 metric tons of rice. The most affected areas are the northern departments of Nueva Segovia, Madriz, and Estelí, bordering Honduras.
The drought, which began in late July, has been the worst in more than 30 years. Nicaragua requested aid from humanitarian and development actors in the country (OCHA, 29/08/2014). Drought has affected 2.5 million people in Central America (Government, 13/01/2015).
An estimated 460,000 people are affected by moderate and severe food insecurity (OCHA 23/02/2015). Poor households in northwestern areas will be in Stressed levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 2) January–June 2015 due to production losses in the primera harvest in 2014, higher prices for basic food products, and reduced income opportunities (FEWSNET, 18/11/2014; 31/01/2015).
Two million people in Nicaragua, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras are in need of food assistance because of the drought (UN, 06/02/2015).
In Estelí, Madriz, Nueva Segovia, Matagalpa, León and Chinandega departments, farmers waited until the end of September to sow postrera seeds due to insufficient rainfall, which will result in stepped production.
The coffee leaf rust epidemic, affecting the entire Central American region, is further affecting the livelihoods of small-scale farmers and day labourers, though it is expected to be less harsh than in previous years (Government, 05/01/2015).
As of 13 February, 3,700 cases of chikungunya have been reported since July 2014 (local media, 13/02/2015).
13–24 February: Fighting between Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) fighters in Pikit, Maguindanao, and Pagalungan, in Cotabato, has caused displacement. Estimates of the number displaced vary between 24,300 and 50,000. Their needs include emergency shelter, water, sanitation, hygiene and psychosocial support (ECHO, OCHA). Schooling has been suspended (ECHO).
- Over 26,000 people remain displaced ten months after Typhoon Haiyan struck and more than two million lack adequate shelter or housing (FAO, 09/10/2014).
- Thousands of people who fled fighting in Zamboanga in September 2013 are still displaced and being temporarily moved to the Masempla transition site, where minimum standards for WASH and basic services are currently unmet (OCHA, 01/10/2014).
- The Philippines is one of the most hazard-prone countries in the world, experiencing several large-scale natural hazards a year.
- Tensions in Maguindanao continue as fighting has erupted in January and February between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) fighters.
A series of natural disasters, most significantly Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, has caused widespread damage across the Philippines and affected millions. The overall political situation is relatively stable, and the Philippine authorities are finalising a peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). However, various breakaway armed groups continue the insurgency.
Since October 2012, the Government has been engaged in finalising a lengthy peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country’s largest Muslim separatist group. Draft legislation for the 2014 March Comprehensive Agreement on Bangsamoro, which gives MILF, as a political group, rule over a new autonomous region, replacing the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), was submitted to Congress in September (AFP, 10/09/2014). The deal excludes important stakeholders, including the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), Abu Sayyaf, and Khalifa Islamiyah Mindanao.
The disarmament process for Philippine Muslim opposition groups started in September 2014. The decommissioning of a first batch of firearms was scheduled for late 2014 (AFP, 28/09/2014). As of late January, reports indicate that the parties will meet to sign the protocol on implementing decommissioning (Government, 28/01/2015).
Splinter groups on Mindanao and smaller neighbouring islands continue their violent opposition to the Government. Increased violence between the Government and opposition groups was reported in November and later in January as a consequence of government efforts to capture outlaws.
On 25 January Philippine security forces entered the remote village of Mamasapano, in Maguindanao, which is held by MILF. However, they had not coordinated with MILF beforehand, as required under the ceasefire agreement. In the worst fighting since the peace agreement of 2014, 44 police officers, 11 militants and two civilians were killed (AFP, 26/01/2015, ECHO, 28/01/2015; OCHA, 02/02/2015). Tensions are worsening. On 13 February, heavy fighting erupted between MILF and BIFF in Pagalungan (Maguindanao province) and Pikit (Cotabato province), causing displacement (ECHO, 24/02/2015). BIFF forces took control of Pikit for one week, after which the national army launched an offensive and took back the town (local media, 22/02/2015).
On 23 January, a bomb blast in Guiwan, Zamboanga city killed one and injured 52 (Philippines Red Cross, 26/01/2015; AFP, 23/01/2015). No group has claimed responsibility, but links to Abu Sayyaf have been made.
On 20 January, an armed clash reportedly between Moro and Christian settlers in Tulunan municipality, in Cotabato province, caused the displacement of 110 people. Insecurity is still a concern in the area (OCHA, 26/01/2015).
Fighters from the separatist group Bangsmoro Islamic Freedom Fighters raided a camp in Sultan Kudarat province on 3 January, killing one soldier and injuring three. The raids aimed at sabotaging peace talks between MILF and the Government (AFP, 03/01/2015).
Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF)
BIFF split from MILF in 2008. Thousands were displaced by fighting between the Philippine army and BIFF in 2014 (IRIN, 22/07/2014; OCHA). A number of BIFF attacks took place in Maguindanao and Cotabato between September and November 2014, including an attack on a hospital in Maguindanao’s capital Sharif Aguak in October (Missionary International Service News Agency, 23/10/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Insecurity in parts of Mindanao and nearby areas is limiting humanitarian access. Concurrent natural disasters have hampered further aid delivery to affected populations.
Tropical Storm Mekkhala, locally known as Amang, crossed over the Eastern Visayas and Bicol regions on 17 January (Government, 19/01/2015). Almost 150 houses were destroyed and two people died (ECHO, 19/01/2015).
Tropical Storm Jangmi, also known as Seniang, made landfall in Hinatuan on 29 December, affecting about 486,900 people across seven regions, killing 54 and injuring 40. 390 houses were destroyed (OCHA, 05/01/2015).
Category 5 Typhoon Hagupit, locally known as Ruby, made landfall on 6 December 2014 in Eastern Samar province (Eastern Philippines), (GDACS, 06/12/2014). 3.8 million people were affected across nine regions (WFP, 15/12/2014). Around 38,100 houses were destroyed and 203,600 partially damaged (OCHA, 15/12/2014).
As of February 2015, reports suggest that nearly 500,000 people are displaced. Around 80% of the 3 million displaced in 2014 fled natural disasters. An estimated 95,000 fled conflict and violence in Mindanao. The total number of people displaced by conflict and violence reached its lowest level since 2011 (IDMC, 10/02/2015).
More than 5,745 people were displaced after fighting in late January between MILF and Philippine security forces in Mamasapano. 330 found shelter in an evacuation centre in Barangay Dalidap. As of 2 February, most IDPs were able to access their homes and livelihoods during the day. Classes have been suspended in the area (OCHA, 02, 16/02/2015; IOM, 30/01/2015). Fighting on 13 February in Pagalungan (Maguindano province) and Pikit (Cotabato province) caused additional displacement. Numbers differ between 24,300 people according to OCHA, and 50,000 people according to ECHO (OCHA, 23/02/2015; ECHO, 24/02/2015). Their needs include emergency shelter, water, sanitation, hygiene and psychosocial support (ECHO, 24/02/2015).
As of 30 January 2015, an estimated 35,000 people remain displaced, including around 20,000 in IDP camps. The rest are either in evacuation centres or transitional sites (IDMC, 16/01/2015; OCHA, 30/01/2015). 120,000 people were initially displaced. Refugees International reported in mid-December that transit sites lack water, health, education, and livelihood opportunities (Refugees International, 14/12/2014).
Resettlement has begun for families in Tacloban still living in tents. Nearly 1,500 people have moved to relocation sites. A further 200 families living in tents in Tanauan municipality are also being relocated (OCHA, 31/10/2014). Little information is available about progress towards solutions for the approximately four million people who have returned home, although it is believed that livelihood and housing needs remain considerable in Haiyan-affected areas (IDMC, 10/02/2015). 89% of affected households reported varying levels of typhoon-related damage in November 2014. Longer-term assistance is required, such as supporting self-recovery, assisting households in no-build zones, helping with safer reconstruction, and enabling access to health care, schools, public transportation, and livelihood opportunities (UNHCR, 30/09/2014).
Schooling in Pagalungan (Maguindanao province) and Pikit (Cotobato province) has been suspended following the fighting between MILF and BIFF fighters (ECHO, 24/02/2015). Ten attacks on schools in Mindanao were reported in 2014, affecting over 3,500 school children (UNICEF, 10/10/2014).
BIFF continues to actively recruit and train child soldiers.
No significant developments this week, 25/02/2015. Last update: 18/02/2015.
- An estimated 770,000 people are food insecure due to consecutive droughts and floods (WFP, 01/10/2014).
Presidential elections were held on 8 January 2015, two years ahead of schedule (ICG, 09/12/2014). After a decade in power, Mahinda Rajapaksa was defeated by Maithripala Sirisena by a very small margin. Rajapaksa denied rumours that he attempted to use military power to influence the election results, and accepted defeat (AFP, 13/01/2015). On 12 January, Sirisena announced a 100-day reform plan that would end with parliamentary elections in late April (AFP, 12/01/2015).
There was a surge in violence during the election campaign, including at least 237 major incidents of assault, intimidation, or damage to property (Amnesty 06/01/2015). On 5 January, on the last day of campaigning, three opposition supporters were shot at an opposition rally in the southern town of Kahawatte. One was killed and two were wounded (Al Jazeera, 06/01/2015; AFP, 07/01/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of May 2014, there were 90,000 conflict-related IDPs in Sri Lanka, while 324,240 were disaster-related (IDMC).
As of 30 June, there were 308 refugees and 1,562 asylum seekers in Sri Lanka, a 700% increase on 2013 numbers.
Humanitarian actors on the ground continue to facilitate the voluntary repatriation of Sri Lankan refugees from India (OCHA, 15/02/2015). UNHCR has reported that returnees struggle to meet their basic needs, and the lack of a comprehensive national policy on land rights has had an adverse impact on the sustainability of return (UNHCR, 15/01/2015). As of January 2015, 10,000 returnees have returned to Sri Lanka (UNHCR), 15/01/2015).
December saw some of the worst flooding recorded in Sri Lanka, affecting 22 out of 25 districts (WFP, 09/01/2015). Central, North Central, Uva, and Eastern provinces were worst affected (ECHO 30/12/2014).
In early January, people began returning home (OCHA, 05/01/2014). As of 6 january, fewer than 100,000 people were affected and 5,700 were in evacuation centres, according to the Sri Lankan Disaster Management Centre (DMC), (DMC, 06/01/2015). OCHA reported on 5 January that 1.1 million people were affected; ECHO reported on 22 January that 1.2 million people had been affected (OCHA, 05/01/2014; ECHO, 22/01/2015). Differences in numbers may be due to differing definitions of ‘affected’.
Families are suffering from shortages of water for domestic and agricultural use in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Hambantota, Puttalam, Mannar, Vavuniya, Moneragala, Batticaloa, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Killinochchi, Jaffna, Kurunegala, and Ampara districts. (Inter Press Service, 29/09/2014; Government, 21/10/2014; 29/08/2014).
228,000 people are severely food insecure due to the December floods, WFP reported (WFP, 09/01/2014).
770,000 drought-affected people are food insecure (WFP, 01/10/2014), mainly in Ampara and Moneragala in the east (WFP, 04/2014 and FAO, 05/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
This year’s maha rice crop is forecast to recover from the 2014 drought-reduced level (FAO, 17/02/2015). Overall, crop production has decreased by 42% in 2014 compared to 2013 (Government, 05/08/2014). Aggregate rice production in 2014 dropped by 22% compared to 2013 (FAO, 02/10/2014).
So far in 2015, 7,328 cases of dengue have been reported. About 45% of them were reported in the Western province (Government, 18/02/2015).
On 29 January, the Government pledged to free hundreds of minority Tamil detainees and return much of the Tamil land in the north and east that the military seized. Authorities are waiting for a list of legal titleholders to begin releasing the land (New York Times, 29/01/2015).
National authorities have systematically arrested, detained and deported refugees and asylum-seekers (UNHCR, 12/09/2014). A Sri Lankan court in August 2014 has ordered authorities to stop deporting Pakistani asylum seekers without properly assessing their claims (Reuters, 15/10/2014).
19 February: Eight cases of Typhoid and two deaths have been confirmed in Kampala and the neighbouring districts of Wakiso and Mukono (Government).
- 139,276 South Sudanese refugees have fled to Uganda since December 2013. (UNHCR, 24/11/2014).
-GAM rates of 19.6% and SAM levels of 4.1% have been reported among South Sudanese refugees in Arua, Adjumani and Kiryandongo districts (UNICEF, 23/01/2015).
-In Karamoja, GAM rates of 13.4% are the highest recorded in the last five years, while SAM prevalence remains above 3% (UNICEF, 23/01/2015).
- Rapid expansion of the camps has strained existing health services (UNFPA, 16/02.2015).
In September 2014, the Ugandan police foiled an alleged Al Shabaab attack in Kampala, seizing large amounts of explosives and suicide vests (BBC News, 14/09/2014).
Lord’s Resistance Army Chief Dominic Ongwen, wanted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity and war crimes, surrendered in CAR in early January. He has urged ex-comrades to stop fighting (AFP, 12/01/2015). He was transferred to ICC custody on 17 January (ICC, 20/01/2015).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of 11 February, Uganda has 30,140 IDPs (OCHA, 11/02/2015).
Refugees in Uganda
As of 11 February, there were 422,440 refugees and asylum seekers in Uganda, from DRC (44%), South Sudan (38%), Somalia (7%), Rwanda (4%), Burundi (3%), and others (4%) (OCHA, 11/02/2015).
As of 11 February, 142,569 South Sudanese refugees had fled to Uganda since December 2013 (UNHCR, 11/02/2015). The number of refugees entering the country decreased in late December but spiked in the second week of January, as Madis arrived from Equatoria (UNCHR, 14/01/2015). All settlements saw a dramatic increase in new arrivals earlier in December, reportedly due to increased tensions and tribal clashes in the Equatoria region, as well as the beginning of the dry season (UNHCR, WFP, 12/12/2014).
Refugees are hosted in settlements in Adjumani, Kiryandongo, Kampala and Arua districts (UNHCR, 24/11/2014). Arua, Adjumani, and Kiryandongo are stretched far beyond capacity, and there is an urgent need to improve shelter, WASH, health, food, and psychological support (Red Cross, 17/09/2014). Hygiene practices and behaviours are lacking due to limited awareness among refugees (Red Cross, 30/09/2014). Women and children account for 87% of arriving refugees; half are children under 12 years (FAO, 11/11/2014).
Preparation of new land in Maaji, Moyo district, is ongoing. The relocation of 8,500 people to Maaji was originally postponed due to a lack of basic services (UNHCR, 23/01/2015), but as of 4 February, 261 people had been relocated (UNHCR, 04/02/2015).
On 29 January, Uganda issued a three-month ultimatum to DRC to relocate hundreds of former militants, or they will be transferred to the United Nations. In December 2014, clashes between defeated M23 militants and Ugandan armed forces caused 1,000 fighters to escape camps. They fear for their safety if returned to DRC (AFP, 29/01/2015).
Ugandan Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
At 1 February, there were 1,497 Ugandan refugees in Kenya (UNHCR, 01/02/2015). At 30 June 2014, there were 1,211 Uganda refugees in DRC (UNHCR, 30/05/2014).
In Karamoja, about 700,000 people remain at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) level of food insecurity (FEWSNET, 31/12/2014). In bi-modal areas, harvesting of 2014 second season crops is almost complete and production is estimated to be average (FAO, 04/02/2015). Localised areas in Karamoja remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity, including Kaabong and Moroto (FEWSNET, 29/11/2014). IPC Phase 2 food insecurity is expected in Karamoja until June, but conditions may worsen if rains are delayed or inadequate (FEWSNET, 31/01/2015).
Harsh climatic conditions and poor yields have deteriorated the food security situation in Arua camp. There may be need for food assistance in February (UNHCR, 20/01/2015). Around 146,000 refugees will have their food rations halved in February due to funding issues, WFP has announced (UNHCR, 16/01/2015). Health centres in Arua require additional staff, space, and supplies to respond to refugee needs. The current ratio of hygiene promoter per population is 1:775 (UNHCR, 20/01/2015).
Health and Nutrition
GAM rates of 19.6% and SAM levels of 4.1% have been reported among South Sudanese refugees in Arua, Adjumani and Kiryandongo districts (UNICEF, 23/01/2015). Rapid expansion of the camps has strained existing health services (UNFPA, 16/02.2015).
In Karamoja, GAM rates of 13.4% are the highest recorded in the last five years, while SAM prevalence remains above 3% (UNICEF, 23/01/2015).
Eight cases of Typhoid fever and two deaths have been confirmed in Kampala and the neighbouring districts of Wakiso and Mukono. 143 individuals identified with signs and symptoms of Typhoid, as well as eight additional deaths, are being investigated (Government, 19/02/2015).
In Kiryandango refugee camp, self-relocation by refugees is causing delay in completing construction of latrines (UNHCR, 05/12/2014).
Human Rights Watch issued a report in November asserting that the government response to deadly ethnic violence and reprisals in the Rwenzori region in western Uganda in July was inadequate. Bakonzo community members attacked police and army posts in several districts, sparking reprisals by other ethnic groups and security forces, followed by what HRW calls “brutal counter-security against Bakonzo civilians” (HRW, 05/11/2014).
Democratic People's Republic of Korea Country Analysis
No significant developments this week 25/02/2015. Last update: 19/02/2015
No current data on child mortality, food security, food price levels, or the general magnitude of humanitarian needs is available. Therefore, DPRK is not included in the Global Overview prioritisation.
- Massive human rights infringements, including against prisoners in prison camps who face starvation and torture, continue to be reported. Humanitarian access remains extremely limited (UN).
- Information on the food security situation remains limited. As of August, an estimated 16 million people (almost 65% of DPRK’s population) are chronically food insecure and an estimated 2.4 million people need food assistance (OCHA).
- As of August, malnutrition rates, particularly in the northwest, were extremely high with global chronic malnutrition (stunting) at almost 28% and global acute malnutrition (wasting) at 4% among children under five (OCHA).
- DPRK is disaster prone, regularly experiencing seasonal flooding that, for instance, affected over 800,000 people in summer 2013 (OCHA).
In November 2014, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution condemning DPRK for human rights abuses and recommending the prosecution of its leaders for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court (international media, 19/11/2014). In response, DPRK threatened to conduct a nuclear test (BBC, 20/11/2014).
In February 2014, a UN report documented evidence of widespread and systematic human rights violations and crimes against humanity and recommended targeted UN sanctions. China dismissed a March resolution by the Human Rights Council condemning DPRK for human rights violations as unfounded (international media, 08/2014).
On 30 May 2014, the Central Committee of the Worker’s Party and the cabinet of ministers signed a set of market-oriented reforms, which appear to liberalise the economy. These reforms could improve food security, as farmers now work for a share of crops, instead of receiving fixed rations (international media, 21/01/2015).
In February 2014, Seoul and Pyongyang held their first high-level talks in seven years, in the Panmunjom truce village. However relations subsequently deteriorated. In April, South Korean officials said that DPRK had completed all steps required prior to a potential nuclear test, as Pyongyang conducted a scheduled military exercise near the border.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Humanitarian access is extremely limited. On 1 May, the UN Human Rights Council’s recommendations to the Government as part of the Universal Periodic Review included unrestricted access to prisons and prison camps for humanitarian organisations, and close collaboration with humanitarian organisations to ensure the transparent distribution of aid.
Information on food security remains limited. An estimated 16 million people, of a total population of 24.6 million, are chronically food insecure. An estimated 2.4 million people need food assistance (OCHA, 11/09/2014). According to FAO, food production remained stagnant in 2014, after an improvement of the harvest in previous years. FAO estimates that the food security situation for 2015 is likely to remain similar to that of the previous year (FAO, 03/02/2015).
The food system in DPRK remains highly vulnerable to shocks and serious shortages exist, particularly in the production of protein-rich crops. WFP reports that 45% of households have borderline and 30% poor food consumption. People in central mountainous areas do not have access to sufficient food from the public distribution centre and have to rely on planting hillside crops to supplement their daily diet, despite poor seed quality, shallow soil, accelerated erosion, low yield expectations, and the fact that most of the hillside cultivators do not necessarily have an agricultural background (US State Department, 22/09/2014).
Health and Nutrition
More than six million people need access to essential health services, including vaccines and other medicines (OCHA citing WHO, 11/02/2015).
Chronic child malnutrition and poor dietary diversity among children, women, and households are a major. Super cereals, biscuits, pulses and oil are needed to supplement the poor dietary intake among targeted vulnerable groups (WFP 06/2014).
No new significant developments this week, 25/02/2015. Last update: 11/02/2015.
No accurate or verified data relating to the food security situation or food price levels in Eritrea is available, therefore Eritrea is not included in the Global Overview prioritisation.
- 1.2 million people, including 696,000 children under 18, are in need of humanitarian assistance (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).
- Operations and maintenance of established humanitarian systems remain a significant challenge (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).
- Torture, arbitrary detention, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and religion are common in Eritrea (UN, HRW).
- Ongoing human rights abuses prompt thousands of Eritreans to flee the country every year. In January 2015, Ethiopia was hosting an estimated 125,000 Eritrean refugees (OCHA, 26/01/2015).
- Over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported as being undernourished between 2011 and 2013 (WFP).
President Isaias Afewerki, who has ruled for over 20 years, uses the pretext of previous border conflicts with Ethiopia to justify tight control over the population (New York Times, 03/10/2014). Attempts to bring the various opposition parties under one political umbrella have been mostly unsuccessful and no consensus has been reached regarding a roadmap for democratic transition (19/01/2015, Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
According to UNICEF, as of 15 January 2015, the population in need of humanitarian assistance in Eritrea is 1.2 million people, including 696,000 children under 18 (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).
There is a lack of updated and reliable data on the humanitarian situation due to limited humanitarian access. As reported in ECHO’s Humanitarian Implementation Plan (HIP) of October 2013, providing direct humanitarian assistance remains a challenge due to limited access, and absence of assessments and humanitarian space.
In November–December 2013, several projects in partnership with the UN and the Government commenced; the Government had previously ordered the end of all operations by non-state development partners by the end of 2012 (IFRC, 30/05/2014). On 24 April 2014, according to media sources, the UAE Red Cross had access to a million children across six provinces to distribute clothing.
As of 11 February, 2,900 refugees reside in Eritrea (OCHA, 11/02/2015).
Eritrean Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
According to 2012 UNHCR figures, there are 300,000 Eritrean refugees in neighbouring countries as well as in Europe and Israel. According to UN figures, some 4,000 Eritreans, among them hundreds of unaccompanied minors, are fleeing the country every month to escape government repression and lack of basic freedoms (UN, 05/06/2014).
Ethiopia: As of 31 January, there are 136,363 Eritrean refugees in Ethiopia (OCHA, 31/01/2015), mainly settled in four camps in the northern Tigray and Afar region (OCHA, 26/01/2015). Arrival rates spiked towards the end of 2014 (OCHA, 24/11/2014), with a total of 33,000 arriving by the end of the year (UNHCR, 09/02/2015). The recent influx has resulted in shortages of shelter in the camps (OCHA, 26/01/2015).
About 90% of those who arrived in October were between 18 and 24 years old, and cited intensified mandatory recruitment into military service as their reason for flight (local news, 15/11/2014). The high proportion of unaccompanied minors who cross from Eritrea to Ethiopia is a priority problem (UNHCR).
Sudan: Eastern Sudan received an average of 500 Eritrean refugees per month in 2013, down from 2,000 a month in 2012. Sudan reportedly hosts at least 114,500 Eritrean refugees.
Djibouti: Djibouti receives an estimated 110 Eritreans each month (UNHCR). On 30 June, 74 Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers were sent back from Sudan, after being convicted of illegally entering Sudan (UNHCR, 04/07/2014).
Yemen: Hundreds of Eritrean refugees are currently in Yemen. Reports indicate hundreds of Eritrean refugees are scattered across the streets of Al Safeyah in Sana’a, without proper shelter or livelihood. Refugees have informed UNHCR that most are imprisoned upon arrival in Yemen, who state security concerns (Yemen Times, 19/08/2014). Several NGOs have called on the Yemeni authorities to stop deporting Eritrean political refugees (UNHCR).
Kenya: As of 1 February, there are 1,566 Eritrean refugees in Kenya, most are located in Nairobi (UNHCR, 01/02/2015).
Chad: On 6 February, the Chadian government announced plans to deport a dozen Eritrean refugees from Chad. Humanitarian organisations have protested the move, asking Chad to allow the Eritreans to remain in the country, as the returnees will most probably face indefinite detention in Eritrea (local media, 06/02/2015).
A positive rainy season in 2014 may significantly improve the food security situation in highland areas, but not in the coastal lowland regions (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).
As indicated in ECHO’s October HIP, as a result of access restrictions imposed by the authorities, very little data on food security in Eritrea is available.
It is estimated that Eritrea produces only 60% of the food it needs, and markets do not seem to be functioning properly. These two factors suggest that a significant part of the population may be in need of food assistance. In addition, local food and fuel prices are likely to remain high, putting severe pressure on household coping mechanisms. The Government officially denies any food shortages within its borders and refuses food aid.
Health and Nutrition
According to FAO in 2013, over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported to be undernourished during 2011–2013.
According to a government report, malaria infections have visibly declined thanks to higher community awareness and regard for environmental hygiene (Government of Eritrea, 24/09/2014). No figures are available to confirm this information.
On 13 May 2014, the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea was released. It focuses on the indefinite national service and arbitrary arrest and detention, including incommunicado detention and inhumane prison conditions. Rampant human rights violations cause hundreds of thousands to leave the country (UN Human Rights Council).
Between 5,000 and 10,000 political prisoners are being held in a country of just over six million people. The UN human rights chief has accused the government of torture and summary executions (UN Human Rights Council, 05/02/2014).
Human rights abuses, including torture, arbitrary detention, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and religion are common in Eritrea (UN Special Rapporteur, Human Rights Watch). Conscription to national service can last indefinitely, and is reportedly poorly paid. Harassment of citizens by authorities, on the grounds of their plotting to leave Eritrea, is reportedly widespread (UN Human Rights Council, 31/03/2014). In September, the UN Human Rights Council set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate human rights abuses in Eritrea, but it still had not been granted direct access to the country by January (Human Rights Watch, 24/09/2014; UNHRC, 16/01/2015).
With only 25% of minefields cleared, UNICEF reported in January 2015 that the impact of landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW) in 2014 continued to have a serious impact on the population, including causing child death, injuries and disabilities in war-affected communities. Humanitarian mine action programmes in the country have increasingly weakened due to limited access (UNICEF, 15/01/2015).