|Severe humanitarian crisis|
|Situation of concern|
- Severe humanitarian crisis
- Humanitarian crisis
- Situation of concern
- Watch list
Snapshot 20–26 August
Syria: Only 41% of Syria’s public hospitals are fully operational. The latest in a number of local truces around Damascus has been agreed between state forces and opposition in Qadam. 191,369 people were reported killed March 2011–April 2014, mainly in Rural Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Idleb, Dar’a and Hama, according to new UN figures.
Sudan: Conflict between Maaliya and Rizeigat has killed at least 300 people over five days in the Karinka locality of East Darfur. Police were deployed to stop the fighting. 256,000 people across 12 states are now affected by flooding, an increase of 80,000 in a week; 70,000 are affected in Blue Nile state alone.
DRC: An Ebola epidemic, unrelated to the outbreak in West Africa, has been declared in Equateur province, with 16 cases reported, including five deaths. 577 cases of febrile bloody diarrhoea have also been reported in Equateur. Clashes between FARDC and Raiya Mutomboki displaced 12,400 in South Kivu, while in Katanga violence between pygmies and Luba is worsening.
Iraq: Heavy fighting continues in the north. As more IDPs head south, there are concerns that central governorates are reaching saturation point. 20,000 Syrian refugees have returned to Syria.
Updated: 26/08/2014. Next update: 02/09/2014
Afghanistan Country Analysis
25 August: Over 70% of presidential election ballot boxes have been now audited by the Independent Election Commission (UN-supervised process). Officials are at a critical stage, as they have started invalidating fraudulent votes (AFP).
24 August: Over 44,600 Pakistani refugees (6,375 families) are living in Barmal district, Paktika province, mostly among scattered and overcrowded host communities. Some families are living out in the open. Conditions are similar in Khost province (UNHCR).
24 August: In recent weeks, the Taliban have advanced on Kunduz, battling the army, police, and local tribal militias (AFP).
20 August: Five Afghan ICRC staff were released. They were abducted by a local armed group in Herat province on 14 August (ICRC).
19 August: 20,813 displaced families have been assessed, 14,435 in Khost and 6,378 in Pakitka province. 2% of the assessed are undocumented Afghan nationals, and 98% are Pakistani nationals (OCHA).
- More Afghans have been killed through natural disasters since the beginning of May than in all of 2013 (UN Humanitarian Coordinator, 05/2014).
- 4,853 civilian casualties in the first half of 2014, 24% higher than the same period in 2013. Ground combat is now causing more deaths and injuries than improvised explosive devices (AFP, 12/07/2014).
- Over 20,000 Pakistani refugee families and Afghan returnees in Khost and Paktika provinces in Afghanistan are in need of food, WASH, shelter, and non-food items). WASH facilities are inadequate to meet health and hygiene standards. Food remains a concern for Paktika and Khost provinces. Access is challenging (UNHCR 24/08/2014).
- Five million Afghans are in Pakistan and Iran
- 659,960 IDPs; 113,000 were displaced in 2013 (UNHCR, OCHA, 02/2014).
- 1.7 million people are in need of protection; 2.5 million are classified as severely food insecure (OCHA).
- The conflict has caused widespread disruption to health services (OCHA).
Both disasters and armed conflict have prompted a humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan. 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 2014’s presidential transition will have implications for internal cohesion. The security environment remains highly volatile, with further destabilisation expected. The continued presence of international military personnel is seen as vital for the stability of Afghanistan.
National Political Context
At 25 August, over 70% of the presidential election ballot boxes had been audited by the Independent Electoral Commission (UN-supervised process). Officials have begun invalidating fraudulent votes, which is likely to increase tensions between presidential candidates (AFP 25/08/2014).
On 8 August, Ghani and Abdullah signed a deal to form a national unity government by the end of August, regardless of the result of the audit (AFP, 08/08/2014).
Preliminary results on 7 July indicated that Ashraf Ghani won Afghanistan's presidential election, with 56.4% in the run-off vote against ex-foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah. However, the results are disputed. Turnout was more than eight million out of an estimated electorate of 13.5 million, far higher than expected. Thousands of protesters marched on the presidential palace at the end of June in support of candidate Abdullah Abdullah’s allegations of fraud (Reuters, 27/06/2014), and an audit of ballots began on 16 July.
Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is a former World Bank economist of Pashtun descent; his running mate is Uzbek ex-warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum. Abdullah Abdullah, of Tajik descent, ran against Karzai in 2009, and was Karzai’s foreign minister until 2006.
Peace Talks with the Taliban
Although various official and informal sources have evoked renewed preliminary contacts between Kabul and the Taliban, no substantial talks have yet been launched. Peace talks with the Afghan Taliban have been stalled since mid-2013.
Civilian casualties soared by 24% to 4,853 in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period in 2013. Ground combat is now causing more deaths and injuries than improvised explosive devices (AFP, 12/07/2014). In the first three months of 2014, the UN recorded 187 civilian deaths and 357 injured from improvised explosive devices (IEDs), a casualty number up 13% compared to the same period in 2013.
The east and southeast are most affected by violence, although an increasing number of attacks are being carried out in the northwest and Kabul.
There is widespread concern regarding the capacity of the 352,000-strong Afghan security forces. Afghan troop casualties climbed by 79% during key fighting months in 2013, as the Taliban has intensified attacks during NATO’s withdrawal, according to a US report. Afghan security forces and civilian casualties are close to the record levels registered during the peak of the insurgency in 2011.
International Military Presence
On 18 June, NATO officially handed over authority in the remaining 95 districts in the south and east of the country to the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). In May, UK troops pulled out of their last outpost in Helmand. The last remaining UK troops are in Camp Bastion, and are expected to leave later this year.
Afghanistan–US Bilateral Security Agreement
The Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) will determine the scope and strength of the US military presence in Afghanistan. According to official sources, the US had planned to leave more than 10,000 troops in Afghanistan to work on counterterrorism and training. President Karzai has been reluctant to sign the agreement, but the two candidates in the second round of the presidential election have both affirmed their intention to sign the BSA.
The Taliban is intensifying activities as international forces withdraw. Since May, insurgents have targeted foreign military, humanitarian personnel, and civilians seen to cooperate with the Government. Remote parts of southern and southeastern Afghanistan, near the border with Pakistan, remain under insurgent control. Their numbers have increased by 15% since the beginning of 2013.
In recent weeks, the Taliban has advanced on Kunduz, battling against the army, police and local tribal militias. Militant attacks on Kunduz have intensified as NATO’s withdrawal from Afghanistan is approaching (AFP, 24/08/2014). In June, armed clashes between 800 Taliban and Afghan forces took place in Sangin, Musa Qala, Naw Zad and Kajaki districts of Helmand province (UNAMA). Sangin, a strategically important district at the centre of Afghanistan’s opium trade, has frequently been the scene of fierce fighting between the Taliban and US-led NATO forces (AFP).
On 10 August, a suicide attacker targeted a NATO convoy in Kabul, killing four civilians and wounding at least 35 others. The Taliban claimed responsibility (AFP, 10/08/2014).
In July, there was an attack on Shi’ite Muslims in Ghor province, and suicide bombings at markets in Khwaha Ghar district, Takhar province, and Urgun district, Paktika province (UNAMA, 26/07/2014; WSJ, 25/07/2014; AFP, 24/07/2014; AFP, 15/07/2014). The attack in Urgun was the worst so far this year, killing 89 people. Attacks in Kandahar and Parwan killed 22 people (AFP, 12/07/2014; AFP, 08/07/2014; UNAMA, 08/07/2014).).
At least 150 attacks killed 46 people across the country during the presidential run-off poll on 14 June. Two employees of the Independent Election Commission were killed in Helmand. Presidential front-runner Abdullah escaped an assassination attempt in which six people were killed.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The fluctuating security situation is continually changing the operating environment and access (WFP, 22/05/2014). Active hostilities and threats of violence are most problematic in contested areas. Movement restrictions are increasingly being applied to aid workers.
Security and access constraints are challenging response and relief efforts in flood-affected areas.
Insecurity and Attacks against Aid Workers
On 20 August five Afghan ICRC staff were released. They had been kidnapped by a local armed group in Herat province on 14 August (ICRC, 20/08/2014).
Two female Finnish aid workers were shot dead by unidentified gunmen in Herat city on 24 July (AFP, 24/07/2014).
In July, 20 incidents were reported, with six aid workers killed, one wounded, seven abducted and one arrested (OCHA, 14/08/2014). Security incidents involving aid workers are increasing. From 2013 to 2014, 140 aid workers were killed, 240 injured, and 335 kidnapped (OCHA, 18/08/2014). In 2012, 175 incidents, including 11 deaths, were recorded (OCHA, 30/11/2013). In 2013, over 55% of incidents were attributed to insurgent elements, but incidents attributed to pro-government forces had risen significantly, especially in contested areas (OCHA, 10/2013).
In the beginning of August, twelve families were affected by flooding in Mihtarlam district, Laghman province. Another 1,762 individuals were affected by flooding in several villages in Matun district, Khost. In Gardez district, Paktia, 100 families were affected by flooding, with 30 houses severely damaged, 40 hectares of land affected and water sources contaminated. In Wardak province, 100 families were affected by flooding in six villages of Nirkh district; 52 houses were severely damaged (IOM/USAID, 11/08/2014).
In Khost province, major public works programmes – including the building of bridges – are needed to help bridge ravines and protect locals from the effects of seasonal flooding (IWPR, 14/08/2014).
As the flood season comes to an end, about 150,000 people have been affected (compared to 65,000 in the same period last year), 175 killed and over 16,000 homes destroyed in 2014. This figure excludes the 7,000 affected and 5,000 displaced by the landslide in Argo, Badakhshan province, where investigations are ongoing and the exact death toll has not been verified (OCHA, 12/06/2014; IOM, 22/05/2014). More Afghans have been killed through natural disasters since May than in all of 2013 (UN Humanitarian Coordinator).
As of 31 March, 659,960 people were displaced due to conflict (UNHCR).
Clashes in Helmand province in June displaced significant populations from Musa Qala, Nawzad, and Sangin districts. The majority moved to Lashkargah and Nahari Sarraj districts. Most are with host families or in rented accommodation, while some are in emergency shelters. Displacement within Sangin is reported to be substantial (OCHA, 14/08/2014).
Refugees in Afghanistan
Since Pakistani military operations began in North Waziristan in mid-June over 44,600 Pakistani refugees (6,375 families) are living in Barmal district, Paktika province, mostly among scattered and overcrowded host communities. Some families are living out in the open. Conditions are similar in Khost province. Recent assessments indicate overcrowding, and inadequate WASH facilities that do not meet health and hygiene standards. Food remains a concern for Paktika and Khost provinces. Access to the scattered villages is time consuming and expensive (UNHCR, 24/08/2014).
As of 19 August, 20,813 families displaced by Pakistani military operations in North Waziristan have been assessed, 14,435 in Khost (several thousand in Gulan refugee camp) and 6,378 in Paktika province (OCHA, 20/08/2014). 98% are Pakistani nationals.
Returning Afghan refugees make up 2% of families displaced from Pakistan’s North Waziristan, and assessed in Khost and Paktika provinces as of 19 August. The returnees’ provinces of origin are mainly Paktika (35%), Khost (20%), Paktia (11%) and Baghlan (7%) (IOM, 15/07/2014).
From January to March, 2,346 Afghan refugees voluntarily repatriated to Afghanistan. This figure represents a sharp decrease (56%) compared to the same period last year, primarily due to the extension of Proof of Registration cards in Pakistan until 31 December 2015, and the uncertain situation following the elections in Afghanistan.
Afghan Refugees in Other Countries
As of 31 December, an estimated 2.4 million Afghan refugees and illegal migrants are in Iran, including one million undocumented Afghans (UNHCR and IOM). Afghan refugees in Iran face persecution, arbitrary arrest, detention, beatings and harassment by authorities (Human Rights Watch, 11/2013).
Roughly 2.9 million Afghan refugees and illegal migrants, including one million undocumented Afghans, are in Pakistan. Some 60% of Afghan refugees in Pakistan are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and the burden is causing tensions. Kabul and Islamabad agreed at a UN-backed meeting to continue efforts to solve the protracted refugee situation.
An estimated 200,000 Afghan refugees are registered in other countries.
People affected by flooding in northern provinces have received assistance for two–three months, and are in IPC Phase 2, Stressed. Without further assistance later in the year, around 140,000 people will likely move from Stressed to Crisis food insecurity (IPC Phase 3). They will need assistance as the lean season of February–April 2015 approaches (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014). In addition to the flood-affected, IDPs displaced by the conflict and returnees from Pakistan face food insecurity. Resources of host communities are limited (FAO, 03/07/2014; UNHCR, 03/07/2014).
However, the vast majority of households are able to maintain food purchases and essential non-food expenditures, and the above-average harvest will allow many households to stock sufficient grain for winter and the lean season in 2015. Most areas are likely to remain in Minimal food insecurity conditions (IPC Phase 1) through at least December (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014).
An estimated 2.5 million people were classified as severely food insecure at 31 March (OCHA). A further eight million are considered food insecure.
Agriculture and Markets
The average wheat price increased by 21.7% compared to last year, and is 36.3% higher than the previous five-year average price, i.e. May 2009–2013 (FAO, 30/06/2014; WFP 13/08/2014). Afghanistan remains dependent on wheat imports as wheat is the staple food for most Afghans, and continuous currency depreciation is fuelling price rises (WFP, 31/07/2014). Compared to last year, bread and cereal prices have increased 7%; vegetable prices have increased by over 21% (FEWSNET, 03/06/2014).
An estimated 30,000 hectares of agriculture land (both irrigated and rain-fed) and perennial crops have been affected by flooding (OCHA, 15/05/2014).
Health and Nutrition
While most Afghans now have access to basic public healthcare, the quality is so low that many patients seek private services at a higher cost than they can afford (MSF quoted in IRIN, 02/07/2014). The number of people in need of access to health services has increased from 3.3 to 5.4 million (OCHA). Conflict is causing widespread disruption to health services.
High numbers of wounded due to clashes in Helmand province, particularly in Sangin, are straining emergency healthcare. 528 people were recorded injured between 22 June and 23 July, with 360 referrals to Laskhargah hospitals in the same period (OCHA, 14/08/2014). Nine health facilities in Helmand remain completely blocked due to ongoing hostilities (WHO, 24/07/2014).
2013 saw a 60% increase in the number of people being treated for weapon wounds, stretching trauma care needs beyond the existing response capacity. In Helmand province, there was an almost 80% increase in hospitalised injuries caused by conflict in 2013.
The Health Cluster reported a 40% increase in security incidents in health facilities from January to April 2013 compared to 2012.
The rise of diarrhoea cases registered by the health clinic in Gulan refugee camp, Khost province, indicates that access to safe water is a concern (UNHCR, 21/07/2014).
500,000 children under five years of age are severely malnourished (National Nutrition Survey, UNICEF/Government, 18/08/2014). Provinces in need of urgent attention are Uruzgan, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Khost, Paktia, Wardak, Kunar, and Laghman (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
At end March, around 1.45 million children under five and pregnant and lactating women were in need of nutrition assistance. At 31 March, there had been 53,000 avoidable deaths from causes attributable to acute malnutrition, and 45% of 420,000 deaths among under-fives were attributable to undernutrition (OCHA).
Gulan refugee camp, Khost province, has recorded a measles outbreak, with 18 mild cases without complications or deaths (WHO, 24/07/2014).
In 2014, eight polio cases have been reported, mostly in conflict-affected areas. The most recent case was reported on 17 June in Khost province, linked to the virus in North Waziristan, Pakistan. Health workers have been vaccinating displaced children, with at least 35,000 children having received vaccination before entering Paktika or Khost provinces (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 13/08/2014).
Extensive cross-border movement is one of the major challenges and cause for the spread of the polio virus. Kunar, Nangarhar, Laghman, and Nuristan, eastern Afghanistan, remain the four high-risk provinces for polio; four cases of the Pakistan poliovirus were reported between 1 January and 30 April. Afghan and Pakistani authorities agreed in July to cooperate in an anti-polio campaign in the border areas of both countries (DAWN, UNICEF, 12/07/2014).
In June, Afghanistan was on track to stop endemic transmission before the end of 2014 (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 11/06/2014).
At end May, around 1.7 million people were in need of protection assistance, mainly IDPs and people otherwise affected by conflict. IDPs need durable solutions for their protracted displacement (OCHA).
Protection concerns are growing for Pakistani refugees and Afghan returnees in Khost province. Access to women and girls in Gulan camp remains a challenge (UNHCR, 23/07/2014). The presence of landmines is also of concern.
On 1 August, the Government confirmed its commitment to end and prevent recruitment of children in the Afghan National Security Forces, with the endorsement of the 2011 Road Map Towards Compliance (UN, 01/08/2014). 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).
Central African Republic Country Analysis
22 August: A new Government was formed.
21 August: Five people were killed and close to 40 injured following clashes between unidentified armed men and French EUFOR peacekeepers in the PK5 district of Bangui (AFP, 21/08/2014). An additional 31 people were treated for injuries by MSF (MSF 20/08/2014).
20 August: A Red Cross volunteer was killed during the evacuation of casualties from Bangui’s PK5 district (Red Cross, 20/08/2014).
- Communal violence has surged across the country in 2014, with attacks reported in nearly all prefectures.
- 2.5 million people require immediate humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 08/2014). The entire CAR population of 4.6 million people, half of whom are children, are affected by the conflict (UNICEF, 04/2014).
- 1.7 million people are in Crisis and Emergency phases of food insecurity (FAO, 06/2014).
- 509,000 IDPs, 84,000 of whom are in the capital Bangui (OCHA, 08/2014).
- 402,000 mostly long-term CAR refugees are registered in neighbouring countries (UNHCR, 08/2014).
Health, protection, food, and WASH are the priority needs in CAR, as violence, looting, and displacement have all led to a massive deterioration in the humanitarian situation across the country, affecting the entire population. Even prior to the crisis, basic services covered only a limited part of the territory.
Fighting between predominantly Christian anti-balaka militias and majority Muslim Ex-Seleka fighters, and civilian mob violence, have caused mass displacement, targeted killings along communal lines, and human rights abuses since December 2013. The Government has virtually no control of the territory, and new warlords have established dominance over a number of territories.
On 12 May, Chad announced that it was closing its border with CAR (international media, 12/05/2014). Chad has also reportedly deployed security forces to its southern regions, which border CAR (OCHA, 09/05/2014).
On 9 May, the UN Security Council voted to impose sanctions on an anti-balaka leader, a Ex-Seleka leader, and former CAR President Bozize.
A UN commission to investigate abuse of human rights and international humanitarian law in CAR is due to report to the Security Council by September.
National Political Context
Local media reported that anti-balaka and ex-Seleka held talks in Bambari, Ouaka, over 11–13 August (UNHCR, 15/08/2014).
On 10 August, CAR president Catherine Samba-Panza named a Muslim as the new Prime Minister, and a new Government was formed on 22 August. The previous Prime Minister and Government resigned on 5 August, in a declared attempt to enable the implementation of the 23 July Brazzaville peace agreement. This agreement was reportedly signed by Ex-Seleka, anti-balaka, the National Transitional Council, and political, religious, and civil society groups (US State Department, 24/07/2014). International media had reported that some groups had announced they would boycott the peace talks, and fighting has continued in parts of the country (BBC, 25/07/2014).
On 14 March, the press reported that the CAR National Transitional Council had started working on a new constitution.
In mid-February, local sources reported that several ex- Seleka commanders had openly mooted the idea of dividing the country, a request that was reportedly renewed by Ex-Seleka during the July Brazzaville peace talks. Muslim residents of Bambari, Ouaka prefecture, also made demands for partition in late April, according to international media (25/04/2014). The French Defence minister has stated that France would not recognise any partition of CAR.
The CAR Government has repeatedly requested rearmament, but this is currently prohibited by the UN Security Council arms embargo (international media, 12/06/2014).
Seleka, officially dissolved in September 2013 and numbering an estimated 25,000 fighters, is roughly composed of 5,000 core fighters from the largely Muslim northeast; 5,000 foreigners, mainly Sudanese and Chadian; and 15,000 people recruited during Seleka’s advance in 2013. Ex-Seleka reinstated Michael Djotodia as its leader following its general assembly in Birao on 8–10 July 2013. Having seized power in Bangui in March 2013, Djotodia was forced to step down as President in January 2014, amid escalating violence. Ex-Seleka had begun attacking the mostly non-Muslim civilian population, and ‘self-defence’ Christian and animist militias, known as anti-balaka, mobilised. International peacekeepers were deployed in December 2013.
A UN death toll in early February indicated that at least 2,000 people had been killed in CAR since the start of the crisis, including 1,118 in Bangui.
International Military Presence
UN Peacekeeping Mission
On 10 April, the UN Security Council authorised the deployment of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA) for one year. The transfer of authority from the AU-led International Support Mission to the Central African Republic (MISCA) is scheduled to take place on 15 September. The initial deployment will be of up to 10,000 military and 1,800 police.
AU Peacekeeping Mission
As of 5 March, an estimated 6,000 AU peacekeeping troops from Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, and Rwanda.The Chadian MISCA contingent withdrew in April, after one soldier was killed in a clash with anti-balaka, and non-MISCA Chadian soldiers fired on a civilian crowd, having reportedly been attacked by a Christian militia (OHCHR).
French Peacekeeping Forces
The UN Security Council authorised the continued deployment of the 2,000-strong French peacekeeping mission Sangaris on 10 April. President Catherine Samba-Panza has asked France to extend its military presence until the CAR presidential election, which should take place in February 2015 at the latest.
In mid-February, half the French troops were deployed in Bangui, while the other half were in the regions.
EU Military Intervention
The EU Force in CAR (EUFOR-RCA) was authorised by the UN Security Council on 28 January, and became operational on 30 April. The force has a six-month mandate and reached its maximum strength of 700 on 15 June. EUFOR-RCA represents the biggest EU military operation in six years.
US Military Assistance
The US is providing logistical support and advisers to African troops operating against the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) in eastern and southeastern CAR.
By early March, anti-balaka armed groups were massively targeting Muslim populations and committing various abuses. In late March, observers noted an increase in both Ex-Seleka and anti-balaka activism, and the increased targeting of international peacekeepers. In mid-March, fighters belonging to Darfuri militias, including Janjaweed, Misseriya and Rizeigat, were reportedly arriving to support Ex-Seleka.
The town of Ndele, Bamingui-Bangoran, was attacked in March. In late April, renewed Ex-Seleka offensives were particularly affecting Ouham and Ouham-Pende. Ex-Seleka captured the town of Bouca, Ouham, on 22–23 April, according to international media. There was fighting between anti-balaka and Ex-Seleka in Dekoa, Kemo. Sangaris was reportedly deployed in Grimari, Ouaka. Further clashes occurred in Sagani, Nana-Mambere, and Bamatara and Botokon, Nana-Grebizi. Muslim convoys were attacked in Dissikou, Nana-Grebizi, and Boguila and Paoua, Ouham-Pende.
In May, clashes broke out between militias in and around Kaga Bandoro, Nana-Grebizi; Bouar, Nana-Mambere; Paoua and Bemal, Ouham-Pende; and Mala, Ouham. French peacekeepers were attacked by Ex-Seleka on the way to Boguila, Ouham, and Ex-Ex-Seleka attacks reportedly left 20 people dead in Markounda, Ouham.
Ouaka has seen intense fighting since May. On 10 May, international media reported that Ex-Seleka had established a new command with headquarters in Bambari, Ouaka. Sangaris troops and Ex-Seleka were involved in intense fighting 22–23 May (UNHCR, 25/06/2014; OCHA and international organisations). Violence in Bambari surged in June and July, both between anti-balaka and Ex-Seleka fighters, and against civilians, causing renewed displacement. The presence of Sangaris soldiers failed to put an end to the clashes.
Ouaka: Clashes erupted on 23 June following a suspected anti-balaka attack on a Peul Muslim community. At least 60 people had been killed by July (UNICEF 09/07/2014). Ex-SelekaSeventy unarmed CAR police were deployed to Bambari in early July, where Sangaris are guarding a strategic bridge (UNHCR, 04/07/2014).
Ouham: As of 15 August, the situation was reportedly volatile in several locations, including Kabo, Markounda, and along the Bossangoa–Soussouman axis, where clashes between ex-Ex-Seleka and anti-balaka were reported (UNHCR, 15/08/2014). According to OCHA on 1 July, an attack displaced over 11,000 people, and the security situation in Kouki had deteriorated. In late July, clashes between anti-balaka and Ex-Seleka in Batafango left 26 civilians dead (AFP, 01/08/2014), and led to renewed displacement (UN, OCHA, 06/08/2014). Clashes reportedly opposed Sangaris soldiers and Ex-Seleka fighters on 6 August (international media).
Ouham-Pende: On 4 July, a grenade attack against a mosque in Paoua left 34 people dead (OCHA, 10/07/2014).
Mbomou: On 2 July, an INGO reported that clashes between Ugandan troops and Ex-Seleka had left over a dozen people dead.
Nana-Grebizi: On 16 August, 34 villagers were killed in the region of M’Bres, in an attack by suspected Ex-Seleka and Fulani (AFP, 16/08/2014).
Violence in Bangui
Five people were killed and close to 40 people injured following clashes that erupted between unidentified armed men and French EUFOR peacekeepers in the PK5 district of Bangui on 29 August (AFP, 21/08/2014). An additional 31 people were treated for injuries by MSF (MSF 20/08/2014).
The security situation had deteriorated in May, when dozens were killed in clashes, including an attack on a displacement site, but later stabilised (UNHCR and international media, 28/05/2014; UNHCR, 29/05/2014). At the end of March, 69 people lost their lives in violence, with reported hotspots including PK5, PK12, Kango, and the third and eighth districts.
The LRA has been active in eastern CAR since before the latest crisis, but attacks increased in 2013, as the political crisis left a power vacuum, according to an NGO monitoring report of February 2014.
As of 30 July, 14 LRA attacks, four deaths, and 86 abductions have been reported since the beginning of 2014. Mbomou and Haut-Mbomou were the most affected prefectures (OCHA).
Disarmament operations have been handled by French and MISCA troops, as well as by national military forces. Disarmament has triggered widespread violence and looting, and has been heavily criticised for resulting in indiscriminate attacks against civilians, according to international observers.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of August, 2.5 million people need immediate assistance (half of whom are children), of an estimated population of 4.6 million (OCHA, 06/08/2014).
Insecurity and difficulties arising from poor road conditions and the rainy season, which began in May, continue to hamper humanitarian access and the delivery of food aid (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
Bamingui-Bangoran: Humanitarian access is impeded in most areas in Ndele (OCHA, 13/08/2014). The delivery of aid has reportedly been obstructed by local authorities (OCHA, 16/07/2014).
Ouham: The presence of armed men along the roads around Batafango has reportedly posed serious difficulties for humanitarian assistance (UNHCR, 15/08/2014). In July, insecurity hampered humanitarian access on the road between Bangui and Bossangoa (OCHA, 21/07/2014) and to Batafango, Markounda, and Kouki (OCHA, 30/07/2014).
Ouaka: The FAO warehouse in Bambari was reportedly robbed (OCHA, 20/08/2014). As of 25 June, UNHCR reported that clashes in Bambari have hampered access to the area.
Haute-Kotto: A humanitarian mission to Bria in late July revealed that access to the town and its environs was very limited (UNHCR, 08/08/2014).
On 9 June, an estimated 21,000 people, mostly but not exclusively Muslim, were trapped in 12 locations. The number is unchanged since 9 May. Very high-risk locations include Boda (Lobaye prefecture), Yaloke (Ombella Mpoko), Berberati (Mambere-Kadei), Bozoum (Ouham-Pende), Boganangone (Lobaye), and the PK5 district of Bangui, while Bouar and Baoro were considered as ‘high risk’ (UNHCR). The Protection Cluster defines populations as ‘at risk’ when insecurity, restrictions on freedom of movement, and lack of access to humanitarian aid threaten their lives or physical integrity.
Security Incidents Affecting Aid Workers
890 security incidents involving aid workers have been recorded so far in 2014 (OCHA, 04/08/2014). Staff abduction, vehicle theft, death threats and physical attacks have all been reported.
A Red Cross volunteer was killed in Bangui on 20 August during the evacuation of casualties from the PK5 district of Bangui (Red Cross, 20/08/2014). A member of UNHCR staff was killed in Bangui on 1 May.
The looting of a humanitarian truck on 17 August prevented the distribution of seeds to households in Ndele, Bamingui-Bangoran, and Kaga Bandoro, Nana-Grebizi (OCHA, 20/08/2014). In June and July, incidents involving NGO staff, offices, and vehicles were reported in Boali (WFP, 17/07/2014), Mboki (Haut Mbomou), Ndele (Bamingui-Bangoran), and Sibut (Kemo).
On 5 March, OCHA estimated that 80–85% of Bangui’s minority population had fled. Most of the Muslim population has fled or been evacuated from Yaloke (previously home to 10,000 Muslims), Baoro in Nana-Mambere (4,000 evacuees), Mbaiki in Lobaye, and Boali and Bossemptele, Ouham-Pende, (OCHA).
508,000 IDPs, including 84,000 in Bangui (OCHA 13/08/2014). Displacement surged from late March, having decreased between January and March (OCHA). In early February, OCHA reported that half of the displaced were children.
The dynamics of displacement vary: rural inhabitants seek refuge in the surrounding countryside, while urban inhabitants seek safety in different districts. Armed elements are often present in IDP sites, according to the Multi-Sectoral Rapid Assessment (01/2014).
Bangui: 84,000 IDPs in 40 sites (OCHA, 20/08/2014). The most frequently cited needs are housing, security, and non-food items.
Nana-Grebizi: By early May, the number of displaced in the Kaga Bandoro area had doubled in a month, to 23,000 (UNHCR). Violence in M’Bres in mid-August had reportedly forced 1,000 people to flee their homes as of 20 August (OCHA 20/08/2014).
Ouaka: As of 5 August, there were 27,000 IDPs in Bambari following violence that erupted at the end of June, and another 15,000 people displaced across the province (OCHA, 05/08/2014). At the end of June, IDPs in Bambari urgently needed shelter, latrines, and food, according to an assessment by an NGO in the MISCA, Sangaris, and Saint-Joseph displacement sites.
Ombella Mpoko: An estimated 20,000 IDPs are in Bimbo (OCHA, 30/07/2014).
Ouham: An estimated 16,000 people are estimated to have been displaced in Batafango following renewed violence in late July. 29,000 people are estimated to be displaced in the region (OCHA, 13/08/2014).
Refugees in CAR
8,047 refugees and asylum seekers from other countries in CAR (UNHCR 08/08/2014), an estimated 1,700 South Sudanese refugees were in CAR as of 31 March (UNHCR).
Darfuri refugees in CAR’s Bembere camp (Ouham) face a serious security situation. Aid organisations have withdrawn, leaving people without access to food aid (local media 11/07/2014).
As of 25 June, UNHCR reported that violence in Bambari had caused the interruption of a number of humanitarian programmes for the 1,900 Sudanese refugees residing in the Pladama Ouaka camp.
The return of Muslim IDPs to Bocaranga and Koui, in Ouham-Pende, was observed between 30 July and 2 August (UNHCR, 08/08/2014). On 31 May, 12,000 IDPs had returned to the area of Bohon, Ouham-Pende (WASH Cluster); 2,500 people have returned in the areas of Ngaounday and Bang, Ouham-Pende (UNHCR, 05/06/2014).
CAR Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
406,000 CAR refugees are registered in neighbouring countries, 171,000 having arrived since December 2013. 231,000 CAR refugees are registered in Cameroon, 93,000 in Chad (100,000 on 15 May), 64,000 in DRC, and 18,000 in Congo (UNHCR 15/08/2014).
On 16 July, 58 Chadian returnees had been allowed into Chad by Chadian authorities, although the border remains officially closed (OCHA, 21/07/2014).
Third-country Nationals Fleeing CAR
By 1 August, 130,000 people had been evacuated from CAR, both Muslim CAR nationals and others (OCHA).
At 27 May, 45% of the population, i.e. 1.7 million people, are at Crisis and Emergency levels of food insecurity: 26% are in IPC Phase 3 (Crisis), and 19% are in IPC Phase 4 (Emergency). Ouham and Ouham-Pende are most affected. All other prefectures are at Crisis level, except Mambere-Kadei (Stressed). Bamingui-Bangoran, Haute Kotto, Vakaga and Sangha Mbaere could not be classified due to insufficient data. Earlier assessments had found that most IDPs were facing at least Crisis food insecurity.
On 21 July, OCHA reported that food insecurity was expected to remain at Crisis level until December. In June, FEWSNET reported that Bangui and northwestern and central-western areas of CAR would remain in IDP Phase 3 (Crisis) through the next harvest, which is July for the south, and October for the north.
Agriculture and Markets
Reduced access to fields due to conflict will results in below-average crop production during the 2014/2015 season (FEWSNET 06/2014).
The flight of Muslim traders and the refusal of transporters, most of whom are Muslim, to take to the road, has hampered food availability and led to price hikes.
Health and Nutrition
The situation in CAR’s health sector was critical even before the current crisis, with MSF documenting mortality rates well above the emergency threshold in several regions. In June 2013, the INGO Merlin reported that 3.2 million people were living without access to basic healthcare. The epidemic risk (acute diarrhoea, measles, meningitis) is high.
On 10 June, 67% of the two million people targeted by health humanitarian response had no access to basic health services (OCHA). 60% of health facilities have been vandalised, looted or destroyed, and over 80% of local medical doctors have moved to Bangui (MIRA, 01/2014; OCHA 10/2013). Health structures are almost exclusively supported by international NGOs and religious organisations.
In mid-August 2013, according to a trusted source, antiretroviral treatment had been interrupted for 11,000 people living with HIV/AIDS.
In early January, it was estimated that malaria constituted the first cause of morbidity in CAR, with serious shortages of anti-malarial drugs in most of the still-functioning health structures.
An estimated 28,000 children under five are expected to suffer from SAM in 2014, and 75,000 to be affected by MAM (WFP, 17/07/2014).
According to aid workers’ testimonies, 60% of parents whose children were admitted to Bangui’s paediatric hospital for SAM presented symptoms that suggested post-traumatic stress disorder (24/06/2014).
At 13 August, 35,000 IDPs and returnees in Bossangoa, Ouham, needed WASH assistance (OCHA). At 24 June, 11,000 people from displaced, relocated, and host communities in Moyen Sido (Ouham) had immediate and medium-term WASH needs (OCHA).
As of 10 June, 42% of the 900,000 people targeted by the WASH humanitarian response had no access to safe drinking water (OCHA).
According to the Ministry of Education, 45% of schools remained closed across the country on 17 June, down from 65% reported by the Education Cluster in February (OCHA, 17/06/2014). Only 6% of schools were reported open in Kemo and Nana-Grebizi (UNICEF, 17/06/2014).
65% of 165 schools visited by UNICEF in late 2013 had been looted, occupied, or damaged by bullets or shells. As of 25 June, 80% of children were reportedly out of school (WFP, 25/06/2014). Over a third of school students registered in 2012/2013, 278,000 children, had reportedly dropped out in 2013/2014.
According to the Education Cluster, violence in Bambari since June has caused the suspension of all education activities (Education Cluster, 07/2014).
On 24 June, a human rights group reported that crimes against humanity and war crimes had been, and continued to be, committed in CAR. In late October 2013, attacks, executions and torture of civilians, indiscriminate shelling, sexual and gender-based violence, and forceful recruitment of children were all documented in a report by Amnesty International.
In February, UN officials and human rights groups warned that “ethnic cleansing” was ongoing against the Muslim population – although this has been disputed by some NGOs and within the international community.
On 24 June, OCHA reported that the number of child soldiers coerced into joining the ranks of various armed groups could approximate 10,000, an upward revision from 6,000 in February. At 19 August, 100 children had been released from armed groups over the last week (UNICEF, 19/08/2014). On 10 June, OCHA reported that 42% of a targeted 2,000 children had been released from armed groups.
Democratic Republic of Congo Country Analysis
24 August: The DRC Government declared an Ebola epidemic. The epidemic started in the health district of Djera, Equateur province, and the zone has been placed under quarantine. The outbreak is not related to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa (local media, 24/08/2014). As of 23 August, 32 cases had been reported, of which 17 were fatal (case fatality rate 53%) (ECHO, 25/08/2014).
21 August: An outbreak of febrile bloody diarrhoea was reported in the health district of Boende Moke, Equateur province, and has spread to neighbouring Lokolia, Watsikengo, Mondombe Ngele, Bokoto, and Ikonge). 577 cases have been reported, of which 65 were fatal (case fatality rate 11.3%) (WHO).
20 August: 70% of the 34,000 school-age IDP children in Pweto territory, Katanga province, do not attend school (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
11–13 August: Clashes were reported between FARDC and Raiya Mutomboki in the area of Bunyakiri, South Kivu, causing 12,400 people to flee from Kambali and Kambegete to Bulambila, Kando, Maibano, and Makuta (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
10-12 August: A pygmy militia set fire to several villages in Kabalo and Manono areas, allegedly in retaliation for an attack by predominantly Luba Bakata-Katanga militia on the village of Kasinge a few days earlier (AFP, 20/08/2014).
10 August: Over 9,000 measles cases had been reported in Katanga province in 2014. Since June, indicators have reportedly exceeded emergency thresholds in the Kilwa health district (Pweto territory), the epicentre of the disease (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
- Internal conflict in the eastern provinces.
- 6.3 million people need humanitarian assistance (OCHA, 01/2014).
- 2.5 million IDPs (Commission on Population Movements, 06/2014). Katanga is of particular concern, with 543,000 people displaced across the province. (OCHA, 07/2014).
- 117,900 refugees, mainly from CAR and Rwanda (UNHCR, 06/2014).
- At least 4.1 million people are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity (IPC 30/06/2014).
Needs are highest in the conflict-affected regions of North Kivu, South Kivu, Katanga, and Orientale, where there is large-scale, repeated displacement. IDPs, host populations, and those unable to flee are all vulnerable as insecurity poses multiple protection risks and prevents access to basic services, although needs vary according to geographic area and conflict dynamics.
Political violence and inter-communal strife have persisted for decades, influenced by longstanding tensions with DRC’s eastern neighbours. Counterinsurgency operations and infighting between armed groups disrupt security and stability.
International Political Involvement
On 24 February 2013, 11 states signed a Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework agreement for DRC and the region. In January 2014, the Framework members adopted a plan of action, and Kenya and Sudan also agreed to join the process. There are however concerns about DRC’s commitment to the Framework, as implementation is not progressing.
National Political Context
A long-term cause of the conflicts in DRC and the degradation of human security can be found in the gradual erosion of state authority and capacity, and the subsequent weakness of the central Government.
On 30 December 2013, armed youths believed to be loyal to religious leader Mukungubila, who challenged President Kabila in elections in 2006, stormed the state television station, the international airport, and the military headquarters. DRC security forces repelled attacks in Kinshasa, Lubumbashi, and Kindu: 103 people were killed, according to authorities. Late May 2014, the International Federation for Human Rights said that the Government’s response had resulted in some 250 civilians and six soldiers killed in Katanga province, and another 71 civilians killed in Kinshasa.
Numerous armed groups are active in the east of the country, causing general insecurity across the region. The UN Stabilization Mission in DRC (MONUSCO) has a mandate until 31 March 2015, as does its intervention brigade charged with “neutralising” foreign and domestic armed groups.
Regional Security Context
The UN has expressed concern about the potential destabilising effect of the neighbouring CAR conflict on DRC. The presence of armed ex-CAR soldiers in Equateur and ex-Seleka fighters in Orientale province has triggered significant displacement (MONUSCO).
On 2 July, several nations from the region, including Angola, Burundi, CAR, Republic of Congo, DRC, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia, agreed to suspend military operations against Rwandan FDLR insurgents for six months in order to give them more time to lay down their arms.
DRC and Rwandan officials accused each other's army of mounting cross-border raids over 11–12 June. Heavy fire took place between the two forces north of Goma, North Kivu. Both countries sent extra troops to the border. The clashes ended six months of relative calm.
Counter-insurgency and Insecurity in the East
Government and UN troops defeated M23, once the strongest army in the Kivu regions, in November 2013. This was followed by several waves of surrender: the Hutu-dominated militia Nyatura, the Hunde-dominated Alliance for a Free and Sovereign Congo, and the Nduma Defence of Congo.
DRC armed forces (FARDC) and MONUSCO counterinsurgency operations have since continued. The UN deployed unarmed surveillance drones in early December to monitor activities on the Rwandan and Ugandan borders.
In June, 200 FDLR militants voluntarily surrendered in North and South Kivu. However, MONUSCO officials warned on 6 August that the FDLR remains active (AFP, 06/08/2014).
M23 was dissolved as an armed group as a peace deal was signed in December 2013. Parliament approved an amnesty law on 4 February 2014. By May, some 1,300 ex-M23 who had fled to Uganda had signed amnesty papers, according to the political head of the M23 (06/05/2014).
However, M23 is still receiving support from Rwanda, and sanctioned M23 leaders are moving freely in Uganda (UN Group of Experts on DRC, 23/01/2014). The head of MONUSCO has said there was evidence to suggest that M23 is recruiting and resuming activities within DRC, notably in Ituri district (13/01/2014). The UN Security Council renewed its arms embargo and targeted sanctions on 30 January.
On 4 August, MONUSCO peacekeepers discovered an important cache of ammunition in Tshanzu (MONUSCO, 04/08/2014).
A joint FARDC-MONUSCO military offensive, which started in July, has taken back 20 villages from ADF-NALU and Mayi Mayi Sheka insurgents in Beni, Walikale, and Lubero territories (AFP, 30/07/2014). The Mpofi-Bunyampuli area is considered to be free of insurgents (MONUSCO, 11/07/2014).
ADF-NALU: The Islamic Alliance of Democratic Forces (ADF-NALU) is a 1,400-strong alliance opposed to the Ugandan Government. FARDC had recaptured the last ADF-NALU base in North Kivu by April.
APCLS: Clashes between the Alliance of Patriots for a Free and Sovereign Congo (APCLS) and government forces were reported in January. Human rights violations and summary executions were reported in Nyamaboko villages I and II, Masisi territory, in February. On 23 April, local sources reported that FARDC had taken APCLS bases in Matembe, Mirenge, and Maniema, Walikale territory. The insurgents reportedly retreated into Mutongo area, attacking MONUSCO peacekeepers and FARDC positions in Nyabiondo area and Goma a week later.
FDLR: On 13 March, local media reported that the FARDC had regained the city of Kahumo without resistance, after two years of occupation by FDLR.
Humanitarian actors have raised concerns regarding a potential security vacuum following military redeployment from South Kivu to other provinces, which may lead armed groups to renew activities.
Raiya Mutomboki: From 11 to 13 August, clashes were reported between FARDC and Raiya Mutomboki in the Bunyakiri area (OCHA, 20/08/2014). Clashes between FARDC and Raiya Mutomboki in Mulungu and Kolula areas have caused the displacement of 31,550 people to Shabunda territory since March (OCHA and Commission on Population Movements, 06/2014).
Mayi-Mayi Yakutumba: Since 19 August, Mayi-Mayi attacks have been reported against the villages of Penekusu and Nyalukungu, causing inhabitants to flee to Kama, Pangi territory, in Maniema (Radio Okapi, 21/08/2014). On 1 July, 12 people were killed following clashes between Mayi Mayi and FARDC along Lake Tanganyika, in Fizi territory (Radio Okapi). On 8 April, 18,000 people were displaced along the Lulimba–Kalemie route in Uvira territory.
Inter-ethnic violence: 38 Bafuliru people were killed in Mutarule, south of Bukavu, over 6–7 June. Most were killed as they slept in a church.
Insecurity has spread since the end of December 2013 (OCHA). Dozens of new Mayi Mayi movements have been created in Manono, Mitwaba, and Pweto territories (the ‘Triangle of Death’) and insecurity spread to Malemba Nkulu and Moba territories. Mayi-Mayi originating mainly from northern Katanga have extended their activity south. Civilian communities have been victims of ‘punishment’ raids, and the surge in violence has led to the creation of several self-defence groups. Almost 70% of the region’s 500,000 IDPs are between Pweto, Manono, and Mitwaba, and in Malemba Nkulu.
Mayi Mayi: Over 15–30 July, 18 of 25 villages located between Kabimba and Kabanga, northeastern Kalemie, were repeatedly attacked by Mayi Mayi Yakutumba from South Kivu (OCHA, 30/07/2014).
Humanitarian actors are speaking of a scorched earth policy. Schools and health centres are also being targeted.From January to March 2014, more than 35 Mayi Mayi attacks were reported between Pweto, Manono, and Mitwaba territories, as well as in Kalemie, Kipushi, Malemba Nkulu and Moba territories (OCHA).
Only one FARDC battalion has been deployed to Katanga, and only 550 soldiers of the 22,000-strong UN mission are in the region.
Inter-ethnic violence: Self-defence groups are being created between Moba and Kalemie as conflict between pygmies and Luba intensifies (ECHO, 25/03/2014). From 10 to 12 August, a pygmy militia set fire to several villages in Kabalo and Manono areas, allegedly in retaliation for an attack by predominantly Luba Bakata-Katanga militia on the village of Kasinge on 7 August (AFP, 20/08/2014). Ten people were killed in inter-ethnic clashes in Maloba area over 20–23 June. Similar Bakata Katanga attacks provoked clashes between pygmies and Luba in May 2013 (AFP, 13/08/2014).
More than 300,000 people, including 150,000 IDPs, are affected by military operations in South Irumu, Ituri district (OCHA, 05/2014).
The near absence of effective policing in Ituri is fuelling mob violence, according to local civil society groups.
FRPI: A joint FARDC–MONUSCO offensive launched on 3 April against the FRPI in Nyasumbe plains, Ituri, has caused preventive displacement.
ADF-NALU: Some ADF-NALU have retreated from FARDC offensive in North Kivu into Mambasa forest and Irumu territory (OCHA, 01/02/2014).
LRA: The Ugandan Lord’s Resistance Army is mainly active in Haut and Bas Uele. On 13 August, suspected LRA fighters killed four people after attacking several villages near Bili, Kisangani area (Radio Okapi, 14/08/2014). During the second quarter of 2014, 40 attacks, one death, and 128 abductions were reported, with Haut Uele district registering almost 80% of attacks. The number of abduction incidents was two-thirds higher than in the previous quarter. Since January, 81 LRA attacks, three deaths and 176 abductions have been reported. 92% of the 113,000 IDPs in Bas Uele and Haut Uele are displaced due to LRA activities (OCHA, 30/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The mountainous and volcanic terrain, and lack of tarred roads limit access across DRC, and access worsens during the rainy season. In the east, insecurity is a major constraint. 85 incidents involving humanitarian workers had been recorded January–June 2014 (OCHA, 06/2014). Over 250 incidents were registered in 2013.
Katanga: Insecurity and logistical constraints continue to challenge humanitarian access to civilians, especially in the region covering Pweto, Manono, and Mitwaba territories. Conflict has in the past few months extended to the neighbouring Malemba Nkulu and Moba territories (OCHA, 06/2014). Growing insecurity is hindering both the delivery of assistance to up to 500,000 displaced and access to healthcare (OCHA, 06/2014; Médecins Sans Frontières, 09/01/2014). Katanga has the smallest humanitarian community of the four eastern provinces. Agencies are targeted by Mayi Mayi militias seeking to pillage supplies.
South Kivu: A clash between FARDC troops and an armed group on 3 August in the town of Cifunzi forced Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to interrupt a measles vaccination campaign in Kalonge area, South Kivu. MSF staff said they received violent threats from militants (MSF, 12/08/2014). Since the beginning of the year, 44 security incidents against humanitarian workers have been recorded, including 19 in Bukavu territory (UNDSS, 06/2014).
Orientale: 13 INGOs have withdrawn from Haut Uele and Bas Uele since mid-2013 due to lack of funding, leaving thousands of people without assistance. Insecurity is a major obstacle to access, as are logistical constraints, especially in eastern Tshopo.
In April, 30,000 people, of whom more than half are returnees, were reported affected by heavy rains and flooding in Katanga, particularly in Bukama and Kasenga territories (OCHA).
At 22 April, more than 3,600 people had been affected by heavy rain in Tshikapa area, Kasai-Occidental, local media reported.
An estimated 2.5 million people are internally displaced in DRC, and more than 440,000 have fled to neighbouring countries. Population displacement is frequent and often repeated.
2.5 million people were estimated internally displaced at end June, a decrease of 3% compared to March 2014 (DRC Commission on Population Movements, 06/2014). Numbers have fallen in North Kivu and Maniema and increased in South Kivu and Katanga.
North Kivu: At 913,610, North Kivu has the highest number of IDPs in the country (DRC Commission on Population Movements and UNHCR, 25/07/2014). This is an increase of 5,000 since June, mainly due to FARDC-MONUSCO operations in Walikale territory, FARDC operations against ADF-NALU in Beni territory, and communal tensions between Raiya Mutomboki and Nyatura in Masisi territory. Masisi and Walikale territories host more than 451,600 displaced while an estimated 462,000 IDPs live in Beni, Rutshuru, Lubero, and Goma. 67% of IDPs live with host families and the rest are in public buildings and camps (DRC Commission on Population Movements and UNHCR, 25/07/2014).
Masisi territory hosts 280,900 IDPs. In late March, residents were gradually returning to locations taken by the FARDC on the Mbau–Kamango route, although the security situation remains fragile (OCHA). In the first week of July, some 14,000 people moved from Walikale territory following FARDC operations against Nduma Defence of Congo (NDC) in Kibua area (OCHA, 16/07/2014).
Almost 124,200 IDPs are in Beni territory. High incidence of malaria, diarrhoea, acute respiratory infections, and sexual violence are reported among IDPs in Beni territory (OCHA 09/07/2014). An estimated 22,600 people (3,780 households) were displaced by activities from Mayi Mayi Morgan insurgents and fled from Orientale province to Beni territory between June and July (OCHA, 30/07/2014). Since May, almost 8,000 IDPs in Kaynama, Beni territory have fled clashes between the FARDC and ADF in Kpele, Bango, Kpolou, Malundi, Vudaki, Misongo, Kamuvuyu and Mangusele. Suspected ADF-NALU activity displaced 80,000 people in Beni territory, mainly Kamango and Nobili, between July 2013 and February 2014 (OCHA).
In southern Lubero territory, an estimated 20,000 people have been displaced by several armed groups. Urgent needs include WASH, NFIs, and food (OCHA, 18/06/2014).
Around Pinga, clashes between APCLS, NDC, and FARDC since mid-January have displaced thousands towards Walikale and Masisi. Fighting between APCLS and FARDC in the neighbouring area of Kitchanga in January displaced 8,000 people.
South Kivu: Almost 555,000 IDPs are in South Kivu, an increase of 36,800 since March. 50% of the new displacements occurred in Shabunda territory, following clashes between FARDC and Raiya Mutomboki (OCHA and Commission on Population Movements, 06/2014). As of 20 August, 12,400 people had been displaced from Kambali and Kambegete to Bulambila, Kando, Maibano, and Makuta following clashes between FARDC and the Raiya Mutomboki. Tentative returns have been reported (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
As of May, an estimated 49,000 new IDPs and 51,000 returnees needed assistance following Raiya Mutomboki violence in Shabunda, Kalehe, and Kabare territories (OCHA, 05/2014).
In Uvira territory, inter-communal violence in Mutarule over 6–7 June displaced an estimated 8,000 people (OCHA, 17/06/2014).
Katanga: Katanga has had the highest relative increase in IDPs, from 50,000 in March 2011 to 543,000 in June 2014. Between April and June, more than 43,000 new IDPs were registered, including 32,000 fleeing clashes between pygmies and Luba.
Manono territory has registered the highest increase, with 25,200 newly displaced by Mayi Mayi activities in Kahongo, Kishale, Mpiana, and Shamwana. Mitwaba came second with 11,500 new IDPs. Pweto territory still has the most IDPs in the province with 35% of the total (DRC Commission on Population Movements, 06/2014).
An estimated 36,000 people were displaced in Malemba Nkulu territory following clashes between FARDC and Mayi Mayi Nakata Katanga in Malemba Nkulu, Mitwaba, and Manono. Shelter is their most pressing need (Radio Okapi, 08/08/2014).
There are no IDP camps in Katanga: 85% of the displaced live with host families, while 15% live in informal settlements or occupy public buildings in Kalemie, Manono, Pweto, and Moba.
Orientale: As of 19 August, over 400,000 IDPs were hosted in Orientale and in precarious humanitarian conditions (OCHA quoted by local media, 19/08/2014), an increase of 20% compared to April. Clashes between FARDC and FRPI in Irumu territory, Ituri, displaced 274,200 people in the second quarter compared to 173,800 in the first quarter. Another 145,900 people returned home (DRC Commission on Population Movements, 06/2014).
24,000 people are reported to have crossed into Ituri from North Kivu since FARDC operations against ADF-NALU began in January. Humanitarian capacities in Ituri are already overstretched.
Some 10,000 people were displaced in mid-May in Komanda town, south of Bunia, as a result of clashes between FARDC and armed groups in Mont Hoyo (WFP, 05/2014).
On 15 April, an estimated 20,000 IDPs had been living in the bush in Tshopo district for two months following the burning of their houses by militias in the area of Opienge in Bafwasende territory (OCHA).
Haut Uele and Bas Uele have seen a substantial decrease in IDPs, as more people returned home, yet LRA activity continues to cause new displacement. An estimated 113,000 people remain displaced in Bas Uele and Haut Uele.
Maniema: Between January and June 2014, an estimated 85,000 people returned to their homes after FARDC took control of Kabambare and Punia territories (Commission on Population Movements, 06/2014).
Over 37,000 people remain displaced in Maniema following clashes between Mayi Mayi Yakutumba and FARDC in Fizi territory, South Kivu, over March–April (OCHA, 05/2014)
Refugees in DRC
DRC hosts an estimated 117,900 refugees, mainly from Angola, CAR, and Rwanda (UNHCR, 06/2014).
From CAR: 20,000 CAR refugees have been registered since December 2013, despite the closure of the border in December, bringing the overall number to 64,000 (UNHCR, 15/08/2014). By the end of June, 31,500 CAR refugees relocated to the four camps in Equateur and Orientale provinces (31,028 in Equateur and 478 in Orientale) (UNHCR, 30/06/2014). DRC provincial authorities insist that assistance should only be delivered within camps, making it difficult to support refugees in host communities.
From Rwanda: DRC is hosting 41,800 Rwandan refugees (UNHCR, 31/05/2014). 30% of the Rwandan refugees approached by authorities have indicated their intention to return, according to data collected by the National Commission for Refugees (UNHCR, 04/2014).
From Angola: 71,750 former Angolan refugees live in DRC: 23,940 have registered for voluntary repatriation and 47,815 have opted for local integration. Repatriation is scheduled for 28 August (Radio Okapi, 01/08/2014).
Between January 2012 and May 2014, an estimated 161,300 DRC refugees returned to their homes (UNHCR, 30/06/2014).
Returnees from Congo: A free movement of people agreement was signed by DRC and Congo on 3 June. The deal, which has yet to be ratified on each side, would allow nationals living along the 1,300km frontier to cross to the other side for a maximum of three days with a laissez-passer or national identity card. Those wishing to live and work in either country must have a passport and work permit.
Both countries agreed to set up a commission of inquiry on allegations of violence and violations of human rights in the recent deportation of DRC nationals from Congo Brazzaville. Since May 2012, an estimated 119,000 DRC nationals have been repatriated and about 23,000 chose to stay in the Republic of Congo (UNHCR, 05/08/2014). Many forced returnees reportedly have little attachment to DRC and lack access to basic services.
Returnees from Uganda: In Nobili-Kamango area, Beni territory, the repatriation of some 51,000 nationals (8,500 households) has led to increased education needs in the region (OCHA, 30/07/2014).
Returnees from South Sudan: Around 6,200 DRC returnees from South Sudan have been recorded since December 2013 in several localities of Haut Uele, Orientale province (UNHCR, 02/2014). Their most urgent needs include food, NFI, education, and health.
Returnees from Angola: An estimated 13,000 DRC nationals have been expelled so far (UNHCR, 06/2014).
DRC Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
An estimated 432,960 DRC refugees currently live in neighbouring countries, including 171,100 in Uganda, 72,000 in Rwanda, 64,000 in Tanzania, and 46,000 in Burundi (UNHCR, 31/06/2014).
Uganda: On 28 April, DRC, Uganda, and UNHCR agreed to conduct a return intention survey by the end of July 2014 among DRC refugees living in refugee settlements. It was also agreed to fast-track organised voluntary repatriation by September 2014.
4.1 million people in 22 of 67 territories are in food and livelihood crisis and are likely to remain food insecure until December 2014 (IPC, 07/2014). The most acutely affected areas (IPC Phase 4) are Punia (Maniema Babira and Bakwame sectors) in Maniema province, and Manono, Mitwaba, and Pweto in Katanga. Other areas facing Crisis conditions (IPC Phase 3) are in South Kivu, the Punia border areas in Maniema province, and Katanga (IPC 30/06/2014). Conflict and displacement along the border with CAR, and armed groups in the Kivu regions, continue to be a cause of food insecurity (FEWSNET, 07/2014).
Health and Nutrition
The health system is weak due to structural problems and violence. Epidemics are rife and the burden of infectious and non-infectious disease is one of the highest in the region. Maternal and child morbidity and mortality rates remain high. Cholera, measles, and malaria take a heavy toll on the population.
As of July, 10,170 cholera cases, including 205 deaths, have been recorded (WHO). Local health authorities recorded 27,000 cases in 2013 – half of them in Katanga – including 491 deaths (case fatality rate 1.8%), a decrease from 30,753 cholera cases and 709 deaths in 2012. Limited access to safe drinking water, poor hygiene conditions, and poor sanitation all help the spread of the disease.
Cholera outbreaks persist in four provinces: North and South Kivu, Katanga, and Orientale (WHO). Over 5,350 cases including 177 deaths have been recorded in Katanga in 2014, a significant decrease compared to 13,726 cases and 348 deaths in 2013 (OCHA, 30/06/2014). The south of Bukavu, South Kivu, recorded a significant drop in cholera, from 80 cases in June to four in the first week of July (local media, 09/07/2014).
On 24 August, the DRC Government declared an Ebola epidemic. The epidemic started in the health district of Djera, in Boende, Equateur province, and the zone has been placed under quarantine (local media, 24/08/2014). The epidemic is not related to the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa. As of 23 August, 32 cases had been reported, of which 17 were fatal (case fatality rate 53%) (ECHO, 25/08/2014).
Febrile Bloody Diarrhoea
As of 21 August, an outbreak of febrile haemorrhagic diarrhoea was reported in the health district of Boende Moke, Equateur province, and had spread to the neighbouring health districts of Lokolia, Watsikengo, Mondombe Ngele, Bokoto, and Ikonge. 577 cases have been reported, of which 65 were fatal (case fatality rate 11.3%) (WHO, 21/08/2014).
In July, 21,520 cases of measles including 252 deaths had been reported in 13% of all health districts, in ten provinces, since the beginning of 2014 (WHO, 07/2014). As of 10 August, over 9,000 measles cases had been reported in Katanga province in 2014. Since June, indicators have reportedly exceeded emergency thresholds in Kilwa health district ,Pweto territory, the epicentre of the outbreak (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
A significant decrease in suspected measles cases was registered in Orientale, Equateur, and North Kivu during the first quarter of 2014 in comparison with 2013. In 2013, DRC recorded 89,000 cases of measles, including 1,392 deaths.
38 million people in DRC (53.5% of households) do not have access to safe drinking water (UNICEF, 27/03/2014).
Access to water is below the emergency standard of 15L/person/day for most CAR refugees in Equateur and Orientale provinces. It currently stands at 13L/person/day in Boyabu camp, 12L/person/day in Mole camp, 12L/person/day in Inke camp, and far below these numbers in the host communities (UNHCR, 07/2014).
As of 20 August, 70% of the 34,000 school-age IDP children in Pweto territory (Katanga province) do not attend school (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
Military, militias, and other armed groups are all accused of repeated abuses against civilians, including arbitrary arrests, extortion, looting, child conscription, sexual violence, and executions.
The Government counted 26,340 incidents of rape and other gender-based violence in seven provinces during 2011 and 2012— and another 15,350 cases in 2013. The actual numbers may be higher (UNHCR cited by Pulitzer Centre on 10/07/2014)
Rape is used as a weapon of war to intimidate local communities, and to punish civilians. It is also an opportunistic crime. Since 2008, Médecins Sans Frontières has never treated fewer than 4,000 cases of sexual violence in DRC per year (03/03/2014).
Katanga: Nearly 3,000 protection incidents were reported in the territories of Kalemie, Manono, Mitwaba, and Pweto between January and May (UNHCR). In March, the territory of Mitwaba was the most affected, with about 680 incidents, followed by Pweto (500 incidents).
In 2013, over 5,100 incidents of gender-based violence were registered in Katanga, with Kalemie, Malemba Nkulu, Manono, Mitwaba, Moba, and Pweto most affected. This is almost triple the number of incidents reported in 2012 (1,650). More than 75% of incidents were rapes, with children under 18 making up half of the victims. 70% of victims were IDPs, followed by host populations, and returnees (Katanga Protection Cluster, 05/2014). 95% of incidents were assigned to armed actors.
South Kivu: UNHCR reported a 37.5% increase in protection-related incidents recorded in 2013 (from 17,260 in 2012 to 23,450).
25 August: 90,000 people are in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security conditions in rural areas of the country. August and October outlooks point towards further deterioration (FEWSNET).
- The estimated number of people in need of humanitarian assistance in the country is around 125,000 people including more than 22,000 refugees (ECHO, 01/08/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
On 12 June, the UN and partners launched a two-year humanitarian Strategic Response Plan targeted at 250,000 people. Of the targeted population, 162,500 are Djibouti nationals, 27,500 are refugees, and 60,000 are migrants, mainly from Somalia and Ethiopia.
Persistent and recurring droughts have resulted in a general lack of water for the affected people. In addition, the population is suffering from malnutrition, acute diarrhoea and other diseases.
Shortages in rural areas have led to increased competition for natural resources, particularly along the migration corridor that runs across the country. Stress on rural livelihoods has triggered movements from rural areas towards peri-urban areas of the capital, putting additional pressure on the delivery of basic services (UN, 12/06/2014).
In May, an estimated 4,847 people left Djibouti for Yemen.
Lack of water is likely to affect refugees and migrants in the coming months. The migrants/refugees continue to report lack of access to food and water during their transit through Obock, while they wait to cross to Yemen. During transit, migrants/refugees are also exposed to theft by criminal gangs, and detention by authorities (Regional Mixed Migration Secretariat, 31/05/2014).
Refugees in Djibouti
22,234 refugees, the majority of Somali origin, are currently registered in Djibouti (ECHO, 01/08/2014).
90,000 people are in Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security conditions in rural areas. Resources are running out, with most pastoral households experiencing Crisis levels (IPC Phase 3) food security. Pastoral areas in the Central zone are experiencing Stressed levels (IPC Phase 2) of food insecurity (FEWSNET 13/08/2014).Three consecutive poor seasons in the Obock region, as well as reduced access to humanitarian aid and loss of livelihood in the northwest and southeast, has meant that food security levels have not improved. August to October outlooks point towards further deterioration (FEWSNET, 25/08/2014).
Lack of rain and high temperatures during July have weakened water resources and pasture in rural areas, causing increased loss of livestock and livelihood for pastoralists. Some communities have moved closer to water sources with better availability, instigating depletion of reservoirs and overgrazing (FEWSNET 13/08/2014).
Mali Country Analysis
25 August: Tuareg and Arab militias met for talks in Burkina Faso (AFP).
- Security, particularly in the north, remains volatile, and access is limited for aid workers. Security in and around the north eastern region of Kidal is of particular concern.
- Almost 2 million people needed food assistance in June 2014. The situation is extremely worrying in Northern Mali with the violence uprising in May in Kidal and Gao region (ACTED, 13/08/2014).
- 496 000 children under five suffered from SAM as of 31 July (OCHA, 12/08/2014)
- The increase in the arrival of returnees to the north has meant greater needs among host communities (IOM, 24/07/2014).
Violence and conflict in the north have led to a deterioration in the humanitarian situation and large-scale displacement.
Civilian rule was re-established in mid-2013, but Mali continues to face security and political challenges. The truce in the north remains fragile, and key government institutions need strengthening. Limited access to basic social services and the poor capacity of public administration are key drivers of the crisis.
On 5 April, Moussa Mara became Prime Minister after Mali's first post-war Prime Minister Oumar Tatam Ly resigned just six months into office.
The Tuareg Rebellion and National Reconciliation
A ceasefire was signed with the Bamako Government on 23 May. On 15 June, three armed groups from northern Mali, the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad (MNLA), the High Council for the Unity of Azawad (HCUA), and the Arab Movement of Azawad (MAA) signed the Algiers Declaration with the Government of Mali. The groups have agreed to engage with the Government on a path of dialogue and negotiation, in exchange for the release of prisoners and better conditions for the return of refugees.
On 25 August, Tuareg and Arab groups met for talks in Burkina Faso, ahead of discussions with the Government (AFP, 25/08/2014). The first round of negotiations between Mali’s Government and armed groups occurred on 16 July in Algiers (AFP 15/07/2014). On 24 July, the Government and Tuareg-led insurgents agreed that a second round would take place between 17 August and 11 September in Algiers. However, there have been signs of distrust from the main Tuareg separatist group, which has accused the Malian army of backing local militias east of Timbuktu (Reuters, 24/07/2014). Continued violence in Northern Mali, which saw three separatist rebel groups retake control of much of the north, has put peace talks set for August, and the July roadmap to peace signed by rebel groups and the Malian Government, on shaky ground (UN, 07/08/2014).
The crisis began in January 2012, when several insurgent groups began fighting for independence and greater autonomy for the northern Azawad region. The conflict initially pitted Tuareg tribesmen, who have been fighting Bamako for decades, against the Government. But then Islamist rebel groups Ansar Dine and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) began a separate insurgency, aiming to impose shariah in Azawad and push Tuareg insurgents out of major cities. The conflict was further complicated by a military coup in March 2012 and, later, fighting between Tuareg and Islamist fighters. At the request of the Government, the French military launched Operation Serval in January 2013 in response to territorial gains and a push south by Islamist fighters.
The security situation in the north is volatile. Al Qaeda-linked militants are known to operate in the region; a number of so-called self-defence militias, formed in 2012, are active; and strained relations between Tuareg and other communities in the north, such as the Fulani and Songhai, have deteriorated since 2012. Unexploded ordnance and landmines are a significant threat.
Despite the 23 May ceasefire agreement, the situation in Kidal and Gao remains tense. At least 4,000 people were displaced in May to rural areas, Gao region, and Algeria, when Tuareg and Arab insurgents took Kidal and the smaller settlement of Menaka. Local sources and security forces report that Islamists have regained a foothold in several areas and pressured families hostile to their presence to leave their homes.
The stability of the Sahel region is reliant on the presence of armed foreign troops. Malian and French forces, the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), and the EU military training mission (EUTM) are all present in the territory, mainly in Bamako (53% of the forces on the ground) and in northern cities such as Kidal, Gao, Timbuktu, and Menaka (28%) (OCHA, 31/05/2014).
As of 1 August, France deployed a 3,000-strong counterterrorism operation across the Sahel region. Based in Chad, operation Barkhane is active in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger (Local Media, 01/08/2014).
On 25 June, the UN Security Council extended MINUSMA’s mandate for one year, until 30 June 2015.
On 15 April, the European Union (EU) established a civilian mission, EUCAP Sahel Mali, to support internal security forces and complement EUTM.
On 16 August, two UN soldiers were killed and four wounded by a suicide attack in Ber, northern Mali (AFP, 16/08/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Insecurity impedes state authorities and humanitarian aid workers from working in northern regions. However, humanitarian access continues to improve and aid is increasingly accessible in central and southern regions. The destruction of infrastructure, and a lack of materials to support basic services, remain major challenges (OCHA, 05/2014).
As of 31 July, 151,150 people are internally displaced as a consequence of the 2012 conflict, a significant decrease from 200,000 in February, and 283,700 in October 2013 (UNHCR, 31/07/2014). About 40,000 IDPs are in the capital Bamako, more than 25,000 in Kidal, and more than 15,000 in Timbuktu (IOM, 24/07/2014).
Recent clashes between armed groups and the Malian military in Kidal region have forced more than 18,000 people to flee their homes (OCHA, 06/2014). Between 20 and 26 July, 310 individuals fled from violence in the north (IOM, 05/08/2014).
Over 350,000 individuals have returned to their places of origin in the country’s northern regions, number which increased significantly by June 2014, compared to about 284,000 returnees in April. Most returnees in the north are located in Timbuktu (over 180,000) followed by Gao (over 135,000), Mopti (about 30,000) and Kidal (405). The arrival of returnees in the North has exacerbated the already existing needs in the host communities, especially the lack of financial resources and access to basic social services (IOM, 24/07/2014).
Refugees in Mali
Mali hosts over 14,500 refugees from countries including Mauritania (12,900) and Côte d’Ivoire (1,110) (UNHCR, 06/2014).
829 Malian refugees returned in July, a huge decrease compared to the average of 2,750 over the past three months. So far in 2014, more than 31,000 Malians have returned: more than 10,000 from Burkina Faso; about 12,000 from Niger; around 7,300 from Mauritania; and 2,200 from Algeria (UNHCR, 14/08/2014).
As of 10 July, around 1,800 Malians had been evacuated from CAR to Mali (OCHA, 10/07/2014).
Mali, Niger, and UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement on the voluntary repatriation of Malian refugees on 3 May. The situation in northern Mali is, however, not yet favourable to the promotion of massive returns. In January, UNHCR stated that there is a risk of reprisal attacks on returning refugees and IDPs, and socio-economic conditions have not been restored to pre-conflict levels. However, UNHCR said it will work together with both governments in seeking durable solutions for the refugees.
Malian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 31 July, an estimated 142,000 Malians have taken refuge in neighbouring countries, including 53,000 in Mauritania, 48,000 in Niger, 34,000 in Burkina Faso, and 1,500 in Algeria (UNHCR, 31/07/2014). This is a decrease of 26,000 compared to August 2013.
The majority of Malian refugees say they are willing to return only when security improves considerably.
The number of people needing food assistance almost doubled from December 2013 to March 2014 to reach 1.5 million people, according to the Cadre Harmonisé, and is thought to have reached almost two million in June.
The situation in northern Mali is extremely worrying (ACTED, 13/08/2014). The Dogon Plateau is the major area of concern. Poor households are currently facing Stressed acute food insecurity and cases of severe malnutrition are expected. These households have already resorted to coping strategies earlier than usual, affecting children’s nutrition. (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014).
The 2013/14 crop production in the Dogon Plateau is 50% lower than average. Above-average rainfall has oversaturated ground conditions. Irregular rains, the onset of the lean season, and ongoing conflict and insecurity are expected to deteriorate the food security situation come the September–October harvest period (OCHA, 07/2014).
Livestock are in poor physical condition due to the lack of pasture, resulting in a drastic drop in market prices for small animals. Consequently, movements of livestock from northern Mali to grazing areas in the centre and south of the country have been observed (OCHA, 07/2014).
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
In March, more than 25 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) were suffering from food insecurity (FAO, 03/04/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when food consumption was inadequate for 11.3 million people (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
496,000 children under five suffered from severe malnutrition as of 31 July. 361,000 children under five suffer from MAM. 126,000 children under four and 105,000 women are at risk of malnutrition in northern Mali (OCHA, 12/08/2014).
Explosive remnants of war have caused 101 casualties since early 2012 (OCHA, 30/06/2014).
Grave violations against children, from January 2012 to December 2013, including killings, sexual violence, and recruitment, were reported by the UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict in May. Violations were committed by armed groups active in the north, and to a lesser extent, by Malian armed forces and pro-government militias.
From January 2012 to December 2013, nearly 6,000 cases of violence affecting women and girls were identified: 532 cases of sexual violence, 521 cases of physical aggression, 827 cases of psycho-social violence, 1,201 cases of denial of resources, and 1,233 cases of violence related to traditional practices, such as forced marriage or FGM (Protection Gender Based Violence Subcluster, OCHA).
Niger Country Analysis
21 August: At least 12 people have been killed and more than 36,000 made homeless due to flooding caused by heavy seasonal rainfall (AFP).
- Acute food insecurity in large parts of the country: certain poor households will reach Crisis (IPC Phase 3), particularly in Ouallam, between July and September (FEWSNET, 07/2014). An estimated 4.3 million people are chronically food insecure, compared to 2.9 million in 2013.
- 1.6 million acutely malnourished children, 356,320 of whom are severely malnourished. 13.3% GAM among children 6–59 months (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
- 121,500 people have fled to Niger: 50,000 from Mali (UNHCR, 19/06/2014) and 71,500 from Nigeria (OCHA, 18/07/2014 and IRC 08/08/2014).
- Niger is affected by a cholera epidemic, reportedly linked to the one in neighbouring Nigeria. Since January, 281 cases and ten deaths have been recorded (UNICEF, 31/07/2014).
Niger is affected by instability in neighbouring Mali and Nigeria. Spillover from Nigeria's Islamist uprising is threatening Niger’s security: a growing number of incidents has been recorded, including the seizure of arms and arrest of militants.
France announced mid-July that some 3,000 French troops will operate counterterrorist operations in the Sahel region in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Chad across the Sahel region (Reuters, 18/07/2014). Based in Chad, the new counterterrorism operation, Barkhane, will replace the current Serval operation (RFI, 18/07/2014).
On 8 February, 36 parties mobilised 18,000 people to rally in the capital Niamey in support of President Issoufou. Thousands of protestors from the opposition coalition Alliance for the Republic, Democracy, and Reconciliation had taken to the streets on 28 December 2013 over the failure of the Government to improve living standards. The protest took place after a ban on opposition demonstrations was lifted in November.
In August 2013, President Issoufou appointed a national unity government in an attempt to reinforce political stability, address regional security threats, and deal with corruption, impunity, and demographic and economic challenges.
IInsecurity has been rising in Niger and across the region due to a series of crises in Libya, Mali, and Nigeria. Terrorist threats from Boko Haram, Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, and the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa are all of concern.
A number of incidents, including an attempted kidnapping of officials, and the seizure of arms and arrests of militants, suggest that Boko Haram may be using southeast Niger both as a base and a potential target, according to Reuters.
Niger is also facing increasing communal tensions connected to the Tuareg insurgency. Divided along lines of class, clan, and generation, some Tuareg are integrated into the administration. However, others have been waging a low-level war in an attempt to achieve greater autonomy for the north.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
At least 12 people have been killed and more than 36,000 made homeless due to flooding caused by heavy seasonal rainfall as of 21 August (AFP, 23/08/2014). Niamey, Tillabery, and Dosso are among the most affected regions (AFP, 12/08/2014).
As of mid-July, an estimated 120,000 people have sought refuge in Niger following crises in Mali and Nigeria (OCHA, 17/07/2014).
4,893 people arrived in north Tahoua in June, fleeing armed groups and insecurity in Mali. 1,062 have already relocated to the Intikane area and 3,831 are currently in Agando, 15km from the border (UNHCR 14/07/2014).
50,000 Malian refugees are in Niger (UNHCR, 19/06/2014). 80% were women and children according to March figures. Most live in three camps established in Tillabery region in 2012: Abala, Mangaize, and Tabareybarey. In 2013, in an attempt to adapt to the specific needs of nomadic refugees, two refugee hosting areas were established in Intikane and Tazalit, Tahoua.
On 3 May, Mali, Niger, and UNHCR signed a tripartite agreement on the voluntary repatriation of Malian refugees, although the situation in northern Mali is not yet favourable for the promotion of massive returns. UNHCR said it will work with both Governments in seeking durable solutions for the refugees.
Returnees from Mali constitute 14% (around 5,700 people) of the 40,800 returnees in Niger (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
71,520 refugees and returnees have fled violence in Nigeria’s Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states (IRC, 08/08/2014). In July, 78% were returnees and 22% refugees (OCHA, 21/07/2014). An estimated 22,400 people crossed into Diffa region between January and late May (UNHCR and IRC). The numbers have grown significantly from 37,000 in September 2013, and 6,400 in July 2013.
235 new arrivals were registered in Diffa 25-31 July, compared to 335 the previous week (OCHA, 10/08/2014). Internal displacement within the region is increasing, driven by people’s search for means of subsistence and pasture (OCHA, 26/07/2014).
The displaced are in a critical situation, and have food, water, health, and shelter needs. The majority of refugees are women and children living with host families who have limited food and water resources in Bosso, Abadam, Main Soroa, Diffa, Kablewa, Tchoukoudjani, Garin Amadou, and Baroua. Diffa has long been facing serious gaps in the provision of food staples, healthcare and potable water for more than half a million inhabitants. The refugee influx has further aggravated this situation (IFRC, 08/08/2014).
The Government has reportedly been slow in giving the newly arrived Nigerians refugee status, despite a December decree granting refugee status to people fleeing the states under a state of emergency in Nigeria.
CAR Crisis: Returnees
Since December 2013, 1,160 Niger nationals have been repatriated from CAR by IOM in coordination with the Government of Niger.
Acute food insecurity will reach Crisis level (IPC Phase 3) for certain poor households, particularly in Ouallam, between July and September, due to below-average harvest stocks, poor pastoral conditions, and unusually high market prices for staple foods (FEWSNET, 07/2014).
Almost 161,200 people, including 71,500 Nigerian refugees and 89,700 people from host communities, are suffering from food insecurity in Diffa region (OCHA, 10/08/2014). Diffa is vulnerable to flooding and drought.
4.3 million people are estimated to be chronically food insecure, compared to 2.9 million in 2013 (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
In March 2014, more than 25 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal), suffered from food insecurity (FAO, 03/04/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
The agricultural season this year has developed earlier compared to last season and average years (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014). The lean season has begun for the majority of rural households in the Sahel (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
Disruptions in rainfall have destroyed seedlings in some areas, and farmers face serious challenges accessing seed. In N’Guigmi department, Diffa region, not a single village was able to sow seeds. Only 41% of villages in Diffa (250 of 606) had sown seeds by the end of July (OCHA, 26/07/2014).
In the north, livestock are in a poor physical condition due to the lack of pasture, resulting in a drastic drop in market prices for small animals (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
Boko Haram-related market disruptions have restrained trade flows towards Diffa and increased marketing costs. Trade flows from Nigeria toward Maradi and Konni are at normal levels (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014)
Health and Nutrition
As of 31 July, 281 cholera cases have been registered in 2014, including ten deaths, representing a fatality rate of 3.6%, significantly lower than during the same period of 2013, when 592 cases were reported (UNICEF 31/07/2014).
HIV rates in the Lake Chad basin (Diffa region) stand at 10%.
Around 1.6 million children are acutely malnourished in Niger; 356,320 of them are severely malnourished. GAM among children 6–59 months is at 13.3% nationwide, and exceeds the 15% emergency threshold in Maradi region (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
In mid-July, malnutrition had increased in Maine and Nguigmi in Diffa region (OCHA, 21/07/2014). In April, GAM was at critical levels in the regions of Agadez (14.0%), Tahoua (13.1%), Tillabery (13.3%), and Diffa (12.3%), according to OCHA.
48% of the population do not have access to safe drinking water (OCHA, 17/07/2014).
Nigeria Country Analysis
24 August: Boko Haram (BH) has declared an Islamic caliphate in the town of Gwoza, Borno state, the biggest town under BH’s control, which the insurgents took over on 6 August (Al Jazeera, 25/08/2014).
24 August: At least 35 police officers deployed to a police training academy outside Gwoza, have gone missing after BH attacked the academy (Al Jazeera, 24/08/2014).
23 August: BH seized Madagali local government area in Adawama state (Sahara Reporters, 23/08/2014).
21 August: 16 cases of Ebola have been reported in Nigeria, with five fatalities (Government, 26/08/2014). On 24 August, striking public sector doctors in Nigeria announced they would suspend a nearly two-month strike to help combat the Ebola outbreak (AFP, 24/08/2014).
- 15.5 million people are directly affected by violence in the northeast (OCHA, 06/2014).
- 4.2 million are food insecure and Crisis levels of food insecurity are expected in the state of emergency (SoE) states (UNICEF, 06/2014).
- There are 705,000 IDPs country-wide due to the insurgency in the three SoE states (OCHA, 07/2014).
- The Boko Haram insurgency killed at least 2,053 civilians in an estimated 95 attacks during the first half of 2014 (HRW, 15/07/2014).
- 1.74 million children are acutely malnourished (UNICEF and OCHA, 03/2014).
- Nearly half the population does not have access to safe water (UNICEF).
- 23,765 cholera cases have been reported so far in 2014: lack of WASH and the consequences of violence in the northeast are increasing concern about the outbreak (WHO, 06/2014).
- As of 26 August, 16 cases of Ebola were reported in Nigeria, with five fatalities from the disease (Government, 26/08/2014).
Up to 9.5 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance across the country. Displaced and people otherwise affected by violence in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe, and neighbouring Bauchi, Taraba, and Gombe states are in urgent need of health services, protection, food, and water. The violence has displaced a large number of people, restricted movement, disrupted food supply, seriously hindered access to basic services, and limited agricultural activities.
A state of emergency was declared in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states in May 2013 and the International Criminal Court qualified the conflict between Boko Haram and the Government as a civil war in November 2013. Economic decline, growing inequality, and failure to contain Boko Haram have all contributed to growing public distrust in the Government.
According to his opposition, President Jonathan’s re-election would violate the unwritten rule that governance should rotate between the Muslim north and the Christian south every two terms. On 3 February, Nigeria’s former Vice President Abubakar left the ruling People’s Democratic Party to join the All Progressives Congress (APC) opposition party, stating he believed in a two-party political system for Nigeria.
On 17 February, the Governance, Transparency, and Integrity Working Group of the United States–Nigeria Binational Commission met to support the establishment of benchmarks for transparent and inclusive elections.
The Boko Haram insurgency killed at least 2,053 civilians in an estimated 95 attacks during the first half of 2014 (HRW, 15/07/2014). At least 6,000 people were killed in insurgent attacks between 2013 and June 2014 (ACLED and OCHA, 01/07/2014).
The frequency and fatality of attacks are currently at their highest levels since the state of emergency (SoE) was imposed. Common targets remain the vast rural communities, schools, and highways that connect the northeastern towns to each other.
Due to the significant increase in violent attacks, the International Criminal Court declared the conflict between government forces and Boko Haram (BH) a civil war in November 2013. The insurgency is being fuelled by the high proliferation of small arms, and support from international terror groups (OCHA, 05/2014).
In May, the UN identified 15 states as potential hot spots for political-related violence for 2015 elections, with likely humanitarian implications (OCHA, 05/2014).
International and Regional Involvement
On 22 May, the UN Security Council’s Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee approved the addition of BH to its list of individuals and entities subject to targeted financial sanctions and an arms embargo.
On 17 May, President Jonathan and his counterparts from Benin, Cameroon, Chad, and Niger approved an action plan to counter BH.
According to UNHCR, the influx of Nigerian refugees and the spill-over of violence is creating cross-border tensions with Niger. In November 2013, Niger and Nigeria established a Joint Border Patrol Command.
Founded in Maiduguri, Borno state, BH has been leading an insurgency to create an Islamic state in the predominantly Muslim regions of northern Nigeria. The Nigerian authorities have been fighting BH since 2009, and in May 2013, BH took control of part of Borno state. On 24 August, Boko Haram declared an Islamic caliphate in the town of Gwoza, the biggest town under BH’s control (Al Jazeera, 25/08/2014).
Boko Haram has grown stronger, secured powerful new weapons, and refreshed its ranks with new conscripts, but military failures are largely to blame for the worsening crisis, according to multiple sources. In August, in apparent mutiny, Nigerian soldiers refused to deploy to Gwoza without better weapons (AFP, 22/08/2014).
Since April 2013, attempts by military forces to engage with BH militants have resulted in excessive use of force and large-scale destruction in civilian areas. Amnesty International has reported a mass extrajudicial execution of 16 men near Maiduguri, the Borno state capital, in March, and another incident in Kaduna state in July (Washington Post, 05/08/2014).
The state of emergency (SoE) declared in mid-May 2013 in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe was extended for an additional six months on 20 May 2014 to facilitate counter-insurgency activities. On 23 February, it was confirmed that Nigeria had closed its northern border with Cameroon – from northern Borno state, by Lake Chad, to the southern end of Adamawa state – to block the movement of BH.
However, the state of emergency is feared to have strengthened the recruitment base of Boko Haram. Concern persists about the military’s failure to end the insurgency. Civilians have formed vigilante groups or self-defence militias, reportedly with the tacit backing of the Nigerian Government. As a result, BH has expanded its initial military and security targets to include Christians, Muslims, students, politicians, and others opposing BH’s ambition to impose Islamic law.
So far, Boko Haram has dismissed the possibility of participating in a peace resolution committee to frame potential peace talks.
Borno state: Boko Haram (BH) took the town of Gwoza on 6 August (Al Jazeera, 25/08/2014). At least 35 police officers deployed to a training academy outside of Gwoza have since gone missing (Al Jazeera, 24/08/2014). BH has been making advances across the state (OCHA, 16/07/2014). In Marte district, BH gunmen attacked the villages of Durwa and Maforo on 17 August, killing ten civilians (Sahara Reporters, 18/08/2014). A police station and military camp in nearbly Krenuwa village had been attacked in early July (AFP, 07/07/2014).
On 10 August, BH kidnapped scores of people from fishing communities, taking some by boat across Lake Chad. Several people were also reportedly killed in the raids on a number of villages in Kukawa local government area, a Boko Haram stronghold (AFP, 15/08/2014).
On 7 August, the Nigerian military recaptured the town of Damboa from BH, who had taken it on 21 July, and some 15,000 people were displaced (Sahara Reporters, 07/08/2014).
On 4 August, Boko Haram insurgents reportedly attacked five churches in Hawal local government area (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
On 14 July, insurgents attacked Dille village. Over 500 people forced to flee into nearby hills (OCHA, 16/07/2014).
On 1 July, at least 18 people were killed in an explosion at a market in Maiduguri. No group claimed responsibility, but Maiduguri is at the centre of BH’s campaign (Al Jazeera).
In June, at least 265 people were killed: suspected BH stormed church services and raided villages near Chibok and in Gwoza district, and stormed a market in Daku. Suspected BH abducted up to 30 women from nomadic settlements near Chibok. In May, attacks on military and police, and clashes between soldiers and BH, led to over 80 deaths. At least 374 people were killed in attacks on several villages and the town of Gamboru Ngala. Eight girls aged between 12 and 15 were kidnapped from Warabe village. In April, suspected BH attacks on villages, a teacher training college, and a state oil company facility killed some 210 people. In March, around 80 people were killed in attacks in Maga, Maiduguri, and Nguro-Soye.
Yobe state: BH fighters have reportedly taken control of the towns of Buni Yadi, Buni Gari and Goniri, all in Gujba local government area (Sahara Reporters, 10/08/2014).
On 29 July, suspected BH suicide bombers attacked two mosques, killing at least six people and injuring several others. The first explosion hit a Shi’ite in the town of Potiskum and the second hit the town of Anguwar Bolawa (AFP, 29/07/2014).
On 18 June, at least 21 people were killed in an explosion that targeted a sports-screening venue in Damaturu.
Adamawa state: On 23 August, BH seized Madagali local government area (Sahara Reporters, 23/08/2014).
On 1 June, at least 40 people were killed in a bomb blast targeting a football match in the town of Mubi. On 25 May, suspected BH gunmen killed 20 people when storming Waga, a Christian village.
Bauchi state: An explosion in Bauchi on 28 June killed 10 people and injured 14 others (AFP).
Gombe state: On 9 June, a suicide bomber killed at least one soldier outside an army barracks. On 5 June, four people were killed when a car exploded near the residence of Gombe state governor. No one has claimed responsibility for either incident.
Kaduna state: On 23 July, two bombings in Kaduna targeting a prominent cleric and a former head of state killed at least 82 people (Reuters, 23/07/2014).
Kano state: The town of Buni Yadi has reportedly fallen to BH, after the rebels began attacking the town in July (AFP, 21/08/2014).
On 31 July, a ten year-old suicide bomber attacked a school in Kano, killing three and injuring seven (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
On 30 July, a suicide bomber killed six people at a college campus in Kano city. The attack came as the government announced the arrest of a 10-year-old girl with explosives strapped to her chest in a neighbouring area (AFP, 30/07/2014).
On 28 July, two suicide bombers killed three people and injured 13 in Kano city (AFP, 28/07/2014). A day earlier, at least five people were killed and eight injured in a bomb attack on a church. Celebrations to mark the end of Ramadan were cancelled after the attacks were blamed on BH (AFP, 27/07/2014). On 24 July, at least one person was killed and eight injured by an explosion at a bus station in the predominantly Christian Sabon Gari neighbourhood of Kano, which had previously been targeted by BH (AFP, 24/07/2014).
A bomb blast at a public health college in Kano killed at least eight people on 23 June. On 18 May, a car bomb in a Christian neighbourhood killed at least four and wounding five others. This was the first attack in Kano for several months.
Plateau state: On 11 June, at least eight people, including three security officers, were killed when gunmen raided three villages. On 26 May, gunmen killed four Nigerian soldiers in an ambush on a military patrol. It was not confirmed that this was BH, but BH had been active in the state, setting off twin car bombs at a crowded bus terminal and market in Jos a week earlier, killing 118 people.
Abuja: On 26 June, an explosion hit a crowded shopping centre, killing 24 people and wounding dozens more. On 1 May, a car bomb attack killed at least 19 people and injured 30 at the Nyanya bus station on the outskirts of Abuja. On 14 April, a morning rush-hour bomb in the same place killed at least 75 people and injured 141. It was the first attack in two years and the deadliest ever on Nigeria's capital. BH’s leader claimed responsibility.
Lagos: On 25 June, two explosions at a fuel depot in Lagos killed two people. These were the first recorded Boko Haram attacks in the city (Reuters, 13/07/2014).
On 4 August, state authorities reported that inter-communal violence in Taraba state left 40 people killed and over 3,500 displaced (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
On 15 April, Human Rights Watch said inter-communal violence had escalated across five states in central Nigeria (Benue, Kaduna, Plateau, Nasarawa, and Taraba) since December 2013, killing more than 1,000 people. The Middle Belt area is home to a number of minority groups, divided between the Islamic north and the more secular Christian/animist south. Thousands have been killed since the early 1990s in competition mainly for land and water.
In the Niger Delta region, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta has threatened to sabotage and end Nigerian oil production by 2015. It is the largest militant organisation within the Niger Delta region, made up of several armed groups.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
An estimated 15.5 million people living in the six northeastern states of Borno, Yobe, Adamawa, Taraba, Gombe, and Bauchi are directly affected by violence (OCHA, 02/06/2014).
Attacks on health facilities, water points, and farms have severely affected local communities, particularly in Borno and Yobe (UNICEF, 18/06/2014). Populations are in urgent need of protection, food, and basic medical and WASH services in a context of limited humanitarian presence (OCHA, 01/07/2014).
Humanitarian access in the northeast is impeded by insecurity, poor infrastructure, and limited openings for dialogue with both security forces and non-state actors (OCHA, 05/2014). Most international actors have withdrawn from the SoE states.
BH insurgents are suspected to have blown up a major bridge in Gamboru Ngala district, Borno state, disrupting transport links with Cameroon (BBC, 27/07/2014).
All roads leading to and from state capital Maiduguri are subject to attack. All commercial flights to Maiduguri remain suspended. There are no government restrictions on travel to Borno state, however, there are protocols to ensure safety (OCHA, 07/2014).
In July, there were 705,000 IDPs country-wide, including 646,700 in the three SoE states (OCHA, 07/2014). Early July, the most affected state was Borno, with some 257,700 IDPs, 100,000 of whom were displaced in the capital, Maiduguri. Adamawa and Yobe states respectively hosted 102,560 and 76,360 IDPs (UNHCR and OCHA, 01/07/2014).
Counter-insurgency efforts to recapture the Borno towns of Gwoza and Damboa displaced at least 10,000 people, who fled to Madagali in neighbouring Adamawa state, or across the border into Cameroon.
As of 21 August, NEMA reported that 11,442 IDPs from Gwoza in Borno state had been registered at two facilities for displaced people in neighbouring Adamawa state (AFP, 21/08/2014). Many Gwoza residents had been trapped in the hilltops without food or water (OCHA, 13/08/2014).
Over 17–20 July, 15,200 people were displaced by a BH assault in Damboa, Borno state. 10,200 fled to Biu, 3,000 to Maiduguri, and 2,000 to Goniri (NEMA cited by AFP, 21/07/2014).
268,200 are displaced in surrounding states including Taraba (108,500), Bauchi (88,570), Benue (37,000), Kaduna (15,000), Gombe (13,000), and Nasarawa (6,340). There are about 200 host communities in the country (UNHCR and OCHA, 01/07/2014).
Most IDP households are headed by women who have been widowed during attacks. Most IDPs reside with families in poor host communities, overstretching already scarce resources and aggravating poverty levels, including food and nutrition insecurity (OCHA, 06/2014).
Middle Belt: The National Emergency Management Agency said it has established 11 camps for approximately 100,000 IDPs affected by inter-communal conflict between herdsmen and farmers. The camps are reportedly getting overcrowded.
According to UNHCR, over 57,000 people have sought refuge in neighbouring Cameroon, Niger, and Chad since the declaration of the state of emergency in May 2013. Temporary refugee status has been granted to those Nigerians fleeing the three states under a SoE. UNHCR has advised against forced returns to northern areas.
Niger: Some 71,520 Nigerian refugees and returning migrants are in Niger (OCHA, 10/08/2014). There are approximately 1,000 new arrivals every week. 4,400 people entered the country in the first three weeks of May. Concentrated in the Diffa region, most refugees are staying with local communities, and food and water resources are limited (UNHCR, 15/06/2014).
Cameroon: Around 24,200 Nigerian refugees are in northern Cameroon, with about 3,000 Nigerian refugees in Minawao refugee camp, 130km east of the border. Many Nigerian refugees prefer to stay near the border in order to better monitor the situation in Nigeria (UNICEF, 30/06/2014). Aid and infrastructure projects in the Far North region have been suspended due to high levels of insecurity (AlertNet, 08/07/2014).
Chad: Another 1,000 Nigerians arrived on the uninhabited Choua Island in Chad on 31 July, reportedly having fled BH violence, from Kolikolia village in Borno state (UNHCR, 06/08/2014). Since 2009, 4,000 Nigerian refugees have arrived in Chad (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
About 4.2 million Nigerians are food insecure and Crisis levels of food insecurity are expected in the SoE states (UNICEF, 06/2014).
Niger state, in the northwest, will face Stressed food insecurity through September. It was severely impacted by dry spells during the previous cultivation season, and households are affected by a second year of below-average production. Their relatively high dependency on market purchase is tempered by atypically stable prices compared to previous months, and early green harvests. However, this will not completely off-set increased needs for purchase (FEWSNET, 06/2014).
Monthly coarse grain prices remained stable or declined slightly in wholesale markets due to good production and supply. In May, there was a slowdown in maize exports to markets in Niger.
The main harvest, which will begin in October for much of the country, is expected to be at least average for most (FEWSNET, 08/2014).
State of Emergency States
In Borno, Yobe and northern Adamawa states, Crisis levels of food insecurity will persist until December, despite the main harvest beginning in October. About one million people are expected to remain in crisis in the areas worst affected by the conflict, while two million in other parts of the SoE will experience Stressed levels of food insecurity (FEWSNET, 08/2014).
Access to households whose livelihoods and markets are significantly impacted by the conflict remains limited for the Government and humanitarian organisations (FEWSNET, 08/2014). Food access and cross-border markets in border communities have been further impacted by insecurity, particularly the destruction of bridges to neighbouring Cameroon (OCHA, 06/2014). The 2013/14 agricultural season has been severely impeded, and conflict is limiting off-season livelihood activities and household incomes from seasonal labour.
Households in southern Borno and Yobe states, northeastern Adamawa state, and the Lake Chad region are most affected by the conflict.
Households in northern Borno and Yobe states are expected to face fewer impacts to their cropping season, but harvests will still be significantly below average. The harvest in October is expected to improve household food access and food insecurity will be Stressed until December in these areas (FEWSNET, 08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Healthcare services have collapsed in the northern part of Nigeria’s Borno state as doctors, nurses and pharmacists have fled the violence (OCHA, 19/08/2014).
As of March, a multi-sector assessment covering the three SoE states – Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe,– indicated that only 37% of health facilities are functioning, leaving residents to seek medical attention across the border. Mortality rates are increasing and vaccination programmes are severely hit. Polio vaccination campaigns are now limited to the Maiduguri metropolis.
As of 5 August, an outbreak of cholera in two IDP sites - hosting 10,000 IDPs - in Biu, Borno, has infected 1,343 persons and killed 27 (OCHA, 05/08/2014). The lack of WASH infrastructure, the impact of conflict, and the lack of reliable epidemiological data from the SoE states, all give rise to serious concerns about the evolution of the outbreak.
Since the beginning of the year, 23,765 cholera cases and 288 deaths (1.3% case fatality rate) have been reported from 113 local government areas (LGAs) in 36 states (WHO, 22/06/2014). Bauchi, Kaduna, Kano, and Zamfara states account for about 92% of reported cases. Only 11 cases and one death were reported within the same period in 2013. In 2013, 6,600 cases and 229 deaths were reported (WHO).
According to Médecins Sans Frontières, the outbreak that began in January in Bauchi state is now over. More than 15,500 cases were reported (MSF, 16/07/2014).
There is growing concern that the cholera situation in Kebbi, Kano and Zamfara states, which account for most of the new outbreaks, could overwhelm existing healthcare capacities (OCHA, 07/2014). Cholera in Kano state has killed six people out of 46 cases recorded, according to the state health commissioner, although a local charity said that at least 16 people had died (AFP, 20/07/2014).
Rapid action is needed in order to contain the epidemic and to prevent its spread to Niger's Diffa region, to Chad and Cameroon (ECHO, 25/06/2014). WASH experts underline that there is a high risk of a large cross-border cholera outbreak in the states bordering Lake Chad, given the occurrence of previous outbreaks in this area, the caseload during an inter-epidemic period, and the precarious security situation.
As of 26 August, 16 cases of Ebola were reported in Nigeria, with five fatalities from the disease (Government, 26/08/2014).
On 24 August, striking public sector doctors in Nigeria said they would suspend a nearly two-month strike to help combat the Ebola outbreak (AFP, 24/08/2014). Authorities in Lagos had said they needed volunteers because of a shortage of medical staff (AFP, 09/08/2014). On 25 July, the country confirmed that Ebola caused the death of a Liberian national who died in quarantine in Lagos, the largest city in sub-Saharan Africa.
On 18 August, a Cameroonian government spokesman reportedly announced that all borders between Cameroon and Nigeria had been closed in order to prevent the spread of Ebola (Sahara Reporters, 18/08/2014).
As of 15 June, 763 suspected Lassa fever cases, including 24 deaths, have been reported in 11 states in 2014 (WHO, 15/06/2014). Lassa fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic fever, endemic in West African countries, with 300,000–500,000 cases and 5,000 deaths reported annually.
A February–May SMART survey has revealed poorer nutritional status among the population of the SoE states (UNICEF, 06/2014). As this is the second year the region is facing food consumption gaps and the closure of several health facilities has limited access to essential health and nutrition services, it is possible that the prevalence of acute malnutrition could increase over the coming months (FEWSNET, 08/08/2014).
539,147 children under five suffer from severe acute malnutrition (OCHA, 19/08/2014). As of 30 January, 1.74 million were acutely malnourished in Nigeria (OCHA, 03/2014). Severe acute malnutrition is responsible for more than a third of all child deaths in Nigeria, which amount to 350,000 deaths from malnutrition every year (ECHO, 08/2014).
As of 1 June, WHO reported 1,042 cases of meningitis, with 79 deaths, reaching a threshold for alert.
Four new poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases were reported over 24–31 July. In 2014, more cases due to vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) have been reported (18 cases) than those due to wild poliovirus type 1 (five cases) (Global Polio Eradication Initiative). The most recent case was reported on 27 May in Kano state.
In 2013, 53 cases were reported, and in 2012, 102 (GPEI, UNICEF). 72% of cases in 2013 were recorded in Borno, Yobe, and Kano states, where insecurity is slowing the polio immunisation campaign.
According to reports from UNICEF, nearly half the Nigerian population does not have access to safe water, and a third does not have access to sanitation services.
Education has been severely affected by the BH insurgency. One in every three primary school children and one in every four secondary school children are out of school in the northeast. 10.5 million children are out of school in Nigeria, 60% in the northern part of the country (UNICEF cited by OCHA, 07/2014).
The Government has noted that the abduction of the girls from Chibok, Borno state has impacted negatively on its efforts and strategies to promote education of girls. According to the Borno state Ministry of Education, over 250,000 school-aged children are out of school due to the insurgency. The majority are girls from poor households (UNICEF cited by OCHA, 07/2014).
Borno state authorities announced that 900 schools have been destroyed and 176 teachers killed by Boko Haram in Borno state since 2011 (UNICEF cited by OCHA, 07/2014).
Nonetheless, kidnappings of groups of women and girls by BH continue, and more than 200 schoolgirls are still being held captive (OCHA, 01/07/2014).
There is a high prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) across the northeast, even though occurrences are not regularly reported. There is an urgent need for emergency protection, including psychosocial support for unaccompanied and separated children (OCHA, 06/2014).
Human rights groups have criticised both BH and Nigeria's military for failing to protect civilians.
Maintaining the civilian nature of places of asylum or displacement is of concern. The Government lacks the capacity to ensure the protection of basic human rights for refugees and IDPs.
Occupied Palestinian Territories Country Analysis
25 August: Since the collapse of the truce on 19 August, 109 Palestinians have been killed in more than 350 Israeli air strikes across Gaza (AFP).
25 August: 475,000 people, more than a quarter of Gaza’s population, are now displaced (OCHA).
22 August: Hamas publicly executed 18 alleged collaborators in Gaza City (AFP).
20 August: Gaza fishing zone was announced as “no-go zone” by Israeli Authority; it had been partially expanded on 17 August (Food Security Cluster).
- 1.81 million people need humanitarian assistance (OCHA).
- 1.6 million people, or 61% of the population, estimated food insecure (OCHA, 30/04/2014).
- 1.5 million people in the Gaza Strip have no or extremely restricted access to water (OCHA, 03/08/2014).
- An estimated 315,000 Palestinians are vulnerable to violence, including 130,000 people considered at high risk (OCHA).
- Continuity of medical care is threatened by the financial crisis and electricity shortages in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip (OCHA).
- The ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip limits access and movement of both people and goods.
Protection of the civilian population, improvement of food insecurity, provision of access to basic services, and prevention of forced displacement are the highest priorities among Palestinians in need. Longstanding protection threats include severe movement and access restrictions. The number of attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank has increased every year for the past eight years, and attacks by Israeli security forces have also increased.
On 2 June, a new Palestinian Unity Government, made of members of both Fatah and Hamas, was sworn in before President Abbas, ending seven years of division (AFP; UN, 02/06/2014).
Israeli–Palestinian Peace Talks
Israel withdrew from the US-sponsored peace talks on 25 April, after the deal between Hamas and Fatah. Talks had begun in July 2013 after three years of deadlock. The US is trying to broker a framework of guidelines addressing core issues. Palestinians want to create a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with East Jerusalem as its capital, and are seeking a written framework agreement. Israel is reportedly looking for a less rigid deal.
Gaza: Operation Protective Edge
Israel launched Operation Protective Edge on 8 July, striking Gaza with intensive aerial bombing, aimed at ending cross-border rocket fire. 2,076 people have been reported killed since the start of the operation, including 1,454 civilians, of whom 491 are children. 10,224 Palestinians, including 3,106 children, have been injured. Preliminary estimates indicate that up to 1,000 injured children will have a permanent disability. On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers, and three civilians, as well as one foreign national, have been killed (OCHA, 25/08/2014).
Over 485,000 people have been displaced, almost a third of the population of the Gaza Strip.
A truce between Israel and Hamas, which begun on 9 August and extended until 19 August, expired after no progress had been made in negotiations in Cairo. Fighting resumed hours before the truce was set to expire. Efforts to achieve a renewal of the truce are ongoing (AFP, 25/08/2014).
Since 19 August, 109 Palestinians have been killed in more than 350 Israeli air strikes. Over the same period, more than 650 rockets have struck Israeli territory, one of which killed a four-year-old boy in a kibbutz neighbouring the Gaza strip. Around 110 rockets were shot down (AFP, 25/08/2014).
Twelve Palestinian journalists and one media worker have been killed since 8 July, seven of them in connection with their work (RsF, 05/08/2014).
Earlier Conflict Incidents
Prior to the current crisis, the number of violent incidents in and around Gaza had already been rising. Israeli raids, Palestinian rocket attacks, and border incidents built up tensions between Israel and Hamas, leading to a significant escalation of violent incidents in the Gaza Strip between 11 and 14 March. Israel launched a series airstrikes on Gaza in June, and rockets were fired at Israel.
West Bank and East Jerusalem
Palestinian lawmakers have accused Israel of an anti-democratic crackdown, with dozens of elected officials detained, placed under investigation, or restricted in their movements. Of the 84 MPs elected to the Palestinian parliament from the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2006, 36 are in Israeli jails, two-thirds of them under administrative detention (Reuters, 22/08/2014).
On 22 August, a 14-year-old Palestinian died in the northern West Bank of wounds sustained in clashes during a protest against the Gaza war (AFP, 25/08/2014).
Between 12 and 18 August, 139 Palestinians were injured, bringing the total to 2,139, including 322 children, since the Gaza military operation began (OCHA, 23/08/2014). 19 people, including two children, have been killed since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge. As of 18 August, 38 people have been killed and 3,995 injured by Israeli forces in 2014.
The use of live ammunition by Israeli forces continues to rise, accounting for at least 45% of all injuries 21 July–4 August. Other injuries have been caused by (metal-coated) rubber bullets or tear gas inhalation (OCHA, 04/08/2014). Reports of Israeli settler attempts to kidnap Palestinian children have been growing over the past two months, particularly in East Jerusalem (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
An upward trend in clashes and casualties throughout the West Bank has been ongoing since the end of April. In May, 110 Palestinian communities, with a combined population of over 315,000 people, were estimated to be vulnerable to violence from conflict; almost 60 of these communities, over 130,000 people, are at high risk (OCHA, 05/2014).
In the West Bank, in 2014, there have been 237 incidents of settler-related violence resulting in Palestinian casualties or property damage and 71 incidents which resulted in Israeli casualties or property damage. The demolition of 332 structures has displaced 584 people this year, including 117 in East Jerusalem (OCHA, 23/08/2014).
On 10 August in Al Fawwar camp, Hebron, an 11-year-old boy was shot in the back and killed. According to eyewitnesses, the incident occurred as Israeli forces were leaving the camp after a search and arrest operation, and no stone throwing or clashes were occurring at the time (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Restrictions on Palestinian access to Al Aqsa Mosque continue, in conjunction with a rise in the number of incidents of settlers and other Israeli groups entering the compound under the protection of Israeli forces. On five different days over 16–23 August, Israeli authorities restricted the access of Palestinians, including Jerusalem ID holders, to men over 50, while women were not allowed to enter between the early morning and noon. On the same days, Israeli settlers and other Israeli groups, protected by Israeli forces, entered and toured the compound (OCHA, 23/08/2014).
On 4 August, one Israeli was killed and five injured when a Palestinian rammed a bulldozer into a bus before being shot dead by the police. Shortly afterwards, an Israel Defence Forces (IDF) soldier was seriously wounded in a drive-by shooting in a nearby neighbourhood. (AFP, 05/08/2014).
The number of attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank has increased every year for the past eight years, from 115 in 2006 to 399 in 2013 (OCHA). In 2013, over 7,000 Palestinians, 342 settlers, and 37 soldiers were injured, and 10 Palestinians and 29 settlers were killed.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Nine UNRWA staff members have been killed since 20 July (UNRWA, 03/08/2014).
Israel closed the Erez crossing after it came under rocket fire from Gaza, wounding four people. The crossing is used by aid workers, journalists, and Palestinians with Israeli permits (BBC, 24/08/2014).
Israel subsequently launched rockets onto Rafah Crossing, the only link between Egypt and the Gaza strip and the primary entry and exit point for Palestinians (Kuwait News Agency, 25/08/2014). Egypt has repeatedly shut the Rafah Crossing over the past year (The Jerusalem Post 15/08/2014). Egyptian mediators have reportedly proposed a new ceasefire deal that would see Gaza's crossings opened (BBC, 25/08/2014).
On 13 August, 198 metric tons of gas, 244,000 litres of benzine and 353,000 litres of transport fuel were imported into Gaza through Israeli crossings (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Between the West Bank and Israel, cargo bottlenecks are causing delays at Beituniya and Tarqumia crossings, and unpredictable prioritisation procedures are impeding operations (OCHA, 11/08/2014).
Critical infrastructure has been targeted directly during the military offensive. Gaza’s sole power plant is still not functioning after being targeted in an Israeli airstrike on 29 July (11/08/2014). Repairs to three high-tension lines transferring electricity from Israel may reduce outages to 12 hours a day in the southern area, Khan Yunis and Gaza City. Together with limited supply from three lines from Egypt to the Rafah area, 30% of estimated demand in the Gaza Strip is now covered (OCHA, 11/08/2014; Gisha, 07/08/2014). Areas that sustained severe damage to the internal electricity grid, namely Gaza City, Beit Hanoun, Khuza’a and east of Rafah, continue to have very limited access to electricity.
475,000 people, more than a quarter of Gaza’s population, are now displaced. As of 24 August, 283,220 IDPs (up from 237,000 the previous week) were hosted in 85 designated UNRWA schools. Another 36,136 IDPs were hosted in seven government shelters supported by UNRWA and 13,729 IDPS in 17 government schools managed by the Ministry of Social Affairs. 140,895 IDPs residing with host families have been registered and reached by various partners. In addition, several thousand IDPs are taking shelter in public buildings and informal shelters (OCHA, 25/08/2014).
The number of IDPs in emergency shelters has been fluctuating following the developments in ceasefire negotiations. IDPs return to shelters to secure their places prior to the resumption of hostilities or, in other instances, because of general insecurity (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
An estimated 100,000 people will be displaced long-term due to destruction/severe damage to homes (OCHA 18/08/2014).
The entire population of Gaza, 1.8 million people, has been affected by the conflict and is in need of food and other assistance. 1.15 million people are reached by regular food assistance (Food Security Cluster, 15/08/2014). 415,000 of 730,000 people not usually reached by UNRWA/WFP food distribution have received food parcels (Food Security Cluster, 21/08/2014).
Electricity shortages have impacted bread production and refrigeration. Delays at crossings are complicating food delivery and have resulted in waste.
Vegetable prices have risen on average 45% compared to prices prior to the start of the violence (WFP, 12/08/2014). Prices of fresh fruit, vegetables, and eggs have all gone up, among other reasons due to the damage sustained by farms and agricultural lands (OCHA, 11/08/2014). Seasonally adjusted prices of imported rice and oil are higher by 17% and 25%, respectively. Gaza and West Bank markets are in crisis phase for rice. Food shortages are reported at some markets (Food Security Cluster, 02/08/2014). Nonetheless, oPt has negative headline inflation and food inflation rates (WFP, 31/07/2014).
Prior to the current crisis, food insecurity in Gaza stood at 57%, unchanged from 2012, while in the West Bank food insecurity remained at 19%. 1.6 million – a third of all households – were food insecure. Food insecurity is driven by poverty resulting from unemployment, as well as high food prices and economic shocks (UNRWA, FAO, WFP, Government, 12/08/2014).
Farmers’, breeders’ and fishermen’s livelihoods are heavily compromised (FAO/WFP, 20/07/2014). Losses to the farming sector are estimated at USD 450 million (Ministry of Agriculture cited by OCHA, 18/08/2014).
Around 55,000 head of livestock are in need of animal feed and water tanks. 1,000 poultry farmers and 220 egg farmers have lost their production capacity (Food Security Cluster, 14/08/2014). 123 hectares (1,230 dunum) of agricultural land have been damaged; 5.8 hectares (58 dunum) of greenhouses have been destroyed; 17 livestock farms have been damaged (FAO/WFP, 24/07/2014).
36 fishing boats have been damaged or destroyed. On 17 August, Israel partially lifted sea access restrictions, allowing fishermen to move three nautical miles (NM) from the Gaza shore. According to the Oslo Accords, the fishing areas allocated to Palestinian fishermen should extend to 20 NM off the Gaza coast (OCHA, 18/08/2014). On 20 August, Gaza fishing zone was again announced as a no-go zone (Food Security Cluster, 21/08/2014).
2,695 businesses have stopped operating due to hostilities, resulting in approximately 30,000 workers totally or partially losing their jobs. Some 350 businesses were damaged, with 126 destroyed and 234 partially damaged. Two-thirds of the damaged businesses were in Gaza city (OCHA, 18/08/2014).
Gaza’s economic situation continues to deteriorate, with livelihoods eroded and prices increasing. In November 2013, the EU reported that over 250,000 workers had lost their jobs. Unemployment hit a three-year high of 41.5% in the last quarter of 2013 (OCHA, 03/2014). Shortages of electricity and building materials are undermining livelihoods. 180 fuel stations have closed or severely limited operations (OCHA, 12/05/2014).
In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered requisition orders for around 12 dunum (1.2 hectares) of land planted with olive trees near the settlement of Ma’ale Shomron, in Qalqilya, for reasons of security (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
The public health system is on the verge of collapse. Facilities are overwhelmed and critical supplies of medicines and disposables are almost depleted. Hospitals and clinics have reported damage due to hostilities. The destruction of power supplies has left hospitals dependent on unreliable back-up generators (OCHA, 03/08/2014).
Since the beginning of Protective Edge, 15 of 32 hospitals have been damaged, and six are closed. Of 97 clinics monitored for damage and closures, 45 reported damage and 17 are closed (WHO, 21/08/2014). Al Aqsa hospital was again attacked on 30 July, causing major damage to the female medical department. An attack on 21 July had already left it working at just 50% of its capacity. The Gaza European Hospital reported that its water supplies have stopped; water trucking can only supply 50% of its needs (OCHA, 03/08/2014).
Access to maternity care is restricted for an estimated 45,000 pregnant women, of whom approximately 5,000 have been displaced (OCHA, 29/07/2014).
Prior to the current crisis, continuity of medical care was already threatened in both the West Bank and the Gaza Strip by the financial crisis and electricity shortages. 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). Problems with access through Rafah crossing to Egypt has resulted in a lack of drugs, especially for chemotherapy, and a lack of medical disposables (WHO, 30/04/2014).
373,000 children in the Gaza Strip are in need of direct and specialised psychosocial support (OCHA, 03/08/2014). The number of social workers and counsellors is insufficient to meet needs (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Lice, scabies, and diarrhoea have been reported, mostly among children, and in shelters (EWASH, 05/08/2014). An increase has been reported despite improved personal hygiene and the installation of showers (OCHA, 03/08/2014).
The Gaza Coastal Municipalities Water Utility (CMWU) reported that 40% of the population does not have access to running water. The rest of the population receives running water every 3-4 days on average. 63 water facilities have been damaged; of which 23 were completely destroyed. The network also suffered damage, including pipelines in cities as well as main lines transporting water and carrying away sewage (Gisha, 20/08/2014).
Access to running water and electricity improved in the past week due to repairs. Nonetheless, electricity is needed to pump water to homes. CMWU estimated that the cost to repair damage to water and sewage infrastructure in Gaza is upwards of USD 33 million.
Over 50% of water networks are estimated to be damaged in areas that experienced intense violence, such as Beit Hanoun. In Khuza’a, the demand for water is so high that tensions are developing around distribution points. As a consequence, tanker drivers have been unable to deliver in eastern Khan Yunis and Khuza’a (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
In early August, 90% of wells, waste water treatment plants, and desalination plants were inoperable due to power cuts and lack of fuel. Of 225 water wells, approximately 50 were damaged. Another 50 could operate, but only 30 functioned, due to a lack of electricity (Gisha, 04/08/2014; OCHA, 03/08/2014).
The population in Gaza depends on desalination plants, as municipal water pumped from wells and distributed through the network is saline and not potable. Over 90% of the water from the coastal aquifer is unfit for human consumption (EWASH, 05/08/2014). The desalination plant in Deir El Balah sustained damage during airstrikes and is still not operating (Al Jazeera, 10/08/2014).
Water and waste water lines are in need of urgent repair (OCHA, 11/08/2014). 90 million litres of untreated sewage flow into the Mediterranean per day due to entry restrictions of building material and fuel (EWASH, 05/08/2014).
16,792 housing units have been destroyed or severely damaged, rendering approximately 100,750 people homeless and in need of emergency shelter kits. An additional 5,635 housing units have suffered major damage but are in part still habitable. Another 33,625 houses have suffered minor damage and shelter NFIs are needed for repair (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
141 schools designated as emergency shelters (90 UNRWA and 51 government schools) have been affected by shelling due to their close proximity to targeted sites (OCHA, 03/08/3014).
500,000 Palestinian children are missing the start of the school year, which should have begun on 25 August (AFP, 24/08/2014).
The start of the new school year was delayed due to 25 schools having been destroyed or severely damaged. 230 schools (90 UNRWA and 140 government-run) have sustained some degree of damage (OCHA, 15/08/2014). Several buildings of the Islamic University in Gaza City sustained severe damage. All are in need of repair or reconstruction (Ministry of Education quoted by OCHA, 11/08/2014).Protection
Between 23 and 25 July, Israeli forces in Khuza’a, southern Gaza, fired on and killed civilians ordered to leave the area. Civilian structures were repeatedly shelled (Human Rights Watch, 04/08/2014).
Palestinian Bedouin families are at risk of forcible transfer, as Israeli authorities continue to make eviction and demolition orders from an area designated as a ‘closed military zone’.
Between 23 and 25 July, Israeli forces in Khuza’a, southern Gaza, fired on and killed civilians ordered to leave the area. Civilian structures were repeatedly shelled (Human Rights Watch, 04/08/2014).
Palestinian Bedouin families are at risk of forcible transfer, as Israeli authorities continue to make eviction and demolition orders from an area designated as a ‘closed military zone’.
Children continue to bear the brunt of the crisis, 491 have been killed and at least 3,106 injured, and 50,000 are homeless (OCHA, 25/08/2014; UNICEF 16/08/2014). Displaced children and families hosted by community members remain largely unreached by child protection interventions (OCHA, 03/08/2014).
Thousands of explosive remnants of war (ERW) are left in civilian areas affected by conflict, causing a major threat. UN premises have also been contaminated by ERW (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
31 August: Health workers have gone on strike at a major state-run Ebola treatment centre. They are protesting over pay and working conditions (international media).
29 August: Health Minister Miatta Kargbo was replaced by Dr Abubakarr Fofanah (international media).
- Between March and 26 August, more than 3,069 Ebola cases, including 1,552 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria (WHO, 28/08/2014).
- One million people are in need of humanitarian aid and 500,000 people are in potential dire need due to the knock-on effects of Ebola (UN, 26/08/2014).
- Women and children are not accessing basic health services, leading to an increase in non-Ebola related child morbidity and mortality (UNICEF, 26/08/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As most of the focus is on dealing with the epidemic, the crisis also generates serious derived effects, threatening the lives and livelihoods of potentially up to one million people. The Ebola Virus disease has a different impact on women and men and requires specific responsiveness to the crisis from a gender perspective notably (UN, 26/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Women and children are reportedly not accessing basic health services due to the Ebola outbreak, leading to an increase in non-Ebola related child morbidity and mortality (UNICEF, 26/08/2014).
An Ebola outbreak was declared in Sierra Leone in late May. Between 20 and 26 August, 116 new cases and 30 deaths were reported (WHO, 26/08/2014). As of 26 August, 1,026 Ebola cases, including 422 deaths, have been reported in Sierra Leone.
On 31 August, health workers went on strike at a major state-run Ebola treatment centre, protesting over pay and working conditions (international media, 30/08/2014). On 26 August, WHO temporarily withdrew its health workers from Kailahun post after one of them was infected with the virus (WHO, 26/08/2014).There are continued cases of affected people leaving treatment centres. Some infected people, including medical personnel, are disappearing with their families, leading to fear and tension in the communities and great uncertainty in the control of the disease. Health workers are refusing to work in isolation wards and Ebola treatment hospital (UNICEF, 26/08/2014).
There is a crucial need of equipment to deal with the outbreak: more than three million gloves are lacking (Government, 25/08/2014).Containment measures: On 30 July, Sierra Leone’s president announced a national health emergency and troops were deployed to guard quarantined Ebola patients. A Presidential Task Force has been established to lead the response (UNICEF, 03/08/2014). On 29 August, Health Minister Miatta Kargbo was replaced by Dr Abubakarr Fofanah (international media, 30/08/2014).
On 22 August, the parliament passed a law that imposes a jail term of up to two years for anyone concealing an Ebola-infected patient (AFP, 22/08/2014). A week later, legislation was passed imposing a jail term up to six months for anyone entering or leaving Ebola-affected areas without medical authorisation. Any sport involving physical contact has also been prohibited (international media, 30/08/2014).
In June, Sierra Leone closed its borders with Guinea and Liberia, and closed schools, cinemas, and nightclubs in border areas. Some commercial airlines also suspended flights from Sierra Leone and Liberia to Nigeria (OCHA, 07/2014).
Regional Ebola Outbreak: The total cumulative number of cases across the region has reached 3,069, including 1,552 deaths (WHO, 28/08/2014). WHO projected on 28 August that the total cumulative number could reach 20,000 during the next four months (WHO, 28/08/2014).
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). WHO has not imposed a travel ban (ECHO, 11/08/2014).
On 1 August, West African Ebola-hit nations agreed at an emergency summit to impose a cross-border isolation zone at the epicentre of the outbreak (AFP).
MSF said the Ebola outbreak is moving faster than humanitarian organisations can handle (AFP, 15/08/2014). A shortage of trained health workers who can treat Ebola victims and prevent further spread of the deadly disease is hampering response efforts (IRIN, 31/07/2014). MSF reported that entire villages have still not been visited for case tracing and surveillance as the number of teams on the ground is too limited (OCHA, 07/2014).
Up to a million people in West Africa who are affected by the Ebola outbreak need food aid (ECHO, 19/08/2014; AFP, 15/08/2014). Rural farmers are particularly hard hit economically (international media, 27/08/2014).
Somalia Country Analysis
1 September: The US has carried out a military operation against Al Shabaab (BBC).
29 August: Reports suggest that good deyr rains are expected in many parts of Somalia (FAO, 29/08/2014).
28 August: At least nine deaths were reported in Somaliland, indicating Somaliland forces had launched an offensive in newly autonomous Khatumo area, within Saaxdheer, Sool region. Some people have been displaced to Ethiopia (Reuters, UN)
- Widespread violence and insecurity, particularly in south-central Somalia.
- Insecurity and bureaucratic impediments continue to hinder humanitarian access.
- There are 1.1 million IDPs, mainly in the south-central region, with high concentrations in Mogadishu (OCHA, 06/2014).
- More than one million Somali refugees live in neighbouring countries, mostly Kenya, Ethiopia, and Yemen (UNHCR, 03/2014).
- 2.9 million are estimated to need humanitarian and livelihood assistance between March and September 2014 (OCHA, 04/2014).
- 857,000 people are at Crisis and Emergency levels of food insecurity; 74% are IDPs (OCHA, 06/2014). Two million people experience Stressed levels of food insecurity.
- More than 203,000 acutely malnourished children under five have been reported, mainly in south-central Somalia (OCHA, 05/2014).
- 520,000 children under five urgently require measles vaccination in outbreak areas (UNICEF, 06/2014).
Protracted conflict, consecutive years of drought, natural hazards, and disruption of basic infrastructure have led to large-scale displacement in Somalia and across the region. Almost half the population of Somalia, around 3.2 million people, is vulnerable to external shocks and lacking access to basic goods and services, with an estimated three million people living in seven regions who are affected by the Somalia–African Union military offensive: Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Hiraan, Bay, Banadir and Lower Juba (OCHA, 05/2014). The UN warns of a looming humanitarian emergency (UN, 15/06/2014).
Somalia suffers from a chronic fragility of state institutions as a result of two decades of civil war. Prime Minister Ahmed was appointed by President Mahamud on 12 December, ending a government crisis that had raised significant concerns over security. Infighting between presidents and prime ministers is however a recurrent problem and the political situation remains unstable.
Since July, Somali military courts have tried and executed at least nine individuals, most of whom were civilians accused of being Al Shabaab militants, which is in violation of international law (AFP, 24/08/2014).
Local media have reported one dead in Baidoa, in the Bay region, after government forces shot at protesters demonstrating against the visit of the Somali Prime Minister and the UN Special Envoy (Raxanreeb, 25/08/2014).
Puntland: On 8 January, former Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas was elected President of the self-declared semi-autonomous region Puntland. On 12 August, the region cut ties with the federal Government after it learned of the formation of a new federal state in central Somalia called Khatumo within Saaxdheer (Sool region), which would allegedly include part of the Puntland region (VOA, 14/08/2014). This is the second time in August that Puntland has cut ties with the Government. On 17 August, the UN pledged its support for Puntland (UNSOM, 17/08/2014). On 24 August, reports have emerged of the President of Puntland meeting the Ethiopian Prime Minister to discuss suspended cooperation and oil and gas exploration activities (Garowe, 24/08/2014)
Over 1,500 conflict incidents with humanitarian impact were reported in the first six months of the year, including military operations, active hostilities, and other forms of violence against civilians (OCHA, 30/06/2014). There was a surge in conflict events in February, 40% reportedly due to attacks involving Al Shabaab and over half attributed to communal and militia violence (ACLED, 31/03/2014). Security is said to have deteriorated since March 2014, and the launch of the Somali National Armed Force (SNAF) and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) military offensive against Al Shabaab-held areas. The number of attacks and fatalities had decreased between 2010 and 2013.
Semi-autonomous northeastern and northwestern territories Puntland and Somaliland are subject to inter-communal violence, especially during the June–November rainy season, when improved resource access and competition for cattle lead to increased raiding.
On 28 August, at least nine deaths were reported in Somaliland, when Somaliland forces allegedly launched an offensive in newly autonomous Khatumo area, in Sool region. Some people have been displaced to Ethiopia (Reuters, 28/08/2014, UN, 29/08/2014).
On 1 September, the United Sates carried out a military operation against Al Shabab militants south of Mogadishu (BBC, 02/09/2014).
On 13 August, members of the UN Security Council made a landmark visit to Somalia to review the progress made by the Federal Government (UN, 13/08/2014). In mid-February, a leaked UN report accused the Federal Government of supplying weapons to militant group Al Shabaab. On 4 March, human rights groups called for the arms embargo against Somalia to be tightened, citing government failure to control the flow of arms into the country, and its participation in the diversion of weapons. The embargo was partially lifted in March 2013 until October 2014.
In November 2013, the AU's Peace and Security Council increased the strength of the AMISOM force to 22,000 from 17,600. According to the AU on 9 May 2013, an estimated 3,000 AU peacekeepers had been killed in Somalia since 2007.
The SNAF-AMISOM offensive was launched in early March 2014 to recover Al Shabaab-controlled areas of southern and central Somalia. An estimated three million people live in these areas, which cover Bakool, Gedo, Lower Shabelle, Hiraan, Bay, Banadir, and Lower Juba regions (OCHA, 05/2014).
On 25 August, reports suggested AU and Somali Government troops have seized Tiyeeglow in Bakool region, previously under Al Shabaab control in the southwest (AOV, 25/08/2014). This means the Somali Government now has full control of all major towns in Bakool. On 15 August, government forces carried out a disarmament raid targeting militia leader Ahmed Dai, killing at least ten. Dai was not captured (BBC, 15/08/2014).
Al Shabaab, a militant islamist group linked to Al Qaeda, took over most of southern Somalia in 2006, seeking to establish an Islamic state. Defeated by Ethiopian and Somali forces in 2007, Al Shabaab was forced out of Mogadishu in 2011 and Kismayo in 2012. The group remains a potent threat, with 7,000 to 9,000 militants, and its attacks typically target Somali government officials, AMISOM forces, and perceived government allies. Attacks in urban centres and along transport axes are common.
Al Shabaab is reportedly fleeing south and northeast as the SNAF-AMISOM offensive advances. The insurgents retain strongholds in parts of rural southern and central Somalia and in the mountains of the semi-autonomous Puntland region.
On 19 July, six people were killed and seven were injured in Kismayo after a suicide bomber targeted the house of a prominent militia leader opposed to Al Shabaab, Iftin Hassan Basto (AFP, 19/07/2014).
On 26 June, an African Union military base in the central town of Bulo Burde was attacked by Al Shabaab gunmen dressed in stolen government uniforms, killing at least two AU soldiers from Djibouti (AFP, 26/06/2014).
Mogadishu: A member of parliament was shot on 1 August as he left a mosque in Mogadishu. He is the fifth parliamentarian to be killed this year (BBC, UN 1/08/2014). Many attacks have involved IEDs.
Puntland: Following increased tensions with Puntland over Sool and Sanaag border regions, the Somaliland President created a new region, Haysimo. Puntland is struggling to uproot Al Shabaab and has scaled up operations in the Bari area, from where insurgents launch their attacks. Humanitarian access to these towns is nearly non-existent as few agencies are still operational (FEWSNET, 07/17/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Conflict has disrupted the movement of food and other basic commodities in most southern regions, particularly Bakool (FAO). The withdrawal of Al Shabaab from key towns in the south has enabled increased international presence in some areas: on 31 May, the UN announced that access had been possible to five out of ten areas recently captured by AMISOM forces from Al Shabaab. However, Al Shabaab control of some supply routes continues to hamper commercial activities and the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Roadblocks have been set up in various locations, including Hudur in Bakool region (OCHA, 21/03/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
Aid workers have reportedly been targeted by armed groups for arrest and detention in Bakool, Bay, Gedo, and Lower and Middle Juba. On 18 May, a 400-strong UN military unit was deployed in Mogadishu with a mandate to protect aid workers (UN).
An estimated 1.1 million Somalis were IDPs at 27 June, 893,000 in the south-central region; 129,000 in Puntland, and 84,000 in Somaliland (UNHCR). 369,000 IDPs live in makeshift camps in Mogadishu.
As of August, a significant and increasing number of rural families were moving to Mogadishu. They are escaping insecurity and worsening clan-based competition in Lower Shabelle, Bay, and Hiraan; worsening food security in Middle Shabelle, Hiraan, and Galgaduud; and inadequate health and nutritional services, as well as no viable alternative livelihoods for pastoralists and farmers in other rural areas (UNICEF, 20/08/2014).
Somali Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 9 April, 956,000 Somalis were refugees in neighbouring countries, around 439,000 in Kenya, 245,000 in Ethiopia, and 230,000 in Yemen (UNHCR).
Kenya: In March, the Kenyan Government ordered all city-based refugees to relocate to Dadaab and Kakuma camps, and asked Kenyans to report refugees not in camps to the police. Thousands of Somalis were rounded up, some were forcibly relocated, and hundreds were deported to Somalia (Human Rights Watch, 11/04/2014). Over 200 children were separated from their families (Amnesty International 11/07/2014).
The Tripartite Agreement between the Kenyan and Somali Governments and UNHCR, signed in November 2013, establishes a legal framework for those Somali refugees wishing to return home. The inaugural meeting of the Tripartite Commission has been postponed several times. Only after a meeting will UNHCR Dadaab provide packages for refugees who have made the decision to return to Somalia (UNHCR 15/08/2014).
Three areas have been designated to receive the returnees: Luuq, Baidowa, and Kismayo. The first phase of voluntary repatriation started this month, but only 3,000 refugees registered, compared to the original target of 10,000. Refugees cite insecurity and lack of earning opportunities as their main uncertainties regarding a return to Somalia (UNHCR, East African, 02/08/2014; UNHCR, 11/08/2014).
In parts of southern Somalia, rain since May has caused flash flooding, destroying crops and displacing households (OCHA, 13/06/2014). On 7 May, FAO reported that flash floods due to heavy rains in Bardheere district, Gedo region, had caused an unconfirmed number of deaths.
Several humanitarian actors have warned of the worsening food crisis, due to a combination of delayed gu rains, disrupted planting, rising food prices, and persistent conflict. Poor households have reportedly exhausted their deyr harvest stocks and are relying on market supplies for cereals until the gu harvest (July–August), according to FEWSNET.
Food security is expected to deteriorate considerably in the coming months. The most affected populations include civilians of Hudur, Wajid, Burdhubo, Garbaharey, Bulo Burde, Qoryole and Albuur. Pastoralists in south-central and north-eastern regions are under stress owing to low and erratic gu rains. Moderate drought conditions persist in Sanaag, Sool, Nugal, Hiran, Bakool, Gedo and parts of Shabelle (ICRC, 31/07/2014). Severe water scarcity is likely to hit the livestock sector (FAO 07/07/2014). A predicted El Nino phenomenon is expected to exacerbate the situation during September-December this year (ICRC, 31/07/2014).
As of 18 July, the Somali Government has declared a drought in six regions. On 21 July, the Government established a Ministerial Emergency Response Committee to lead the development of a drought and emergency response plan (OCHA, 24/07/2014).
Of the total population of 7.5 million, 857,000 people face Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3/4) food insecurity (74% are IDPs), and 2.48 million people face Stressed conditions (IPC Phase 2).
Somaliland: 7,000 people are in Phase 3/4; 472,000 people are in Phase 2; there are 84,000 IDPs (OCHA, 03/06/2014; 31/05/2014).
Puntland: 60,000 people are in Phase 3/4; 240,000 are in Phase 2; there are 129,000 IDPs (OCHA, 03/06/2014; 31/05/2014). Recent violence in Puntland has reportedly scared traders away, leading to fluctuations in food prices and increasing food insecurity in Somaliland and Puntland (ICRC, 31/07/2014).
South-central: 155,000 people are in Phase 3/4; 1,336 are in Phase 2, and there are 952,000 IDPs (OCHA, 03/06/2014; 31/05/2014).
Regions with significant amounts of the population facing Phases 3 and 4 food insecurity are Galguduud, Hiraan, Middle Shabelle, Bari, Mudug, Nugaal, Middle Juba, Lower Juba, and Sanaag (OCHA, 21/05/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
August reports suggest that good deyr rains are expected in many parts of Somalia (FAO, 29/08/2014).
Food prices in Hudur, Wajid, Burdhubo, Garbaharey, Bulo Burde, Qoryole and Albuur are 30–150% higher than usual (ICRC, 31/07/2014).
Local grain prices increased from April to May in all markets of the south; the highest monthly gain (28%) was recorded in Bakool region. Cereal prices have shown significant increases since the beginning of the year in Bakool, Hiraan, Juba, and Shabelle. Local cereal prices have increased by 136% compared to last year, and 50% compared to the five-year average in Bakool region. Commodities such as fuel have recorded price increases of between 60% and 300% in some areas in less than one month (OCHA, 07/07/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) and Cholera
Morbidity rates have reached 43.1% among Mogadishu IDP children, and are blamed on acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) and other seasonal infections (FSNAU, 27/06/2014).
Flash flooding has led to increased cases of AWD and cholera in Gedo, Middle Shabelle, and Lower Juba (UNICEF, 31/05/2014). Three children have tested positive for cholera (OCHA, 07/07/2014).
203,000 children under five are acutely malnourished (UNICEF, 31/05/2014). As of March, an estimated 51,000 children suffered from severe acute malnutrition (FSNAU), an increase from 45,000 at the same time in 2013.
IDP populations: In July, Garrowe IDPs showed very critical levels of acute malnutrition (over 20% GAM), and IDPs in Mogadishu, Dhobley, and Kismayo (south Somalia) and Dhusamareb and Galkayo (central Somalia) were at critical levels (over 15% GAM). IDPs in Beletweyne were in a similar or worse condition (ICRC 31/07/2014). GAM among displaced communities in Mogadishu was at 18.9% and SAM at 5.5% (OCHA 24/07/2014). Over May–June, 6 out of 12 surveyed IDP populations across the country presented a prevalence of acute malnutrition. Mogadishu IDP settlement showed extremely high levels of acute malnutrition and mortality rates (3.35/10,000/day), indicating a humanitarian emergency. Garowe IDP settlement in the northeast presented very critical levels of acute malnutrition, while Kismayo, Dholbey (in the south), Dhusamareb (central), and Galkayo (northeast) IDP settlements have critical acute malnutrition levels. (FSNAU, 27/06/2014).
Host communities in Mogadishu have been affected by malnutrition, with an increase in GAM to 10.1% (OCHA, 24/07/2014).
3,286 suspected measles cases have been reported since January, and only one-third of children have been vaccinated: 520,000 children under five urgently require measles vaccination in outbreak areas (Bari, Nugaal, Mudig, Banadir and Lower Juba). In March and April, the number of cases quadrupled, with over 1,350 children affected compared to about 330 in 2013 (WHO, 07/2014).
The total number of confirmed polio cases in 2014 stands at 198 (WHO, UNICEF 22/07/2014). The first confirmed case of wild poliovirus since 2007 was reported in Mogadishu on 9 May 2013. Large, insecure areas of south-central Somalia have not conducted immunisation campaigns since 2009, leaving 600,000 children vulnerable, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
The prevalence of gender based violence in Somalia, including rape, is reported to be one of the highest in the world, with IDPs and migrants being the most vulnerable (IOM, 08/08/2014).
2.75 million people are in need of safe water (OCHA, 03/06/2014). The population of south-central Somalia has little to no access to clean drinking water. According to an INGO report, Gedo region has been affected by a severe water crisis, with four out of five water sources reportedly dry (29/04/2014).
South Sudan Country Analysis
24 August: An IGAD ceasefire monitor was reportedly killed by forces allied to the SPLM-in-Opposition while on a routine inspection mission to Bentiu, Unity state.
19 August: In Unity state, celebratory gunfire in the direction of the UNMISS Bentiu PoC camp injured one child (UNMISS, 19/08/2014).
19 August: In Upper Nile state, violent clashes continued to be reported around Nasir (UNICEF, 21/08/2014). Troop movements were reported in Malakal, causing concern over possible clashes (OCHA, 21/08/2014).
19 August: The screening of over 600,000 children across the country in 2014 has found an SAM rate of 6.7% and an MAM rate of 12.6% (UNICEF, 19/08/2014).
- The onset of the peak rainy season has complicated the delivery of humanitarian aid to many areas in Jonglei and Unity states (IOM 16/07/2014)
- Ongoing conflict and clashes are taking place, particularly in Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile states.
- 3.8 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, 2.1 million of whom have not been reached (ECHO, 08/2014).
- 3.9 million people are facing Crisis and Emergency levels (IPC Phases 3 and 4) of food insecurity; 2.2 million are in Upper Nile, Unity, and Jonglei states (OCHA, 08/2014).
- 4 out of 5.8 million people in need of health assistance have not been reached (WHO, 07/2014).
- 1.1 million IDPs and over 436,000 South Sudanese refugees moved across borders since December 2013. 97,000 civilians were sheltering in 10 PoC sites at UNMISS bases on 14 August (UNMISS, 08/2014). 68% of IDPs are estimated to live in flood-prone areas (OCHA, 08/2014)
- The high number of refugees in South Sudan (mainly from Sudan, DRC, Ethiopia and CAR) is cause for concern in the current context.
Jonglei, Upper Nile, and Unity are priority states, and the priority sectors are food security and livelihoods, health, NFIs and shelter, nutrition, and WASH. Insecurity is hampering the delivery of assistance. The UN reports widespread violation of human rights and targeted violence against civilians.
Violence has spread across eastern South Sudan since December 2013. Fighting is most intense in the oil-rich northeastern states. Strife has progressively adopted the characteristics of an inter-communal conflict between the Dinka tribe allied to South Sudan President Kiir and government forces, and the Nuer loosely allied with former South Sudan Vice President Riek Machar.
Relations between Sudan and South Sudan have been poor since South Sudan gained independence in 2011. The violence in South Sudan since December has exacerbated tensions, with additional concerns in Khartoum regarding an influx of refugees and arms, as well as disruption of oil flow. In early January, Sudanese President Bashir expressed his willingness to support the Government of South Sudan, but said he had no intention of deploying troops in South Sudan.
In April, Sudan accused that South Sudan of using Sudanese militia groups to fight insurgents. South Sudan made similar accusations in return.
The two states made progress in bilateral negotiations in March, agreeing to move forward with shared security measures.
A UN report indicated the presence of 660 SPLA forces and police in Abyei in February and March, in violation of the 2011 Agreement on Temporary Security and Administrative Arrangements for Abyei. Pro-government Sudanese militias and Sudanese Armed Forces have also been reported in the area.
President Kiir’s government forces, who are backed by Ugandan troops, are pitted against a loose alliance of military defectors loyal to former Vice President Riek Machar, along with ethnic Nuer militia forces. Large-scale killings in Bentiu and Bor in April have brought the ethnic dimension of the conflict under closer scrutiny. Both sides have been accused of trying to influence the conflict through manipulation of the media.
Peace talks between Government and opposition resumed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 4 August, but the two parties failed to reach a peace agreement and to set up a transitional government by 10 August, the deadline established by the 9 May ceasefire agreement. Talks, mediated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African regional bloc, have been repeatedly suspended and delayed. On 24 August, an IGAD ceasefire monitor was reportedly killed by forces allied to the SPLM-in-Opposition while on a routine inspection mission to Bentiu, Unity state.
On 26 February, both parties accepted, in principle, a proposal from IGAD for an interim government, pending presidential elections. The exiled South Sudan United Democratic Alliance (SSUDA) also backed the proposal and requested participation in the peace talks. On 15 March, the exiled National Revolutionary Democratic Party/Front, Revolutionary Alliance for South Sudan, and South Sudan Republican Party all agreed to take part in peace talks under SSUDA’s leadership. An initial cessation of hostilities had been signed on 23 Jaunuary.
On 9 May, the Jonglei-based South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army – Cobra Faction signed a peace agreement with the government; a ceasefire had been agreed in January. The movement, led by David Yau Yau, had waged a small-scale rebellion since 2010.
Fighting persists despite a reduction in violence since the 23 January cessation of hostilities agreement. Most violence is occurring in the oil-rich northeastern states of Unity, Upper Nile, and Jonglei.
The death toll was estimated at 10,000 in January since December 2013 (International Crisis Group), although access restrictions make numbers hard to verify. Over 5,900 people had sought treatment for gunshot wounds between mid-December 2013 and 12 March, according to humanitarian partners, although the number of gunshot patients has significantly decreased since early February.
International Military Presence
On 7 April, the city of Neem, in the northern part of Unity, was bombed by a suspected military aircraft (UNHCR). An aircraft was also spotted in the area of Yida two days later. Yida hosts 70,000 Sudanese refugees from South Kordofan, while Neem is located on a road used by incoming Sudanese refugees.
On 16 March, South Sudan approved the deployment of the Protection Deterrent Force (PDF), a regional force drawn from IGAD member states. While the size, mandate, command and deployment time frame of the contingent are still under discussion, it will be protecting the IGAD monitoring and verification teams, and the oil fields in Unity and Upper Nile states. Uganda announced in late February that it would withdraw its troops supporting the SPLA as soon as the PDF is ready to take over.
The UNMISS command told the UN Security Council in 19 March that it would suspend its current activities to focus on protection of civilians, prevention of inter-communal clashes, and support to IGAD as requested. The UN Security Council voted on 24 December to increase the number of peacekeepers in the country from 10,000 to 12,500.
Clashes between the Government and SPLM-in-Opposition
On 25 June, UNICEF reported firing near the Bor UN base. The base had been attacked on 17 April, and 58 people killed, according to international media. Clashes were reported in Akobo county in mid-May (OCHA).
Heavy fighting between opposition and government forces on 15 July sparked widespread panic among civilians in Unity state, according to local media. As of 15 August, violence was reported near the Bentiu PoC site, causing 400 civilians to flee (UNMISS, 15/08/2014). On 19 August, UNMISS said celebratory gunfire in the direction of the Bentiu PoC camp injured one child (UNMISS, 19/08/2014). The South Sudanese army had re-captured Bentiu on 4 May; 406 people had been killed when SPLM-in-Opposition forces took Bentiu on 14–15 April, with non-Nuer communities and Darfuris targeted (UNMISS, 21/04/2014). Bentiu had also been held by the opposition between December and January.
As of 19 August, violent clashes continued to be reported around Nasir (UNICEF, 21/08/2014). Troop movements were reported in Malakal, causing concern over possible clashes (OCHA, 21/08/2014). Opposition fighters reportedly launched an offensive against government forces in Nasir on 20–21 July (international media). Government forces reportedly captured Nasir on 4 May, causing massive displacement.
Western Bahr el Ghazal
At least 60 people were killed in clashes between army defectors and government forces in July (local media 17/07/2014). Similar clashes were reported as of 25 June near Bazier, on the Wau–Tambura road (UNICEF). On 12 June, alleged opposition fighters seized control of areas of Buseri, south of Wau, in an attack that left six dead on the government side, local media reported.
The ethnic dimension of the conflict has come under closer scrutiny since the killings in Bentiu and Bor in April, which targeted non-Nuer and Nuer, respectively. According to local media on 3 May, members of the Nuer IDP community in Juba have requested to be relocated to neighbouring countries. They reportedly fear being targeted by government forces. On 3 April, according to local media, representatives of the Nuer community stated that over 17,000 Nuer had been killed by pro-government forces since December.
The presence of armed, displaced cattle-herding communities is threatening security and disrupting farming activities in Central, Eastern and Western Equatoria states, according to local media reports in July.
Deaths from inter-communal fighting have increased, as have attacks, abductions, and significant population displacement, since widespread militarisation of the population and availability of small arms during the second Sudanese civil war. On 18 July, local media reported that 18 had died in cattle raids in Pigi county, next to Malakal county in Upper Nile state. In 2013, the rise of ethnic violence in Jonglei forced 120,000 people to flee to the bush. Tension and violence often focus around the Nuer, based in northern Jonglei, and the Murle, a minority group based in the south of the state. Inter-clan animosity stems from competition over water resources and grazing land.
On 23 June, local media reported that thousands of herders had fled to the bush from Rumbek town. They threatened to attack government forces in order to prevent a rumoured disarmament campaign.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of 21 August, of 3.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance, 2.7 million had been reached (OCHA, 21/08/2014). The delivery of aid has been restricted due to heavy fighting, logistical constraints, and administrative impediments.
On 2 July, international media reported that authorities prevented four UN staff from taking a plane, and confiscated their passports.
Delivery of aid by barge has been long delayed due to administrative restrictions between Juba, Bor, and Malakal: the first convoy from Juba to Melut and Malakal departed on 29 June (OCHA, 02/05/2014, 03/07/2014).
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). Reports in January indicated that government authorities had hampered UN flights.
As of 4 June, WFP was resorting to airlifts, as the rainy season made roads impassable. As of 15 August, WFP reported that road access was impossible between a number of locations: Bentiu (Unity) and Rumbek (Lakes), Maiwut (near Pagak) and Guel Guk, Wau (Western Bahr el Ghazal) and Tambura (Western Equatoria), and Malakal (Upper Nile state), Bor (Jonglei state), Pibor (Jonglei), Akobo (Jonglei), and Kapoeta (Western Equatoria). As of 21 August, OCHA reported that road conditions were bad, with only 45% accessible by truck across the country.
Several humanitarian organisations had reported that bad road conditions threatened to complicate access to vulnerable populations in Upper Nile, Jonglei, and Unity through the humanitarian corridor established from Gambella, Ethiopia.
Following the killing of at least six aid workers in and around Bunj, Maban county, Upper Nile state, on 4–5 August, 260 staff and aid workers were evacuated (OCHA, 12/06/2014). The attacks were blamed on a local militia, the Mabanese Defence Force, who reportedly targeted the workers based on their ethnicity (UN, 06/08/2014). As of 14 August, essential humanitarian activities reportedly continued (OCHA).
Insecurity has reportedly constrained road movement. Clashes in Guit and Nhialdu, near Bentiu, Unity state, have reportedly hampered the delivery of humanitarian aid to 37,000 people (OCHA, 17/07/2014).
On 20 June, armed men reportedly attempted to coerce the crew of a humanitarian flight into flying civilians from Bentiu to Juba (OCHA).
On 4 June, the WFP reported the looting or destruction of 1,400 metric tons of food in Nasir, Ulang, and Matiang.
OCHA reported on 30 November 2013 that 293 violent incidents had been recorded since January 2013.
By 7 August, over 1.1 million South Sudanese had been displaced internally and over 436,060 South Sudanese refugees moved across borders since December 2013 (OCHA). Fluid displacement patterns and limited access to rural areas make numbers difficult to verify (UNHCR 11/07/2014).
As of 21 August, 1.3 million IDPs were in South Sudan: 579,000 in Jonglei, 280,000 in Unity, 193,000 in Upper Nile, and 133,000 in Lakes (OCHA, 21/08/2014). An estimated 695,000 IDPs are under 18 (UNICEF, 19/08/2014).
875,000 IDPs, 68% of the total, live in flood-prone areas (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
97,000 IDPs are sheltering in ten Protection of Civilians (PoC) sites on UNMISS bases: 40,000 in Bentiu, 32,000 in Juba (Tomping and UN House), 17,000 in Malakal, and 4,000 in Bor (UNMISS 21/08/2014). As of early July, 100–200 people were arriving at the Bentiu site every day (UNHCR, 04/07/2014).
Most of the Bentiu PoC site has been submerged by flooding (UNICEF, 05/08/2014). The sewage drain has overflowed, causing concern over the spread of waterborne diseases (OCHA, 07/08/2014), making relocation a priority (IOM, 13/08/2014).
As of 14 July, 9,700 people had been relocated from the old Malakal PoC within the UNMISS compound to the new PoC site. 4,454 individuals have voluntarily relocated from the UNMISS Tomping PoC to the UN House PoC 3 site since December 2013 (IOM 15/07/2014).
Refugees in South Sudan
242,000 refugees are in South Sudan: 222,000 from Sudan, 14,000 from DRC, 2,000 from Ethiopia and 1,800 from CAR. Over 128,000 refugees are based in Upper Nile and around 83,000 in Unity (UNHCR, 01/08/2014).
Most of the Sudanese refugees in Upper Nile state reside in four refugee camps in Maban county (OCHA, 03/04/2014). Tensions between Sudanese refugees and host communities were of concern in late March.
As of 31 July, 227,000 displaced people are estimated to have returned since the beginning of the crisis (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 446,000 South Sudanese have sought refuge in neighbouring countries since the onset of the conflict (UNHCR, 14/08/2014).
Sudan: 93,000 South Sudanese nationals have arrived in Sudan since 15 December (UNHCR, 14/08/2014). An estimated 165,000 South Sudanese refugees are expected to arrive over the course of 2014 (WFP, 16/07/2014).
As of late March, the Sudanese Government has refused to recognise South Sudanese nationals as refugees and instead considers them to be Sudanese citizens (UNHCR, 03/04/2014). The Sudanese Government stated that all foreigners in Sudan had to register with immigration administration by 1 April. UNHCR has declared that constitutes an obstacle to access to humanitarian assistance.
Ethiopia: 188,000 South Sudanese refugees (UNHCR, 14/08/2014). As of 27 June, the daily rate of arrival is estimated at 1,000 (UNHCR), down from 2,000 the previous month (local media, 22/06/2014). Some 300,000 South Sudanese refugees are expected in the Gambella region over the course of 2014 (WFP, 16/07/2014).
Uganda: 144,000 refugees (UNHCR, 14/08/2014). A total of 150,000 are expected to arrive over the course of 2014, a downward revision from 300,000 (WFP, 16/07/2014).
Kenya: 41,000 refugees (UNHCR, 14/08/2014). 100,000 are expected over 2014 (WFP, 16/07/2014).
According to projections for August, 3.9 million people are facing Emergency and Crisis levels of food insecurity: more than 1.2 million in Phase 4 and 2.6 million in Phase 3 (IPC, 04/2014),
A risk of famine is reported to be developing (OCHA, 24/07/2014). 790,000 people are at Phase 3 or 4 in Jonglei; 762,000 in Unity; 656,000 in Upper Nile; 510,000 in Northern Bahr el Ghazal; 340,000 in Lakes; 250,000 in Warrap; 187,000 in Eastern Equatoria; 140,000 in Western Bahr el Ghazal, 139,000 in Central Equatoria; and 112,000 in Western Equatoria (OCHA 14/08/2014).
1.3 million people have been reached with food assistance since the beginning of the crisis (OCHA, 24/07/2014).
Outlook for Food Security
Most conflict-affected states show high cereal production deficits against demand, although the main harvest is forecast to be 38% above the recent four-year average.
Conflict is affecting planting and cultivation, as well as major supply routes, displacing traders and leading to a rise in food and fuel prices (FAO, 04/06/2014).
Along with a de facto devaluation of the national currency between 2011 and 2013, the reduction in oil exports and the increase in imports are likely to reduce significantly households’ purchasing power. Agricultural and pastoral activities have low productivity and the country depends on food imports.
Health and Nutrition
5.8 million people need health assistance, 1.8 million of whom have been reached since January. Waterborne diseases, including cholera and hepatitis E, are the most pressing health concerns (WHO, 25/07/2014).
Over 5,868 cholera cases, including 130 deaths (case fatality rate 2.19%), were reported as of 18 August (OCHA). Incidence is reported to be decreasing (UNICEF, 19/08/2014). Previous reports indicated 2,395 cases and 57 deaths in Eastern Equatoria; 894 cases and 17 deaths in Upper Nile state, and 2,378 cases and 49 deaths in Juba (UNICEF, 12/08/2014). Up to 116,000 people could be affected within the next six months (OCHA, 06/06/2014).
55 cases of hepatitis E were reported in the Lakes estate in June, a sharp increase from two cases in April (Local media citing MSF 15/06/2014). Four cases were fatal (WHO, 15/06/2014).
The rate of new HIV infections has risen in Northern Bahr El Ghazal state (UNMISS, 19/06/2014).
The screening of over 600,000 children across the country in 2014 has found an SAM rate of 6.7% and an MAM rate of 12.6% (UNICEF, 19/08/2014). 675,000 children are estimated to be moderately malnourished and 235,000 severely malnourished (OCHA, 29/07/2014). Twice as many will need treatment for SAM this year than in 2013 (UNICEF 15/07/2014).
According to MSF, malnutrition rates have skyrocketed in parts of Upper Nile, Unity and Jonglei states since conflict erupted in South Sudan in December. MSF has admitted more people for malnutrition in Leer in May and June (2,810 cases) than in all of 2013. In Lankien and Yuai (Jonglei state), there was a 60% increase in admissions in the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year. High death rates have been reported in areas north of Malakal (MSF 14/07/2014).
As of 15 July, under-five mortality in Bentiu has decreased to 1.47/10,000/day (from 2.6 the previous week), below emergency threshold (UNICEF 15/07/2014). 4.9% of children at Bentiu UN base are severely malnourished and 15.9% moderately malnourished. An earlier report cited preventable diseases and malnutrition as the main causes of death.
An estimated 200,000 pregnant women will need urgent care in 2014; 30,000 of them are estimated to be at risk of dying of complications (UNFPA, 15/05/2014).
As of 11 June, 1,227 cases of measles, 125 of which were fatal, have been reported countrywide since 15 December 2013 (UNICEF).
As of 25 June, access to safe water and sanitation remained a critical gap (UNICEF). There were 63 people per latrine in Bentiu UN base (OCHA, 21/08/2014). As of 5 August, flooding at the site over the previous week had caused the collapse of 25 latrines. IDPs in the Bentiu PoC site had access to 19 litres of water per day per person (UNICEF, 05/08/2014).
The ratio of persons per latrines is 41 in Malakal PoC site and 32 in Melout PoC site (IOM 15/07/2014).
The average number of latrines per IDP in Lakes state is reportedly 1:350 (OCHA, 06/06/2014).
Water supplies were reportedly insufficient in a quarter of displacement sites. In 40% of sites, IDPs rely on unimproved or surface water sources. 9.2 litres of water are available per person per day in Bentiu (IOM 15/07/2014)
Children are not attending school in 70% of IDP sites (CCCM, 17/04/2014). The inability to pay teachers’ wages has led to school closures in displacement areas (OCHA, 02/05/2014). As of 26 June, 78 schools were occupied and thus obstructing education, mostly in the eastern half of the country (OCHA).
9,000 children have reportedly been recruited by armed groups in 2014 (OCHA, 11/07/2014).
21 August: Police were sent to put an end to tribal fighting between Maaliya and Rizeigat in Abu Karinka locality, East Darfur (local media, 21/08/2014). At least 300 people have been killed in clashes that erupted on 16 August (local media, 20/08/2014).
20 August: 256,000 people have been affected by heavy rains and flooding, an upward revision from 171,000 three days earlier. Affected people are in Blue Nile (70,000 affected), Khartoum (32,000), North Darfur (22,000), South Kordofan (19,000), River Nile (19,000), North Kordofan (18,000), White Nile (18,000), Kassala (14,000), Sennar (13,000), Al Gezira (11,000), Northern (8,000) and West Darfur (6,000) (OCHA).
- Protracted insurgencies by armed groups are occurring across Darfur, and South Kordofan, and Blue Nile states. The conflict in South Sudan has also raised tensions.
- 6.9 million people (20% of the population) need humanitarian assistance (OCHA 03/08/2014): 3.5 million in Darfur and 1.2 million in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states (OCHA, 05/2014).
- 5 million people face Stressed, Crisis, or Emergency levels of food insecurity, most of whom are in Darfur (GIEWS, 06/2014).
- Renewed fighting took place between armed opposition groups, militias, and the Sudanese army in Darfur since March.
- 2.4 million IDPs. Two million in Darfur prior to the latest clashes (OCHA, 03/2014), and 396,000 displaced in 2014 (OCHA, 08/2014).
- Humanitarian access remains a significant problem due to insecurity, mines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), logistical constraints, and restrictions placed by the authorities.
Several regions of Sudan are facing large-scale internal displacement due to violence, widespread food insecurity, malnutrition, lack of access to basic services, and recurrent natural disasters. Humanitarian access to conflict zones is severely restricted.
Numerous, protracted insurgencies are being waged by several armed groups across Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile. Darfur has been the scene of inter-communal clashes and conflict between the government and armed opposition for over a decade, and fighting intensified in March 2014. Violence in Blue Nile and South Kordofan grew significantly after South Sudan won independence in 2011. Tensions also continue to run high between Sudan and South Sudan.
Profound divisions within the Sudanese society have persisted since independence in 1956, and the government’s exploitation of intercommunal differences has aggravated the situation.
On 17 May, the head of the opposition party Umma was arrested for treason after allegedly criticising the government’s abuse of civilians in Darfur.
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.
On 15 April, according to media reports, the Sudanese Government accused Juba of using Sudanese militia groups. The week before, the South Sudanese army (SPLA) accused Khartoum of supporting the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM)-in-Opposition, according to local media. Both the opposition and Khartoum denied this accusation.
On 7 April, the city of Neem, in the north of South Sudan’s Unity state, was bombed by a suspected military aircraft (UNHCR). An aircraft was spotted in the area of Yida two days later. Yida hosts 70,000 Sudanese refugees, while Neem is located on a road used by incoming Sudanese refugees.
The two states made progress in bilateral negotiations in March, agreeing to move forward with shared security measures.
Sudan Revolutionary Front
The Sudan Revolutionary Front (SRF), formed in 2011, is seeking a comprehensive peace process covering the whole country. The SRF is made up of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North (SPLM-N), mainly active in Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, as well as Darfur’s three largest opposition groups: the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM); the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Abdel Wahid Al Nur (SLM-AW); and the Sudan Liberation Movement led by Minni Arkou Minnawi (SLM-MM).
On 8 August, Sudan’s main opposition parties, the SRF and the National Umma Party, announced they had agreed to unite to bring about a transitional government. They announced they would not participate in the upcoming elections, which the Government has announced are scheduled for April 2015.
On 13 May, local media reported that the SRF and the Unionist Movement had signed an agreement aimed at unifying government opposition.
SRF has said it is ready to join the national dialogue with Khartoum and enhance its cooperation with the UN–AU Mission in Darfur (UNAMID), provided the Government lifts the state of emergency and allows unimpeded humanitarian access to war zones. On 25 April, the SRF published a roadmap for a peace settlement, according to local sources.
The government is only willing to discuss the conflict in Darfur, and the African Union Peace and Security Council has called for everyone to join the 2011 Doha Document for Peace in Darfur (DDPD).
The Darfur Peace Process
The Darfur peace process is stalled. The process does not include the SRF members, SLM-MM, SLM-AW, or JEM, who have consistently rejected the Doha process. However, UN officials have met with SLM-AW, SLM-MM, and JEM in recent months. In December 2013, the All Inclusive Peace and Security in Darfur Technical Workshop aimed to draw non-signatories to the DDPD to the negotiating table. JEM and SLM-MM restated their demand for a comprehensive, inclusive, just and sustainable, negotiated settlement of the Sudanese conflicts.
On 18 June, a group that seceded from the SLM-MM declared it would take part in the Darfur peace process and surrender its arms, local media reported.
On 26 May, the Darfur Internal Dialogue and Consultation Implementation Committee was launched during a peace conference convened by UNAMID in El Fashir.
Blue Nile and South Kordofan States
While the SPLM governs the independent South Sudan, the SPLM-North continues an insurgency in Sudan’s Blue Nile and South Kordofan states, which have routinely opposed government rule.
Negotiations between Khartoum and the SPLM-N collapsed in April, reportedly over the SPLM-N’s demand for a comprehensive peace process. Talks had been held unsuccessfully in February and March, and in April 2013.
Instability in the East
Despite being home to the largest gold mine in the country and Port Sudan, where all Sudan’s oil exports transit, east Sudan is one of the poorest regions. In 2006, the Eastern Sudan Peace Agreement (ESPA) was signed. But divisions within the Eastern Front (EF), the alliance that signed the agreement, are growing. Some factions of the EF claim they wish to join the SRF because of Khartoum’s alleged failure to implement the core elements of the ESPA. The government is reportedly allowing local militias to arm, and boosting support to Arab tribes.
Extensive military operations aimed to end rebellion in Darfur, South Kordofan, and Blue Nile began at the end of 2013. On 11 April, local media reported that the Sudanese Defence Minister had stated that continued armed opposition would be crushed by a military offensive in 2014.
Armed Conflict and Violence in Darfur
Security in Darfur has reportedly deteriorated significantly since late December, with almost daily air strikes from the Sudanese Air Force (SAF). IDPs in camps across the Darfur region have requested protection (local sources, 12/03/2014). Tribal conflicts have also contributed to insecurity.
On 24 August, local media reported that an air raid killed a woman in Goz Dor village, East Jebel Marra. On 1 August, local media reported that aerial bombing by the SAF left two children dead in Dolma, East Jebel Marra. On 15–16 May, aerial bombing of a health centre and a market reportedly killed three people. Intense SAF aerial bombings over 16–20 March caused a number of deaths and the displacement of thousands of people, with the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Sudanese paramilitary forces, attacking prior to the bombings, local sources reported.
On 8 June, six people were reportedly killed and 100 remained missing after pro-government militia attacks in the area of Kuru, local media said.
Kabkabiya: On 25 July, one man was reportedly killed and one abducted by Abbala militia on the road between Saraf Omra and El Sareif (local media, 27/07/2014). On 20 July, an attack by pro-government militia on a convoy of vehicles along the El Fashir–Kabkabiya road left 13 people dead, according to local media. Local media reported four people were killed by pro-government militia between El Sareif Beni Hussein and Kabkabiya on 3 July. On 18 June, clashes between armed militia and the police in Kabkabiya killed four, local media said.
El Fashir: On 9 August, a bus passenger was killed by militia men at a checkpoint between El Fashir and Nyala (local media, 11/08/2014). On 1 August, local media reported that militia attacks had left one person dead, and several women were raped (local media, 1/08/2014). Similar attacks on 6 June left 11 people dead. On 20 May, clashes between militia and government forces left at least ten fighters dead, according to international media. On 30 April and 1 May, at least four people were killed in attacks by pro-government militias and people believed to belong to the Sudanese army, according to international observers.
Kutum: On 1 August, local media reported that a militia attack on Kassab IDP camp had left three people injured and a girl raped. On 27 July, one herder was reportedly killed in a grenade explosion (local media, 28/07/2014). Gunmen ambushed six commercial vehicles in Kutum locality on 11 July. The day before, gunmen robbed the passengers of a commercial vehicle north of Kutum town, and abducted two (local media 15/07/2014).
Inter-communal violence: As of 29 June, clashes between the Northern Rizeigat and Beni Hussein tribes had reportedly left 39 people dead in the El Sireaf area (OCHA). On 22–23 June, six people died in clashes near Um Katira, local media reported. On 24 May, clashes that erupted during mediation between rival tribes facilitated by UNAMID in Kabkabiya left one peacekeeper dead and three injured.
On 7 and 8 August, two men were reportedly killed by militia in Nyala and Bielel localities (local media, 09/08/2014). On 20 July, four people died during a pro-government militia attack on a village near Malam, according to local media. On 11 July, in Kass, one person was killed, and an IDP was injured and robbed, according to local media.
Inter-communal violence: On 29 June, local media reported that a militia attack on a village had left one person dead and 49 missing in Gireida locality. On 22 June, clashes in Shattai locality left one person dead, and triggered the deployment of government forces (OCHA). On 11 June, one person was killed by armed men in Nyala, local sources said.
Attacks by pro-government forces on displacement sites were reported in April, May and June in Zalingei, Kailik, and Niertiti. Over ten people were killed, according to local media.
Inter-communal violence: On 6 August, one person was killed in a presumed tribal-based attack in Um Dukhun (local media, 06/08/2014). Clashes between the Misseriya and the Salamat tribes in the areas of Salayle, Mukjar, and Um Dukhun in June left at least 130 people dead, according to local media. The Sudanese army was reportedly deployed to Mukjar, Um Dukhun, and Bindisi localities to put an end to the fighting.
Inter-communal violence: As of 21 August, police were sent to put an end to tribal fighting between the Maaliya and the Rizeigat in Abu Karinka locality (local media, 21/08/2014). At least 300 have been killed in the clashes, which erupted on 16 August (local media, 20/08/2014). On 6 July, local media reported that clashes between Maaliya and Rizeigat left 18 people dead near the state capital Ed Daein. Clashes reported by local media on 19 June left seven people dead. A reconciliation conference was adjourned on 20 June due to lack of progress.
On 1 July, local media reported that 25 people had died in clashes between Maaliya and Hamar tribes in Um Shaalouba area. Clashes near Adilla at the end of May had killed a number of people and reportedly caused displacement. West Kordofan and East Darfur authorities deployed military forces to secure borders between the rival tribes, local sources said. A reconciliation conference was scheduled to take place on 23 July in Al Foula, West Kordofan (local media 16/07/2014).
On 29 June, local media reported that clashes between Misseriya clans over pasture in Babanusa locality had left 196 people dead (OCHA, 22/06/2014).
Armed Violence and Conflict in Kordofan and Blue Nile
The Sudanese Government announced that it would expand its counter-insurgency operations in Blue Nile state on 23 May. According to an SPLM-N spokesperson on 21 April, the SAF had launched an offensive in North Kordofan.
On 28 June, heavy fighting between government forces and the SPLM-N was reported in the area of Kadugli, the state capital of South Kordofan. On 6 June, the SAF said it had captured the SPLM-N stronghold of Al Atmur in South Kordofan. Bombings had reportedly intensified in the region at the end of May, with heavy bombing of Kauda reported by OCHA.
Information on Blue Nile and South Kordofan states is difficult to obtain as government authorities severely restrict access to the fighting zone.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
6.9 million people (20% of the population) are in need of humanitarian assistance, of which more than half are in Darfur and South Kordofan and Blue Nile states (OCHA 14/08/2014).
The first half of 2014 saw more displaced in Darfur than any single year since 2004 (OCHA 20/07/2014). In March, 3.5 million people in Darfur, a third of the region’s population, needed humanitarian assistance (OCHA). This includes two million IDPs, 1.2 million non-displaced severely affected by violence, and 136,000 returnees or refugees from neighbouring countries.
In South Kordofan and Blue Nile states, 1.2 million need assistance in government-controlled areas (OCHA), and 800,000 are estimated displaced or severely affected by conflict in SPLM-N territory. Limited access to non-government areas makes verification impossible.
Humanitarian access for international relief organisations is a major problem. Humanitarian operations are heavily hampered by insecurity, the presence of mines and ERW, logistical constraints, and government restrictions.
August 2013 regulations ban foreign humanitarian groups and UN agencies from working for human rights, and the Government has banned humanitarian access to areas controlled by opposition groups.
Attacks on Humanitarian Staff
On 25 July, an IOM member of staff who had been abducted on 6 July in Nyala, South Darfur, was released (IOM, 25/07/2014). On 18 June, 25 aid workers were reportedly abducted in three separate incidents in the area of Kutum, North Darfur, and were released by 18 July (UNICEF, 19/07/2014). On 20 June, an international NGO reported the abduction of three staff in the area of Kutum.
Darfur: As of 15 July, humanitarian agencies had access to 253,000 IDPs of a total of 266,000 in Darfur, and a cumulative 363,000 people had been reached by humanitarian aid (OCHA, 15/07/2014). ECHO reported on 4 July that officials had denied access to medical teams attempting to provide assistance in El Sereif and Kalma camps, South Darfur.
Militia checkpoints on the Kutum–El Fashir and Anka–El Tina roads hamper humanitarian access (local media, 03/07/2014). Areas near Kutum (North Darfur) and Adilla and Abu Karinka (East Darfur) were reportedly inaccessible on 26 May (OCHA). On 21 May, local media reported that UNAMID had allegedly been denied access to parts of Kutum area.
East Jebel Marra region has been virtually inaccessible since 2010. In April, thousands of IDPs were reported to have no access to aid in El Salam and Saraf Omra localities, North Darfur, and in Kalma IDP camp, South Darfur.
Insecurity is hindering the movement of humanitarian supplies by road, especially to the localities of Um Dukhun and Bindisi in Central Darfur. In East Darfur, Abu Karinka and Adilla localities have been inaccessible since August 2013.
Blue Nile and South Kordofan: On 23 June, an INGO said that it was operating in parts of South Kordofan despite government denial of access. On 16 June, a hospital run by an NGO in Farandalla, South Kordofan, was reportedly bombed (OCHA, 22/06/2014). There has been no humanitarian access from Sudan to opposition-held areas in South Kordofan since October 2013.
White Nile: Heavy rains are expected to hamper the delivery of service to Jouri, Al Kashafa, and El Redis refugee relocation sites (UNHCR, 04/07/2014).
As of 20 August, 256,000 people have been affected by heavy rains and flooding, an upward revision from 171,000 on 17 August (OCHA). Affected people are in Blue Nile (70,000 affected), Khartoum (32,000), North Darfur (22,000), South Kordofan (19,000), River Nile (19,000), North Kordofan (18,000), White Nile (18,000), Kassala (14,000), Sennar (13,000), Al Gezira (11,000), Northern (8,000) and West Darfur (6,000) states (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
On 30 July, Khartoum state declared a high state of alert (local media). Assessments carried out in Kassala (South Kordofan) and White Nile state revealed acute needs for emergency food, NFI, and health and WASH services (OCHA, 03/08/2014). As of 24 August, 1,100 affected households in the El Sareif Beni Hussein locality of North Darfur had not received aid.
2.4 million IDPs in the five states of Darfur reside in 46 camps and 68 settlements (82,530 orphans, 34,099 widows, and 52,352 sick and elderly), according to a survey conducted by the Darfur Regional Authority from December 2013 to April 2014. 3,324 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (local media citing DRA official sources 15/07/2014).
396,000 people have been displaced in Darfur so far in 2014: 265,000 remain displaced and 131,000 people are reported to have returned (OCHA 17/08/2014). On 22 June, OCHA reported that government policy preventing the creation of new camps is an obstacle for IOM’s verification and registration of IDPs.
North Darfur: 121,000 IDPs; 15,000 returnees in 2014 (OCHA 17/08/2014). 729 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014). IOM was able to verify 54,000 newly displaced since March in five sites (OCHA, 22/06/2014). On 18 June, 21,000 people who had taken refuge in the Korma UNAMID base required humanitarian assistance (OCHA). 9,000 IDPs have been relocated from Mellit camp to Abassi.
South Darfur: 99,000 IDPs (OCHA 17/08/2014); 736 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014).
On 15 July, over 70 people were reported to have died in less than a month in Kalma IDP camp in Nyala locality, as a result of the deteriorated humanitarian situation and insecurity (local media 15/07/2014). On 24 June, local sources reported that an unidentified disease in Kalma camp had caused 18 deaths over the last month. Close to 17,000 IDPs in Kalma camp are suffering an acute water shortage (OCHA, 29/06/2014).
Central Darfur: 35,000 IDPs; 5,000 returnees in 2014 (OCHA 17/09/2014); 778 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014). 34,000 IDPs were reported in need of humanitarian assistance in the Um Dukhun and Mukjar areas on 20 July (OCHA, 20/07/2014). 30,000 IDPs in Deleig camp are living in dire conditions. Food rations have been cut for many, food prices are soaring and there is no work available (local media 10/07/2014).
East Darfur: 8,000 IDPs (OCHA, 17/08/2014); 331 villages destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014). An estimated 176,000 people have been displaced since April 2013 due to fighting between SAF and the SLM-MM and between Rizeigat and Maaliya tribes. Government restrictions have prevented humanitarian organisations from assessing the needs of these people or verifying their number.
West Darfur: 373,225 IDPs; 750 villages were destroyed December 2013–April 2014 (DRA cited by local media 16/07/2014).
Jebel Marra: An estimated 100,000 people displaced or severely affected by conflict (OCHA, 14/08/2014).
Blue Nile and South Kordofan: As of 14 August, an estimated 800,000 people were either displaced or severely affected by violence in SPLM-N-controlled areas (OCHA 14/08/2014). This figures includes 700,000 in South Kordofan and 90,000 in Blue Nile, according to local estimates unchanged since 31 March (OCHA 19/05/2014). As at 18 July, an estimated 170,000 people had been displaced in SPLM-N areas of South Kordofan since April, according to the South Kordofan and Blue Nile Coordination Unit. With no presence in SPLM-N controlled areas, the UN is unable to verify these figures. Up to 1.2 million are either displaced or severely affected by violence in government-controlled areas (OCHA, 19/05/2014).
West Kordofan: As of 15 June, 67,000 IDPs in Meiram, El Salam, and Ghubaysh localities were in urgent need of humanitarian aid (OCHA).
Refugees in Sudan
On 1 June, Sudan was hosting 157,000 refugees, mainly from Eritrea, with smaller numbers from Chad, Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan, according to February UNHCR figures.
On 18 June, 31,000 out of 85,000 people who had arrived from South Sudan had not received humanitarian aid (UNHCR).
As of 13 August, 93,000 South Sudanese nationals had arrived in Sudan since 15 December (UNHCR). An estimated 38,000 are in White Nile, 13,000 in South Kordofan, 24,000 in Khartoum, and the rest in West Kordofan and Blue Nile (UNHCR, 16/07/2014). A total of 165,000 are expected to arrive in 2014 (WFP, 02/07/2014). On 30 April, 3,000 newly displaced South Sudanese had arrived in the disputed area of Abyei, bringing the total of South Sudanese displaced to the area to 6,000 (OCHA). An estimated 347,000 people of Southern Sudanese origin are currently hosted in Sudan (OCHA, 30/04/2014).
Camps sheltering South Sudanese refugees in Khartoum were flooded during the heavy rains that affected the capital on 30 July (international media, 30/07/2014). On 16 June, Khartoum state officials issued an order to evacuate informal camps hosting South Sudanese refugees, local media said.
West Kordofan: As of 15 June, 33,000 South Sudanese refugees in Babanusa and Muglad localities were reportedly in urgent need of humanitarian aid (OCHA). UNHCR reported only 3,000 South Sudanese refugees in West Kordofan at 25 June.
White Nile: The Government has reportedly identified additional sites in anticipation of new arrivals: El Khaira Tawakalna and Zalataya (UNHCR, 20/06/2014).
Sudanese Refugees in Other Countries
As of 31 May, OCHA reported that there were 352,000 Sudanese refugees in Chad, 216,000 in South Sudan, 33,000 in Ethiopia, and 5,000 in Central African Republic.
1,600 Sudanese refugees have reportedly returned from Maban county, South Sudan, to Blue Nile state, Sudan, due to food shortages (OCHA, 08/06/2014).
As of 13 June, an estimated five million people faced Stressed, Crisis, and Emergency levels of food insecurity (GIEWS), up from 4.5 million on 30 April, due to the early onset of the lean season, rising food prices, and the impact of conflict and displacement. IDPs make up 80% of food insecure people (FAO, 10/04/2014).
2.7 million food insecure people are in the five Darfur regions, where Crisis levels are expected to last until September (FEWSNET, 05/2014). On 21 July, WFP reported a deteriorating food security situation across the Darfur region due to insufficient rain, increased food prices, and persistent insecurity (WFP, 21/07/2014). In October, one million were food insecure in North Darfur, 520,000 in South Darfur, 490,000 in Central Darfur, 460,000 in West Darfur, and 230,000 in East Darfur.
On 29 June, FEWSNET reported that heavy fighting in the Buram, Um Dorein, and Kadugli localities of South Kordofan was likely to cause newly displaced people to miss the harvest season.
On 24 June, a human rights group stated that the government’s refusal to allow humanitarian access in SPLM-N-controlled areas further aggravated the food security situation of the population.
Agriculture and Markets
Harvest prospects for the 2013/14 main agricultural season are expected to be 30–35% below the national average, mainly due to late and insufficient rains at critical times in the season. As of late February, retail sorghum harvest outputs were 50% below average in Darfur (FEWSNET).
Insecurity and conflict are expected to reduce harvest prospects, cause continued destruction of assets, and obstruct access to markets and food assistance.
Health and Nutrition
The UN estimated in mid-December 2013 that 165,000 children in SPLM-N-controlled parts of South Kordofan and Blue Nile do not have access to basic health services.
There are indications that the health situation in Darfur is deteriorating. The rate of schistosomiasis, also known as bilharzia, has increased by 70% in South Darfur (government sources quoted by local media, 07/05/2014). Local reports indicate that visceral leishmaniasis, scabies, and ringworm have increased since 2012, resulting in a surge of patients in hospitals and health centres. About 90,000 people are living without access to any medical care in Mukjar locality (Central Darfur). On 20 July, OCHA reported that two health clinics run by an international NGO had been attacked and looted in two separate incidents in Kutum locality. 50,000 people from host communities are in need of access to health services in Bielel locality, South Darfur (WHO cited by OCHA, 03/08/2014).
As of 17 June, 738 cases of dengue had been reported in Red Sea state, six of which were fatal (OCHA). Cases of haemorrhagic fever had been reported by local media on 13 June.
On 4 July, ECHO reported cases of hepatitis E in El Sereif and Kalma IDP camps, South Darfur. MSF reported an outbreak of hepatitis E in El Sereif camp with more than 400 cases as of 21 June (OCHA 06/072014).
An increased number of suspected cases of acute jaundice syndrome (AJS) was reported in several IDP camps in South Darfur in July: 36 cases in Kalma, 19 in El Sharif, two in El Salam and one in Otash camps between mid-June and the first week of July. Insufficient access to clean water and sanitation facilities contribute to the spread (OCHA 06/07/2014).
1.4 million people are acutely malnourished (OCHA, 03/08/2014). GAM among South Sudanese refugees has reportedly decreased from 20% in March/April to 13.6% as of 16 July (OCHA, 20/07/2014).
17,000 new IDPs face acute water shortages in sectors 7 and 8 of Kalma camp, with just 2.5 litres per day per person (OCHA 06/07/2014).
The 30,000 IDPs in Zamzam camp receive only 6.6 litres of water per person per day (OCHA, 29/06/2014).
An estimated 10,000 new IDPs reportedly have no access to latrines in South Kordofan (OCHA, 18/05/2014).
IDP camps in Saraf Omra locality, North Darfur, lack educational services. IDP children are unable to enroll in public or private schools in the area as they cannot afford the school fees.
Over 3,000 school teachers in Nyala, South Darfur, have requested to be transferred due to insecurity, according to local media in July.
As of late March, the Sudanese Government refuses to recognise South Sudanese nationals as refugees and instead considers them to be Sudanese citizens (UNHCR, 03/04/2014). All foreigners in Sudan had to register with the immigration administration by 1 April. UNHCR has declared it constitutes an obstacle to access humanitarian assistance.
ERW and UXO
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
Numerous rapes have been reported by local media in North, South and Central Darfur since March. Six rapes were reported in the Gireida and Ba’ashum localities of South Darfur over 21–22 July. On 1 August, several rapes were reported in El Fashir and one rape was reported in Kutum locality, North Darfur (local media). On 10 August, three women were raped in Kabkabiya locality, North Darfur (local media, 11/08/2014).
On 22 March, local Sudanese officials announced that they would implement measures in border areas to stop human trafficking, following a call from the UN Human Rights Council.
Syria Country Analysis
31 August: Between 29 and 31 August, at least 42 children were killed in government air strikes and shelling (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights). Most attacks took place in Aleppo and northwestern Idleb.
31 August: In Damascus, government planes continue to pound the opposition-held district of Jubar, in an offensive that began on 28 August (AFP).
31 August: All 72 Filipino peacekeepers formerly surrounded by armed fighters in in the Golan are now safe. 44 Fijian peacekeepers remain in detention since 28 August (UN).
29 August: Syria's refugees exceed three million, a million more than a year ago. A further 6.5 million are displaced within Syria. Almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes. UNHCR stated that the journey out of Syria is becoming tougher, with many people forced to pay bribes at armed checkpoints.
28 August: Islamic State (IS) fighters stated that they had executed scores of Syrian troops after capturing Tabqa air base in Ar-Raqqa on 24 August. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that IS had executed at least 160 soldiers.
27 August: Opposition forces, including Al Qaeda affiliate Al Nusra Front, seized the Syrian side of the sole crossing to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. In response to six mortar rounds hitting the occupied part of the Golan, Israel targeted two Syrian army positions (AFP).
25 August: Syria announced for the first time it will work with the international community, including the United States, to fight terrorism and implement UN Security Council resolution 2170, targeting IS and Al Nusra Front (AFP).
- 191,369 deaths documented between March 2011 and the end of April 2014 (Human Rights Council 22/08/2014). At least 200–300 people are dying in Syria every day.
- 10.8 million Syrians are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.
- 11 million Syrians have been displaced, including 6.5 million IDPs; 688,000 have been displaced by violence between April and June (SNAP 03/07/2014).
- 6.5 million Syrian children (within and outside Syria) need immediate humanitarian assistance, over two million more than one year ago (UNICEF 05/07/2014).
- 3,000,721 Syrians are registered or waiting to register as refugees outside Syria as of 1 September. Lebanon: 1,177,000; Turkey: 832,500; Jordan: 613,500; Iraq: 218,500; Egypt: 139,500. Children make up 51.3% of the refugee population.
- 4.7 million people live in difficult-to-reach areas. Approximately 241,000 are living under siege. At least 325,000 children under five live in areas not accessible to humanitarian aid (UNICEF 05/2014).
- Expected wheat production for 2014 is 1.97 million metric tons, 52% below the average for 2001–2011. The total area planted with wheat in Syria is estimated to have declined by about 15% compared with recent years (FAO).
Conflict across the country has caused large-scale displacement and disintegration of infrastructure, leaving millions in need of food, health, shelter, and WASH assistance amid a dynamic conflict in which aid provision is highly problematic.
The conflict in Syria has been ongoing since March 2011; violence began after demonstrations demanding the departure of President Bashar al Assad.
Bashar al Assad won Syria’s presidential election of 4 June with 88.7% of the vote. The election was held only in the roughly 40% of Syrian territory controlled by government forces, and among Syrians outside the country. An official stated the turnout was 73.4%, or 11.6 million of the 15.8 million people called on to vote.
The Syrian Government announced on 25 August that it will work with the international community, including the United States, to fight terrorism and implement UN Security Council resolution 2170, targeting IS and Al Nusra Front (AFP 25/08/2014).
Indiscriminate aerial bombing by Government forces and indiscriminate shelling and attacks by armed opposition continue, particularly in Aleppo, Hama, Al Hasakeh, Idleb, Dar’a and Ar-Raqqa governorates.
July 2014 was the deadliest month since the start of the conflict, with over 1,000 civilian deaths and injuries, according to data collected by human rights organisations from various sources (UN Security Council 28/08/2014). 191,369 individuals have been reported killed in Syria between March 2011 and the end of April 2014, in an updated analysis on behalf of the UN Human Rights Office (22/08/2014). The greatest number of documented killings was recorded in Rural Damascus (39,393), followed by Aleppo (31,932), Homs (28,186), Idlib (20,040), Dar’a (18,539), and Hama (14,690). An earlier death toll, provided by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had estimated 171,000 killed by violence between 18 March 2011 and 8 July 2014.
On 30 June, Islamic State (IS; formerly the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) declared an Islamic caliphate across a stretch of land straddling Iraq and Syria, defining the group's territory as running from northern Syria to the Iraqi province of Diyala, northeast of Baghdad.
The group has transferred some of the weapons pillaged in Iraq to Syria. On 24 August IS seized Tabqa military airport, the last remaining Syrian army base in Ar-Raqqa. In recent weeks, IS has advanced back into areas from which it had previously withdrawn, including in northern Aleppo. IS fighters appearing to be moving to areas under tighter IS control, including Deir-ez-Zor, and have pulled out of parts of central Homs. Al Nusra Front took several areas in Homs in the wake of IS’s withdrawal (AFP 24/08/2014).
On 28 August, opposition forces, including Al Qaeda affiliate Al Nusra Front, seized the Syrian side of the sole crossing to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. In response to six mortar rounds hitting the occupied part of the Golan, Israel targeted two Syrian army positions (AFP 28/08/2014). Israeli airstrikes took place on 15 July in retaliation for a reported rocket attack.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The UN estimates that the number of people in need of assistance has grown to 10.8 million, including 6.4 million IDPs, of which 50% are children. 1.65 million people in Rural Damascus are affected by the crisis. Approximately 1,117,000 people need humanitarian assistance in Idleb. In Al Hasakeh, approximately 582,000 people are estimated to be in dire need of emergency humanitarian support; 711,000 are in need in Deir-ez-Zor. Approximately 800,000 are affected by the crisis in Damascus, another 800,000 in Dar’a, and 748,000 in Homs. About 500,000 people are affected by the crisis in Ar-Raqqa – more than half the governorate’s population. 533,000 people are in need in Hama, mainly in rural areas, with lower numbers in the other governorates (OCHA 28/08/2014)
4.7 million people in need are estimated to be in areas that are hard to reach. This includes at least 241,000 people in locations that are besieged by either government or opposition forces, according to UN figures (UN Security Council 31/07/2014).
Access across borders has resulted in broader coverage in hard-to-reach areas in Aleppo, Dar'a, Rural Damascus, Idleb, Quineitra and Lattakia. As of 28 August, nine aid shipments had been sent by the United Nations from neighbouring countries. Monitoring mechanisms had become operational and the Syrian Government had been notified 48 hours in advance of the crossings, as required (UN Security Council 28/08/2014).
Family rations for over 2.5 million people were dispatched by WFP between 1–19 August, representing 60% of the monthly target of 4.25 million people, and a 15% increase on the corresponding period of the previous month (WFP 27/08/2014).
Security Incidents Involving Aid Workers
A thirteenth UNRWA staff member died in Syria on 21 August, as a vehicle was hit by gunfire (UNRWA 26/08/2014). As of the end of July, 59 humanitarian workers had been killed since March 2011 (UN Security Council 31/07/2014, SARC 20/08/2014). 27 UNRWA staff are detained or presumed missing and one UNDP staff is in detention.
Trapped and Hard-to-Reach Communities
Aleppo: Up to 200,000 people are believed to be trapped inside Kobani, which has been besieged by IS since July 2013 (Amnesty 19/08/2014). According to an activist, IS deliberately cut off electricity and water supplies some six months ago. Food is scarce and very expensive when it is available as it has to be smuggled in either through Turkey or IS-controlled areas (Amnesty 19/08/2014). Some 40,000–45,000 people are also reportedly under at least partial siege in Zahra and Nobol, northwest of Aleppo, by fighters belonging to Ahrar al Sham, Al Nusra Front, and other non-state armed groups.
Al Hasakeh: Access to the northeast continues to be especially difficult, with IS activity continuing, and the humanitarian crisis is deepening (WFP 27/08/2014).
Ar-Raqqa: In July, no WFP food reached Ar-Raqqa, which had 284,000 targeted recipients (WFP 17/08/2014).
Damascus: There was no UNRWA distribution in Yarmouk on 26 August, following clashes and mortar fire affecting the distribution area on 25 August. Distributions resumed the following day (UNRWA 27/08/2014). Earlier in the month, distributions had been prevented for six consecutive days.
Deir-ez-Zor: An 18-truck convoy of food for almost 77,000 people was re-directed from Deir-ez-Zor to Ar-Raqqa, for security reasons. The convoy was attacked in Deir-ez-Zor on 6 August, and two drivers were killed (WFP 27/08/2014).
Rural Damascus: 10km southwest of Damascus, Daraya has been under government siege since November 2012, and last received humanitarian assistance in October 2012 (UN Security Council 28/05/2014). No food or medical aid is permitted to enter Daraya. Inhabitants seem to be surviving on supplies, and food grown within Daraya. (Amnesty International 06/2014). An estimated 4,000 people fled Daraya for nearby Moadamiya in July as hostilities increased (UN Security Council 31/07/2014).
After intense negotiations, with 20 requests for access to Moadimiya since March 2013, an inter-agency team was able to access the town with supplies on 14 July. No medical supplies were allowed on the convoy. However, two SARC mobile clinics accessed the area and provided medical services and 1,000 doses of vaccines. The population has grown from 20,000 to 24,000 as people fled violence in nearby Daraya (UN Security Council 31/07/2014).
A resumption of hostilities in the Qalamoun and Kisweh regions in August meant that only 13% of the food assistance earmarked for the governorate in July got through (WFP 17/08/2014).
An estimated 150,000 people, overwhelmingly civilians, are under government siege in Eastern Ghouta, most since November 2012. The entry of food supplies is blocked. There is a severe shortage of medicine and medical equipment (Amnesty International 06/2014).
Aleppo: The most populous governorate in Syria, Aleppo has 1,787,000 IDPs. The largest number of people in need (1,222,000) and IDPs (625,000) are mainly concentrated on the western side of Aleppo city (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Al Hasakeh: 197,500 IDPs and 60,500 returnees (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Fighting from early August between IS and the Syrian army precipitated the displacement of up to 10,000 more people from the villages of Al Homr, Sabeh Secoor, Al Ghazl, Mjebra, Dube and Tahya, as well as from southern suburbs of Al Hasakeh city, to safer parts of the city and to Quamishli. There was also conflict-induced displacement from the town of Yaroubiyah, near the Iraq border, to Mabada, Qahtanieh and Jawadieh (WFP 27/08/2014).
Ar-Raqqa: Around 177,000 IDPs. Ar-Raqqa City hosts the biggest concentrations of people in need (212,000) and IDPs (80,000).
As Sweida: 69,000 IDPs; most are sheltering in host communities, tents, and collective shelters across the governorate (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Damascus: 410,000 IDPs. Most are hosted by the local community and 24 official collective shelters host about 50,000 IDPs (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Dar’a: Dar’a has seen very high levels of displacement, with a large number of people having left the governorate and the return of refugees from Jordan and displaced from other areas. As of April, 33% of the estimated 2011 population of Dar’a (around 330,000) were registered as refugees in Jordan, and around 266,000 people were displaced within Dar’a (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Deir-ez-Zor: Around 441,000 IDPs; the largest affected population including IDPs is concentrated in Deir-ez-Zor city, Abu Kamal and Al Mayadin (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Hama: IDPs number around 245,000, who are all in need of humanitarian assistance (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Homs: Around 560,000 IDPs (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Idleb: 708,000 IDPs from neighbouring governorates or within Idleb are in need of assistance (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Lattakia: 300,000 IDPs; the majority reside in Lattakia city. Of the six shelters, the Sport City hosts around 1,400 families from rural Idleb and rural Aleppo (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Quneitra: Around 72,000 IDPs, most of whom have settled with host families.
Rural Damascus: 770,000 IDPs. Sahnaya, Kisweh, Jaramana, Qudsiya and Al Tal host the biggest concentrations of IDPs . There are 140 official collective shelters (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Tartous: About 200,000 of some 452,000 IDPs are in need of humanitarian assistance, mainly in Tartous city, Mashta Hellou and Banyas. Around 1,600 families reside in 21 collective shelters; 14 are in Tartous city.
Refugees in Syria
Many of the refugees from Iraq – some 50,000 crossed 1–19 August – passed through Newroz camp, Al Hasakeh, and returned to Iraq after a few days. A small proportion of families remained longer. On 12 August, some 14,000 people – mostly women and children – were at the camp. Many were hungry and dehydrated, and some had lost family members on their journey (WFP 27/08/2014).
Estimates indicate that hundreds of Syrians are returning to Syria on a daily basis; an estimated 1,000 Syrians previously seeking refuge in Iraq have crossed back into Syria. (UN Security Council 31/07/2014).
Syrian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
3,000,721 Syrians are registered or waiting to register as refugees outside Syria as of 1 September. Lebanon: 1,177,000; Turkey: 832,500; Jordan: 613,500; Iraq: 218,500; Egypt: 139,500. Children make up 51.3% of the refugee population.
In Lebanon, 53,070 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) have been recorded with UNRWA. In Jordan and Gaza, 14,290 and 860 PRS respectively have approached UNRWA for assistance. UNRWA has received reports of around 6,000 Palestine refugees in Egypt and smaller numbers in Libya, Turkey, and East Asia. (UNRWA 06/08/2014)
Across the refugee hosting countries, more than 60% of the 735,000 school-aged refugee children are not enrolled in school.
Health and Nutrition
In August, it was reported that Government soldiers at checkpoints have prevented injured civilians from reaching hospitals. Hospitals in insecure areas continue to be targeted and Government forces refused to allow deliveries of essential medicines and surgical supplies (Human Rights Council 27/08/2014). All injectable medicines, antiseptics, serums, psychotropic medicines, even bandages and gloves, are routinely denied inclusion in aid convoys.
Since the start of the conflict, some 200,000 Syrians have died from chronic illnesses due to lack of access to treatment and medicines.
Lengthy administrative procedures surrounding the supply of clinics have caused delays in distributing medical equipment and medicines to some areas. Insulin, oxygen, and anaesthetics are no longer available in many parts of Syria. Insufficient access to safe blood is increasingly exposing the population to the risk of blood-borne diseases.
Even functioning hospitals are unable to cope with the demand for surgery, due to the increase in the number of injured – averaging 25,000 each month – combined with severe shortages in supplies and frequent power cuts. An increasing number of complications such as septicaemia, gangrene, organ failure are being reported (WHO 25/07/2014).
Syrian pharmaceutical production capacity has been reduced by 65–70%. The devaluation of the Syrian pound by more than 50% and the increase in the cost of medications has affected patients’ purchasing power (WHO 25/07/2014; 16/07/2014).
Attacks on health staff and facilities: 526 medical personnel have been recorded killed since December 2012, 43% of whom were specifically targeted. Damascus governorate has the highest number of medical personnel killed, with 93 deaths. Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has documented a total of 175 attacks on 143 medical facilities. Government forces committed 157 (approximately 90%) of these attacks (Physicians for Human Rights 23/07/2014).
35% of Syria’s 97 public hospitals are partially functioning and 24% are completely out of service; 22% of public health centres are partially functioning and 17% are completely out of service (Health Resources Availability Mapping System cited by WHO 22/08/2014).
Aleppo city: Four primary healthcare centres and five trauma clinics are functioning; seven of 17 ambulances are operational. As of March, in the opposition-controlled areas of Aleppo city, there were an estimated 10–12 general surgeons, three–five orthopaedic surgeons, and fewer than ten internal medicine specialists.
Ar-Raqqa: The only dialysis service in the governorate was destroyed by bombing in March. It had served 200 patients (PHR 04/07/2014).
Damascus: As of April, only two of 18 medical facilities in Qaboon were functioning, and were only providing very basic services. In Jobar, there are no functioning medical facilities. In Yarmouk Palestinian camp, the only pharmacy still operating has been attacked by shelling and rockets at least twice. There were once between 100 and 120 pharmacies in the camp.
Dar’a: Five of Dar’a’s nine public hospitals are out of service and three are only partially functioning, with the one operational hospital serving a population of 256,750 (WHO 20/07/2014).
Deir-ez-Zor: None of the seven public hospitals are fully functioning, with two completely out of service (UNFPA 04/08/2014).
Rural Damascus: 24 of 44 private hospitals, three of six public hospitals, and 54 of 176 health centres are out of service (PHR 04/07/2014).
Diarrhoeal diseases are one of the main causes of death in children under 12 months old (IFRC 24/07/2014). The number of acute diarrhoea cases continues to increase, with 22,169 cases reported across the country in July. The highest number of cases was in Deir-ez-Zor. Also, 533 cases of bloody diarrhoea were reported in July (WHO 22/08/2014).
2,173 cases of hepatitis A were reported in July (WHO 22/08/2014). 82 cases were reported between 1 and 14 June, 85% of which were in Deir-ez-Zor, where access to safe drinking water is particularly reduced (EWARS).
Leishmaniasis is particularly common among people living in communal shelters and is spreading to more areas; the worst cases are being reported from Aleppo, Deir-ez-Zor, and Ar-Raqqa governorates (IFRC 24/07/2014).
Worsening food security, limited access to water, poor hygiene, sanitation and health services combined have contributed to declined nutritional status among children under five (WHO 25/07/2014).
An estimated 200,000 pregnant women are in need of care in Syria, and every day, some 1,480 women give birth in dire conditions (United Nations Population Fund). The proportion of deliveries by caesarean section increased from 19% in 2011 to 45% in 2013.
In July, EWARS reported 304 cases of suspected measles (WHO 22/08/2014).
Over 50% of the population is estimated to be in need of psychosocial support (WHO 25/07/2014).
36 polio cases have been reported in Syria since October 2013: 25 in Deir-ez-Zor, five in Aleppo, three in Idleb, two in Al Hasakeh, and one in Hama. The most recent case had onset of paralysis on 21 January (Global Polio Eradication Initiative 02/07/2014).
According to a July WHO/UNICEF report, polio vaccination coverage has dramatically declined from an average of 99% to 52%. The first case of polio since 1999 was reported in October 2013 (WHO).
876 typhoid cases were reported in July (WHO 22/08/2014). 1,056 cases of typhoid had been reported between 1 and 14 June (EWARS).
An estimated 6.3 million people are in need of food and agriculture assistance (OCHA 09/08/2014).
Moadamiya: Between 14 and 22 July, the UN entered Moadamiya and reported a dire shortage of most basic foodstuffs, including meat, dairy products, and wheat flour. No bakeries were functioning. The prices of available food were highly inflated and beyond the reach of residents with little or no income. Despite a ceasefire in May, commercial supplies to the town continue to be tightly regulated, with only two truckloads of vegetables and bread allowed each day. Moadamiya was being rationed at three pieces of bread per family per day, regardless of family size (WFP 28/07/2014).
More than half the population (54.3%) were living in extreme poverty at the end of 2013, unable to secure the most basic food and non-food items required for survival (Syrian Centre for Policy Research). Another 20% were living in abject poverty, unable to meet their basic food needs.
Agriculture and Markets
Consumer prices have risen 178% since the start of the conflict: yoghurt, cheese, and eggs are up by 360%, general food items up by 275%, while heating and cooking costs were up by 300% (Syrian Centre for Policy Research 05/2014).
Limited winter rain and high summer temperatures have affected agriculture and food security in most governorates. FAO has put wheat production at an expected 1.97 million metric tons for 2014, 52% lower than in 2013 and also 52% below the 2001–2011 average (FAO; ICRC 25/07/2014). The total area planted with wheat in Syria is estimated to have declined by about 15%, and rainfall deficits of 55–85% in some areas from October 2013 to the end of April 2014 have weighed heavily on crop yield projections and conditions.
Agricultural production has suffered due to declining availability and higher prices of inputs, damage and destruction of irrigation infrastructure and other farm equipment, including storage facilities, the disruption of markets, the abandonment of agricultural lands, power shortages, and the lack of other services and resources.
All parties to the conflict are increasingly targeting vital services, resulting in interruptions to supplies. This is aggravating the already dire water, sanitation, and health conditions in conflict areas and increasing the risk of outbreaks of waterborne diseases.
Syrian families consume 40% less water than they did pre-crisis. A third of Syria’s water treatment plants no longer function, and treatment of the country’s sewage has halved (WHO/UNICEF 22/07/2014)
An estimated 2.5 million people in Aleppo city continue to be affected by water shortages since the breakdown of the main water network on 2 June. Pumping capacity remains at only 50%. As a result, up to 700,000 people in western Aleppo city and thousands more in eastern Aleppo city are in need of urgent assistance to meet their minimum water needs. IDPs living in crowded shelters at the edge of the city, and poor host communities are among the worst affected. Many people, including vulnerable children, are relying on unsafe drinking water found in a large number of wells on private compounds (OCHA 09/08/2014).
Polluted water supplies, hot weather, and serious water shortages are heightening the risk of disease. Health staff are already seeing an increase in hepatitis A, typhoid and diarrhoea, and skin complaints, especially among IDPs living in communal shelters.
School enrolment in Ar-Raqqa very low, with only a limited number of schools operating. There 30 of around 100 schools in Ar-Raqqa city are closed due to severe damage. A significant number of teaching staff have been displaced (OCHA 28/08/2014).
Field monitoring shows an increase in IDP children dropping out of school in the Lattakia area, especially those residing in the IDP shelter, as the nearest school is overcrowded.
In areas under IS control, particularly in the north and northeast, Fridays are regularly marked by executions, amputations, and lashings in public squares, according to a UN report from August. Civilians, including children, are encouraged to watch. Women have been lashed for not abiding by IS’s dress code. Journalists and other media workers are systematically targeted.
Other non-state armed groups continue to commit violations, including summary executions and shelling deliberately targeting civilians.
Between the 22 February UN resolution ordering all parties to the conflict in Syria to end the indiscriminate use of barrel bombs and other weapons in populated areas and 14 July, Human Rights Watch identified over 650 new major impact strikes on Aleppo neighbourhoods held by armed groups opposed to the Government, an average of almost five a day. The Center for Documentation of Violations reported that aerial attacks killed 1,655 civilians in Aleppo governorate between 22 February and 22 July.
An August report by the UN Human Rights Council states that Government forces used chemical agents, most likely chlorine, in eight separate incidents in western Syria in April and May (Human Rights Council 27/08/2014).
On 14 August, Human Rights Watch released a report corroborating allegations of mass deaths in government custody. Accounts from four former detainees closely match the allegations of a defector, who had taken photographs of an estimated 11,000 bodies in military hospitals and other locations in Damascus. The bodies showed signs of starvation, brutal beatings, strangulation, and other forms of torture and killing (HRW 14/08/2014).
20,000 people detained by the Government since the beginning of the conflict are completely unaccounted for, as are some 7,000 government troops held by opposition forces (Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, 08/07/2014). Another 1,500 IS, other opposition, and Kurdish fighters have been kidnapped during battles in recent months (AFP 10/07/2014).
Human Rights Watch released a report on 6 August calling for the release of at least 54 women and children that non-state armed groups have held hostage since launching an offensive in rural Lattakia on 4 August 2013. 40 hostages were freed in May as part of an agreement between the armed groups and the Government. 17 women and girls who were taken are believed to have been killed (HRW 06/08/2014).
Children are increasingly recruited by non-state armed groups and by the Government’s Popular Committees to participate in and support hostilities. In Ar-Raqqa, children as young as ten are being recruited and trained at IS camps (Human Rights Council 27/08/2014). Over 120 cases of the recruitment and use of children have been documented between 1 January and 19 August, including girls, and some as young as eight. More than half the cases have been attributed to the Free Syrian Army (UN Security Council 28/08/2014).
Yemen Country Analysis
26 August: From 18 to 26 August, rival protests were staged in Sana’a. Leader Abdulmalik al Huthi gave the Government until 22 August to address grievances, while anti-government Shi’ites built walled protest camps. Talks with the Houthi leadership in Saada, which started on 21 August, were abandoned by the presidential negotiating team on 24 August. The President accused the insurgents of seeking to ignite a war, as they refused every proposal presented, including to join a national unity government (AFP).
31 July: Returnees in Amran governorate need access to lifesaving primary healthcare. Displaced families in Amran district transit camp require WASH assistance, and there is an outbreak of measles among IDPs from Amran living in Arhab district, Sana’a governorate. (OCHA/WHO).
- Insecurity is hindering efforts to verify information, including on new IDPs and on humanitarian needs.
- 500,000 were estimated to be affected by conflict by the end of March 2014, some of whom have been displaced for six years (Protection Cluster, 04/2014).
- 800,000 refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants are in need of lifesaving services (OCHA, 04/2014).
- 15 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance (UN, 05/2014).
- Over 10 million are food insecure, including 5 million severely food insecure (Comprehensive Food Security Survey 2014). Levels of food insecurity have doubled since 2009 (FAO, 06/2014).
- 8.6 million have no access to healthcare (OCHA, 04/2014).
- 13.1 million do not have access to safe water; 12.1 million are without access to improved sanitation; 4.4 million lack access to adequate sanitation (OCHA, 04/2014).
- One million children under five are acutely malnourished; 280,000 are severely malnourished (OCHA, UNICEF 06/2014).
- Open defecation remains the practice for more than 20% of the population (UNICEF 2014).
Nearly 15 million people, over half the population, are in need of some form of humanitarian assistance (UN, 15/05/2014). This figure includes nearly all two million people in Sa’ada and Al Jawf governorates in the north (HNO 2014, 2014 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan). In the central governorates, an estimated six million people need assistance, including food aid, improved water, adequate sanitation, and primary healthcare. More than half the population in Al Hudaydah, Raymah, and Mahwit (3.8 million people) need humanitarian assistance. A large number of returnees in the southern governorates have limited livelihood and income opportunities. Public services have collapsed.
Yemen is undergoing a political transition process aimed at opening the way for fully democratic elections in 2015. In addition to economic challenges, it continues to face three concurrent security challenges: the presence of Houthi insurgents in the north; southern secessionists; and the increasing presence of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) throughout the country. Urban centres in western and central governorates have also seen civil unrest.
Following a violent uprising in 2011, and the forced resignation of long-serving President Saleh, President Hadi is overseeing reforms in a US-supported political transition. Hadi’s interim period will expire in January 2015. Reforms include restructuring of the legislature to guarantee sufficient representation of both northern and southern insurgents. President Hadi’s cabinet reshuffle has not addressed core issues, however, as it has not brought new groups into the Government (ICG, 07/2014).
Under the new system, the country will consist of six regions: four in the north and two in the formerly independent south. Houthi insurgents from the far north, who would be in a region with no significant natural resources or access to the sea, have rejected this division, claiming it is unequal in terms of wealth distribution. A large portion of southern leaders are still aiming for the full independence of a unified south, according to local sources.
In July, as part of a reform package, the Government decided to increase the price of petrol by 60% and diesel by 95%, provoking mass protests. Transport and bread prices have risen at least 20% since mid-August (IRIN, 25/08/2014).
From 18 to 26 August, both pro- an anti-government protests were staged in Sana’a. Leader Abdulmalik al Huthi gave the Government until 22 August to address grievances, and 5,000 anti-government Shi’ites have built walled protest camps.
The Houthi insurgents control Saada governorate and parts of neighbouring governorates. Talks in Saada started on 21 August, but were abandoned by the presidential negotiating team on 24 August. The President accused the Houthi of seeking to ignite a war, as they refused every proposal, including a national unity government (AFP, 24/08/2014)
On 28 February, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2140 banning travel and freezing assets of people who obstruct or undermine the country's political transition and those who commit human rights violations.
Since the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) was concluded on 25 January, around 2,980 individuals, including military and security personnel, Houthi insurgents, AQAP militants, armed Sunni tribesmen and civilians, have been killed in clashes between the Government and armed militias (Yemen Times, 12/08/2014).
Yemen is of strategic importance as it flanks top oil producer Saudi Arabia and major shipping lanes, and the Government is receiving US support in its operations against AQAP. The US has intensified drone strikes against militants despite criticism of the many civilian casualties; 70 people have been killed by drone strikes since July 2013.
Islamist militants were largely driven out of their strongholds in a US-backed military offensive in 2012. Since then, they have regrouped and continue fighting. AQAP remains extremely active, retaining strongholds in the east and south. Security has been stepped up around government buildings and possible foreign targets.
In the north, intermittent fighting has been taking place between Zaidi Shi’ite Houthi insurgents and tribesmen from the Sunni Hashid confederation and their allies since October 2013. The Houthis, also referred to as Ansarullah, have been advancing from their mountain stronghold in Sa’ada governorate towards other majority Shi’ite areas near Sana’a. By December, fighting had spread to Al Jawf, Amran, and Hajjah governorates.
Violence has erupted in the south as leaders of the southern movement fear that the new regions will limit their authority by depriving them of control over important areas such as Hadramout, where oil reserves are found. A number of leaders and a large portion of the population continue to seek transition back to full independence. Most recent clashes took place in July between tribes from Maarib and Shabwah governorate over the ownership of an oil-rich desert between these governorates.
Attacks on oil pipelines are used to put pressure on the Government. Observers have warned that the economy will continue to decline if the Government cannot protect pipelines: a report found that oil revenues declined almost 30% between January 2013 and January 2014 (Yemen Central Bank, 02/2014).
Conflict in Northern Yemen
Renewed clashes between Houthis and armed tribesmen in Al Ghail district of Al Jawf governorate caused dozens to flee into other districts, breaking a 9 August ceasefire agreement. However, the presidential committee implementing the agreement, which requires both parties to remove roadblocks and barricades, and to exchange prisoners, cannot yet reach Al Ghail (Yemen Times, 13/08/2014).
On 30 July, armed men blew up an oil pipeline in Wady Obaida area in the central oil-producing governorate of Maarib, halting the flow of crude to the Ras Isa oil terminal on the Red Sea. The pipeline had been repaired on 24 July, after having been blown up on 12 July (Al Jazeera). The main oil pipeline in Maarib was bombed on 6 and 7 May, halting crude flows, according to international media.
As of 6 August, Amran governorate is under de facto control of Houthi insurgents (OCHA, 10/08/2014). Fighting escalated significantly in Amran governorate in July. Indiscriminate night air raids killed more than 200 civilians, including women and children (IFRC, 09/07/2014; OCHA, 16/07/2014). Although an agreement between the Government and Houthi insurgents has been reported, with fighting ending on 9 July, local sources indicate that parties have interpreted the scope of the agreement very differently. In June, fierce clashes between pro-government tribesmen and Shi’ite Houthi fighters in Dharwan, Bani Maymun, Al Jawf, Al Maamar, and Hamdan villages, close to Sana’a International Airport, caused many casualties (AFP, 28/06/2014; AFP, 25/06/2014). Fighting has been stop-start since March, with multiple ceasefires broken.
Two days of clashes between Shi’ite Houthi and Sunni Islamist tribesmen in Al Jawf governorate have killed at least 35 fighters on both sides (Middle East Eye, ABC News, 16/07/2014).
Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP)
Al Qaeda has disowned AQAP, as it considers the group too radical (Al Jazeera, 15/08/2014).
Since the start of the military campaign in 2012, AQAP has targeted army and security forces, abducted foreigners, and regularly attacked oil pipelines. In the beginning of 2014, Yemeni security officials linked an increase in AQAP attacks with dozens of Saudi Islamist militants coming to Yemen from the battlefields in Iraq and Syria.
Six suspected AQAP militants and three Yemeni troops died in clashes in Qatan town, Hadramout governorate, on 17 August (AFP, 18/08/2014). Two separate drone strikes in Abyan killed seven suspected AQAP militants (AP, 16/08/2014). Another drone attack in Hadramout killed three suspected AQAP militants (Al Jazeera, 16/08/2014).
On 16 August, gunmen killed two Yemeni men in separate attacks in Lahj. Authorities blame AQAP (AFP, 18/08/2014). Ten civilians and three army technicians were killed in Saber, Lahj, three days earlier, by a roadside bomb, presumably by presumed AQAP militants. Another 13 people were wounded (Reuters, AFP, 13/08/2014). On 14 August, a policeman and two militants died in clashes in Mukalla, the capital of Hadramout (AFP, 18/08/2014).
Gunmen affiliated to AQAP confirmed they kidnapped and killed 14 Yemeni soldiers. The bodies were found near Seiyoun city, Hadramout governorate (Al Jazeera, 09/08/2014).
25 suspected fighters were killed in Wadi Hadramout area in a week, including seven who were killed on 7 August when they tried to attack an army facility (Al Jazeera, 09/08/2014).
Militants attacked a security checkpoint on a main road in Hadramout, killing six soldiers. In a similar attack, on 2 August, three soldiers were attacked in Shabwah governorate. (Reuters, 04/08/2014).
In July, suspected militants attacked a post office in Hura, Hadramout, killing a policeman and taking two million riyals (Gulf News). Gunmen killed the commander of a border patrol on the Saudi side of the Wadi border crossing. Six people, including a suicide bomber and two security personnel, were killed during attacks from the Yemeni side of the crossing (Reuters). Suspected AQAP gunmen briefly seized Sayun airport in Hadramout at the end of June. Five soldiers and nine civilians died in a suicide bombing at a nearby military headquarters. In Rada’a district, Al Bayda governorate, four alleged militants and a civilian were killed in a clash between military forces and militants.
Al Qaeda carried out several retaliation attacks after a US-backed military crackdown and the Government’s declaration of ‘open war’ in mid-May (ICG, 01/06/2014). The attacks took place in Sana’a, Hadramout and Maarib governorates, and at least 30 people were killed, including civilians.
In April and May, with the help of allied tribal militias, government forces captured Al Mahfad, in Abyan governorate, which had been the main stronghold of Al Qaeda since 2012 (AFP). Some 260 people were killed during the offensive in Abya, Shabwah and Maarib governorate. Chechen national and senior Al Qaeda operative Abu Islam al Shaishani died during fighting in Abyan.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Conditions in Amran governorate and neighbouring are improving. With calm restored, humanitarian partners are re-establishing operations, despite losses from looted facilities (OCHA, 04/08/2014).
In June, WFP reported that the fuel crisis and insecurity are slowing its operations (23/06/2014). Aid deliveries from Sana’a have been interrupted due to road closures (AFP, 05/06/2014). In Al Jawf, Al Dhale’e, Al Mahwit, Raymah, and Al Maharah governorates, Médecins Sans Frontières, ICRC, and OCHA have reported that parties to conflict continue to cut off humanitarian assistance to vulnerable IDPs.
Kidnappings and Attacks on Aid Workers
The last kidnapping cases reported took place in Sana’a in April.
Population movements affect over 1.5 million people, and include people displaced by conflict, people returning home after conflict, and hundreds of thousands of returning Yemeni migrant workers, as well as migrants and refugees (OCHA, 11/05/2014).
Several waves of conflict, lack of access, as well as the fluidity of displacement, make it extremely difficult to estimate new displacements and needs.
At the end of May, 321,315 IDPs were in Yemen (OCHA, 31/07/2014). As of February, OCHA reported that 95% of IDPs are hosted in five governorates: Sa’ada (103,010 people); Hajjah (81,940 people); Amran (54,270 people); Sana’a (42,760 people); and Al Jawf (24,700).
Amran and the North: Information on the humanitarian impact of the conflict in Al Jawf governorate is limited. Around 5,000 people are reportedly displaced, although unconfirmed reports state up to 14,000 people displaced. IDPs are with neighbouring host communities or relatives. Persistent insecurity makes humanitarian presence and access extremely limited (OCHA, 14/08/2014).
About 100 families have been displaced in Al Jawf governorate, from Al Ghail to Al Hazm district, due to violence between Houthis and tribesmen affiliated with the Islah party (Yemen Times, 23/07/2014).
There is an urgent need for humanitarian assistance in Amran governorate following fighting between Houthi fighters and an alliance of tribesmen and military units (OCHA 16/07/2014; Yemen Times, 15/07/2014). From 2010 to April 2014, 65,000 had already been displaced by conflict in Amran (UNHCR, 30/06/2014).
In 2014, 31,435 refugees and migrants arrived in Yemen. From April to June there was a peak with around 8,500 arrivals per month. Some 6,225 African migrants arrived in Yemen in June 2014. 31,435 new arrivals so far in 2014 indicates a 32% drop from 46,417 migrants recorded in the same period in 2013 (OCHA 31/07/2014).
Around 800,000 refugees, asylum seekers and migrants need lifesaving assistance.
A group of around 200 Eritrean refugees, ‘illegal immigrants’ who have not obtained an official refugee status, have been arrested and sent to jail upon their crossing into Yemen. Most refugees spent between three and 20 months in a prison in Hodeida governorate (Yemen Times, 19/08/2014).
Ethiopia and Saudi Arabia’s measures to control trafficking have contributed to the lower number of African migrants and refugees. However, unaccompanied minors are still being identified in immigration centres in Yemen (Protection Cluster, 28/04/2014).
As of May, there are 223,694 returnees, in Abyan (152,950), Sa’ada (64,800), Al Bayda and Dhamar (8,160) (OCHA, 30/06/2014). As of March, 550,000 Yemenis had returned from Saudi Arabia (OCHA, 11/05/2014). Most have acute humanitarian needs. The returns place a burden on Yemen’s fragile political transition.
The number of returnees fluctuates monthly, but an estimated 400,000 Yemeni nationals may return in 2014. The Saudi Government restricted the activities of foreign workers in March 2013.
As of 10 August, most of the 45,000 IDPs who had fled Amran governorate since the end of April had reportedly returned (OCHA). Some IDPs might face difficulties in returning home, namely opponents of Houthis and those whose properties were damaged or destroyed (OCHA, 04/08/2014). The returnees need access to lifesaving primary healthcare (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
Around 10.6 million are food insecure, among whom five million are severely food insecure (CFSS 2014 quoted by OCHA, 10/08/2014; WFP, FAO, Food Security Cluster, 05/2014). The number of food insecure has declined 4% in the last three years.
Despite declining international wheat prices, stable international rice prices, and above-average production harvest prospects, Crisis (IPC Phase 3) acute food insecurity is expected to continue in Yemen through September due to conflicts and ongoing severe fuel shortages. This will likely persist until December. Market access problems and ongoing hostilities (causing additional displacement) further erode the purchasing power of the poor in Yemen (FEWSNET, 01/08/2014).
Around 1,800 newly displaced families require food aid. 18,000 families received food distributions in Amran prior to the recent conflict. Since the outbreak of violence, these families have not received food aid. These operations are now being resumed (OCHA, 04/08/2014).
50–75% of the population in Lahj, Hajjah, Raymah and Al Jawf governorates is food insecure. Over 80% of households in these governorates are estimated to be in debt to meet food needs (Comprehensive Food Security Survey cited by OCHA, 10/08/2014).
About 58% of households do not have enough food or money to buy food to sustain their minimum consumption requirements (FEWSNET 07/2014). About 75% of food insecure people give economic concerns as the primary causes of food distress. Household debt levels increased from 2011 to 2014 (Comprehensive Food Security Survey cited by OCHA, 10/08/2014). Current fuel shortages are likely to contribute to significant price increases for basic commodities, including food and water. Purchasing power of poor families will be reduced due to rising market prices (Oxfam, quoted by OCHA, 10/08/2014).
Yemen is particularly vulnerable to international hikes in food prices, since it imports up to 90% of its main staple foods, like wheat and sugar. Food availability and access have become a major concern since 96% of households are net food purchasers, and several markets, especially Sa’ada market, are located in conflict areas (FEWSNET 07/2014).
Continued instability, currency depreciation, and low foreign reserve levels contributed to costlier food imports and higher local commodity prices. Increased commodity prices raised the cost of the food basket by 7% compared to the last quarter (WFP, 31/07/2014).
Insecurity is hampering agricultural activity. Crop production levels will be lower due to drought and locust infestation in the northwest. Harvesting of the 2014 grain crop will start in July–August (FAO, 03/06/2014).
Farmers affected by the Amran conflict are in need of support to avoid losing the next harvest (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
Health and Nutrition
An estimated 8.6 million people have limited access to health services (OCHA, 28/02/2014). Qualified medical staff are in short supply, as is medical equipment.
14 oxygen cylinders and an ambulance stocked with medical supplies and equipment were looted from Amran City hospital during the conflict, and have not been returned as of yet (OCHA, 04/08/2014).
An influx of cheap counterfeit pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs is driving substance abuse in Yemen, placing a growing strain on already stretched services (IRIN, 30/06/2014).
GAM rates marginally improved across the country to about 12.7%, although still far exceeding the critical threshold. Over one million children are acutely malnourished. The situation is particularly serious in Taizz, Ibb, Dhamar and Al Maharah governorates, which recorded increased GAM. In general, western coastal regions and rural areas are most affected (OCHA, 10/08/2014). There was a decline in GAM in Al Hudaydah, Aden, Lahj, Marib, Al Dhale’e, Hadramout and Al Bayda governorates.
An estimated 1.9 million people need nutrition assistance (UNICEF 2014).
There is an outbreak of measles among IDPs from Amran living in Arhab district, Sana’a governorate (WHO quoted by OCHA, 31/07/2014).
There are concerns that Syrian refugees fleeing to Yemen could reintroduce the polio virus (Yemen Times, 17/07/2014). Yemen had cVDPV2 and cVDPV3 outbreaks between April 2011 and July 2013 (WHO).
As of 28 February, an estimated 13.1 million people do not have access to safe water, 12.1 million are without access to improved sanitation, and 4.4 million lack access to adequate sanitation (OCHA).
Open defecation remains standard practice for more than 20% of the population and appears to be higher for young children (UNICEF 2014).
Displaced families in Amran district transit camp require WASH assistance (OCHA, 31/07/2014).
Nationwide, an estimated 2.5 million children are not in school (OCHA, 04/2014). The drop-out rate is more than 20% in the 37 most affected districts. Over 350 damaged schools require rehabilitation or reconstruction to facilitate some 72,000 children.
Unverified reports estimate that between 200 and 500 houses were damaged in the recent Amran conflict, information on the scale of damage remains incomplete hindering a proper response (OCHA, 04/08/2014).
Registration of IDPs in large town settings and with host communities is progressing slowly and vulnerable IDPs such as women, children, and older people in Amran are in need of emergency shelter (OCHA).
Widespread arms possession continues to fuel sectarian and tribal conflicts throughout the country (Yemen Times, 12/08/2014).
Child rights violations incidents were reported in Amran, Al Dhale’e and Sa’ada during the Amran conflict in July 2014 (UNICEF, 31/07/2014). IDPs displaced in the recent Amran conflict may face difficulties returning, if perceived to oppose Houthi fighters (OCHA, 23/07/2014).
In the first half of 2014, 285 cases of gender-based violence have been reported in Aden; many more remain unreported (OCHA, 05/06/2014).
In a survey, around 72% of Yemenis returning from Saudi Arabia said their protection was violated by deprivation of food or water, detention, or physical and psychosocial abuse (OCHA, 12/05/2014).
The Protection Cluster noted that women and children in Al Dhale’e face harassment from soldiers (28/04/2014).
Landmines and explosive remnants of war are a major concern in the northern governorates.
The Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict has reported that Houthis, Ansar al Sharia, and state-armed forces are all recruiting children (02/06/2014).
Child recruitment by armed forces and armed groups was reported during the Amran conflict (UNICEF, 31/07/2014).
No significant developments this week, 28/08/2014. Last update 13/08/2014.
- As of June, 78,958 people are food insecure (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
Burundi is struggling to emerge from a 12-year civil war: between 1993 and 2005, fighting between Tutsis and Hutus claimed around 300,000 lives in inter-ethnic killings. The 2000 Arusha Peace Accord provided mechanisms to ensure a delicate balance of ethnic power through a system of quotas, with 60% Hutu and 40% Tutsi representation in parliament and other public institutions. The quotas serve to protect the Tutsi minority from domination by the Hutus, who make up some 85% of the population.
Since the President’s re-election in 2010, scores of political killings, intimidation of the opposition, and a crackdown on media freedom have all been reported, which has cast a shadow over the post-civil war reconciliation process. Most recently, observers stated concerns on restrictions on civil and political rights, following a series of violent acts by the ruling party’s increasingly militant youth wing, Imbonerakure.
2015 General Elections: Proposed Constitutional Amendments
Presidential elections are scheduled for 26 June 2015, with a second round on 27 July if necessary (AFP, 18/07/2014). On 9 June, the Government, the National Independent Electoral Commission (CENI), and all political parties and actors signed the General Principles for the conduct of the 2015 elections (UN, 10/06/2014).
Deteriorating relations between the parties within the ruling coalition stem mainly from the desire of President Nkurunziza, elected in 2005 and again in 2010, to run for a third term in the 2015 elections.
In February, the UN Secretary General was tasked with establishing an electoral observer mission to monitor the situation ahead of, during, and after the 2015 presidential election. On 4 June, Burundi expelled a second UN official, stating he was carrying ammunition when boarding a plane (AFP, 04/06/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Land scarcity and high population density have resulted in pervasive tensions over land ownership. This is aggravated as a high number of IDPs and refugees are returning to their places of origin and claiming land where other families, often of a different ethnic background, have since settled.
As of July, Burundi has 78,948 IDPs (UNHCR, 07/2014). They are mostly ethnic Tutsis, located in and around 120 sites across northern and central Burundi. No new displacement has been recorded since 2008 (Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre).
As of July, Burundi is host to 56,856 refugees (UNHCR, 07/2014).
Refugees are mainly located in the border regions of Ngozi (north, alongside Rwanda), Ruyigi, Muyinga, and Cankuzo (east, alongside Tanzania) and Bubanza (west, alongside DRC). In November 2013, Burundi’s three refugee camps (Bwagiriza, Musasa, and Gasorwe) reached their maximum capacity with a total population of 26,000 refugees. UNHCR opened a refugee camp in Kavumu, Cankuzo province, in May (UNHCR, 11/2013).
Burundian Refugees in Neighbouring countries
As of 30 June, 9,764 Burundian refugees were residing in DRC (UNHCR, 30/06/2014).
As of 31 July, 6,101 Burundian refugees were residing in Kenya (UNHCR, 31/07/2014), most of the located in Kakuma Camp.
43,000 Burundians living in Tanzania have been forcibly repatriated. Limited information makes it difficult to quantify the exact number of people expelled since the end of July 2013. Many returnees, 65% of whom are women and children, have chosen to return to their province of origin without being registered due to a lack of reception facilities at entry points (IOM, 01/2014).
As of August, 78,958 people are currently food insecure (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
Poor households in northeastern livelihood zones are expected to face Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity from July to November (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014). The production deficits in Kirundo were among the worst in the country, leading to atypical migration (FEWSNET, 30/06/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Dry spells since mid-April – only 50–80% of the average seasonal rainfall – have led to a rapid deterioration of ground conditions across Burundi. Production in the northeast is estimated to be 40 to 60% below average.
Prices remain higher than the five-year average (FEWSNET, 31/05/2014) and price variability in some areas has caused poor households to reduce non-food expenditures in order to cover for food requirements. The most affected households are in the northeast (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014).
Budget cuts and bureaucracy have caused blood shortages in Burundi (IRIN, 27/08/2014).
Chad Country Analysis
30 August: Staple food prices increased throughout the country in July (FEWSNET).
25 August: Malaria cases have increased in the south as rains have intensified (OCHA).
- 93,305 CAR refugees, 18,417 of whom have arrived since December 2013 (UNHCR, 19/08/2014). 340,000 Chadians have returned to their country as of June 2014 (FAO, 07/08/2014).
- 461,000 refugees in Chad (FAO, 07/08/2014).
- 3.9 million people are food insecure or at risk of food insecurity (FAO, 07/08/2014).
- There is a high prevalence of malaria: 191,630 cases in the first quarter of 2014, compared to 144,640 in the same period in 2013: 991,840 cases were diagnosed in 2013, including 2,610 deaths (OCHA, 11/2013). Malaria remains the first direct cause of death for children under five in Chad (UNICEF, 14/08/2014).
Added to the impact of three major humanitarian crises at its borders (Darfur, CAR, and Nigeria) and the presence of hundreds of thousands of refugees, Chad faces chronic food insecurity, repeated food crises, malnutrition, natural hazards, and outbreaks of disease.
Central African Republic Crisis
On 12 May, Chad’s President Idriss Déby announced that the southern border with CAR would be closed to all except Chadian citizens until the CAR crisis is resolved. The Government deployed additional security forces to the border, and expressed concern that armed fighters might be infiltrating refugee populations in the area. On 16 June, UNHCR announced that it would be investigating reports that people seeking refuge in Chad are being refused entry at the Sido border, in contravention of non-refoulement principles.
Chad withdrew its troops from the African Union Peacekeeping Force in CAR in April, after accusations of violence against civilians. In January, a UN human rights team travelled to CAR to gather evidence and testimonies relating to allegations that Chadian citizens, including peacekeepers, carried out mass killings. Chad has always denied the charges.
As of 1 August, France had deployed a 3,000-strong counterterrorism operation across the Sahel region. Based in Chad, operation Barkhane is active in Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania and Niger (Local Media, 01/08/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Bad road conditions due to the rainy season, which starts in June and usually lasts until October, are limiting access (ECHO, 02/2014). Heavy rainfall in mid-August has impeded the movement of humanitarian personnel towards areas where assistance is required (UNHCR, 19/08/2014).
Successive waves of instability and conflict in neighbouring countries have caused large-scale population movements into Chad, which now hosts 461,000 refugees (FAO, 07/08/2014).
An estimated 90,000 IDPs are living in protracted displacement in the east (OCHA, 19/11/2013). Most were displaced in 2007 by armed conflict between government forces and opposition groups, inter-communal violence, and attacks by criminal groups known as coupeurs de route. Most IDPs would prefer to integrate into their place of refuge or resettlement. However, conditions have not yet allowed a durable solution. Limited information is available on the current situation.
Refugees in Chad
As of June 2014, Chad was host to 461,000 refugees, mainly from Sudan’s Darfur, CAR, Libya, and Nigeria (FAO, 07/08/2014). These arrivals have placed additional burdens on host communities.
Humanitarian needs of incoming refugees are primarily access to clean drinking water, hygiene, shelter, and health and nutrition care for children and women.
CAR: As of 15 August, there are 93,305 CAR refugees in Chad, 18,417 of whom have arrived since December 2013 (UNHCR, 19/08/2014).
Although the Chad–CAR border remains officially closed, refugees continue to arrive at a number of border points and are in a very vulnerable condition: malnourished, dehydrated, and traumatised (UNHCR, 07/2014). Many people are arriving without being registered (OCHA, 16/07/2014). 92% of arrivals lack any form of identity documentation.
50,281 people are in Dosseye and Belom camps, in the south: 21,807 in Dosseye and 28,474 in Belom.
The situation in southern transit sites remains critical. Serious gaps in assistance were reported in May, notably in shelter and WASH (OCHA, 27/05/2014). Over 6,100 people in Doba transit site are waiting to be relocated to Maingama temporary camp, which accommodates over 2,000 people, but should ultimately house 30,000. The temporary site of Danamadja has reached its current maximum capacity with over 11,000 inhabitants, although only 40% of the camp is completed. Humanitarian actors are in discussion with authorities to prepare a new site, a few kilometres from Goré and Danamadja, as an extension (OCHA, 16/07/2014).
There is an urgent need of transport assistance to facilitate the relocation of refugees (UNHCR, 07/2014).
Nigeria: 1,000 Nigerians fled Kolokolia due to attacks by Boko Haram on their villages in early August and have arrived on the uninhabited island of Choua in Lake Chad. The large majority are children and women. There are in urgent need of food, water, shelter and medical care and will be relocated to the hosting area of Ngouboua at the request of the Chadian Government (UNHCR, 05/08/2014).
Sudan: As of 31 July, 360, 500 Sudanese refugees are registered in Chad (OCHA, 14/08/2014). In Tissi, which is mainly hosting Sudanese refugees, basic services are non-existent (UNICEF, 04/2013).
Chadian Returnees and Third-country Nationals
As of 11 August, the cumulative total of evacuees form CAR without refugee status, including returnees and third-country nationals, stands at 108,471. More than 62,000 are still residing in temporary and transit sites (IOM, 22/08/2014). The needs of returnees are significant in all sectors, including shelter during the ongoing rainy season (UNHCR, 19/08/2014).
An assessment of the humanitarian situation in Kouno and surrounding villages, where 1,091 returnees are living, identified urgent needs in terms of shelter, food items and NFI, medical care including vaccination, water and sanitation facilities, and establishing or reinforcing community coping mechanisms (IOM, 22/08/2014).
The Government has increased the maximum stay in transit centres from ten days to one year to allow the restoration of family links and better prepare relocations.
Legal status: Many second and third-generation Chadian returnees are at risk of statelessness, without family links or identity documents, entering Chad for the first time and holding CAR citizenship (UNHCR, 07/2014). Second and third-generation Chadians from CAR have been recognised as de facto nationals by the Government, and UNHCR is working with authorities to formalise recognition and avoid statelessness. The Government will provide birth certificates to every child born in a transit site. According to government figures, over 300,000 Chadian nationals lived in CAR prior to the current crisis.
Returnees from Libya: As of April, 150,000 Chadians had returned from Libya since the Libya crisis began in 2011, according to OCHA. Sporadic arrivals continue in Faya-Largeau and areas of Tibesti region.
Returnees from Nigeria: 3,500 returnees and 553 Nigerian refugees had fled to western Chad as of March (OCHA, 03/2014). Returnees from Nigeria hosted in Ngouboua are mostly unaccompanied children from fishing villages in Bagakawa. According to OCHA, returnees are dispersed across two other locations in Bol and Mao.
Returnees from Cameroon: 5,000 Chadians who initially fled to Cameroon are expected to arrive in Logone Occidental, and a new site, Djako (Moundou), has been set up for them (WFP, 17/07/2014). On 5 August, 556 Chadian migrants returned to Chad (IOM, 22/08/2014). As of 8 August, Djako temporary site hosts 1,000 Chadian migrants who have returned from Cameroon (IOM, 22/08/2014). Around 2,150 Chadians in Moby, Bite, and Yokadouma, Cameroon need to be registered (UNHCR, 07/2014).
Chadians in Congo: An estimated 1,500 third-country nationals, the majority of Chadian nationality, have fled from CAR into northern Congo. They live in isolated and difficult conditions, and many have been in border towns for up to two months, receiving no assistance and having to rely on host communities (UNHCR, 07/2014).
More than 810,000 people are estimated to be in Phase 3 (Crisis) food insecurity and above during the lean season from June–August. An additional 3.1 million people are experiencing Stressed food security levels, IPC Phase 2 (FAO, 07/08/2014).
Southern Bahr El-Ghazel (BEG), in the centre of the country, and Wadi Fira, in the east, are forecasted to remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) until the end of September. Kanem, Batha, and north BEG will remain in Stressed situation (IPC Phase 2) until September (FEWSNET, 28/08/2014).
Staple food prices increased throughout the country in July. The presence of displaced populations from CAR in southern Chad have contributed to atypical market demand in some areas in July (FEWSNET, 30/08/2014).
Funding difficulties have forced WFP and UNHCR to cut food rations from 1 July (WFP, 14/08/2014). Some 300,000 refugees, primarily from Darfur and CAR, are reported to be among the worst affected. According to local media, food distributions in some places have been reduced by up to 60%, leaving refugees with a ration of 850 kilocalories per day, while the normal ration is 2,100 kilocalories per refugee per day (24/07/2014).
Pasture deficits have impacted on livestock conditions, reducing milk availability and livestock prices and eroding purchasing power. Affected households in the Batha, northern Bahr El-Ghazel, Kanem, Guera, Sila, and Hadjer Lamis areas will have difficulty maintaining food access and will be in Stressed conditions between April and September.
The additional cost of refugees and returnees in Logone Oriental, Moyen Chari, Mandoul, and Salamat, in border areas with CAR, is putting pressure on household demand, consumption, and spending. As a result, these households will also find themselves in Stressed conditions. In Ouaddai market, at the border with Sudan, sorghum and millet prices, from April to June, were 28% and 10% higher respectively than the previous quarter, partly due to production deficits (WFP, 07/2014).
Regional Outlook: Sahel
In March 2014, more than 25 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal), suffered from food insecurity (FAO, 03/04/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Chad is regularly afflicted by epidemics and disease outbreaks, owing to low vaccination coverage and weak water and sanitation infrastructure. There are fewer than 500 Chadian doctors for the entire population of 11.8 million people, meaning one for 23,600 people.
Chad has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world, with 1,100 mothers dying per 100,000 births (OCHA, 05/2014).
Malaria cases have increased in the south as rains have intensified (OCHA, 25/08/2014).
In 2014, the number of malaria cases in N'Djamena has increased compared to last year. This trend is confirmed in different endemic areas of the country, indicating a 28% increase at the national level (UNICEF, 14/08/2014).
At the end of March, the number of malaria cases reported in 2014 was 191,630, compared to 144,640 in March 2013. National authorities indicated an increase in malaria in six districts, mainly in N’Djamena.
Malaria is a major health problem with a prevalence of nearly 30% across all age groups and about 36% among children under five (UNICEF). In 2013, 991,840 cases were recorded, including 2,610 deaths (compared to 616,720 cases and 1,160 deaths in 2012).
150,000 children are severely malnourished, according to current estimates (UNICEF, 14/08/2014).
406,000 children were estimated to be moderately malnourished in May (OCHA, 05/2014). Acute malnutrition rates in the five regions of Chad's Sahel belt range from 9% to 12%. In the first two months of 2014, UNICEF registered 63,000 malnourished children in Chad, the majority in the Sahel belt. Last year, 45,000 children died due to malnutrition (OCHA, 05/2014).
In refugee/returnee sites and entry points, acute malnutrition rates were above the emergency threshold in May: 24% in Bitoye and 20% in Doba (FAO and WFP, 05/2014). The nutritional situation could deteriorate with the ongoing rains and lack of services (FAO and WFP, 05/2014). MSF surveillance shows that under-five mortality rates far surpass the WHO emergency threshold of two children per 10,000 per day, with 5.4 recorded in Gbiti, and 3.1 in Gado Bedzere (WFP, 13/06/2014).
Following an outbreak of measles in Danamadja temporary site, a vaccination campaign is under way (OCHA, 16/07/2014).
As of 5 May, 7,100 measles cases, including nine deaths, had been registered in 2014 (Ministry of Health). Some 33 of the 77 health districts have reported cases.
In the CAR refugee camps, new arrivals are impacting on the quantity and quality of available water (UNHCR, 31/06/2014). WASH facilities need upgrading in Gaoui temporary site, in N’Djamena (IOM, 22/08/2014). The number of latrines is insufficient in some sites, including Sido and Danamadja (OCHA, 25/08/2014).
Access to WASH facilities for host communities has also been affected by the presence of refugees (UNHCR, 31/07/2014).
Ethiopia Country Analysis
25 August: Rain has greatly increased the risk of water-borne diseases among refugees in the Gambella camps (OCHA).
- Armed insurgencies continue to affect Ogaden region, with inter-communal tensions contributing to frequent violence.
- There are 629,720 refugees, mainly from Kenya and South Sudan (UNCHR). Over 187,000 South Sudanese refugees are in Gambella region; 90% are women and children (OCHA).
- 2.4 million people need food assistance. The most affected regions are Oromia, Somali, Amhara, Tigray and Afar (FAO).
- Measles cases have surged since mid-January 2014, with over 5,000 suspected cases reported by March (OCHA).
- A majority of the refugee camps have reached, or are reaching, their full capacity. Main concerns include the building of a new refugee camp, malnutrition among refugees, as well as critical shortfalls in humanitarian aid.
Ethiopia is considered comparatively stable, but deep clan tensions and intra-communal violence persist. Two decades of deadly conflict in the southeastern region of Ogaden have had a severe impact on the Ethiopian Somali population, especially after years of a relatively successful government counter-insurgency campaign. The Government has yet to address the root causes of the violence.
However, weak political opposition, the perspective of a new peace process between the Government and separatist groups, and the Government’s determination to accelerate economic growth all make continued stability likely.
Protests against projects to expand the boundaries of Addis Ababa into lands currently hosting the Oromo community, which has reportedly been marginalised by successive Governments, began on 25 April. In May, dozens of people were reported killed in violence across the region, according to local sources.
Four opposition party members were arrested in July for alleged connections with terrorist organisations (Crisis Watch, 01/08/2014).
Participation in Regional Military Operations
Ethiopia has historically been a key player in peacekeeping and counter-terrorism operations in East Africa. Peace talks on the South Sudan conflict, under the mediation of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, are taking place in Addis Ababa. In 2014, Addis also hosted peace talks over conflict in Sudan.
In January 2014, according to official reports, the Government pledged that Ethiopian troops, currently part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) would remain in Somalia until durable peace and security is achieved. The Somali militant group Al Shabaab has repeatedly threatened Ethiopia since Ethiopian troops arrived in Somalia. On 13 October 2013, a bomb blast killed two people in Addis Ababa. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The start of the rainy season is posing access problems as many areas are flooded, including refugee camps and Burubiey entry point, which is now closed (UNICEF 15/07/2014).
Insecurity levels have made some camps at Beninshangul-Gumuz inaccessible (IOM, 08/07/2014).
Due to the overflow of the Awash River, floods were reported on the second week of August in the Afar woredas of Amibara, Awash Fentale, Buremudaitu and Gewane. A flood alert was issued on 18 August urging the Government and humanitarian actors on the ground to implement flood prevention and preparedness measures (OCHA 18/08/2014).
As of 31 March, Ethiopia had 328,079 IDPs (OCHA, 11/06/2014).
Refugees in Ethiopia
As of mid-August Ethiopia hosts up to 629,720 refugees from 13 countries, but mainly Somalis, South Sudanese, Eritreans, and Sudanese (WFP, 15/08/2014). Ethiopia is now the largest refugee-hosting country in Africa (UNHCR, 19/08/2014).
South Sudanese Refugees
Results from a UNHCR survey indicate a serious public health emergency among South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia (WFP, 15/08/2014; UNHCR, 31/07/2014).
As of 22 August, 188,416 South Sudanese have sought asylum in Ethiopia since December 2013. The majority of arrivals come from Upper Nile state and are predominantly from Gajaak, Gajiok, and Luo-Nuer tribes (UNHCR, 03/07/2014). They are arriving through Pagak (50%), Akobo (22%), Burubiey (23%), Matar, Raad, Pugnido and Wanke entry points (UNHCR, 25/07/2014). 46,362 South Sudanese refugees were in Ethiopia before 2013.
90% are women and children who arrive in critical nutritional conditions (WFP, 15/08/2014). Most new arrivals cite food insecurity as their main reason for flight (UNHCR, 03/07/2014).
The number of South Sudanese refugees crossing the border into Ethiopia has seen a sharp decline, from an average of 2,000 per day in May to 490 in August (OCHA 30/06/2014; 18/08/2014). The rate of new arrivals in Burubiey has decreased to approximately 250 people per day since mid-July. Refugees have blamed this on fighting around Nasir, which has made roads to Burubiey unsafe (UNHCR, 18/07/2014).
30,000 refugees are currently awaiting relocation, including 8,762 at Mathar and 6,102 in Pagak (WFP 15/08/2014). An additional 12,000 who have livestock have opted to stay in border areas (WFP, 08/08/2014). Heavy rains and poor road conditions have made the relocation of refugees from Burubiey challenging (IOM, 08/07/2014).
As of 16 July, refugee operations are facing critical resource shortfalls (WFP, 16/07/2014). Camp facilities have long been overwhelmed. Tierkidi, Kule and Leitchuor camps are at full capacity: On 30 June, Leitchuor camp hosted 47,485 people (UNHCR, 30/06/2014; 09/05/2014). As of 1 July, Kule camp hosted 51,476 refugees (UNHCR, 01/07/2014). Tierkidi houses 37,287 refugees (UNHCR, 28/06/2014).
Intensifying rains in Gambella have increased risk of water-borne diseases, prompting a mass cholera vaccination campaign to prevent an epidemic among refugees (OCHA, 25/08/2014). In mid-August flooding and stagnant water had seriously affected refugees living in Leitchuor camp and Pagak reception centre. Preparations for Nip Nip, the new camp with a capacity of over 20,000, are ongoing and relocations began on 15 August (OCHA 18/08/2014; WFP, 15/08/2014). As of 26 August, no information has been received on the number of refugees relocated to Nip Nip.
Ethiopian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 1 July, there are 30,343 Ethiopian refugees in Kenya (10/07/2014, UNHCR).
An estimated 6,820 Ethiopians made their way to Yemen in May, slightly fewer than the 6,865 who arrived in April, and a 31% increase on the number who arrived in May 2013. New arrivals came predominantly from Oromia, Tigray, Amhara, Harar, and Ogaden regions, for economic reasons and risk of persecution. New arrivals in Yemen have reported cases of arbitrary detention and torture as a result of perceived affiliation to the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), and repression premised on political affiliation in light of the general elections scheduled for 2015 (RMMS, 31/05/2014).
The food security situation is deteriorating as of August in most parts of Somali region, the eastern half of Oromia (particularly the lowlands) and most of Afar. Poor households in the highlands of the Arsi zone in central Oromia have moved into Crisis conditions (IPC Phase 3). Their situation is not likely to improve until the meher harvest in October. Southern and southeastern pastoral areas and poor households in most areas are Stressed (IPC Phase 2), but only thanks to humanitarian assistance (FEWSNET 12/08/2014).
Water shortages are reported all throughout the east of the country, with severe scarcity prompting emergency water assistance interventions in some areas (WFP 31/07/2014).
On 26 February, an estimated 2.7 million people were food insecure (FEWSNET). This is a 12% increase compared to the first half of 2013. Food insecurity is reportedly due to consecutive below-average belg and sugum rains in 2013 (February–May and March–May), low crop production, deterioration of livestock, and asset depletion. The most affected regions are Oromia (897,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance), Somali (690,970), Amhara (548,000), Tigray (321,400), and Afar (152,600).
Critical water shortages are persisting despite ongoing karan rains in parts of the Somali region. In more drought-prone areas, like Afar and Oromia, critical water shortage also exists.
Agriculture and Markets
As of August, contrary to initial forecasts, seasonal rains have been poor (OCHA 04/08/2014). The poor rainy season has adversely impacted many parts of eastern Ethiopia. Crop losses have been reported, and livestock conditions have declined. Milk production has significantly diminished (WFP 31/07/2014).
In July, the year-to-year general inflation rate increased to 6.9%; food inflation to 5.8% and non-food to 8.2%. The terms of trade between shoat and staple cereals has deteriorated for producers and consumers in most areas of the Somali region and Diredawa markets (WFP, 31/07/2014).
Health and Nutrition
A survey carried out among South Sudanese refugees residing in Ethiopia indicate a serious public health emergency (OCHA 15/08/2014). Monitoring in Gambella region has shown “critical gaps” in medical personnel and supplies, as well as funds for public health clusters (OCHA, 11/08/2014).
Twelve hepatitis E cases have been confirmed in Leitchuor and Kule refugee camps (UNICEF, 15/07/2014).
Malaria remains the main public health concern in all the refugee camps. The death rate from malaria in Kule 1 camp is 5.9/1,000/week, in Leitchuor 5.6/1,000/week and in Tierkidi 5/1,000/week (UNHCR 03/07/2014).
Results of a SMART survey in Leitchuor, Kule, and Tierkidi show GAM rates of 25.8%, 30.3%, and 28%, and SAM rates of 5.7%, 10%, and 7.8% respectively. Crude mortality rates in Kule 1 were 1.47/10,000/day and Leitchuor 1.03/10,000/day. Under-five mortality rates at Kule 1 were 5/10,000/day and Leitchuor 2.73/10,000/day (WFP, 15/08/2014; UNICEF, 15/07/2014).
As of February 2014, according to OCHA’s nutrition hotspot mapping, priority districts in terms of nutrition were located along the Eritrea border in Afar region, in Oromia, and in Tigray. Hotspots were also recorded along the South Sudan border in Gambella.
During the first week of August, 160 suspected cases of measles were reported, half of them in Amhara and Oromia.
The Government and humanitarian actors on the ground have responded to more than 200 measles outbreaks this year (OCHA, 11/08/2014). Close to 2600 new measles cases were recorded between until May since mid-January 2014 in Gambella Amhara, Oromia, SNNP and Somali regions (OCHA, 12/05/2014).
In the first week of August, 26 cases of meningitis were reported in Amhara and SNNP (OCHA, 11/08/2014). According to OCHA, 35 suspected cases of meningitis were reported over 3–10 March in the Dilla area, about 250km south of the capital. Another 66 cases were reported across Oromia, SNNP, and Gambella regions, where the seasonal meningitis outbreak requires an estimated two million doses of vaccine.
On 17 March, according to OCHA, a new case of polio was confirmed in Somali region, bringing the caseload in Ethiopia to ten since the outbreak started in May 2013. All cases were reported in woredas that share borders with Somalia, where the regional polio outbreak started. An immunisation campaign targeting over three million children is ongoing. 67,804 children under 15 years have received the oral polio vaccine (UNICEF, 15/06/2014).
The ratio of latrines to people in refugee camps varies greatly: 1:217 in Burubiey; 1:78 in Kule 1; and 1:55 in Kule 2; 1:47 in Leitchuor; and 1:26 in Pugnido (UNHCR, 03/07/2014).
As of 14 April, according to the Education Cluster, 30,000–40,000 children were in need of emergency education intervention in Gambella region.
In mid-February, human rights NGOs reported that a government-run land clearance plan had affected an estimated 7,000 indigenous people in the lower Omo Valley in the southwest. This raises concerns over indigenous people’s livelihoods. Forced resettlement of indigenous people in the area has also been reported.
A government land development plan to allow sugar-cane plantations, dam construction, and commercial agriculture is expected to relocate 150,000 indigenous people into permanent sedentary villages.
No significant news reported this week, 27/08/2014. Last update: 25/07/2014.
- Delays in the arrival of the rainy season reported in July are jeopardising planting activities and likely to increase the risk of food insecurity and poverty among the most vulnerable families. 200,000 people are already in need of critical food assistance by July (OCHA 25/07/2014).
- Over 50,000 children are malnourished, 19,300 children more than in July 2013 (OCHA 01/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Refugees in the Gambia
As of late January 8,300 refugees, mostly Senegalese from the Casamance region, live in the Gambia (OCHA). Smaller numbers of refugees come from Liberia, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, and Togo.
200,000 were in critical need of food assistance, and around 600,000 were at risk of food insecurity in July (OCHA 25/07/2014).
Access to food continues to be constrained by high food prices and the lingering effects of the Sahel food crisis, and coping mechanisms have eroded since the 2011 Sahel crisis and heavy flooding in July–October 2012 and August–September 2013. Despite an improved domestic harvest, prices of imported cereals are likely to stay high, in view of the continuing depreciation of the Dalasi, the national currency.
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
In March 2014, more than 25 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal), suffered from food insecurity (FAO, 03/04/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03 /02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Poor health services, poor sanitation, and limited access to clean water are the leading causes of waterborne diseases such as diarrhoea (among children under five), cholera, and meningitis (OCHA, 03/02/2014). 20% of deaths among under-fives are WASH-related.
Around 50,000 children are reported to be acutely malnourished, of whom 7,000 children suffer SAM. This represents 3,000 more SAM cases than in July 2013 (OCHA 25/07/2014).
FAO reported in November 2013 that child malnutrition remains a cause of concern, with chronic malnutrition rates ranging from 13.9% to 30.7% in the North Bank, and Central River region surpassing the ‘critical’ threshold of 30%.
As of early June, 131 meningitis cases had been reported since the beginning of 2014, and 18 people had died (13.7% lethality). An alert was declared in three districts and an epidemic was declared in one district (WHO 01/06/2014).
24 August: Heavy rainfall following tropical storm Cristobal hit Haiti. Three people were killed and flood damage was recorded in Saint-Marc, Artibonite (ECHO, 25/08/2014).
- Despite the decreasing trend in cholera cases since January 2014, the disease remains a concern, especially since the hurricane season started (WHO 27/06/2014).
- According to national authorities, 500,000 people could be affected this year, not only by floods during the hurricane season, but also by the effect of El Niño (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
- The resilience of the population and its capacity to cope with new crises are generally weak.
- Almost five years after the 2010 earthquake, an estimated 104,000 people are still living in 172 camps in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
An estimated three million Haitians have both chronic and acute humanitarian needs, and are facing displacement, food insecurity, and malnutrition. Haiti’s political and economic situation is extremely fragile, and the country is vulnerable to natural disasters, including hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, landslides, and droughts. The resilience of the population is extremely low.
Supporters of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide clashed with UN peacekeepers on 14 August. Barricades were erected and stones thrown to prevent any attempt to arrest the former leader for not providing court-ordered testimony in a criminal investigation (ABC News, 14/08/2014).
On 10 June, the Haitian Government announced that legislative elections will be held in October, three years behind schedule. The delay has fuelled anti-government protests.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
On 24 August, heavy rainfall following tropical storm Cristobal hit Haiti. Three people were killed and flood damage was recorded in Saint-Marc, Artibonite (ECHO, 25/08/2014).
103,565 IDPs remain in 172 camps in Port-au-Prince as a result of the 2010 earthquake. 53% of these IDPs are women. The average age in camps is 23.5 years (compared to national average of 38), according to a 2012 profiling exercise. 57% of IDPs are unemployed and more than 57% of families in camps are single-headed.
Population numbers in camps have grown over the first six months of 2014, as other camps have closed, and insecurity elsewhere has grown (OHCHR, MINUSTAH & Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014). In June, the majority of IDPs (68%) were living in Delmas (43,000), Port-au-Prince (23,000) and Cite Soleil (8,900). Port-au-Prince has the highest number of IDP sites (37% of open sites), followed by Delmas and Carrefour. Carrefour, Croix-des-Bouquets, Petionville, and Tabarre host IDP sites with populations ranging between 150 and 2,300 households. Léogane hosts 5,039 IDPs, and Gressier has 612 (IOM 07/07/2014).
Due to inadequate funding, an estimated 69,399 IDPs are not currently targeted by any return or relocation programmes. As of June, 8,542 displaced families in 46 camps are considered at risk of forced eviction. 56,506 people in 53 camps considered to be at particularly high risk of flooding (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
Basic services in camps have declined faster than the pace of return or relocation. The camps often now resemble slums, and it is difficult to distinguish IDPs having arrived in 2010 from prior residents, in a study of 20 camps March-April 2014 by Action against Hunger and IOM. Access to healthcare was reported to be problematic due to lacks of infrastructure and funding. The camp populations studied registered 12.5% GAM. Two-thirds of the surveyed population did not have access to latrines and less than 3% had access to improved drinking water and hygiene (OHCHR, MINUSTAH & Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014).
On 23 May, the Dominican Senate unanimously approved a bill, which will set up a system to grant citizenship to Dominican-born children of Haitian illegal immigrants. Critics say this new law discriminates against those who do not possess birth certificates. A UN survey of 2013 found 244,000 people in the Dominican Republic had parents who were undocumented foreigners, mainly Haitians.
Haiti’s huge structural challenges heighten exposure to recurrent food insecurity. Poverty, the high degradation of the environment, and the limited government capacity to monitor, prevent, and respond to crises all contribute to national vulnerability.
2.6 million Haitians continue to be affected by food insecurity; 200,000 people in Nord, Nord-Ouest, Artibonite, Sud-Ouest and Nippes departments face severe food insecurity. A further 29 agro-ecological areas in ten departments are in Phase 2 (Stressed) conditions (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
Although food security has improved throughout the country due to ongoing harvests since June, for July to December, food security is expected to deteriorate in the South and Central Plateau areas due to the dryness currently affecting the performance of the second agriculture season (FEWSNET, 19/08/2014).
Whilst the spring agricultural season from June to September may improve the situation in some areas, the early end of the rainy season and El Niño could further deteriorate food security conditions, particularly in the north (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
Well below average rainfall from November to March has resulted in crop losses of mainly sorghum, beans, and maize in high-altitude areas, and prevented farmers from planting in low-lying parts, extending the lean season. Food security has been affected by low rainfall in July, especially in southern areas (FEWSNET 29/07/2014). Dry conditions persisted during August, with many areas’ total rainfall being 50–80% of normal levels since the beginning of the month, with the worst moisture deficits on the south coast. This prolonged dryness is expected to continue to negatively affect local water resources and cropping activities (FEWSNET, 15/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
By 12 July, 64,695 suspected and 14 confirmed cases of chikungunya had been reported since the outbreak started in the Caribbean region in December 2013. The incidence rate is 627.2 per 100,000 (PAHO 15/08/2014). In June, Ouest department had reported 67% of cases. Many patients do not go to hospitals or public health centres, and it is estimated that at least 150,000 people may have been affected country-wide (IFRC 03/07/2014).
6,406 suspected cases of cholera, including 45 fatalities, have been registered until end of June. This is a 74% reduction in cases compared to the same period of 2013 (16/07/2014). An estimated 15,000 people could be affected by cholera during 2014, based on the weekly incidence rate registered in the first six months of 2014, which are below 300 cases per week. For the month of June, 923 suspected cases and nine fatalities were registered. Populations of Ouest, Artibonite, Centre, and Nord departments are considered to be at greatest risk of cholera transmission (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
Cholera incidence in camps has been higher in 2014 than 2013. 1,332 suspected cases of cholera have been registered in 102 camps since the beginning of 2014 compared to 1,054 cases reported in 73 camps during the whole of 2013 (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
From October 2010 to date, around 703,000 suspected cholera cases and estimated 8,500 deaths have been reported by the Ministry of Health.
Since the beginning of the epidemic (October 2010) until early June 2014, 393,912 cholera cases have been hospitalised (56%) and 8,562 people have died. The cumulative case fatality rate remains 1.2%, with variations ranging from 4.4% in the department of Sud-Est to 0.6% in Port-au-Prince (WHO 02/06/2014).
100,000 children under five are acutely malnourished, among whom 20,000 are severely malnourished. Ten communes have above 10% GAM (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
Malnutrition rates in IDP camps are of great concern. In the sample 20 camps surveyed in May 2014, GAM stood at 12.5% (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
According to OCHA in December 2013, the prevalence of global acute malnutrition (GAM) among children under five increased from 5.1% in 2012 to 6.5% in 2013.
64% of the population (77% in urban areas, 48% in rural areas) have access to safe drinking water; only 26% have access to improved sanitation (34% in urban areas, and 17% in rural areas). 40% of Haitians practice open-air defecation (OCHA, 20/08/2014).
As of June, 47–49% of camps have adequate sanitation facilities; only one-third have a water point.
Former IDPs living in informal settlements are at high risk of eviction (OCHA, 20/08/2014). Most people who have been relocated from camps continue to live in temporary housing and dire conditions.
17% of IDPs in camps recently surveyed have not received any education (OHCHR, MINUSTAH & Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014).
The number of rapes reported in the first half of 2014 is double that of the same period in 2013. More than two-thirds of the rapes reported involved minors (OHCHR and Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014).
Gender-based violence continues to be of great concern in IDP camps, where most cases of sexual aggression are reported among women (OHCHR, MINUSTAH & Protection Cluster, 30/06/2014).
Iraq Country Analysis
25 August: Islamic State (IS) launched an attack on Tuz Khurmatu, Salah al Din, which was repelled. Peshmerga forces reportedly gained control over three entrances to Jalula, Diyala, after two days of heavy fighting with IS (ISW).
22 August: Peshmerga forces launched an operation to retake Zumar subdistrict, 12 miles west of Mosul Dam, with US air support (ISW).
20 August: Iraqi military forces and allied tribesmen clashed with IS in Barwana, south of Haditha, which had fallen to IS on 6 August (ISW).
8–20 August: The US military carried out 90 attacks on IS, 57 of which were on and around the Mosul Dam area.
- 1–1.5 million people since the start of Islamic State’s (IS) June ‘Ramadan offensive’, bringing the total displaced since the start of the year to an estimated 2 million (IOM, 07/08/2014). There were 1.13 to 1.3 million displaced before 2014 (UN, IOM, 12/2013). IDPs are dispersed in 17 of Iraq’s 18 governorates (07/2014).
- Loss of assets and income opportunities, and disruptions of marketing activities and transport networks, have exposed large numbers of people to severe food insecurity (FAO/FEWSNET, 25/06/2014).
- As of 15 August, Iraq hosted 217,866 Syrian refugees (UNHCR, 15/08/2014).
- Only one of three official border crossings with Syria is still in the hands of the central Government. Another is controlled by Kurdish forces. IS took the third, Al Qa’im (AFP, 21/06/2014).
- High temperatures and insanitary conditions are increasing the risk of disease
- A severe fuel shortage and recent cuts to electricity and water services are exacerbating the humanitarian crisis (Mercy Corps, 03/07/2014).
Priority humanitarian needs are food, water, and fuel. Protection and the risk of disease outbreak are also concerns, primarily for the hundreds of thousands displaced during IS’s June offensive. The conflict has led to massive internal displacement and Iraq now hosts one of the largest internally displaced populations in the world with over 2 million displaced since January. An estimated 1 to 1.5 million people have been displaced in the two months since IS’s ‘Ramadan offensive’ began in June. Host communities are being increasingly stretched, as the conflict in neighbouring Syria has also led to a large influx of refugees, mostly into the Kurdistan region.
The Security Council adopted Resolution 2170 condemning gross, widespread abuse of human rights by extremist groups in Iraq. The resolution calls for member states to suppress the flow of foreign fighters, financing, and other support to Islamist extremist groups in Iraq and Syria (UN, 15/08/2014).
National Political Context
On 11 August, Haider al Abadi – former Deputy Speaker of the Iraqi parliament – was appointed the new Prime Minister by President Fuad Masum. Al-Abadi, member of the Dawa party, was nominated by the Shia National Alliance parliamentary bloc. Prime Minister Maliki, caretaker since the inconclusive elections in April, agreed to step down on 15 August.
Kurdish President Barzani has stated that acts committed against Yazidi Kurds constitute genocide and demands that the Iraqi Council of Representatives formally recognise these acts and treat the situation accordingly (Government of Iraq, 18/08/2014).
Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Kurdistan President Barzani has announced substantive military reform and the distribution of weapons from the US and Europe (Government of Iraq, 18/08/2014).
Barzani’s Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) came first in September 2013’s elections in the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KR-I), followed by Gorran, an offshoot of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). KDP and PUK have ruled through a coalition government since 2005. Barzani’s term has been extended to 2015, which the opposition has denounced as illegal.
KR-I’s relations with Baghdad are tense. Baghdad insists it has the sole right to export Iraqi resources, including those from KR-I.
Wider regional politics are also an issue: the KDP is keen to retain influence over the Syria’s Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which has also links to the Iraqi PUK and the Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
In July, 1,737 were killed, including 1,186 civilians and 106 civilian police. A further 1,978 people were wounded, including 1,511 civilians. The total civilian casualties in Anbar up to 31 July inclusive were 198 killed and 611 injured, with 71 killed and 179 injured in Ramadi, and 127 killed and 432 injured in Fallujah (UN, 01/08/2014).
On 10 August, PM Maliki sent loyal elite military units to cut off entrances to Baghdad’s protected Green Zone, which is the centre of the international presence in the city.
Since the fall of Mosul on 10 June, armed opposition groups, including Baathists, tribal militias, members of the former Government and military, along with IS, have taken control of large swathes of Iraq’s provinces of Ninewa, Salah Al Din and Diyala. The cities of Mosul, Tikrit, Tal Afar, Beiji, Quayyara, Sinjar, Suleiman Bek, Rashad, Hawijah, Riyadh, Fallujah, and Saqlawiyah are under control of armed groups.
Fighting reportedly continues in several towns north of Baghdad. Control of the town of Dhuluiya has passed back and forth between IS and government forces reinforced by local volunteers (Institute of War, 24/07/2014).
IS, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and an outgrowth of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI), has taken over large swathes of territory in northern and eastern Syria.
IS in Iraq is mostly Iraqi in composition and numbered at least 10,000 in early June. Since taking Mosul, IS has been gathering strength by requisitioning US military equipment, recruiting prisoners, and looting Mosul’s Central Bank.
On 29 June, IS declared the establishment of a Sunni caliphate, straddling Syria and Iraq, spreading from Aleppo in northern Syria to Diyala in eastern Iraq. Its chief Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi was declared caliph and leader for Muslims everywhere (AFP, 29/06/2014, 30/06/2014; Washington Post, 11/06/2014; ISW, 11/06/2014).
IS has been in open confrontation with government forces in Anbar governorate since December 2013. IS continues to target government security facilities, checkpoints, and public places such as cafés and markets.
On 6 June, UNHCR reported that violence in Anbar governorate had displaced 480,000 civilians so far this year. The Iraqi government puts the number at 434,000. The exact scale of displacement is unknown, as registration had to be suspended over the past month because of insecurity.
Early August, Kurdish forces from Iraq, Syria, and Turkey have joined forces in north Iraq to launch an offensive against the Islamic State (IS) in order to reclaim areas lost to the armed group and rescue thousands of civilians stranded in mountains without food or water. A senior official from Iraq's PUK party said Kurdish fighting units from the Peshmerga, the Syrian-based PYD and the Turkish PKK had agreed to share responsibility for the counter-offensive (AFP). On 18 August, Kurdish forces took control of the Mosul dam, with support of US military air strikes (FT, 18/08/2014). On 8 August, an official announced that IS had gained control of the dam.
Kurdish forces, the Peshmerga, have been trying to fill the security vacuum created by withdrawing federal forces, and take control of territory long claimed by KR-I (AFP, 12/06/2014).
Iraqi Security Forces (ISF)
On 19 August, with the support of allied militia, Iraqi forces launched a major push in a third attempt to retake Tikrit. Tikrit fell on 11 June (Daily Star).
On 4 August, Maliki authorised air support to Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State (WSJ, 04/08/2014).
Prime Minister Maliki fired several top security commanders in a major shake-up as fighting approached Baghdad (AFP 17/06/2014) and announced the formation of reserves to fight IS.
Jordan is mobilising its troops in the border regions, as IS has threatened to extend its operations to Jordan (AFP, 23/06/2014). King Abdullah II has appealed for international support to deal with challenges in the region (AFP, 30/06/2014).
The US military carried out 23 airstrikes on IS targets in northern Iraq over 16–17 August, mostly near the Mosul dam. Operations by the US military are stated to be limited in their nature, duration and scope, and have been coordinated with, and at the request of, the Iraqi Government. President Obama has indicated that although it will not deploy military troops to Iraq, this does not prevent the stationing of civilian personnel (TIME, AP 18/08/2014).
On 25 August, three bombs killed at least 37 people in Baghdad. Two attacks on 23 August killed 12 people and injured 46 in Baghdad. A bomb on 20 August killed eight and wounded 21 people.
23 August saw three bomb attacks in Kirkuk, resulting in 20 dead and 65 injured. On the same day a bomb attack in Erbil wounded four. On 22 August, gunmen attacked a Sunni mosque in Hamrin district, northwest Diyala, killing 40 and wounding a further 30. The attack is thought by analysts to be linked to an earlier bomb attack on a volunteers’ position, possibly including Shia militia.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
A Level 3 emergency was declared by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on 12 August. The move is expected to support a more effective response to the humanitarian needs of the affected population (UNAMI, 13/08//2014).
Threats by both insurgents and military are significantly hampering humanitarian operations outside KR-I, Civilians in Anbar (Falluja, Ramadi, Al Qaim, Ana, Rawa, Rutba), Ninewa (Mosul and surrounding areas), Salah al Din and Diyala are particularly hard to reach. Several key supply routes have been blocked.
Road security concerns, inaccessible conflict areas, and IDPs on the move all exacerbate the challenge of providing humanitarian assistance (OCHA 18/07/2014).
An estimated 15,000 to 20,000 people, primarily Turkoman Shi’ites, remain inside Amirli, in the Tooz district of Salah al Din. Roads have been rendered inaccessible since early July as IS forces surround the area. The humanitarian situation is deteriorating quickly (IOM, 17/08/2014). Food shortages, lack of fuel and power has affected the availability of water. Medical facilities lack basic supplies. Insecurity is affecting access to assess the situation in Amirli and deliver aid, which is now limited to military air operations (UN, 18/08/2014). In an earlier attempt to leave the region by themselves, following negotiations between Amirli leaders and IS, 30 people were nonetheless killed by IS (OCHA, 17/08/2014).
Peshkapour-Semalka border: Since 10 June, this border remains open for returns to Syria only.
Al Qa’im border: This border remains under the control of armed groups. The border situation remains fluid, now Syrians and Iraqis are moving back and forth between the two sides of the borders freely. Aerial bombardments and clashes continued in Al Qa’im (border and city), resulting in casualties among civilians. The clashes are a deterrent to the movement of vehicles and people (UNHCR 09/08/2014).
Rabia’a border crossing: As of 15 June, Peshmerga forces were in control of the Rabia’a border crossing, and kept it closed in both directions, except to humanitarian aid convoys (UNHCR).
The Baiji refinery, the biggest in Iraq and crucial to Iraq’s economy and power supply to northern Iraq, is subject to heavy fighting, and power to northern Iraq was halted in July (Norwegian People’s Aid 05/08/2014).
Anbar governorate: Fighting makes main roads impassable, and several bridges, including one linking Fallujah with Baghdad, have been destroyed. Insecurity is preventing access to health services, and some facilities have been damaged. Administrative constraints are also hindering access. Access to Al Qa’im refugee camp is reportedly difficult, though activities can be carried out by helicopter.
Thousands of people are reportedly trapped in what are described as siege-like conditions in Fallujah and Ramadi.
As a result of displacement in and around the districts of Jalula (Diyala) and Sinjar (Ninewa), since 3 August, the UN has increased its planning number of IDPs by 250,000 to 1.45 million. The number does not include people displaced in Iraq before 2014 (OCHA 23/08/2014). At the start of August, 200,000 people were assessed to have fled areas taken over by IS in Sinjar district.
Approximately 35% of IDP families are hosted by relatives; and over 36% are living in rented accommodation or hotels with little to no access to employment (IOM DTM, 07/08/2014). IDPs are living across 1,200 locations (OCHA, 04/07/2014).
Kerbala authorities have indicated that the governorate is no longer able to support IDPs, and IDPs without sponsors are being diverted to other governorates. Local authorities are overstretched and under-resourced, unable to deal effectively with the crisis. Northern governorates are now encouraging IDPs to travel south (IOM, 17/08/2014). There is increasing concern that central governorates are reaching saturation point (OCHA 23/08/2014).
Tens of thousands of residents fled Qaraqosh, Ninewa, Iraq’s largest Christian town, as well as other Christian villages, when IS militants took control (Telegraph, 07/08/2014).
On 7 August, secondary displacement took place throughout Ninewa following reports of fighting near IDP locations. Garmawa camp (Ninewa) was reported to be empty as of 8 August. In Kirkuk, violent attacks have caused new waves of displacement, estimated by local authorities to reach 40,000 people (OCHA 08/08/2014).
A significant number of IDPs are unable to transit certain parts of the country to safer areas. Also, entry policies into some governorates, such as Erbil, are not clearly defined. Those awaiting entry have limited access to services and are in immediate need of support.
An estimated 500,000 Iraqis fled their homes in Mosul in June. Almost 25,000 are seeking shelter in schools and mosques, many with no access to drinking water, as the main water station was destroyed by bombing. Food shortages are being reported (WHO, 15/06/2014). (WFP, 14/06/2014; DailyBeast 16/06/2014; European Commission Humanitarian Aid, 07/07/2014).
Kurdistan Region of Iraq
Local authorities in Dohuk report that there are now over 400,000 IDPs in the governorate (OCHA 23/08/2014).
The influx of IDPs imposes a significant burden on host communities – 80% of the recently displaced are housed among host communities in KR-I – and IDPs face discrimination from local communities (IFRC, 13/06/2014; WHO 18/06/2014). Non-Kurdish Iraqis entering KR-I have to pass through immigration controls and receive only short-stay visas, ranging from one to three weeks; sometimes a Kurdish sponsor is required to gain entry (Middle East Research and Information Project 24/07/2014).
Most of the Yazidis who were trapped on Sinjar Mountain are heading for the town of Khaniq. With an estimated population of 60,000, Khaniq has received some 15,000 families (90,000 individuals) from Sinjar and nearby villages (ICRC, 16/08/2014).
Following clashes between Peshmerga and IS forces, there are reports of secondary displacement from KR-I to the southern governorates of Najaf, Kerbala, Basra, Wassit and Missan. Khazir transit centre in Erbil is reported empty, after Peshmerga forces indicated that they will not be able to protect IDPs. In addition, thousands are displaced in Disputed Internal Boundary Areas (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Around 55,000 people from Sinjar district (Ninewa governorate) reportedly crossed into Syria, including a significant part of those displaced to Sinjar Mountain. Most of them made their way back into Iraq at the Peshkhapour crossing point in KR-I. An estimated 15,000 Yazidis are seeking refuge in Al Hasakeh. Most are in the Newroz camp near Quamishli, run by local NGOs. It is estimated that more than 200,000 remain stranded on the Iraqi side of the border, with many expected to cross into Syria in the coming days (UNHCR, 14/08/2014; OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Around 2,000 Yazidis have fled Iraq for southeastern Turkey. The Turkish Government has stated that it is open to receive Yazidis (IRIN, 18/08/2014).
Five camps are being established, with a maximum capacity of 7,000 families (35,000 people) per camp. Two camps are being established in Khazr and Garmawa in disputed territories near Kurdish checkpoints, raising serious protection concerns (ECHO, 07/07/2014)
In Anbar governorate, approximately 560,000 people remain displaced by fighting centred on the cities of Fallujah and Ramadi (OCHA, 18/07/2014). Thousands more have moved to Salah al Din, Kerbala, Baghdad, and Najaf governorates.
Syrian Refugees in Iraq
As of 15 August, Iraq hosted 217,866 Syrian refugees (UNHCR, 15/08/2014). Around 95,500 refugees reside in Duhok, 90,000 in Erbil, and 22,500 in Sulaymaniyah (UNHCR, 24/08/2014).
KR-I currently hosts an estimated 97% of the registered Syrian refugees in Iraq (UNHCR, 15/05/2014). The remaining 3% reside in a camp near Al Qa’im, Anbar, and in non-camp settings elsewhere across the country. Around 7,600 are awaiting registration. All three KR-I governorates (Dohuk, Erbil, and Sulaymaniyah) have different policies towards Syrian refugees, leading to challenges in coordinating the humanitarian response.
Around 42% of registered refugees are in camps, and the remaining 58% are predominantly scattered in and around urban centres, though information on their humanitarian situation is limited (UNHCR, 24/08/2014).
A livelihood assessment across all refugee camps in KR-I found that 47% of respondents had no source of income in the 30 days preceding the assessment, and only 20% reported that they were fully able to meet their household basic needs. Some 81% of households found food by far the most significant share of expenditure, and 58% had contracted debts since arriving (UNHCR and REACH, 06/2014).
It is unclear to what extent the on-going influx of IDPs has affected refugee needs and response.
Returnees to Syria: The number of Syrian asylum-seekers returning to Syria from KR-I has reached an average of 300 a day. Over 1–15 August, 3,478 Syrians, including 2,950 UNHCR- registered asylum-seekers, returned to Syria from KR-I via Peshkapour border, bringing the total number of returnees since January 2014 to 20,445 individuals (UNHCR 24/08/2014).
Dohuk: Domiz camp is overcrowded. However, up to one-third of refugees receiving assistance in the camp reported that they are living outside the camp.
Anbar: The number of Syrian refugees in Al Obaidy Camp is 182 cases / 949 individuals including 161 unregistered individuals (56 cases). For the non-camp refugees, 822 cases / 2,971 individuals settled in the town of Al Qa’im on a sponsorship programme. The total number of spontaneous returns to Syria from Al Qa’im was 6,773 individuals as of 15 June 2014 (UNHCR 09/08/2014).
During the first quarter of 2014, the number of registered protracted (non-Syrian) refugees and asylum seekers was 39,480.
Supply routes have been interrupted by insecurity, limiting the movement of products already stored in government silos, including wheat. Food shortages have been reported from Mosul (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Loss of assets and income opportunities, and disruption of marketing activities and transport networks have exposed large numbers of people to severe food insecurity (FAO/FEWSNET, 25/06/2014).
OCHA reports tremendous stress on host communities in Sulaymaniyah and Najaf. The conflict has resulted in the disruption of the public procurement and distribution system upon which large numbers of people are dependent, which in turn has resulted in fuel shortages as well as interruption of harvest subsidies and payments, and food supply chains. The crisis has impacted the May/June cereal harvest and post-harvest activities in key production areas such as Ninewa and Salah Al Din governorates, which account for nearly a third of Iraq's wheat production and about 38% of its barley (OCHA 18/07/2014). Host families are running low on food supplies (IOM 11/06/2014).
The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) involvement in the food response has been scaled back, including the cessation of daily bread distribution in camps in Erbil. Food assistance to non-camp refugees, which is currently prohibited, is still under discussion with the government (UNHCR 09/07/2014).
IDPs in Erbil reported eating only once a day or once every other day due to lack of funds. Others have indicated their preference for returning to Mosul should they run out of means (PI 16/06/2014).
Animal diseases are already a threat to the livestock population in Iraq, and with potential transmission to humans, a risk to public health, especially of refugees and IDPs (FAO, 25/06/2014).
Health and Nutrition
The displacement of over 80,000 IDPs towards the south is placing a huge burden on health facilities, especially since new arrivals are suffering from communicable diseases (chicken pox, diarrhoea, measles) and non-communicable diseases (hypertension, diabetes) (OCHA 23/08/2014).
There is concern of the risk of waterborne diseases is due to poor sanity conditions, especially in the extreme heat (UN, 18/08/2014).
Health facilities in Dohuk are overwhelmed (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
WHO reports an increase in measles cases, with over 800 cases documented since January 2014 in the areas covered by the EWARS (Early Warning and Reporting System), and primarily in KR-I (WHO 06/07/2014).
Shelling and aerial assaults on hospitals and medical facilities continue. According to WHO, only three out of nine public health facilities in Salah al-Din are functioning, causing difficulties in access for civilians from Tikrit, Baiji and Sharqat. Patients from these districts are referred to already overwhelmed hospitals in Mosul and Kirkuk. However, armed conflict, fuel shortages and road access difficulties are affecting ambulance services. Critical shortages of essential medicines, vaccines and supplies are reported in Mosul, areas of Salah al Din and Anbar. Health facilities in conflict-affected areas report a shortage of medical personnel (OCHA 01/08/2014).
All hospitals and health centres are dependent on generators as a result of power cuts, and fuel supply is a major problem.
Availability of safe water remains a key challenge to be resolved to avoid outbreaks of water-borne diseases.
The embargo on cargo flights has stopped the medical supply chain at a time when additional provisions are urgently needed (OCHA 18/07/2014).
Refugees: A November 2013 REACH survey found that 9% of households across the assessed refugee camps included one member who had a disability; the majority were male (62%), though a large proportion were children under the age of 18 (41%). Half of disabled refugees had physical disabilities, and 53% of reported disabilities were congenital; 3% were conflict-related (REACH 25/07/2014).
Many Syrian refugees have missed vital routine vaccinations, having had no or limited access to healthcare in Syria for months before arriving in Iraq (WHO 17/07/2014).
KR-I: Since mid-June, frequent power cuts are endangering health service provision in refugee camp health centres (UNHCR 22/07/2014).
An estimated 20% of the non-camp refugee population encounters difficulties in accessing health services. Key obstacles include costs for health services and medicines as well as perceived availability of relevant services (UNHCR 09/07/2014). The KR-I Ministry of Health has reported critical shortages in medicines and medical supplies and overcrowded health facilities (PI 17/06/2014).
Access to comprehensive primary health services for refugees, including maternal and child health, has improved. Mental health services, chronic diseases management and secondary/tertiary healthcare are more difficult to access. Control of communicable diseases needs to be strengthened further (UNHCR 22/07/2014).
There is an increasing risk of a cholera outbreak among the displaced. Cholera is endemic in northern Iraq, with large-scale outbreaks reported in the Kurdistan region in 2007, 2008, and 2012 (WHO, 27/06/2014).
The number of diarrhoea cases is increasing in all camps in KR-I.
WHO warns of immediate and critical health risks in Ninewa, Salah al Din and Diyala, including an outbreak of measles, which is endemic in Mosul and could spread in overcrowded areas (WHO, 16/06/2014).
Following the notification of a second confirmed polio case from Al Hamza district, Diwaniya governorate – with the child originally from Mada’in district, Baghdad-Resafa governorate – a mop-up polio vaccination will be conducted by WHO and the Iraqi Ministry of Health (WHO, 12/06/2014). Polio immunisation campaigns will need to be conducted throughout the year to contain the spread of the virus (UNHCR 22/07/2014).
One wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) case was reported end of May from Mada'in district in Baghdad-Resafa. A first case had been confirmed on 24 March in Baghdad. Polio is believed to have spread due to the conflict and displacement in Anbar governorate.
Access to clean water has emerged as a critical, life-threatening problem in conflict-affected areas and among populations under control of armed groups. Power cuts, fuel shortages following clashes at the Baiji refinery, disruption to supply routes, and the seizure of municipal water facilities has left communities without clean water (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
On 14 August, following previous attacks, the water plant in eastern Mosul was partially destroyed by an airstrike, leaving large parts of the city without access to water. Host communities behind the frontline could be forced to flee because of lack of water in their areas of origin. Current interventions remain limited and insufficient (OCHA, 15/08/014).
On 16 July, IS cut the water supply to Makhmur, south of Mosul, as a response to local authorities cutting water supplies to Arab villages (ISW 17/07/2014). Neighbourhoods in western Mosul already lacked drinking water as the main local water station was destroyed (IOM 11/06/2014; UNAMI 15/06/2014). Armed groups have interrupted water provision in Telkaif and Hamdaniyah districts of Ninewa governorate and more recently in Makhour district, Erbil governorate. Some 100,000 people, including IDPs and residents, were affected.
Since April, IS’s control of the Fallujah dam has severely affected water levels in Iraq's southern governorates. The governor of Diyala province warned that IS’s battle for control of the Hamrin dam close to Baqubah could threaten water supplies both to Baghdad and Baqubah.
In Zumar, Ninewa governorate, the unreliable electricity supply is severely affecting water provision. In Sinjar, Ninewa governorate, there are critical water needs following a large influx of IDPs.
Sanitation conditions are poor and there is a concern of waterborne diseases spreading among host communities, with regard to the extreme heat.
Shelter is of particular concern, as a result of the increased influx of IDPs throughout Iraq and particularly in KR-I. Current accommodation might not be sustainable and could lead to secondary displacement. Around 40,000 IDPs reside in schools and urgently need shelter so that schools can reopen in September (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
As a result of the deteriorating security situation, Gawilan camp was evacuated on 7 August. The residents are currently dispersed between the reception area in Domiz camp, Bardarash, Akre, Darashakran camp, Kawergosk camp and other non-camp locations in Duhok governorate; several families moved to Akre and the rest went to Erbil or other locations in the KR-I (UNHCR 24/08/2014).
Protection concerns have significantly increased in August, primarily as a result of IS’s advance into Sinjar and neighbouring areas. Minority groups fled the area in large numbers, fearing persecution and harassment, as reportedly happened after IS overran Mosul city in June.
Since the fall of Mosul, executions, human rights violations, sectarian abuses and civilian casualties have been reported, but the full extent remains unknown (OHCHR, 13/06/2014; HRW, 12/06/2014). The UN announced it has evidence that IS killed as many as 670 prisoners in Mosul when it took control of the city. The prisoners in Badoush Prison were reportedly spilt into groups depending on their sectarian background and the Shia were executed (Guardian, 24/08/2014). IS has a local history of civilian abuse, including forced taxation, attacks on journalists, abductions, executions, and, throughout Iraq, suicide bomb attacks (HRW, 12/06/2014).
Single male Syrian refugees in all the camps in Erbil continue to experience delays in obtaining residency permits due to the elaborate clearance process and apparent priority given to families. Meanwhile, the Residency Department in Sulaymaniyah has stopped issuing residence permits to Syrian asylum seekers who have been registered in Erbil (UNHCR 25/08/2014).
Of the 500,000 people fleeing their homes since the onset of violence on 5 June in Mosul, half are children (UNICEF, 11/06/2014). IDP children suffer from psychosocial distress, limited access to basic resources and a lack of a safe environment; are at risk of violent attacks; are at increased risk of exploitation including child labour; and there are no special services available for children with disabilities or special needs (ACTED, 17/08/2014).
There are continued reports of acts of violence, including sexual violence, against women and teenage girls and boys belonging to Iraqi minorities. Some 1,500 Yazidi and Christians may have been forced into sexual slavery (UN, 12/08/2014).
Iraqi forces have allegedly used barrel bombs on multiple occasions. According to HRW, Iraq’s security forces have killed at least 75 civilians in indiscriminate air strikes on four cities since 6 June (HRW 23/07/14).
Concerns have been raised about violence directed at minors, including the potential recruitment of children, sexual violence, abductions and extrajudicial killings. At present it remains unclear to what extent these concerns have materialised (Save the Children International, 15/06/2014).
There are increasing reports of abduction of women, particularly those belonging to minority groups, by armed groups, and of human trafficking within and outside the country.
Schools may not reopen on 10 September as scheduled, affecting over 850,000 children (Syrian refugees, Iraqi IDPs, Kurdish host community children) whose schools are being used as shelter by IDPs. In the KR-I, half of the 5,746 schools are estimated to be occupied. Over half of the country’s 95,666 teachers are also affected by the displacement (UNHCR 24/08/2014).
Over 15% of Syrian refugees are young males who are not in school and without work. 41% of refugees in KR-I are under the age of 18.
65% of the 57,000 school-aged refugee children in Iraq are out of school. The current rate of enrolment in the camps is 55% for primary education and less than 1% for secondary. Outside the camps the enrolment rate is lower, at 22% of the school-age population. The main barriers are: very limited capacity in schools with the Arabic curriculum; high levels of dropout in schools with the Kurdish curriculum due to lack of extra support for second language speakers; lack of textbooks and other education materials; and lack of teachers (UNHCR 09/07/2014).
27 August: Households in parts of Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu, Mandera, Wajir, Baringo, West Pokot and some populations in Kiutu North, east of Nairobi, are likely to move into Crisis food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) by September (FEWSNET).
26 August: Fighting has resumed in Mandera county, with two dead, 43 injured and 300 displaced. Security personnel have not been able to access some towns near the Ethiopian border (Kenya Daily Nation, Kenya Red Cross).
26 August: A Red Cross ambulance was attacked in Issack Kora, near Rhamu, Mandera county (Kenya Red Cross).
24 August: 1,000 people displaced by the June-July Lamu attacks are in dire need of food and safe drinking water (Kenya Daily Nation).
- Violence is ongoing in the capital Nairobi, as well as the northeastern and coastal areas; two-thirds of those violent attacks have been attributed to the Somali Islamist Al Shabaab movement.
- Inter-communal tensions are running high: 491 people were killed and 47,000 displaced by tribal conflict in 2013. Tana River, Mandera, Marsabit, and Moyale counties are the most affected.
- There are over 575,334 refugees in Kenya, including at least 426,500 Somalis and 87,019 South Sudanese (UNHCR 31/07/2104, 07/08/2014).
- 1.5 million people are acutely food insecure (FEWSNET).
Kenya is considered relatively stable in the Horn of Africa and held peaceful presidential elections in March 2013. However, the country remains ethnically polarised and affected by two decades of conflict in neighbouring Somalia. The implementation of a devolution process, land reform, and national reconciliation all challenge stability, in a country where institutions are perceived to be weak.
Kenyan troops began operating against Al Qaeda in Somalia in 2011. On 23 June, Kenyan fighter jets attacked Al Shabaab groups in Somalia, killing at least 80 (23/06/2014, BBC, AFP).
The frequency and scale of militant attacks in Kenya have increased dramatically since Kenyan troops began operating in Somalia, as has the nature of the violence, with 40% of events targeting civilians. Al Shabaab has built a cross-border presence and clandestine support network among the Muslim population in the northeast, in Nairobi, and on the coast.
Deadly inter-communal violence remains common in a number of areas.
Tensions with Somali Communities
Since Al Shabaab’s attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall in September 2013, tensions with the Somali community have risen even further. Muslims make up 11% of Kenya’s 40 million population, and the increasing radicalisation of the ethnic Somali Muslim population is allegedly fuelled by systematic ethnic profiling and discrimination.
In March, the more than 50,000 refugees living in urban areas were ordered to relocate to two camps: Dadaab and Kakuma. At the end of the month, seemingly coordinated bomb blasts killed six people, according to international media. On 23 April, according to international media, four people died in a bomb blast near a police station not far from Eastleigh, Nairobi. Throughout April, mass arrests targeting refugees took place in Nairobi and Mombasa: 82 allegedly illegal immigrants were reportedly deported to Mogadishu. Over 17–19 April, 281 refugees were reportedly transported from Nairobi’s Kasarani stadium, where media reported hundreds of refugees to be detained, to Kakuma and Dadaab camps.
Seven attacks in Kenya’s coastal region between mid-June and July have left 102 dead. On 15 June, attacks in Mpeketoni and Poromoko killed at least 49 and 15 people, respectively. On 23 June, an attack in the village of Witu, near Mpeketoni, killed at least five (AFP, BBC, 06/24/2014). On 5 July, an attack on Gamba police station killed nine, and another in Kibiboni village killed 13 (Kenya Red Cross, 06/06/2014). About 500 families are reported to have fled the area to nearby camps (Reuters, 06/07/2014). On 10 July, gunmen raided Panganguo, torching houses and classrooms. On 19 July, a bus was attacked by gunmen near the village of Witu, killing seven. A day later, two gunmen on a motorcycle killed four and injured several others in the area of Soweto, Mombasa. Leaflets were distributed demanding minorities leave Mombasa (AFP, BBC, 19-21/07/2014). Fearing more attacks, hundreds of families from Maleli, Bora Moyo, Kakathe and Miasha Masha have fled their homes (AFP, Kenya Daily Nation, 12/07/2014). Experts fear a ‘coastal insurgency’ (Reuters, 11/07/2014).
Although evidence points towards Al Shabaab involvement in these attacks, the Kenyan government insists local political networks are to blame, flaring political and ethnic tensions in the coastal area (IRIN 23/07/2014). A high profile politician, Governor Issa Timamy, has been held on terrorism and murder charges (BBC, 20/07/2014).
In Baringo county, drought has pushed pastoralists to take their livestock to new locations with violence reported (ACTED, 08/08/2014). On 6 June, attacks by cattle raiders in Baringo county left two people dead in Sirata and caused 8,000 people to flee the area of Mukutani.
A growth in the population of both people and livestock has led to more frequent cattle raiding and violence, fed by the availability of small arms. The Ethiopian Oromo Liberation Front insurgency group is also said to have made several deadly incursions into Kenya. In 2013, 491 people were killed and 1,235 were injured in inter-communal violence. The areas most affected by inter-communal violence were the southeastern county of Tana River, the northeastern county of Mandera, and the Moyale area in Marsabit county.
Conflict in Moyale
On 21–22 February in Nairobi, the government-organised Marsabit Peace Initiative brought together leaders from the Borena, Gabra, Burji, Sakura Garre and ‘Corner communities’, who live in Moyale district and in Marsabit county. The Boma Peace Agreement was unveiled: all leaders pledged to form a multi-ethnic committee to steer joint peace rallies and dialogue, facilitate reconstruction of houses and the return of the displaced, ensure their security, strengthen cross-border dialogue with Ethiopia on the issue, and ensure that all public resources, under the charge of the national and county governments, be allocated fairly to all communities.
As of February, clashes between the Borena community and a joint force of Burji and Gabra tribes had displaced an estimated 72,000 people both internally and into Ethiopia.
Conflict in Turkana
On 28 June, four herdsmen were killed and one boy was injured in an attack in Turkana led by Toposa raiders from South Sudan (Kenya Daily Nation, 29/06/2014). On 18 June, a cattle raid left at least one dead and three injured in Turkana county (19/06/2014, Kenya Red Cross). On 27 May, a cattle raid in Turkana, presumed to have been conducted from West Pokot county, left six people dead.
The conflict stems from longstanding disputes over land, water, and grazing rights.
Conflict in Mandera and Wajir
As of 23 August, fighting has resumed in Mandera county. Police have reported two dead and 43 injured, but locals report more than 20 casualties. 300 people have sought sheltered at Rhamu police station (Kenya Daily Nation 26/08/2014). Livestock have reportedly been driven to Ethiopia, and security personnel have not been unable to access some towns near the Ethiopian border (Kenya Daily Nation 24/08/2014). A Red Cross ambulance was attacked at Issack Kora, 15km from Rhamu (Kenya Red Cross, 26/08/2014).
Since May, clashes between Garre and Degodia communities along the border between Wajir and Mandera counties have caused at least 60 deaths and displaced 75,000 (OCHA, 23/06/2014). The Garre and Degodia Somali clans have been feuding over natural resources since March 2012.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
On 31 March, the total number of IDPs in Kenya was 309,200 (OCHA, 16/06/2014).
At the end of July 5,574 people were displaced by inter-communal clashes between the Degodia and the Garre clans along the Mandera–Wajir border since May; 3,000 are seeking shelter in Hindi prison, 1,554 in the Kipini areas, and 1,020 in Kitale Mavuno (ACT Alliance, 30/07/2014). 61,000 IDPs had been reported by the Kenyan Red Cross on 11 June.
Local media report that about 1,000 people displaced by the June-July Lamu attacks near the coast are in dire need of food, and are consuming untreated waters from two bore holes. Their livelihoods are also affected, since they have no harvest this year (Kenya Daily Nation, 24/08/2014).
As of 30 July, Kenya is hosting more than 575,334 refugees and asylum-seekers (UNHCR, 31/07/2014). 169,743 are located in Kakuma, 355,406 between Dabaab and Alinjugur and 50,185 in Nairobi. Somalis represent 75% of the refugees, with South Sudan following with 13% (UNHCR, 30/07/2014).
From Somalia: As of July, 427,000 Somali refugees were in Kenya, a decrease of 50,000 from previous estimates (UNHCR, OCHA). Most are in the northeastern Dadaab and Alinjugur refugee camp complex, which in July hosted 340,000 Somali refugees. 55,468 Somali refugees are in Kakuma camp, Turkana, and 32,014 are in Nairobi (UNHCR, 01/07/2014).
The Tripartite Agreement between the Kenyan and Somali governments and UNHCR, signed in November 2013, establishes the legal framework for those Somali refugees wishing to return home. The first phase of the voluntary repatriation is set to start in August 2014, but only 3,000 refugees have registered for the ‘pilot project’, compared to the original target of 10,000. Refugees cite insecurity and lack of opportunities to earn a living as their main uncertainties to return to Somalia. UNHCR has promised material and financial support for those deciding to return (UNHCR, EastAfrican, 02/08/2014).
From South Sudan: As of 23 July, more than 46,000 South Sudanese refugees have crossed into Kenya since mid-December (WFP), bringing the total to 87,019 (UNHCR, 07/08/2014). 75,038 are in Kakuma camp, Turkana county (UNHCR, 07/07/2014). A May report indicated a daily arrival rate of 90 (UNHCR, 23/05/2014). Humanitarian agencies are reportedly expecting 100,000 South Sudanese refugees by the end of 2014 (WFP, 28/05/2014). Since December 2013, 5,648 new unaccompanied children have arrived in Kakuma camp, bringing the total of unaccompanied children to 11,855 (UNHCR, 11/07/2014).
Kakuma camp is currently hosting 169,743 refugees, surpassing its capacity of 150,000 (UNHCR, 23/07/2014). Government officials have authorised the construction of a new camp nearby. As of 11 July, no land had been granted to settle new arrivals (UNHCR, 11/07/2014).
As of 19 August, 1.5 million are in need of food aid, in a survey carried out by national and county governments (FEWSNET, 27/08/2014). August reports indicated that some areas of East Pokot subcounty are facing a severe drought, and food is either unavailable or inaccessible (ACTED, 08/08/2014).
In pastoral and agropastoral areas, pasture, browse and water are being depleted faster than usual. The lean season started in July instead of August (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014). On 30 July, the Council of Governors in Kenya warned 24 counties were in danger of a ‘ravaging famine’ (Kenya Daily Nation, 30/07/2014) due to prolonged dry spells in the north (The Guardian, 30/07/2014). Affected communities have resorted to negative coping mechanisms (Kenya Red Cross 16/08/2014).
Many households in parts of Turkana, Marsabit, Samburu, Mandera, Wajir, Baringo and West Pokot are entering Crisis (IPC Phase 3) levels. Some populations in Kitui North, east of Nairobi, where there were almost no short rain crops in March, are likely to move into Crisis food insecurity (IPC Phase 3) by September (FEWSNET, 27/08/2014). Most of Kenya is expected to remain at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity until September, with food availability declining and inflation rising between June and September. Well below average March–May rains in southeastern and coastal areas are likely to lead to a below-average maize harvest (FEWSNET, 29/06/2014).
On 13 August, due to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the Ministry of Health and WHO have reported that Kenya is a Category 2 country, at high risk of transmission because of movement of people between affected countries or because they are near the affected countries. Kenya has blocked all flights coming from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria (WHO 13/08/2014).
Increasing numbers of hepatitis B cases, with a prevalence of 10% among pregnant women and 30% among liver disease patients, are concerning the Kenya Medical Research Institute. No scientific study has been carried out as to the cause of this increase (The East African, 28/06/2014).
On 13 June, 586 cases of malaria had been reported among South Sudanese refugees over the course of a week (UNHCR).
GAM of up to 28.7% was reported in Turkana Central, 27.3% in Mandera North, and 29.2% Marsabit North/Loinyangalani (Kenya Red Cross 16/08.2014). GAM rates in East Pokot subcounty (Baringo) have reached 21.1% due to severe drought and inconsistent rains (ACTED, 08/08/2014).
In August, screening of new arrivals from South Sudan continued to show increasing rates of malnutrition, especially among children under five (WFP, 06/08/2014). GAM and SAM rates among South Sudanese refugees arriving in Kakuma between 18 and 23 May were above emergency thresholds, at 16.3%, and 10.4%, respectively (UNHCR, 23/05/2014). Statistics show that the malnutrition rates among South Sudanese refugees increase the more recent the arrival is (UNHCR, 11/07/2014).
There is a critical need for clean water. Households are currently having to walk long distances to access water, much of which does not meet health standards. Since water sources are being shared with animals, the risk of waterborne diseases is much higher (ACTED, 08/08/2014).
South Sudanese refugees travelling to Kenya face high levels of insecurity. Three refugees were killed travelling to the Kenyan border in mid-July. As a result, refugees are now taking a longer route to Kenya or are requesting police escorts in the area (IOM, 20/07/2014).
On 29 June, Kenyan security forces at the Nadapal Reception Centre engaged in a gunfight with the Sudanese armed forces. Refugees were caught between the gunfire, and one was injured. Security at the border has since improved and normal operations resumed (IOM, 06/07/2014).
Lesotho Country Analysis
1 September: Lesotho’s political situation is deteriorating following the attempted assassination of a senior military commander, on 31 August. Prime Minister Thomas Thabane fled the country, alleging a military coup. The army denies involvement (UN, African Union). As of yet, there is no news of South Africa-brokered emergency talks between Mr Thabane and his two deputies (BBC).
27 August: Staple food prices have started to increase in line with seasonal trends. Combined with poor production and reduced income opportunities, this will likely result in poor households facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes between October and December (FEWSNET).
- The number of food insecure people, estimated at 30%, has doubled since February 2014. Around 450,000 people in all districts will require humanitarian assistance for a period of 4–5 months from October–November 2014 (FAO, 03/07/2014).
- As of July, acute malnutrition rates among children under five stand at 8%. 16% of the population is underweight (OCHA, 25/07/2014).
- More than 25,000 new HIV infections occur every year in Lesotho.
Lesotho’s political situation is deteriorating following the attempted assassination of Maaparankoe Mahao, a senior military commander, on 31 August. Prime Minister Thomas Thabane has fled the country, alleging a military coup, while the army denies involvement (UN, African Union, 31/08/2014). A military spokesman said the army only disarmed police forces aiming to arm Thabane opponents for an anti-Thabane march, which was scheduled for 1 September (BBC, 01/09/2014). The Lesotho Defence Force and the police are reportedly siding with different political parties. There is no news of South Africa-brokered emergency talks between Mr Thabane and his two deputies.
The leading political party, the All Basotho Convention (ABC), suspended Parliament for nine months in June, following the opposition’s attempt to pass a motion of no confidence on the governing coalition, made up of three political parties. Interparty talks have failed to resolve the crisis (Institute for Security Studies, 29/07/2014; 03/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The number of food insecure doubled to 447,760 people, or 30% of the population, between February and July. The highest concentration of food insecure people is located in the western districts of Maseru, Mafeteng, and Mohale's Hoek (GIEWS, 01/08/2014). Most rural households in the country are currently facing Minimal acute food insecurity outcomes (IPC Phase 1).
Staple food prices have started to increase in line with seasonal trends. Combined with poor production and reduced income opportunities, this will likely result in poor households facing Stressed (IPC Phase 2) acute food insecurity outcomes between October and December (FEWSNET, 27/08/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
The 2014 cereal crop, which was harvested in May–June, is estimated at a comparable level to the previous year’s near-average output. At 86,000 metric tons, maize accounts for almost all of the cereal harvest (83%)’ the winter wheat crop, to be harvested in November, makes up most of the rest. Despite a significant 26% increase in the area planted with maize this year, heavy rain and frost damage contributed to a reduction in yields (FAO, 01/08/2014). Sorghum production is estimated to be 29–75% lower than in 2013 (cf. FEWSNET, 14/08/2014; FAO, 01/08/2014).
Although food prices are expected to remain stable, they will be significantly higher than the 2010 ‘normal’ year and the four-year average. In southern Lesotho – namely in the lowlands, the Senqu river valley and the foothills between the lowlands and the highlands – livelihood zones (the areas most affected by reduced production), prices for maize, a staple, are 220–290% above prices at the same time in 2010, the reference year (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014).
Health and Nutrition
26,000 HIV infections were reported in 2013 (OCHA, 08/2014). WFP reported in June 2013 that HIV prevalence is 23.5% among adults, the world’s third highest rate. More than 25,000 new HIV infections occur every year. The situation is worsened by limited knowledge of HIV and transmission. Lesotho also has particularly high HIV–tuberculosis co-infection rates (ICAP, 01/07/2014). More than 40% of all pregnancy-related deaths are caused by HIV/AIDS (MSF, 22/07/2014).
On 7 March, international media reported that contribution shortfalls from donor countries – cutbacks of around 30% in 2014 and another 20% in 2015 – threaten adequate treatment of HIV/AIDS patients in what is an already underfinanced healthcare system.
As of July, acute malnutrition rates among children under five stand at 8%. 16% of the population is estimated to be underweight (OCHA, 25/07/2014).
Myanmar Country Analysis
25 August: Most neighbourhoods in Hpakan (northern Kachin state) have been evacuated following the overflow of the Uru River over the past week. The most hard-hit areas are Ayemyatharyar, Mashikahtaung, Myoma, and Ngetpyawdaw, according to local reports (local media).
25 August: Buddhist Arakanese leaders are considering a proposal to detain undocumented Rohingya Muslims in camps. A Rohingya activist said that many displaced people are unlikely to have documents, since they fled their homes to escape Buddhist mobs (local media).
- Repeated bloodshed has been occurring between Buddhists and Muslims in Rakhine state since 2012, with human rights abuses against the Muslim minority being reported (UN).
- There are 640,000 IDPs as a result of years of internal ethnic conflict, including 137,000 IDPs, mainly Rohingya Muslims, in Rakhine state (OCHA, 06/2014).
The military-led authoritarian regime in Myanmar (Burma) has made moves to improve its record on human rights over recent years, with the release of the opposition activist Aung San Suu Kyi in November 2010 being a turning point. Since 2013, several amnesties have been granted to political prisoners. In early January, another presidential amnesty was granted to political prisoners. The pardon reportedly extends to over 200 political prisoners and other categories of detainees.
In July 2013, President Thein Sein promised to free all prisoners of conscience by end 2013, a promise that may be kept in 2014. In September 2013, several amnesties led to the release of members of ethnic minority armed groups with whom the government is seeking peace deals.
While recent efforts by the authorities to improve the country’s human rights record have been welcomed, local activists report that the prosecution of dissidents is continuing.
Since independence in 1948, internal conflicts have been endemic in Myanmar. Minority groups make up some 30% of the estimated 55–60 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. In 2013, authorities signed several separate peace deals with the various insurgent movements, with the exception of the Kachin Independence Army (the armed wing of the Kachin Independence Organisation, or KIO), and the ethnic Ta’aung army (TNLA). The government says it hopes to consolidate these agreements into a nationwide ceasefire deal. However, local sources reported that the Myanmar military were weakly involved in the process.
After a four-day meeting, the Nationwide Ceasefire Coordination Team (NCCT), an umbrella body representing 17 ethnic armed organisations, has established a 10-point set of guidelines for pursuing peace talks with the Myanmar government, and has appointed five committees (local media 31/07/2014).
Some government sources have warned that if negotiations fail to progress in the coming weeks, a nationwide ceasefire before the 2015 elections could become impossible and opposition fighters might have to deal with a new, tougher, commander-in-chief as reported by local media.
Representing the Mon, the Karen, the Karenni, the Shan, the Kachin, the Chin and the Arakanese Buddhists, the NCCT is the most comprehensive alliance of ethnic actors to assemble in recent history. The most notable exclusions are the Shan State Army-South and the United Wa State Party.
Senior government officials, military commanders and ethnic leaders held the first discussions on jointly drafting a nationwide ceasefire text in early April. However, army demands for the incorporation of its own six-point statement reportedly complicated the process. The statement says that all ethnic groups should come under the central command of the military, and that all parties should respect the 2008 Constitution, which was drafted by the military and put the ethnic regions under the centralised authority of the government.
Despite peace negotiations between the authorities and various insurgent groups, the security situation remains tense in parts of Myanmar, especially in the north. Massive human rights infringements against the Rohingya Muslim minority in Rakhine state, in the west, continue to be reported.
Reports indicate that though the army is still deployed in Karen state, almost no fighting has occurred in the area since a ceasefire was signed in January 2012.
Mid-June, Myanmar and Bangladeshi authorities vowed to strengthen border security and combat "illegal armed groups and criminals" following clashes on their shared border.
Insecurity in Rakhine State
According to local sources and several human rights organisations, at least 40 people, including women and children, were killed in government attacks on Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine state on 13–14 January. Médecins Sans Frontières reported that it treated 22 people who had apparently been wounded around the same time as the reported massacre of Muslims, an incident the government denies, though it acknowledges that clashes took place. The UN is calling for an investigation into the incident. Tensions remain high, with authorities imposing restrictions on the displaced Muslim minority.
Conflict between the Myanmar Army and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) erupted on 10 April in the vicinity of Man Win Gyi township, southern Kachin state, affecting several villages and IDP camps on the borders between Kachin state, northern Shan state and China. The fighting continued for approximately one week. Over 2,700 people were displaced and are being hosted in four camps around Man Win Gyi and Nam Kham. A ceasefire had been agreed in October 2013.
Two civilians were killed and at least ten children wounded after fighting broke out between government troops and opposition fighters in northern Shan state on the 19 and 20 of July. Fighting continues in eastern Shan state, and hundreds of people have fled since June.
On 4 March, local sources citing Shan ethnic armed groups reported that Myanmar military forces captured two strategic outposts of the Shan State Army-North (SSA-N), at the junction connecting northern and southern Shan state. Insurgents were reportedly forced to withdraw from two of their camps. Fighting between the regular army and the SSA-N has continued despite agreeing a ceasefire in January 2012.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
According to local media reports as of mid-August, water levels in Pegu Division are slowly subsiding and thousands of people displaced by severe seasonal floods on 3 August started to return home. Schools in the area re-started on 18 August. Over 10,000 acres of farmland were submerged and 50% of them were completely destroyed.
In 2013, about 50,000 people were displaced by flash floods in Pegu division and some 60,000 acres of farmland were flooded, of which 15,000 acres were severely damaged (local media 10/08/1204).
Access is difficult in areas outside of government control. Concern is growing over the impact of upcoming rains on access to 5,000 IDPs in southern Kachin state, over 50% of whom are in areas beyond government control (IRIN 05/2014).
On 23 July, the Rakhine state Government issued a statement inviting UN agencies and INGOs to work in Rakhine, which should facilitate humanitarian access from now on. International media reports from the end of July indicate that access to Northern Rakhine state along the Myanmar–Bangladesh border is tightly restricted. In June, over 60% of humanitarian personnel had returned to Rakhine and operations were being scaled back up after assistance was disrupted in March, following attacks against humanitarian workers over perceived bias towards Rohingyas (33 UN agency premises and seven international NGOs were ransacked, over 300 aid workers temporarily relocated, and more than 1,000 humanitarian staff forced to stop working).
As of mid-July, a vulnerability mapping exercise showed that 36,000 Rohingya Muslims in 113 isolated villages in Rakhine state have no or limited access to basic services, including markets, education, and healthcare (OCHA). Access to services is impeded by tension and restrictions on freedom of movement. Humanitarian activities have been heavily constrained in a region where many displaced people, mostly Rohingya Muslims, are completely reliant on humanitarian assistance. In early February, ECHO reported that some demonstrators were demanding the departure of the UN and INGOs from Buthedaung, northern Rakhine state.
Buddhist Rakhine activists and politicians have campaigned to restrict healthcare and other aid for many of the estimated one million Rohingya living in the state. Many Rohingyas cannot travel, get married or even seek medical treatment without official permission, which is costly and difficult to obtain.
Due to security concerns, the Government has designated a specific area of Sittwe - the Southern Quarter - for relief organizations to establish offices and accommodation. NGOs and U.N. agencies have identified the limited availability of space in the Southern Quarter as a key constraint to operating at full capacity (USAID 02/07/2014).
In total there are 99,300 displaced in Kachin and Shan States (north), 400,000 in the South East, 5,200 in Mandalay and 137,000 in Rakhine state (OCHA 01/06/2014).
Since 2011, 247,000 people have been displaced in Myanmar, mainly in Rakhine (37,000) Kachin and Shan States (99,300) and Mandalay (5,200) (OCHA 22/07/2014).
Rakhine: 137,000 people, mainly Rohingya Muslims, continue to be displaced as of end of July, since inter-communal violence erupted between Rakhine Buddhists and the Muslim minority in June and October 2012. An estimated 50,000 people live in host communities and 50,000 in isolated villages. 70,000 are said to be food insecure (OCHA 31/07/2014). Rohingya Muslims continue to face abuse and movement restrictions, according to reports from human rights groups; most are considered crisis-affected and need humanitarian assistance
Kachin: Most neighbourhoods in Hpakan (northern Kachin state) have been evacuated following the overflow of the Uru River over the past week. The most hard-hit areas are Ayemyatharyar, Mashikahtaung, Myoma, and Ngetpyawdaw, according to local reports (local media 25/07/2014).
Five people have died and 120 families relocated due to landslides in the Je Yang camp in Kachin state (local media 28/07/2014). Over 100,000 people have been displaced by armed conflict since June 2011 and over 50% of them are in KIA-controlled areas, making humanitarian access a challenge. An estimated 20,000 live with host communities. Many have been displaced for up to two years, triggering renewed and additional needs for provision of basic services, livelihoods, and protection.
In April, fresh fighting displaced another 3,000 people, some for the second or third time, from more than 14 villages and four camps in opposition-controlled areas. On 10 April, fighting in southern Kachin state displaced over 2,700 people who are being hosted in four camps around Man Win Gyi and Nam Kham (OCHA). An unconfirmed number of people have fled across the border to China. In February, OCHA reported that, in addition to shelter renovation and WASH assistance, the most urgent needs in displaced communities are education, healthcare, and non-food items.
Shan: Tensions remain high in Man Pu village despite the return of the majority of 800 people displaced by fighting between government forces and TNLA (Ta’ang Liberation Army) over 19-21 July (local media, 19/08/2014).
400 people from a Shan village abandoned their homes in fear of Myanmar army reprisals after being questioned by the army about the death of two army officials (local media 01/08/2014). Over 800 ethnic Palaung villagers fled northern Shan state’s Namkham township after clashes between the government and Palaung armed groups, bringing the total number of IDPs from Palaung villages to 4,600 (local media 25/07/2014).
Fighting in northern and eastern Shan during June and July has displaced hundreds of people and is causing disruptions in humanitarian access to some areas (local media 21/07/2014). Clashes in the area of Muse township, in northern Shan state, caused the displacement of more than 700 people in May. Many of the IDPs had already been displaced by fighting in Kachin state in November 2013. According to local sources, these IDPs are now facing severe shortage of basic aid and clean water. Local aid workers reported that IDPs are also in urgent need of shelter assistance ahead of this year’s mid-May to mid-September monsoon (IRIN 14/05/2014).
Refugees from Myanmar
According to UNHCR as of late March, over 415,000 refugees originate from Myanmar.
In early November, UNHCR reported that an increasing number of people, mainly Muslims from Rakhine state, are setting out to sea on smuggling boats from the Bay of Bengal. Although numbers are difficult to obtain, such forced departures often result in disaster as boats capsize.
Bangladesh: To date, most Rohingya are denied refugee status by the Bangladeshi authorities. An estimated 30,000 Rohingya Muslims live in official camps, where they are assisted by aid agencies, and another 200,000 refugees reside in unofficial camps or Bangladeshi villages where they get little or no humanitarian assistance and almost no protection from human rights abuse.
Since July 2014, 120,000 refugees living in refugee camps in Thailand face movement restrictions imposed by the Thai junta, who is pushing for Myanmar refugee’s repatriation especially that of the several thousand Rohingya Muslims refugees hosted in Thailand. In July 2014, there are almost 120,000 refugees from Myanmar (registered and unregistered) living in Thailand-Myanmar border refugee camps, according to the Border Consortium; UNHCR figures are 76,000 refugees. Rohingya Muslims are reportedly subject to human trafficking in Thailand (international human rights organisations, 12/2013).
Malaysia: In June, 28,000 Rakhine Muslims were registered as refugees in Malaysia (UNHCR). However, according to groups representing them, the real number of Myanmar Muslim immigrants is much higher and surged in 2013 because of the violence.
Food security concerns remain in some areas, especially those with inter communal tensions and high levels of displaced population in Rakhine, Kachin, and Shan states. High food prices are further affecting food security, with rice prices continuing to increase reaching record levels (GIEWS 19/08/2014).
Nearly half a million IDPs are at risk of food insecurity in Rakhine, Kachin, and Shan states, and southeast Myanmar. Generally, however, the food situation is improving (FAO, 14/05/2014).
A February 2014 joint survey by humanitarian partners and local authorities indicated that 18.5% of households in Myanmar’s central “dry zone” are facing food insecurity. The central regions of Mandalay, Magway and Lower Sagaing, which cover 13% of the country and account for a quarter of the population, have experienced very low rainfalls. Latest reports indicate that one-third of households in this area experience at least a month – usually June and/or July – when they do not meet their food needs.
Health and Nutrition
Healthcare in Rakhine remain inadequate especially in the north as MSF has not been able to resume its activities and Malteser International is only operating in Maungdaw district due to community resistance in central Rakhine. Health organisations have reported an increased risk of waterborne diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Access to isolated communities is also restricted due to flooding. (OCHA 19/08/2014).
Recent heavy rain, coupled with the after-effects of a recent aid worker pull-out, is prompting health concerns for the more than 140,000 Rohingya IDPs in Rakhine state (IRIN 07/07/2014).
MSF will be allowed to resume operations in Rakhine state, having had to withdraw in February, according to a 24 July announcement by the Union Government of Myanmar and the Rakhine state government (MSF 25/07/2014).
In June, a 2.1% SAM and 6.8% MAM was found among 32,000 children under five screened in Rakhine. This indicates a deterioration in the nutritional status of children in parts of Rakhine state since March. Severely malnourished children are being referred to Sittwe hospital; fewer referral services, high transportation costs, and fear of traveling to Sittwe are preventing many children from receiving medical care (OCHA 30/06/2014).
A joint survey by humanitarian partners and local authorities in February indicated that 12.3% of children under five in Myanmar’s central “dry zone” are acutely malnourished.
In Rakhine state, a general deterioration in the WASH situation in camps is aggravating health problems and increasing the risk of waterborne disease. There were concerns for more than 23,000 people who do not have access to safe water and who are dependent on daily humanitarian intervention, which was suspended due to March’s attacks. This led to low levels of supervision and maintenance of water and sanitation facilities. However, activities are now getting back on track and the situation should be monitored over the coming weeks (WASH Cluster 05/2014).
According to local sources in late March, an estimated 200 villages in central Myanmar are suffering from acute water shortages, due to an ongoing long dry season. Latest reports indicated that the problem is mainly affecting the supply of safe drinking water.
Legal Status of Rohingya Muslims
Buddhist Arakanese leaders are considering a proposal that would see undocumented Rohingya Muslims detained in camps. A Rohingya activist said that many displaced people are unlikely to have their documents, since they fled their homes to escape Buddhist mobs (local media 25/08/2014).
Over 800,000 people, mostly Muslims, are estimated to be without citizenship in the northern part of Rakhine state (UNHCR.) On 21 November 2013, authorities rejected a UN resolution urging them to grant citizenship to the Rohingya Muslims. Myanmar continues officially to state that the Rohingya Muslims are migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh, thus excluding them from citizenship under the 1982 Citizenship Law.
91 children and young people were released from the armed forces as part of the government and armed forces’ commitment to end the recruitment and use of children (UN 01/08/2014)
Adolescent girls in camps in Kachin and Rakhine states face increasing violence and abuse, including SGBV (OCHA, 02/2014).
Eight women’s rights activists were questioned in July by two Chin state courts for staging unauthorised public protests against sexual violence by the Myanmar military (Local media 21/07/2014).
In 2014, the Women’s League of Burma released a report that documented more than 100 victims of sexual violence at the hands of the Burmese Army since Thein Sein’s government took power (local media 24/07/2014).
Mine clearance has not begun in Kayah state, despite a ceasefire since 2012.Around 15-20 people are injured annually by landmines in Kayah but the number of fatalities is unknown. More than 34,000 IDPs in Kayah are at greatest risk due to their movement in unfamiliar areas, Around five million people in Myanmar live in mine-contaminated areas, according to a 2011 report by Geneva Call (IRIN 25/07/2014).
Pakistan Country Analysis
26 August: Suspected militants blew up the shrine of a Sufi saint in Mastung district, Balochistan province, injuring one (DAWN).
25 August: A fresh polio drive was launched in the tribal regions, aiming to reach more than 700,000 children. Officials state nearly 300,000 would miss out because of militant threats (AFP).
22 August: Opposition politician Imran Khan held talks with the Government aimed at ending tense protests (AFP). Both Khan and Tahirul Qadri are demanding the Prime Minister’s resignation. While their demands diverge, the combined pressure of both leaders has caused a fast escalation of the political crisis. The standoff is raising fears of possible military intervention.
22 August: Severe rain and hailstorms in Peshawar and tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa killed 13 and injured 50. Low-lying areas were flooded (Government; DAWN). Since 15 August, another 18 people have been killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including nine children, and 80 people injured by rain-related incidents.
21 August: So far in 2014, 115 polio cases have been reported. The latest case was reported on 27 July and stems from North Waziristan (Global Polio Eradication Initiative).
19 August: 79 aid workers have been killed so far in 2014. Incidents took place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA, Sindh, and Balochistan. In 2013, 155 aid workers were killed, 171 seriously wounded, and 134 kidnapped – the number of killed representing a 66% increase on 2012 (OCHA).
13 August: A seasonal spike of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever has recently been detected. In 2014, 68 cases (25 laboratory confirmed), including 20 deaths, have been reported, most in Balochistan (31) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (21). Over 1.8 million cases of acute diarrhoea were reported 29 December–9 August. Another 29,573 cases of bloody diarrhoea were reported in the same period (WHO).
- Nearly 6,000 people were killed and 5,500 injured in militant, sectarian, terrorist, and politically motivated attacks in 2013, making it one of the deadliest years in the last decade (Center for Research and Security Studies).
- There are almost 900,000 IDPs following military operations in North Waziristan. Priority needs include protection, food, shelter, health, and WASH.
- There were 930,000 IDPs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA as of mid-December 2013; and 2.9 million documented and undocumented Afghan refugees (UNHCR). Numbers are difficult to confirm.
- 1.21 million people are in need of health and food assistance; 1.59 million need nutrition assistance (OCHA, 02/2014).
- Women displaced from North Waziristan lack access to basic services (OCHA, 19/08/2014).
- The agricultural sector, which makes up 21% of GDP, is facing serious threats from escalating water shortages (World Bank, 18/04/2014). Half of Punjab’s share of water for agriculture is getting lost in canals and watercourses.
Priority humanitarian needs are for health, nutrition, and food assistance. An estimated 4.2 million people were in need of humanitarian support in November 2013 (OCHA).
The security situation remains volatile due to militant attacks in urban centres and military operations against the Taliban in the tribal areas. Peace talks with an increasingly fragmented Taliban are stop-start. Pakistan’s relations with neighbouring countries, and with the US, remain tense.
A year after Sharif became Prime Minister, Pakistan is in a political crisis. Observers state the chaos is to be blamed on the fact that Sharif’s authority has been undermined by the military.
On 22 August, opposition politician Imran Khan held talks with the Government aimed at ending tense street protests (AFP, 22/08/2014). Both Khan (Tehreek-i-Insaf) and Tahirul Qadri (Pakistan Awami Tehreek) are demanding Sharif’s resignation and calling for popular protests. Their other demands diverge, but their combined pressure has caused a fast escalation of the political crisis.
The standoff is raising fears of possible military intervention. Tens of thousands of security personnel have been deployed to maintain order, and the contingent of soldiers guarding sensitive buildings has been doubled (AFP, 19/08/2014).
The Pakistan Taliban, or TTP, is an umbrella group of several factions set up in 2007. Its actions, and the military response, have the biggest impact on security in Pakistan. A Taliban spokesperson confirmed the Taliban vowed to start all-out war from 10 June.
The Mehsud faction split from the TTP at the end of May 2014, after months of infighting, claiming ideological differences regarding ‘un-Islamic’ tactics. The breakaway faction is reportedly made up around 2,600 men and controls a large arsenal of modern weapons. It will be led by South Waziristan-based commander Khalid Mehsud, also known as Khan Syed Sajna. The split will likely lead to further fragmentation within the TTP.
Meanwhile, no tangible progress in peace talks between the TTP and government can be reported. On 23 April, a ceasefire expired, and in May, attacks from both sides continued. Militants and security sources indicated that the Taliban motivation for the ceasefire was to preserve militant bases used to stage cross-border attacks, as the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan have secretly agreed to focus on operations in Afghanistan.
The negotiating committee had agreed to the release of non-combatant Taliban prisoners, and both sides discussed a prisoner swap in the beginning of April. 650 prisoners have been marked for release.
Local media report that the jirga supports the peace talks, but has complained of being left out of the process.
Military Operations: Operation Zarb-e-Azb
Since late February 2014, the Pakistan armed forces have intensified their military offensive against armed groups with strongholds in the North Waziristan region of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
The Pakistani government launched operation Zarb-e-Azb on 15 June, with the aim of removing the TTP and foreign and local militants from North Waziristan. Taliban had attacked Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, between 8 and 10 June.
On 15 July, the authorities announced military operations will continue until all militants are eliminated. Involving over 30,000 soldiers, the army began ground assaults on 26 June. Air strikes targeting suspected Taliban hideouts continued: five in Khyber Agency and seven in North Waziristan. 48 militants were killed. So far, around 399 militants and 20 soldiers have been reported killed. The area is currently off-limits to journalists, making it impossible to verify military claims about the number and identity of those killed. Resistance from insurgents has been relatively light, leading to fears that many of them have escaped into Afghanistan.
Retaliatory Pakistani air force strikes in North Waziristan in May killed at least 60 people, including insurgent commanders. Air strikes in Shawal Valley and Dattakhel areas of North Waziristan between 20 February and early March left over 100 militant fighters dead. Another major military operation in North Waziristan took place in January.
Attacks by TTP and Splinter Factions
Over 1,400 people were killed in more than 850 incidents of violence perpetrated by the TTP and its factions between June 2013 and January 2014, according to the Pakistan-based Center for Research and Security Studies.
In July, deadly attacks took place in Peshawar and Karachi. Attacks in Karachi, Islamabad, Punjab, Balochistan, and FATA killed over 94 people in June. In May, attacks in Islamabad, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and FATA killed over 87 people, and destroyed three primary schools and a health unit. In April, over 63 people were killed and 174 injured in attacks, which mostly took place in the cities of Karachi and Islamabad, and in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
Forty attacks with improvised explosive devices were recorded in the first three months of 2014, mostly in Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and FATA, and at least 700 people were killed or injured in these incidents (Action on Armed Violence). Attacks continue in Karachi,
A woman was wounded when suspected militants blew up the shrine of a Sufi saint in Mastung district, Balochistan province (DAWN, 26/08/2014). At least two people were killed when unidentified militants attacked a NATO supply convoy on the Pak-Afghan Highway in Jamrud tehsil of Khyber tribal region (DAWN, 21/08/2014). Six civilians were killed when a roadside bomb was detonated in Salarzai area, Bajaur, on the Afghan border. No group claimed responsibility (AFP, 19/08/2014).
Separatist Insurgency in Balochistan
A low-level separatist insurgency has been running against the alleged annexation of Balochistan since 1948. 2004 saw a sharp rise in acts of violence. Militant sources claim human rights abuses, stating many people with suspected links to separatist groups have disappeared at the hands of intelligence agencies.
In May, over 25 people were killed following a blast at a checkpoint and a targeted attack against a teacher and his family. In April, four people were killed in separate incidents in Quetta, and 13 people died and 40 were injured when a bomb exploded on a train. The United Baloch Army (UBA) claimed responsibility for the bombing.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
73% of key informants report that people affected by military operations in North Waziristan face problems obtaining assistance. The most common reason is lack of documentation, or identity cards. Assessments found that within the IDP population female-headed households (7%), children headed households (4%), older persons and persons with disabilities (5%) are excluded from distribution. Access to information, particularly on the registration process, available services, and support is lacking (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Access to areas where the displaced are arriving, spreading over eight districts and as far as the Malakand region, remains a key challenge for organisations responding, hampering humanitarian operations (OCHA, 07/08/2014).
Administrative obstacles are hobbling efforts to provide the displaced from North Waziristan with necessary assistance (HRW, 11/07/2014). Trucks carrying supplies for the newly displaced in North Waziristan face delays due to stringent security checks (OCHA, 30/06/2014).
Violence against Aid Workers
As of 18 August, 79 aid workers have been killed in 2014. Incidents took place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, FATA, Sindh, and Balochistan. In 2013, 155 aid workers were killed, 171 seriously wounded, and 134 kidnapped – representing a 66% increase for the number of killed when compared to 2012 (OCHA, 19/08/2014).
Peshawar and tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were hit by severe rain and hailstorms, inundating low-lying areas. Thirteen people were killed and 50 injured (Government; DAWN, 22/08/2014). Since 15 August, another 18 people have been killed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, including nine children, and 80 people were injured by rain-related incidents.
Over the past three years, the monsoon region has shifted 100km west. As a result, heavy and unpredicted rainfalls have occurred in Pakistan, especially in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, causing massive destruction (Government, 20/08/2014).
Since 2008, almost five million people have been displaced by conflict, mostly in FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (OCHA, 03/06/2014). This number does not include the over one million who were recently displaced in NWA.
As of 10 August, the number of displaced registered from North Waziristan stands at over one million (or 95,356 families); 74% of whom are women and children (FDMA). Registration has finished in all areas but Kurram Agency. Nevertheless, more outflow from North Waziristan is expected based on an extension of military operations into other areas (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Bannu district is hosting the majority of the displaced. The majority of displaced families do not plan to leave Bannu; 2% intend to move to other parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (OCHA, 15/08/2014). The huge influx of people has increased stress on the local infrastructure with limited absorption capacity.
Most IDPs have taken refuge in over 1,200 schools, health facilities, or with host communities in Bannu, Karak, and Lakki Marwat districts of KP (UNDP, 14/07/2014; ECHO, 01/08/2014). Schools and other public buildings are overcrowded and lack basic facilities (Government/OCHA/ WFP, 31/07/2014).
The IDPs face increased protection concerns in Sindh province, where residents have demanded an end to the migration (IRIN, 04/08/2014). The Sindh government decided mid-June it will not allow IDPs to enter the province for budget reasons. The Balochistan government has deployed troops to the border with South Waziristan to check the influx of displaced.
The majority of displaced families living in schools will face secondary displacement when schools re-open (OCHA, 15/08/2014). Displaced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA prior to the military operation are in need of humanitarian assistance. Other are in Hangu, Dera Ismail Khan, Charsadda, Tank, and Kohat districts of KP (OCHA, 30/06/2014).
96% of the people already displaced reside outside camps in Peshawar, Dera Ismail Khan, and Kohat, while 4% reside in IDP camps in Tough Sorai, Jalozai, and New Durrani (UNHCR, 09/06/2014).
There have been several waves of displacement since the beginning of the year following military operations in NWA and KP province from mid-March onwards (OCHA, 22/04/2014).
Around 100,000 people have returned to FATA since November 2013, and a total of 270,000 people are expected to return to FATA over the year, despite recent violence provoking new displacement (OCHA, 19/08/2014). Some 4,690 families returned to Tirah Valley in May and 407 families returned to Upper Kurram in June 2014 (UNHCR, 30/06/2014). Most are returning to damaged houses and disrupted livelihoods. Restoration of basic social services and livelihood support are vital to ensure sustainable returns (OCHA, 20/05/2014).
Refugees in Pakistan
There are an estimated 2.9 million Afghan refugees and undocumented migrants in Pakistan, although the exact number is difficult to ascertain (OCHA, 22/04/2014). Most are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, and most require humanitarian assistance (UNHCR/IOM, 31/12/2013). At least 1.6 million Afghan refugees are in need. National media report that the presence of Afghan refugees is triggering tensions with host communities.
Pakistani Refugees in Afghanistan
As of 19 August, 20,813 families were assessed displaced, including 151,570 in Khost province, and 66,970 in Paktika province. In total, 7,884 families were assisted (OCHA).
An estimated 1.21 million people, almost exclusively IDPs and returnees, were in critical need of food assistance in February (OCHA, 20/02/2014). An estimated 58% of Pakistan’s population was considered food insecure in November 2013 (National Nutrition Survey). Seven districts face IPC Phases 3 (Crisis) and 4 (Emergency).
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province: Distribution points for food and NFI have been established in Bannu, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Most IDPs in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA are relying on negative coping strategies or income support (Detailed Food Security Assessment, Food Security Cluster). Increasing demand for food and NFIs has also resulted in massive inflation, which further aggravates the food security situation.
Only 5% of IDP families have a source of income (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Prices for fresh vegetables, chicken, onions and wheat flour have fallen, though tomato prices rose 60.2% since July 2013 (FAO/ WFP, 31/07/2014).
Dry conditions prevail along the Indo-Pakistan border due to a delay in the arrival of the southwest monsoon (FAO, 03/07/2014). Most areas of Balochistan, Sindh, and southern Punjab are relying on the upcoming monsoon to alleviate the drought-like situation and prevent worsening food insecurity and malnutrition (OCHA, 20/05/2014).
Health and Nutrition
An estimated 1.21 million people are in need of health assistance: basic health services and quality maternal and child health services.
In Bannu district, insufficient reproductive health services, and a lack of health staff and essential medicines are reported. There are currently no health actors in the field (ECHO, 01/08/2014; OCHA, 07/08/2014). 36,000 displaced women are pregnant and health facilities are overwhelmed by demand (UN Population Fund, 28/07/2014). Current stocks of medicines will cover less than 5% of the estimated displaced population. In addition, overcrowding and high temperatures have heightened the risk of diarrhoea, skin infections, coughs, colds, and fever (WHO, 08/07/2014; OCHA, 15/08/2014). Water and sanitation facilities need immediate attention. Another concern is the low routine vaccination coverage (WHO, 30/06/2014). WHO reported that 4% of the displaced are pregnant and those in Bannu need immediate medical attention (DAWN, 18/07/2014).
Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever
A seasonal spike of Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever has been detected. So far in 2014, 68 cases (25 laboratory confirmed), including 20 deaths, have been reported, 31 in Balochistan and 21 in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (WHO, 13/08/2014). Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever is endemic in Pakistan (WHO, 25/07/2014).
Between 1 January and 10 May, 186 lab-confirmed cases of dengue fever were reported, of which 179 cases were in Sindh province, and seven in Punjab province (WHO, 14/05/2014). The number of cases in the first quarter of 2014 was nearly three times the same period in 2013, and more than four times 2012 (OCHA, 22/04/2014).
Dengue has begun affecting areas that do not usually fall into the traditional endemic belt: in 2013, a huge outbreak in Swat district recorded 9,000 confirmed cases and 35 deaths.
Over 1.8 million cases of acute diarrhoea were reported 29 December–9 August. Another 29,573 cases of bloody diarrhoea were reported in the same period (WHO, 13/08/2014).
More than 200 people have died from malnutrition-related causes so far in 2014 (OCHA, 09/05/2014). In April, an estimated 17,000 children had SAM and 55,000 MAM (04/2014). Over 46,000 pregnant and lactating women are priorities for malnutrition assistance. Many were in Tharparkar district, Sindh province. In the remote Neelum Valley, an estimated 21% of children are acutely malnourished, well above the national average of 15%, which is already at the emergency threshold (WFP, 12/2013).
As of 2 July, 786 cases of measles have been reported in 2014 (Government, WHO).
More than 25,000 cases of measles were reported in 2013, with 321 deaths. In 2012, 15,000 cases were reported and in 2011 4,380. WHO stated this steady increase in fatalities is alarming (IRIN, 15/04/2014). OCHA reported in May 2013 that 54% of 8,844 children in Punjab and Sindh provinces were not vaccinated against the disease.
There is a high risk of measles outbreak among the recently displaced population, who had not been vaccinated due to the security situation (WHO, 08/07/2014).
The authorities have confirmed two more deaths (in Karachi and Hyderabad) caused by the Naegleria fowleri, or brain-eating amoeba, transmitted by contaminated water. Chlorination is considered the only way to stop the disease spreading. The disease has claimed five lives so far (DAWN, 12/07/2014).
So far in 2014, 115 polio cases have been reported. The latest case was reported on 27 July and stems from North Waziristan (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 21/08/2014). 85 concern patients under two (Government, WHO, 31/07/2014). Most cases were reported from FATA (73.5%) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (16.6%).
The total number of circulating vaccine-developed (cVDPV2) cases in 2013 was 45; there have been ten so far in 2014 (WHO, 14/05/2014).
A fresh polio drive was launched in the tribal region, aiming to reach more than 700,000 children. Officials state nearly 300,000 would miss out because of militant threats. (AFP, 25/08/2014).
The huge number of people displaced by the Zarb-e-Azb offensive prompts fears of polio spreading (AFP, 26/06/2014). The Punjab provincial government has started registration of displaced families for the purposes of vaccination (DAWN, 19/06/2014). After five years, polio vaccinators returned to Bara sub-division of Khyber Agency, FATA, to conduct a comprehensive campaign (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 13/06/2014). Lack of sufficient staff and coordination is hampering vaccination. Delayed security measures also affect polio drives in Karachi city (DAWN, 23/06/2014).
Since December 2012, 56 health workers have been killed in militant attacks on vaccination teams On 17 April, for the first time, Prime Minister Sharif asked the military to help protect polio vaccination workers in Waziristan and adjoining tribal areas.
In Peshawar, Karachi, and Quetta, there is a significant risk of the outbreaks becoming prolonged. Environmental surveillance has picked up the virus elsewhere, including in Rawalpindi and Lahore. The polio virus has also been detected in a sewage line by Western Bypass, Quetta. As of early April, the health authorities declared eight districts of Punjab highly sensitive to polio: Lahore, Rawalpindi, Khanewal, Sahiwal, Mianwali, Multan, Jhang and Toba Tek Singh.
The densely populated Peshawar Valley is considered to be the main 'engine' of polio transmission, due to large-scale population movements through Peshawar.
87% of displaced families are not treating water at home (OCHA, 15/08/2014). An estimated 690,000 people – largely IDPs and returnees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and FATA – urgently need assistance in accessing safe drinking water. Hygiene conditions among the newly displaced are very poor, and the probability of WASH-related disease outbreaks is rising (OCHA, 07/08/2014). Improved knowledge of household water treatment among non-camp IDPs and returnees is necessary (OCHA, 20/02/2014).
40% of displaced families in Bannu are not using latrine facilities and practice open defecation (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Inadequate shelter services, overcrowding, harsh weather conditions, and high rental charges remain key challenges for displaced families (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
As schools start on 15 August, appropriate alternative shelter is needed for the displaced currently living in over 1,200 school buildings, 80% in Bannu (OCHA).
Educational supplies are a major gap in education response, such as school tents, stationery, and other teaching and learning materials. Schools used as IDP shelter will affect the school infrastructure, facilities, furniture, teaching and learning material, and liability of high electricity bills (OCHA, 07/08/2014).
At least 86,000 students from government schools in North Waziristan are affected by the current military operations. The amount of students enrolled in private schools is unknown. In addition, many educational institutions are occupied by military or security forces (DAWN, 15/07/2014).
An estimated 1.08 million people are in need of protection. This group largely consists of IDPs and returnees in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA. Women, children, the disabled, and the elderly need referral assistance and specialised protection in displacement and returnee areas (OCHA, 20/02/2014).
Women displaced from North Waziristan lack access to basic services (OCHA, 19/08/2014).
11% of key informants have reported they were aware of IDP children who have been separated from their families (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
The current policy on registration of IDPs from NWA will not consider new Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) card holders, and there is no plan to re-open new registration (OCHA, 07/08/2014).
There are increased reports of law enforcement agencies and workers of Sindhi ethnic parties harassing ethnic Pashtuns in Sindh province. Despite hostilities, the Pakistani army is not allowing the Pashtun to return to South Waziristan, which they fled during government military operations against the Taliban five years ago (IRIN, 04/08/2014).
A recent spate of acid attacks in Balochistan province, until recently untouched by this type of crime, suggests a new pattern is emerging. In most attacks, the victims know their assailants. The acid attacks fit a wider pattern of erosion of women’s rights, especially in separatist and previous relatively secular strongholds (AFP, 31/07/2014).
In areas where the Taliban is active, over 500 girls’ schools have been bombed. In the south and southwest of the country, ethnic violence continues to curtail women’s freedom of movement.
26 August: Over 24,000 people remain displaced ten months after typhoon Haiyan struck. They are living in 64 sites, including tent cities and makeshift camps in flood-prone coastal areas. IOM and the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development have signed a partnership agreement to construct additional transitional shelters for Haiyan survivors in Eastern Visayas region (IOM).
20 August: Five were injured by a bomb explosion in Cotobato city, Mindanao (Government).
- A shortage of viable evacuation centres in areas hit by Typhoon Haiyan will leave the survivors without alternative accommodation in case of a new typhoon hits this new typhoon season (IRIN 23/06/2014)
- The Philippines is one of the most hazard-prone countries in the world, experiencing several large-scale natural hazards a year.
- In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan affected over 14.1 million people (OCHA).
A series of natural disasters, most significantly Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, has caused widespread damage across the Philippines, affected millions. The overall political situation is relatively stable, and the Philippine authorities are finalising a peace deal with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the biggest Muslim insurgent movement in Mindanao. However, various breakaway armed groups continue the insurgency.
Since October 2012, the Government has been engaged in finalising a lengthy peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), the country’s largest Muslim separatist group. However, the historic peace settlement, signed in March, is at risk of falling apart as Muslim insurgents accuse the Government of going back on its word over a proposed law to create self-rule for the war-torn region of Mindanao, according to reports in international media in early August.
The Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, signed 27 March, ended four decades of fighting that has claimed over 150,000 lives. It provides for the creation of a new autonomous region to replace the current Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM). Under this deal, MILF will cease as an armed opposition force and reform into a political group, which will rule the newly established region by 2016. The Government and MILF were set to meet in Davao city 1–10 August to continue working on the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law.
However, the peace deal excludes important stakeholders: the hardline Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), which split from MILF in 2009; the Al Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf and Khalifa Islmiyah Mindanao.
Splinter groups on Mindanao and smaller neighbouring islands continue their violent opposition to the Government. In May, the Government and MILF announced the creation of regulatory bodies to oversee the peace process.
Insurgents and Counterinsurgency Operations
In August, five were injured by a bomb explosion in Cotobato city (Government 20/08/2014).
On 28 July, 21 people were killed and 11 wounded by Abu Sayyaf militants in the remote town of Talipao on Jolo island, according to international media. Abu Sayyaf holds about ten hostages, including two German tourists seized in April, and a Dutch and a Swiss national kidnapped two years ago, according to international media in July. Abu Sayyaf has about 300 armed fighters who are split into several factions.
Eighteen people were killed in one day due to fighting between the Philippine army and BIFF in Maguindanao in July. Over 300 families fled the violence (IRIN 22/07/2014). Over 28–29 January, at least 53 people were killed. Some 11,000 people were displaced in five days of fighting (OCHA).
The BIFF split from the main Muslim insurgent group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), in 2008.
In September and October 2013, a Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) faction led by Nur Misuari assaulted the southern city of Zamboanga in western Mindanao island, igniting three weeks of fighting. Zamboanga has a mixed Christian and Muslim population and the attacks were largely seen as an attempt to sabotage the peace talks between authorities and MILF. Officials estimated that 202 were killed in the fighting, including over 160 militants, and 324 injured. 140,000 were displaced (UNHCR).
New People’s Army
Sixteen people were killed in southern Mindanao on 15 July as a result of clashes between the New People’s Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party, and armed tribesmen (AFP 15/07/2014).
In May, 39 miners were taken hostage by the New People’s Army, during confrontation with government forces in Compostela Valley.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Access is restricted in some areas affected by Typhoon Rammasun (locally known as Typhoon Glenda) due to damage to 11 roads and two bridges (National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council NDRRCM 22/07/2014).
Insecurity in parts of Mindanao and nearby areas is limiting humanitarian access. Concurrent natural disasters have hampered further aid delivery to affected populations.
Prolonged dry spells and strong storms are expected to impact the country in 2014, as it braces for what could be its worst El Niño in 17 years. The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration has also warned of strong tropical cyclones when the rainy season begins in June, with the peak of El Niño’s impact expected in the last quarter of 2014 or early 2015 (OCHA, 31/05/2014).
In August, some 15,769 people were affected and two killed by Typhoon Halong in Pangasinan, Ilocos Norte and Bataan; rice crops were damaged in Pangasinan ILOCOS region), and road access was affected in some areas (Government 08/08/2014).
683 people in Occidental Mindoro (MIMAROPA region) and Negros Occidental (Western Visayas region) were affected by Typhoon Henry, which hit the Philippines between 21 and 23 July. 132 houses were damaged: 28 were fully destroyed and 104 partially, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (NDRRMC 24/07/2014).
Over 1.6 million people were affected, after the Typhoon Rammasun hit the Philippines on 15–16 July, leaving 97 dead and 460 injured. 518,700 people in 1,264 evacuation centres and 115 schools have been affected as per government reports on 22 July.
Typhoon Rammasun damaged over 111,000 houses (28,795 fully destroyed and 89,486 partially damaged). 40,000 houses were damaged in Laguna (CALABARZON region) 24,000 in Northern Samar (Eastern Visayas region) with almost 17,000 in Camarines Sur (Bicol region) (OCHA 22/07/2014). Crops, fisheries and agricultural facilities also suffered damage. A state of calamity was declared in the regions of Cagayan Valley, CALABARZON and Eastern Visayas (NDRRMC 22/07/2014)
Floods in Mindanao
160,000 people have been affected by floods in Maguindanao province that started in early June, caused by heavy rains. Authorities have declared a state of emergency in Maguindanao and in some areas of North Cotabato province. 45% of planted areas has been destroyed, affecting 5,000 farmers (OCHA, 14/07/2014).
Tropical Depression Lingling
In mid-January, tropical depression Lingling, locally known as Agaton, caused floods and landslides across the south of the archipelago, affecting 16 provinces in Northern Mindanao, Davao, Soccsksargen, and Caraga regions, and ARMM. At least 70 people were killed, and 86 injured. Authorities reported that 1.14 million people had been affected, including over 49,000 IDPs. Over 3,400 houses were damaged.
Category 5 Typhoon Haiyan, locally known as Yolanda, was reportedly one of the strongest storms in recorded history, and made landfall on the east of the Philippines on 8 November. As of February, it was reported that 6,201 people were killed and over 28,600 injured.
14.1 million people, including five million children, were affected (OCHA): 5.9 million in Central Visayas, 3.9 million in Eastern Visayas, 466,000 in MIMAROPA, and 70,000 in Caraga. Authorities reported that over 1.14 million houses were damaged, including 550,000 houses that were completely destroyed. According to initial government estimates, the cost of rebuilding houses, schools, roads, and bridges could reach USD 5.8 billion.
Rehabilitation of people affected by Typhoon Haiyan is being delayed due to mixed messages about “no-build zones” in coastal areas and the time taken to develop multi-hazard mapping for areas devastated by the typhoon (IRIN 18/07/2014).
As of late February, an estimated 364,000 people remained displaced after Bohol earthquake in October 2013. Most were living in makeshift tents or with host communities, with only 1,900 people in official evacuation centres, scheduled to close by the end of March. Typhoon Haiyan did not cause significant damage in Bohol, but directly impacted the response capacity of partners.
In July and early August, 2,875 people were affected by conflict between an armed group and government forces in Maguindanao. 1,150 were living in one evacuation centre (Government 09/08/2014).
Seven were killed and over 5,250 displaced as a result of fighting between Palaman and Sandiki groups in Basilan, ARMM (Government 07/08/2014).
Over 64,000 IDPs remain in evacuation centres of Zamboanga city, and lack adequate sanitation conditions (OCHA 01/08/2014). Fighting between the army and Muslim guerrillas caused 100,000 to flee Zamboanga (Trust 11/07/2014).
The two largest camps in Zamboanga city will be closed by July and December, the Government announced on 7 July. 15,800 IDPs will be transferred to temporary sites while waiting for permanent accommodation (OCHA 07/07/2014). The two largest evacuation centres host some 20,000 people. Prolonged displacement in overcrowded conditions poses health and protection risks. Water and electricity have been rationed in the evacuation centres, as dry weather has resulted in falling water levels in the city reservoir. There are tensions over food, water, and electricity in communities that host IDPs (Protection Cluster).
In early July, the Government announced the official recovery and rehabilitation phase for the Haiyan affected areas.
There is concern for the 26,500 people still living in temporary shelters (evacuation centres, tent cities, spontaneous settlements and bunkhouses) as the June–November tropical storm season approaches (OCHA, 19/06/2014). As people are exposed to the elements, the risk of the situation translating into deteriorating public health or a new humanitarian crisis is heightened.
In the ten worst affected municipalities of Eastern Samar and Samar, only 8% of pre-Haiyan evacuation centres would be usable if a typhoon hit today. Two-thirds are unusable due to substantial damage, and the others were destroyed (IOM, 04/2014).
In late May, more than two million people were still without adequate shelter or durable housing. Many face prolonged uncertainty about whether they will be allowed to settle back in their former homes, most of which are located in designated “no-safe” zones.
Health and Nutrition
147 deaths and 35,264 cumulative dengue cases were recorded by 19 of July, a significant decrease on the same period in 2013, when over 80,800 cases had been reported (WHO 12/08/2014).
In Zamboanga, 17 suspected cases of dengue and one death have been reported in Tulungatong transit site. Heavy rainfall and poor sanitary conditions in the evacuation centres are likely to increase the risk of disease outbreaks in Zamboanga city (OCHA 01/08/2014)
At the end of July, over 1,000 children under five living in Zamboanga city evacuation centres are suffering from acute malnutrition (ACH 29/07/2014).
Over 24,000 people remain displaced ten months after typhoon Haiyan struck. They are living in 64 sites, including tent cities and makeshift camps in flood-prone coastal areas. IOM and the Philippines Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have signed a partnership agreement to construct additional transitional shelters for Haiyan survivors in the Eastern Visayas region (IOM 26/08/2014).
Food insecurity concerns remain due to high prices and the population affected by several typhoons/cyclones: the price of rice continued to increase in July, increasing 4.9% year-on-year (GIEWS 08/08/14).
Losses to stored crops caused by the disasters are likely to be high. FAO reported heavy losses of the staple food crop rice, as well as other high value crops such as sugarcane, coconut, fruits and vegetables.
Agriculture, fisheries and agricultural infrastructures were affected by Typhoon Ramassun. Damage assessments are ongoing (NDRRMC 22/07/2014). Flooding during the current rainy season has affected 45% of the planted area in Maguindanao, affecting over 5,000 farmers (OCHA 07/07/2014).
Of the 14 million affected by Haiyan, 5.9 million workers lost their sources of income and livelihoods. More than 2.6 million of those affected were already living below the poverty line or were in vulnerable forms of employment before the typhoon, including the agriculture, fishing, and forestry sectors, or a combination of all three (Early Recovery and Livelihoods Cluster, 14/05/2014).
A bush fire in Rapu-Rapu, Albay, affected 9,256 people, as water systems and upland crops and coconuts were damaged (Government 07/08/2014).
BIFF continues to actively recruit and train child soldiers, according to the UN and Philippine authorities.
As reported by Human Rights Watch, Philippines’ security forces and Muslim insurgents have committed serious human rights abuses during fighting in Zamboanga.
No significant news reported this week, 27/08/2014. Last update: 13/08/2014.
- More than 738,000 Senegalese are estimated to be food insecure and an estimated 2.9 million people experience Stressed food security levels (FAO, 05/08/2014).
- 340,000 children are estimated to suffer from acute malnutrition, 79,000 from severe acute malnutrition, and 261,000 from moderate acute malnutrition (UNICEF, 03/2014).
Although Senegal enjoys a reputation for stability in a largely volatile region, the country has been unable to resolve the 30-year conflict in the coastal Casamance area, where separatist movements continue to oppose authorities. Attempts to restart talks in March 2013 failed.
On 25 February 2014, the Community of Sant'Egidio, which is mediating the conflict, announced that progress had been made in discussions between the Senegalese authorities and the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC), with confidence-building measures agreed. Senegalese authorities agreed to withdraw an international arrest warrant against the leader of the separatist movement, Salif Sadio. MFDC has not, however, agreed on any demining.
On 30 April, Salif Sadio declared a unilateral ceasefire as proof of engagement in the peace process.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of 30 January, OCHA reported that 14,200 refugees are in Senegal, most from Mauritania and Rwanda.
More than 738,000 people are estimated to be in Phase 3 (Crisis) food insecurity and above during the lean season from June-August, as a result of the high import dependency rate for food and the impact of unpredictable seasonal rains and climatic conditions. An additional 2.9 million people are experiencing stressed food security levels, IPC Phase 2 (FAO, 05/08/2014).
In Casamance, which has an estimated population of 1.8 million, an estimated 37% of households face food shortages.
The Food Security and Nutrition Survey (ENSAN) reported in June 2013 that rural food security levels had generally deteriorated since 2010, with rural households being more at risk. Recurrent shocks from drought and flooding, poor infrastructure, and inadequate social safety nets continue to increase the chronic overall vulnerability of the population, while household and community resilience continues to erode due to poor coping strategies.
In the north, crop conditions and moisture availability have been negatively impacted and may worsen if good rains fail to return (FEWSNET, 15/08/2014).
Sahel Food Crisis: Regional Overview
In March, more than 25 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) suffered from food insecurity (FAO, 03/04/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food consumption (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
More than two million people, or 15% of the population, including 350,000 chronic carriers, have hepatitis B, due to untimely vaccination, prohibitive treatment costs, and lack of universal screening to curb transmissions (IRIN, 08/05/2014).
340,000 children are estimated to suffer from acute malnutrition, including 79,000 from severe acute malnutrition (SAM). These figures are an increase on 2013, when 63,323 SAM and 255,675 MAM cases were reported (2014 Humanitarian Needs Overview).
Bangladesh Country Analysis
26 August: Over 810,000 people have been affected by flooding, 500,000 of them have been displaced. The most affected districts include Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Rangput, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Sirajganj, Sunamjong and Sylhet (PI).
31 July: Retail prices for coarse rice have fallen by 2.7% in a month in Dhaka markets, but were still 2.5% higher than one year ago. On 23 June, the Government extended a ban, in place since 2008, on the export of non-fragrant rice until 30 June 2015. Some fragrant rice varieties will be exempt from the ban.
- Bangladesh is considered one of the world’s most hazard-prone countries, and every year cyclones cause extensive damage and floods.
- 30,000 Rohingya Muslim refugees from Myanmar are in official camps, and some 300,000 are in unofficial camps or villages, where they receive little or no humanitarian assistance.
- Food insecurity is rising due to frequent natural disasters and civil unrest. An estimated 40% of the population is considered food insecure, and western areas are more affected.
- In 2013, 507 people died as a result of political violence, making it the deadliest year since the country's independence.
Although the political situation in Bangladesh seemed to have stabilised to some degree since the Awami League (AL) won the elections in 2008, longstanding tensions persist between Islamic groups and secular activists. Violence and protests erupted ahead of the January 2014 elections, which the AL went on to win.
Protests began in January 2013, over the trial and sentencing of senior political leaders from the main opposition party – the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) – and its Islamic allies for offences and crimes committed during the 1971 war of independence from Pakistan. Several leaders are still officially on trial. By the end of the year, the strikes – or hartals – had evolved into open showdowns between hundreds of thousands of AL and BNP supporters.
Aftermath of the January Elections
The new Government was sworn in and Sheikh Hasina began a third term as Prime Minister on 12 January.
International observers declared the elections flawed and the BNP described them as a farce. The impasse between the two dominant parties is fuelling concerns about economic stagnation and further violence. International human rights organisations report that nearly 150 people were killed and thousands injured in election-related violence. According to estimates by the local NGO Ain o Salish Kendra (ASK), 507 people were killed in political violence in Bangladesh in 2013, making it the deadliest year since the country's independence.
In early August, Bangladeshi police used water cannons and tear gas to disperse hundreds of garment workers who had been staging a hunger strike since 28 July to demand the payment of three months salary, overtime, and a holiday bonus. A settlement was reached on 11 August, according to the international media.
Following inter-religious violence between settlers and the indigenous population in Khagrachari, around 250 members of minority groups, who have been subject to similar violence in the recent past, have crossed the border to Tripura, India (OCHA, 09/06/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Needs in Bangladesh can sometimes be difficult to assess; the humanitarian impact of frequent low-profile events is chronically underreported.
According to humanitarian partners, the political crisis is affecting humanitarian operations, with both international missions and local field trips being cancelled. Stakeholders are struggling to oversee and implement programmes.
In Lalmonirhat, five villages in Kaliganjupazila were submerged by water as a flood protection embankment broke down at Modanpur under Tuhbhandar union on 24 August (Prothom Alo, 24/08/2014). Many embankments are in poor shape due to lack of proper maintenance. In many places sluices and regulators no longer function properly (INTRAC, 2010).
Heavy rains in the main river basins and upstream catchments of India have triggered flooding in northern and northeastern Bangladesh. 810,659 people have been affected, including 500,000 displaced (Bangladesh Red Crescent Society, Government). Humanitarian actors reported nine deaths – in Bogra, Jamalpur, and Bhola – which are yet to be confirmed by the Government. The most affected districts include Nilphamari, Lalmonirhat, Kurigram, Rangpur, Gaibandha, Jamalpur, Sirajgonj (northwest), Sunamjon and Sylhet (northeast) (ECHO, 25/08/2014).
Most critical needs include access to safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, and food. In addition, the affected need cooking facilities, safe emergency shelters, and medicines for water-borne illnesses (Muslim Aid, 18/08/2014).
Most vulnerable groups include women, children, the elderly, and people with disabilities (9.07% of the population has a disability). Children in makeshift shelters are extremely vulnerable and less likely to receive assistance than children in flood shelters as they are harder to identify and harder to reach (SC 2006).
On 16 July, around 50,000 people were affected as some 115 villages in the southern districts of Bhola, Patuakhali and Barguna were flooded following the collapse of flood control dykes. The Government led the evacuations and provided relief (OCHA, 21/07/2014). Households in Bhola and Patuakhali districts had already been affected by tropical storm Mahasen in May (WFP, FAO, Food Security Cluster, 20/05/2014).
IDPs make up 0.2% of the population. Most were displaced by violence in the 1970s. The 280,000 IDPs estimated to be in Bangladesh in 2007 are unlikely to have returned, integrated, or settled elsewhere in the country given persistent tensions and fighting (IDMC, 13/05/2014).
Rohingya Muslim Refugees
300,000 Rohingya from Myanmar – even more according to local media – are in unofficial camps or with host communities and receive little or no humanitarian assistance. As of September 2013, an estimated 30,000 Rohingya Muslims were officially registered and lived in formal camps, where the Government allows only UNHCR and humanitarian organisations to assist refugees (humanitarian partners). On 24 March, the Governance and Social Development Resource Centre (GSDRC) stated that the Government had restricted aid to registered refugees living in official camps. GSDRC indicated that conditions in unofficial camps are dire: overcrowded, lacking clean water and sanitation, with poor shelter, health and nutrition, and human rights abuses. New refugees cannot register with the Government or UNHCR and cannot enter official camps. The majority of Rohingya are denied refugee status by Bangladeshi authorities.
The Rohingya crisis is regional, with a large number in Thailand, Malaysia, India, Indonesia, and Australia (ECHO, 21/05/2014).
Flood-affected victims have been reported as suffering from an acute food crisis (ECHO, 25/08/2014).
Around 40% of the population is food insecure, especially in western parts of the country. The lingering effects of natural disasters, violent demonstrations, and other local problems have raised the level of food insecurity of a high number of households. Relatively high domestic rice prices are also limiting low-income groups’ access to food (FAO, 16/06/2014).
Livelihoods and Food Security
Retail prices for coarse rice fell by 2.7% in a month in Dhaka markets, but were 2.5% higher than one year ago. On 23 June, the Government extended a ban, in place since 2008, on the exports of non-fragrant rice until 30 June 2015, following concerns over domestic price rises. Some fragrant rice varieties will be exempt from the ban.
With rising sea levels, salinity has become a significant problem, and two salt-tolerant strains of rice have been developed (FAO, 31/07/2014).
The World Bank stated on 6 February that each year during the monsoon season, about 20–30% of the country is inundated; over six million hectares are flooded to depths ranging from 30cm to 2m. Farming and fishing systems are at risk of deep flooding, erosion and drainage. In the post-monsoon period, soil-moisture content declines rapidly and the water deficit needs to be compensated by irrigation. Agriculture gets the largest share of available water and this affects navigation, drinking water supply, rural health, and sanitation. Salinity intrusion, waterlogging and the contamination of the groundwater aquifer by arsenic further exacerbate this problem.
Health and Nutrition
Open defecation and polluted waters have greatly increased the risk of diarrhoea and water-borne diseases among flood victims. Most of those affected have not been able to reach government health facilities (Bangladesh Red Crescent Society), 25/08/2014).
An increase in malaria cases was reported on 6 July by local health authorities in the Chittagong Hill Tracks. Six children died while more than 1,500 other cases were reported in the district of Bandarban (OCHA, 21/07/2014).
As reported by ECHO in late February, an estimated 500,000 Bangladeshi children suffer from severe malnutrition annually. Among children under five, 13.5% are acutely malnourished, with 3.4% of these children suffering from severe acute malnutrition.
Refugees International established in 2013 that the GAM in one unofficial camp was twice the emergency threshold.
Access to safe drinking water has been the main concern expressed for the flood affected by humanitarian actors on the ground. In some cases, the shortage has meant that some communities have been using contaminated water. Numerous hand tube wells are contaminated by flood waters (BRCS, 25/08/2014).
The lack of latrines or proper sanitation facilities has forced some populations to defecate openly (BRCS, 25/08/2014).
Thousands of houses have been either washed away or seriously damaged by flooding. Houses in the area are typically built on mud platforms (or plinths), which can be damaged and destroyed by severe flooding.
The displaced have moved to whatever high ground they can find and are staying in makeshift or temporary shelters. These arrangements offer limited privacy, poor protection from the elements, and inadequate or no sanitation. Living conditions are likely to worsen if the rain continues. (BRCS, 25/08/2014).
More than 300 schools in flood-affected areas have been shut (TRUST, 26/08/2014).
Flood shelters have inadequate WASH facilities (SC 2006). Past disasters have found that this poses risks to women and adolescent girls, who resort to a range of detrimental practices to avoid exposure (including waiting until nightfall to go to the toilet).
Legal Status of Refugees
On 24 March, GSDRC reported that unregistered status means that refugees who have been victims of violence have no legal recourse. Incidents of domestic and sexual violence have been increasing around Rohingya settlements. Unregistered female refugees are especially vulnerable to sexual and physical attacks. Many female refugees are forced into illegal activities as a survival mechanism or sell their children into domestic labour, putting them at risk of abuse and arrest.
No new developments this week, 27/08/2014. Last update: 30/07/2014.
- 325,000 affected by heavy rainfall and flooding across most of Bolivia (Government, WFP, and OCHA, 06/2014).
- Bolivia is prone to natural disasters including earthquakes, floods, and droughts. The 2013 drought and severe frost affected over 340,000 people and damaged 87,000 hectares of crops (Government).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
A series of natural disasters have affected Bolivia since the beginning of the rainy season in October 2013 and have had a severe impact on livelihoods and food security.
Heavy Rainfall and Floods
As of 2 June, an estimated 325,000 people were affected by flooding in Bolivia’s Amazon valleys, lowlands, and plains during the rainy season, which started last October and ended end of March (OCHA). Over 145 municipalities have been affected across all nine departments. At least 64 people have died. Bolivian authorities reported that floods have caused the collapse of around 1,600 homes, the destruction of 63,000 hectares of arable land, and the death of 110,000 livestock. Officials estimate that agriculture is the primary income-generating activity of 40% of affected families.
The Government declared a state of emergency on 28 January. The situation worsened, and on 10 February the departments of Cochabamba, Santa Cruz, Beni, La Paz, Potosí, and Pando were placed on red alert. The most affected regions during the rainy season are typically north of La Paz and in the south Andean plateau of Lake Titicaca.
Bolivian President Evo Morales said an in-depth investigation is needed to assess whether the Brazilian hydropower plants have played a role in the floods.
A cold wave that hit the country in late May caused the death of seven people. In Potosí, over 5,000 people reported the destruction of their houses as a result of strong winds. In Beni, at least 60,000 head of livestock have died.
In July, the nutritional status of flood-affected families in the departments of Pando, Beni, La Paz and Cochabamba was deteriorating, according to preliminary results of the Emergency Food Security Assessment (WFP, 25/07/2014). It is estimated that sowing will start in July in Beni and harvesting will not take place before November (WFP, 09/07/2014).
According to FAO on 27 February, a detailed assessment of the agriculture losses from heavy rain and flooding is still not available, but livestock is expected to be the most affected sector. Estimates indicate that close to 63,000 hectares of crops, including rice, maize, and cassava, have been negatively impacted. Despite losses in the department of Beni, prospects for 2014’s de verano season are favourable, since the main cereal-producing departments, namely Santa Cruz, La Paz, and Cochabamba, were less severely affected and the abundant rains may have benefited the developing crops in some places.
As of 15 October 2013, an estimated 87,000 hectares of crops had sustained damage during the drought of the first quarter of the year. Tarija department was worst hit, with 44,000 hectares of crops estimated to have been lost. Santa Cruz recorded the highest number of affected cattle, with approximately 29,400 dead.
In mid-December, FAO reported that aggregate maize production (main and secondary seasons) for 2013 was estimated at 875,000 metric tons, 13% below 2012’s figure.
Approximately 1,000 schools have been damaged by flooding since October, affecting an estimated 250,000 students. As many as 450 schools are being used as temporary shelters. In Beni, 230 schools, 60,000 students, and over 800 teachers have been affected (Ministry of Education, OCHA, 05/06/2014).
26 August: Boko Haram (BH) attempted to blow up a bridge on the Nigeria–Cameroon border after overrunning two towns in Nigeria. The bridge serves as the border crossing with Gamboru-Ngala in Nigeria, which BH had taken the previous day (AFP).
26 August: Almost 500 Nigerian soldiers were confirmed to have fled to Cameroon, to escape BH in the Nigerian border cities of Ashigashyia and Kerawa (AFP).
- 120,970 refugees from CAR have arrived since December 2013, bringing the total to 228,230 (UNHCR, 07/2014).
- Cameroon hosts approximately 25,000 Nigerian refugees (IRIN, 08/2014).
- The 2011–2012 drought impact continues, with 615,000 people in the north at risk of food insecurity and malnutrition (WFP).
- 30% of Cameroon’s 20 million inhabitants have access to piped drinking water. In Yaoundé, needs surpass the current capacity by three times (Government).
The spillover from fighting between the Nigerian army and Boko Haram militants impacts on Cameroon and threatens regional security. On 22 May, WFP, IOM, and UNHCR declared the situation in northern Cameroon a Level 3 emergency, the highest level of humanitarian crisis. Cameroon is suffering a double refugee crisis: the influx of refugees from CAR and Nigeria is putting pressure on very limited resources.
On 17 May, President Biya agreed to step up regional security cooperation and declared war against Boko Haram (BH). Biya met with Chadian President Deby to discuss concerted action.
On 26 August, BH attempted to blow up a bridge on the Nigeria–Cameroon border after overrunning two towns in Nigeria. The bridge serves as the border crossing with Gamboru-Ngala in Nigeria, which BH had taken the previous day (AFP). Almost 500 Nigerian soldiers were confirmed to have fled to Cameroon, to escape BH in the Nigerian cities of Ashigashyia and Kerawa (AFP, 26/08/2014).
Authorities in the Far North region have imposed a night curfew and banned vehicle and motorcycle movement at night to try to curb raids by Boko Haram, which have occurred despite a heavier military presence in the remote region (IRIN, 15/08/2014). Late July, troop levels along the Nigeria border increased to 4,000 (ICG, 01/08/2014).
Boko Haram insurgents, previously concentrating attacks on northeastern Nigeria, have been active in Cameroon since the beginning of 2014. On 23 February, it was confirmed that Nigeria had closed its northern border with Cameroon to block the movement of BH. Amchide town, which is in Cameroon, has become a significant BH base. It is estimated that BH account for 90% of its population. BH has developed alliances with businesses and is reportedly forcing others to finance their activities (AFP, 24/06/2014).
On 27 July, at least 16 people were killed in two raids by BH insurgents in the Kolofata area. More than a dozen people were kidnapped, including the wife of the Vice Prime Minister (AFP, 28/07/2014). On 24 July, Boko Haram insurgents attacked a Cameroonian military base in Balgaram (Far North region) killing two (OCHA, 30/07/2014). On 10 June, 300 suspected Boko Haram members attacked the town of Gorsi Tourou (OCHA, 16/06/2014). On 7 June, suspected BH gunmen attacked a town in Mayo Tsanaga department, Far North region. In May, a Cameroonian soldier and a policeman were killed, and ten Chinese nationals were feared kidnapped in the Far North. In April, two priests and a Canadian nun were abducted. In February, a Cameroonian chief was kidnapped.
The security situation remains unstable in East region, where the majority of refugees are located. Infiltrations of anti-balaka from CAR into Cameroon have been reported, and local authorities have asked UNHCR to expedite the transfer of refugees from the border entry points of Kentzou and Gbiti in order to allow them to undertake search operations in the area (UNHCR, 22/05/2014). The Gbiti site has been closed. UNHCR and Cameroonian security forces are seeking possible locations for security posts at the refugee sites of Lolo, Mbilé, and Timangolo in East region (UNHCR, 04/07/2014).
The transport union in Cameroon called a strike after an attack on drivers in CAR, and blocked the movement of all commercial and humanitarian goods from Garoua Boulai into CAR (WFP, 13/06/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The escalation of attacks by Boko Haram since late July is restricting aid operations in the Far North region, where thousands of Nigerian refugees have sought safety (IRIN, 15/08/2014). UN agencies have only been undertaking priority activities such as assisting refugees and some host communities, according to WFP (IRIN, 15/08/2014).
Refugees from the Central African Republic
As of 8 August, 228,230 CAR refugees are in Cameroon: 120,970 have arrived since December 2013 through 31 border points in the East (86,080) and Adamawa (21,673) regions (UNHCR). Close to 60% of newly arrived refugees are children, of whom 20% are under five years of age. 96% of refugees are Muslim. At least another 17,670 third-country nationals and returnees have crossed into Cameroon since December 2013, including some 4,500 Chadians (UNHCR, 07/2014 and IOM, 25/07/2014).
MSF said most of the new arrivals are in critical need of medical attention (Voice of America, 13/08/2014). They are suffering from exhaustion, dehydration, and malnutrition (UNHCR, 07/2014). ECHO found that acute needs at the border are shelter, food, health, water, and protection (ECHO, 05/2014).
According to UNHCR, the number of refugees crossing the border has dropped in recent weeks, from 10,000 per week to about 8,000 in mid-August. The number of new CAR refugees in Cameroon is expected to reach 180,000 by the end of 2014 and 30,000 third-country nationals are expected to need assistance (UNHCR, 17/07/2014).
The border is open and there are refugees who cross spontaneously without being registered. The main challenges to reception arise from the extensive border, the multitude of entry points and an operational area spread over 50,000km2. Bad road conditions delay the provision of assistance. The security environment is also a concern.
As of early August, 55,057 refugees have been relocated to sites: 43,130 in the East region, including 10,750 in Lolo, 15,860 in Gado, 9,530 in Mbilé, 6,320 in Timangolo, 670 in Ngari-Singo, and 11,930 in the Adamawa region including, 10,030 in Borgop and 1,890 in Ngam. The transit site at the entry point of Gbiti has been closed and refugees relocated (UNHCR, 08/08/2014). However, 58,400 are living outside sites. Some are reluctant to be transferred (UNHCR, 25/07/2014).
In most locations, the number of refugees and third-country nationals exceeds the local population, and living conditions have become very difficult for host communities as well. In some sites, the rains have created conditions for disease outbreaks. Access to water and sanitation remains below standard. In Gado, Mbilé, and Borgop, the quantity of water provided per day to refugees remains below 15 litres (UNHCR, 07/2014).
Refugees from Nigeria
Cameroon hosts approximately 25,000 Nigerians. Since May, more than 8,000 Nigerians from Adamawa, Yobe, and Borno states have fled to the remote northern part of Cameroon (IRIN, 11/07/2014).
At least 10,000 people were displaced by counterinsurgency operations in Borno state, Nigeria, which began on 7 August. They fled to Madagali in neighbouring Adamawa state, or across the border into Cameroon (NEMA cited by OCHA).
Since June 2013, Mayo Sava, Logone-et-Chari, and Mayo Sanaga departments have accommodated most Nigerian refugees. 6,000 live in Minawao refugee camp, 130km east of the Nigeria–Cameroon border (IRIN, 15/08/2014). Many refugees have opted to stay in border villages, hoping to return home quickly if the violence subsides. Those living outside the camp do not receive humanitarian assistance and lack of identification is a concern. The needs among the refugees are largely WASH, health, and nutrition-related.
Cameroon's Far North and North regions have the highest rates of food insecurity in the country, with 54% of households facing shortages. It is feared more will not have enough food over the current lean season, before harvesting starts in October–November (WFP cited by IRIN, 15/08/2014).
The arrival of refugees has increased pressure on resources. Food stocks at Minawao camp, in Far North region, will last for two months, with breaks in the supply line by November if there is no additional funding, according to WFP.
On 14 February, local media reported that food prices in Cameroon had climbed by over 20% since December. The growing food shortages are compounded by prolonged water scarcity. The impact of the 2011–2012 drought is also still being felt, although 2013 aggregate cereal production was tentatively put at about 3.1 million metric tons, 5% up on the previous year’s output, and 10% above the average of the previous five years.
National food insecurity is further influenced by 20 million people at risk of food insecurity across the Sahel region and 2.5 million in need of urgent lifesaving food assistance, as reported by OCHA on 3 February. Across the region, roughly 1.5 million children under five face acute malnutrition in 2014.
Health and Nutrition
Malnutrition, malaria, and respiratory infections are the most common health problems among refugees from CAR, according to an ECHO needs assessment carried out on the border. A number of measles cases were also reported among recently arrived child refugees.
Cameroon's Far North, North, Adamawa, and East regions suffer chronic shortages of health workers. Nationally, there are 1.43 health staff for 1,000 people. In the Far North region, the ratio is 0.47 doctors for 1,000 people (IRIN, 06/08/2014). The concentration of health staff in wealthy areas leaves around 40% of Cameroonians without access to healthcare. 45.7% of health centres do not have access to electricity and 70% of them do not have piped water (Inter Press Service, 19/08/2014).
Quoting WHO, US media outlet NPR reported that the public healthcare system was unable to address increasing infant mortality rates, along with high rates of HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis. Families often use unauthorised clinics. The Ministry of Public Health has started a campaign to ensure the creation of legally registered clinics that meet national standards with regard to staff, equipment, and hygiene. The Ministry said it would close down unregistered clinics.
Rains and insecurity caused by Nigerian Islamist militants are aggravating a cholera outbreak in northern Cameroon, which has killed at least 75 people and infected another 1,400 since April (IRIN, 06/08/2014). 218 cases were reported between 31 July and 5 August, up from 208 cases reported the week before. Health experts are concerned that the epidemic will spread to the northern capital city of Maraoua (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
The first cholera case was in a Nigerian refugee family in April. Water scarcity, poor public health services and risky hygiene practices have rekindled the disease, which hit Cameroon badly between 2009 and 2011 (IRIN, 06/08/2014).
A Cameroonian government spokesperson announced that all borders between Cameroon and Nigeria had been closed in order to prevent the spread of Ebola (AFP, 19/08/2014). So far, 12 cases have been reported in Nigeria, with four fatalities (WHO, 15/08/2014).
The death toll from malaria jumped from less than 2,000 in 2011 and 2012 to over 3,200 in 2013, according to INGO Malaria No More. Authorities blamed the surge on low bed net use, heavy rains, weak medical services, and widespread poverty.
In North and Far North regions, an estimated 55,200 children under five will have SAM and 132,430 MAM in 2014 (UNICEF, 06/2014). A nutrition assessment conducted by WFP and UNHCR in June found high rates of malnutrition among refugee children. In one village, GAM was 25% (the emergency threshold is 15%). Up to 30% of refugees from CAR under the age of five suffer from acute malnutrition, according to an early June assessment at three border entry points and five refugee sites (UNHCR, UNICEF, WFP): 7–8% of cases were infants under six months and 18% children over five years. One in five pregnant and lactating refugee mothers arrived in Cameroon malnourished, and malnutrition among the elderly is also of concern (UNICEF and WFP, 03/07/2014).
Between March and early July 2014, more than 1,600 children with severe acute malnutrition were admitted in the therapeutic feeding centres at arrival points and refugee sites and hospitals. Another 9,000 children and 2,000 mothers received supplementary feeding (UNICEF and WFP, 03/07/2014).
Approximately 15% of all children with SAM require hospitalisation. It is estimated that inpatient facilities will need to triple their capacity. Mortality rates have been over 20% at some locations in June, due to dehydration, hypothermia and severe anaemia (OCHA, 06/2014).
According to ECHO, an estimated 186,000 children, including refugee children, are expected to require lifesaving care in 2014.
As of 13 August, five wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases have been reported since January 2014 (Global Polio Eradication Initiative, 13/08/2014), confirming continued WPV1 transmission and geographic expansion of infected areas following detection of four cases in 2013 (WHO).
On 17 March, WHO elevated the risk assessment of international spread of polio from central Africa, particularly Cameroon, to very high. Wild polio had not been reported since 2009.
Several cases of yellow fever were reported in an area previously considered at low risk, and therefore not covered by the preventive campaign of 2009 (WHO, 04/07/2014).
Government statistics reveal that only about 30% of Cameroon’s inhabitants have access to piped drinking water. According to the state water company, current needs surpass Yaoundé’s available capacity by three times.
Over 36,000 child refugees have arrived from CAR since January: approximately 50% have not attended school for extended periods of time. Only a small number of CAR refugee children reportedly attend school in public schools in hosting communities (UNHCR, 07/2014).
On 3 April, Cameroonian police reported that an estimated 200 young people (aged 15–19) from Kolofata area in the Far North region have been recruited by Boko Haram since February and reportedly transferred to training camps in the Nigerian bush. Early August, police sources confirmed that hundreds of children continued to be forcibly recruited (AFP, 06/08/2014).
Côte d'Ivoire Country Analysis
No significant news reported this week, 27/08/2014. Last update: 13/08/2014.
- 3.13 million people in Côte d’Ivoire do not have access to potable water and sanitation (OCHA 12/2013).
- In the region of Zanzan, on the eastern border with Burkina Faso and Ghana, 60% of the population live below the poverty line and 75% lack access to safe drinking water (UNICEF).
- Agricultural production is still impacted by over a decade of civil unrest.
On 11 August, the new Electoral Commission, responsible for the elections scheduled for October 2015, has been officially set up (AFP, 11/08/2014).
As the 2015 elections approach, FPI’s attempts to unite the opposition parties into one common front have faced delays and obstacles. Five of the 11 invited parties had declined to sign the founding document proposed by the FPI for a long time, accusing it of consistently refusing to join other common opposition efforts developed by the Permanent Framework for Dialogue (CPD) over the past two years.
A framework of direct dialogue was initiated over a year ago between the Ivorian government and the FPI: the two sides met for the first time in five months in January. Tensions date back to the 2010-2011 crisis, and remain strained due to the FPI’s position stating that the current President Ouattara is ineligible for the 2015 campaign. Preparation for the 2015 presidential elections began in November 2013 despite disagreement on election procedures.
National Reconciliation Process
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission announced in February that listening centres will be set up to facilitate dialogue between victims and executioners. Legal clinics will be opened to enable civilians’ access to justice. The Commission was created in 2011, and its initial two-year mandate was extended to early 2015. The investigations and public hearings are still yet to be carried out.
In February, the Ivorian government released 70 senior army officers and politicians who had been detained whilst awaiting trial for crimes including murder, kidnapping, and corruption. President Ouattara announced in January that the ultimatums on 80,000 people in exile, of whom 300 are soldiers have ceased and that the government would prioritise the facilitation of return for all, including safety guarantees. Critics of President Ouattara’s government have expressed concerned that such political compromises undermine the authority and independence of the judiciary.
A UN human rights report published in January indicated that despite some improvements, the security situation remains fragile due to a persistent culture of violence and a large number of ex-fighters who have not yet benefited from Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programmes. On 10 February, it was reported that more than 27,000 ex-combatants had been demobilised. In addition, large quantities of illicit arms are still circulating in the country.
On 23 February, the government reported that at least four Ivorian soldiers were killed when suspected gunmen from Liberia raided a border town in the west of the country. Several gunmen were also killed in the incident. Several assaults had already been carried out beforehand, with the UN and the government often blaming allies of former President Gbagbo.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Besides political turmoil and economic instability, the violent post-election phase described above has resulted in destruction of assets and caused the displacement of 500,000 people both internally and across borders. Despite recent intermittent attacks in the western region, which was the worst affected, peace and security seem to have been considerably restored and the situation is expected to improve further during 2014.
In Zanzan, on the eastern border with Burkina Faso and Ghana, nearly 60% of the population live below the poverty line, and three-quarters of the population lack access to safe drinking water. The presence of humanitarian organisations remains low in comparison with needs. UNICEF reports that the most pressing needs include child protection and gender-based violence (FGM), access to water and health facilities, malnutrition, education, and birth certificate issuance/provision.
At least 23 people have been killed and over 7,000 people displaced by floods since the start of the rainy season in June. 5,000 people are living in primary schools (OCHA 22/07/2014).
Humanitarian needs are pressing for 45,000 IDPs, and their host communities, in the west.
Refugees in Côte d’Ivoire
For 2014, the UNHCR is prioritising finding solutions for Liberians and Rwandans whose refugee status has ceased by facilitating local integration or undertaking resettlement assessments; others will continue to receive international protection.
Voluntary repatriation programmes assisted 16,232 refugees to return in 2013, mostly from camps and communities in Grand Gedeh, Nimba, and Maryland counties in Liberia, doubling the total repatriation figures for 2011 and 2012. 73% of returnees have returned to the Cavally and Tonkpi regions. Towards the end of 2013, the trend of return slowed, with a monthly average of 1,300 returnees. Fear of reprisals, lack of safety, and no access to land were the main reasons cited.
In July, around 400 Ivorian returnees travelling from Liberia were turned away from Côte d’Ivoire, citing fears of the spread of Ebola; other people are reportedly crossing the border without problems (AFP 14/07/2014).
Ivorian Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
An estimated 70,730 Ivorian refugees still reside in neighbouring countries: 52,785 in Liberia, 8,461 in Ghana, and 6,170 in Guinea at end December 2013, according to UNHCR. This figure represents a significant decrease from 2011 (250,000) and 2012 (85,000).
Liberia: The majority of Ivorian refugees in Liberia are unwilling to return until after the 2015 presidential elections. On 18 February, the head of the UN Refugee Agency in Liberia expressed concern over the alleged ‘forced extradition’ of 14 Ivorian refugees, part of a group of 23 accused by Côte d’Ivoire of being mercenaries.
The instability and unrest of the past decade has affected the food security and economic stability of the population, leaving households more vulnerable. This is largely due to repatriation/late return of farmer households, insecurity and population movements, delay/early end of rains, and crop loss due to flooding.
In the western Montagnes district, 76,500 people suffer from severe food insecurity.
In October 2013, 500,000 people in the west and the north were found food insecure, according to a joint assessment by FAO, WFP and the Ministry of Agriculture. The most affected areas are the southwestern regions of Moyen-Cavally and Bas-Sassanda where 387,000 people face food insecurity, including 123,000 who need immediate assistance in areas at risk of the district of Montagnes (Toulepleu, Blolequin and Tai). In the northern region of Savanes, an estimated 193,000 face food insecurity, including 99,000 in need of immediate assistance in the heavily populated area around Korhogo.
Health and Nutrition
The 2012 Demographic and Health Survey reports that essential drugs are often out of stock in health facilities at all levels.
Diarrhoea is a major concern: only 17% of patients receive adequate treatment in the form of oral rehydration. Compounded by a high rate of malnutrition and limited healthcare, the burden of morbidity and mortality associated with diarrhoeal diseases is high.
According to statistics published by the National Nutrition Programme in August 2013, malnutrition is the cause of 54% of deaths and of 35% of diseases among children under five. Incidence of malnutrition is higher in the north of the country.
As of 31 December, OCHA reported that 3.13 million people do not have access to potable water and sanitation: 42%, in the north, 25% in Abidjan and the southeast, and 30% in the west.
High risks of violence and abuse against children and women remain, with continued impunity of perpetrators. A recent report expressed deep concern over the increase in sexual violence and trivialisation of the offence, though comprehensive data is hard to come by.
Using Ivorian government statistics, UNHCR estimates that 700,000 people are stateless or of undetermined nationality. During the 2002 civil war and the post-election crisis of 2010–2011, the destruction of vital records and the loss of individual documents have made it very difficult for Ivoirians to prove their citizenship. Abandoned children are not covered by national legislation and do not have the Ivorian citizenship. In addition, tens of thousands of children who were not registered at birth cannot prove their nationality and are at risk of statelessness. Access to basic rights remains problematic for people who lack proper documentation. In July, the UN representative mentioned that Côte d’Ivoire is taking concrete measures to eliminate statelessness.
25 August: Late-August rains are expected to improve the drought in the country (FEWSNET).
20 August: The departments most affected by food security are Choluteca, Valle, El Paraíso, Francisco Morazán, Intibuca, and Lempira, located in central-west Honduras (EU).
- 458,044 people are affected by food insecurity Choluteca, Valle, El Paraíso, Francisco Morazán, Intibuca and Lempira are the most affected (Government of Honduras, 29/07/2014) (EU, 20/08/2014).
- The food security situation for day labourers, small coffee farmers, and basic grain producers in the western and southern areas will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from July to September because of reduced employment demand in the coffee sector, lack of food reserves, and high food prices (FEWSNET, 29/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The food security situation in Honduras has worsened due to drought affecting the country, yet strong winds and rains have hit San Manuel Úlua, and the destruction of crops has affected 14,000 people (3,500 families) (REDLAC, 18/08/2014).
458,044 people (114,511 families) are affected by food insecurity, and food aid has been delivered to them (Government of Honduras, 12/08/2014). The most affected departments are Choluteca, Valle, El Paraíso, Francisco Morazán, Intibuca and Lempira, in central-west Honduras (EU, 20/08/2014). 70% of maize crops and 45% of bean crops have been lost (La Prensa, 10/08/2014). As of 5 August, the Government declared a state of emergency in the ‘dry corridor’ of Honduras due to the drought conditions (Government, 05/08/2014). Reports suggest that late-August rains will improve the drought situation (FEWSNET, 25/08/2014).
The coffee leaf rust epidemic, affecting the entire Central American region, is aggravating the situation (Government of Honduras, 29/07/2014). The food security situation for day labourers, small coffee farmers, and basic grain producers in western and southern areas will be Stressed (IPC Phase 2) from July to September because of reduced employment demand in the coffee sector, lack of food reserves, and high food prices. Fish farms have also been affected by the depletion of fish stocks due to the recent drought (EU, 20/08/2014).
Damage to seeds during the first planting season and high probabilities of damaged seeds during the second planting season mean that the people affected by food insecurity are likely to continue to experience Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity from October to December (FEWSNET, 30/07/2014). Extremely poor households will experience a rapid deterioration in their food security in early 2015, and larger than usual amounts of humanitarian assistance are expected to be needed (FEWSNET 18/08/2014).
Prices for red beans have increased by 132% since June 2013 and by 68% over the last five years. Seeds losses are likely to extend to other geographical areas and high prices for basic grains are also likely (FEWSNET, 30/07/2014).
Health and Nutrition
11,921 cases of dengue have been recorded so far this year, 997 of which are suspected of being haemorrhagic dengue (Government 05/08/2014). Over 1,000 new cases were recorded 12–29 July. Severe cases were increasing in July : by 19 July, 947 suspected severe cases had been recorded – an increase of 53 over the previous week. Two deaths have been recorded so far (La Prensa, 29/07/2014).
The recent drought has affected access to safe drinking water in the most affected areas (La Prensa, 10/08/2014).
No significant news reported this week, 26/08/2014. Last update: 21/08/2014.
- 612,700 Syrian refugees are registered with UNHCR, swelling Jordan’s population by about 10% (26/08/2014).
- Operational and protection concerns are growing as the Government of Jordan is increasingly restricting the approval process for humanitarian projects, and infringing the basic protection of refugees, including their right to seek asylum and freedom of movement.
- Humanitarian operations and resources are disproportionately focused on the Syrian refugee camps, which house about 15% of Syrian refugees in Jordan.
- The influx of refugees has placed enormous pressure on scarce water resources and public services, which has increased tensions between host communities and refugees.
Jordan has remained politically stable, and the economy appears to be recovering from the negative consequences resulting from the Arab Spring. However, this balance remains fragile as the influx of Syrian refugees has overwhelmed public services, particularly health and education, and placed major stress on scarce water supplies. Tension between refugees and host communities have manifested in localised protests, particularly in the northern Mafraq governorate, and negative media portrayals of Syrians, as well as regular reports of discrimination and harassment of refugees.
The Jordanian military has tightly controlled cross-border movements of refugees, commodities, fighters, and weapons to limit spillover of the conflict. However, hundreds of Jordanians are reportedly fighting for opposition groups with links to Al Qaeda, particularly Jabhat al Nusra.
On its social media accounts, the Islamic State (formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL) has threatened to take its jihad to Jordan. In June, a small group demonstrated in Ma’an, southern Jordan, praising IS victories in Iraq. The extremist movement in Jordan is generally dominated by anti-IS groups that support Al Qaeda and its Syrian ally Al Nusra Front, which is an IS rival (AFP, 23/06/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Since mid-2013, the Ministry of Planning and International Cooperation has required aid agencies to include Jordanians as 30% of the beneficiary list of all aid programmes targeting Syrian refugees. In recent months, aid agency projects have faced an increased rate of rejection and pressure to increase the proportion of Jordanians targeted for assistance to 50%. The requirement is viewed as an attempt to pressure international donors to channel more resources through government systems and institutions.
Due to its relative stability and central location in a turbulent region, Jordan has historically been a reluctant host to the largest number of refugees in the world, both in terms of absolute numbers and the proportion of refugees to its resident population. Throughout most of its history, Jordan has been inundated by refugees, beginning with the 1948 influx of Palestinian refugees and again in 1967. In 2008, Jordan hosted up to 500,000 Iraqis fleeing sectarian violence and most recently has provided refuge to over 600,000 Syrian refugees.
Jordan hosts the third largest number of Syrian refugees, after Lebanon and Turkey. As of 26 August, about 612,700 Syrian refugees were registered with UNHCR in Jordan. Over 80% of Syrian refugees live in local communities, with the remainder in camps. The influx of refugees peaked in early 2013, with an average of 1,700 daily arrivals between January and April, but has since drastically reduced to fewer than 200 daily arrivals in June. While the Government has stated that the decrease in arrivals is due to obstacles for those trying to reach the border, human rights groups have documented incidents where Syrians were denied entry by Jordanian authorities.
Refugees in Host Communities
Over 80% of Syrian refugees living outside of camps are located in Amman, Irbid, Mafraq, and Zarqa. Assessments by aid agencies consistently find that the priority need among refugees in host communities is for cash to pay rent. Work permits are cost-prohibitive for refugees, although many Syrians, including children, work in agriculture and construction, despite the protection risks, including arrest and detention. In the northern governorates, about 20% of Syrians live in substandard accommodation, including garages, basements, chicken houses, and tents. Housing has become increasingly overcrowded as resources are depleted. Rental costs have quadrupled in Mafraq, one of the poorest governorates, where refugees now outnumber local residents.
Originally slated to open in mid-2013, Azraq camp in Zarqa governorate opened on 30 April for new arrivals from Syria. As of 1 July, 11,600 refugees were registered by UNHCR in Azraq camp. However, it is believed that only about half of the population remains in Azraq due to the isolation and poor living conditions. Many aid workers are concerned about the harsh, hot, and windy climate, long distances to reach services, and the camp’s isolation from livelihood opportunities. At full capacity, Azraq camp will be able to accommodate 130,000 refugees.
Za’atari is the second largest refugee camp in the world, and the equivalent of a new city in Jordan. The lack of security in certain parts of Za’atari camp impedes access to services, particularly for women and girls. Security incidents and protests are frequent. Thousands of refugees have left for other urban centres through both official and unofficial channels. However, authorities have cracked down on unofficial departures in 2014.
About 4,000 Syrians live in the Emirates Jordan Camp (EJC). Known as the “five-star” camp due to its high living standards and extensive support, primarily from the UAE Red Crescent. The camp provides three hot meals each day and caravans for all residents. Despite the improved living standards, a significant number of refugees have also left EJC camp for urban areas or to return to Syria.
Palestinian Refugees from Syria (PRS)
About 14,200 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) have been recorded by UNRWA, which provides cash assistance for vulnerable PRS, who make up the vast majority of the PRS population. About 190 PRS are in the Cyber City facility and are subject to heavy restrictions on movement. Since late 2012, the Government has explicitly stated that it would not allow PRS to enter Jordan. Those who do enter are subject to a number of protection issues, including refoulement, the confiscation of documents and, for those with Jordanian citizenship, de-nationalisation. On 4 August, a government official stated that all Syrian refugees are treated equally, regardless of their origin, adding that Jordan cannot allow those who do not have documents to stay in the country.
Due to the conflict in Iraq, the number of Iraqis seeking asylum through UNHCR has continued to increase over the past year. As of mid-July, about 4,800 Iraqis had approached UNHCR in Jordan. Despite the recent crisis in northern Iraq and Anbar governorate, the majority of Iraqi asylum seekers originate from the Baghdad area. The number of Sudanese asylum seekers also increased in 2014, while the number of Somali asylum seekers has decreased slightly. Over 2,000 refugees and asylum seekers from Sudan, Somalia and other countries currently live in Jordan.
A food security assessment by WFP and REACH in July, which covered nearly 8,000 Syrian refugee households in all districts in Jordan, in camps and host communities, found that nearly all Syrian refugee households in Jordan receive food assistance. Of those assessed, 6% were rated as food insecure, 42% as vulnerable to food insecurity and 52% as food secure. It also found that 74% of Syrian refugee households cited WFP vouchers as their main source of income and that 85% would not have sufficient access to food if WFP ceased assistance. WFP plans to reduce the total number of refugees receiving vouchers by 10% in September.
The 2013/14 rains were only 77% of the long-term annual average, leading to a reduction in underground water reserves and a marked increase in underground water salinity in some well fields. This situation is unfortunately expected to result in increased stress on the existing water resources (UNICEF/REACH, 31/04/2014).
Since early 2014, the Government appears to be implementing a more rigorous approach to its encampment policy of Syrian refugees. The re-verification process, which aims to ensure that complete biometric data is recorded for all registered refugees, has also led to cases of refoulement by the Jordanian authorities. The joint Government–UNHCR re-verification process began in Za’atari in late 2013 and was completed in June 2014, with the process then rolled out to police stations, to check non-camp refugees, with Jordanian authorities leading the process and very limited UNHCR presence.
On 14 July, Jordanian authorities notified UNHCR that it is not permitted to register refugees in urban areas if they have left the camps unofficially, outside of the ‘bailout’ process. Refugees who have approached UNHCR for documents to access services in urban areas must now show official bailout documentation in order to obtain an appointment. An estimated 200,000 Syrian refugees have left the camps unofficially. Without official documentation to live outside of the camps, refugees are unable to access public services or receive WFP food vouchers.
According to recent assessments, at least 7,000 refugees were residing in informal tented settlements (ITS) in five governorates in June. The vast majority originate from outside Dar’a governorate and left Za’atari camp due to conflicts with powerholders from Dar’a. In December 2013, authorities in Mafraq evicted without notice several hundred households living on public land and told the refugees that they had to enter Za’atari camp immediately. This policy seems to have been implemented again, with even broader interpretation. According to sources, about 1,270 residents of two settlements located on private land in southeast Amman were evicted in the early hours of 28 June and forced to move to Azraq camp. Evictees reported that up to six people had been forcibly returned to Syria. Unlike previous evictions, the residents were not allowed to identify other options, such as finding non-camp housing to rent.
An estimated 3,800 defectors from the Syrian armed forces are being held at military premises in Mafraq with no freedom of movement. The government has not permitted UNHCR to conduct status determination for these people, although the ICRC has had access to this group.
27 August: Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas stated that, since June, 1,000 Iraqi refugees have entered Lebanon and are registered with UNHCR, but he considers the number to be much higher.
21 August: A second joint security assessment took place in Aarsal. Security forces at the municipality and national level confirmed that the situation remains highly volatile. In addition to concerns regarding the presence of armed elements, they indicated that community tensions remain high and clearly articulated that a full resumption of humanitarian operations is not advisable. The arrival of visible truckloads of NFIs and food kits would most likely increase inter-communal tensions.
- 1,170,000 Syrians registered as refugees and 33,000 awaiting registration as of 27 August. More than 78% are women and children (53% children) (UNHCR 01/07/2014). Over 53,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria have been recorded by UNRWA.
- 77% of refugee children are under the age of 11 and 25% are at risk; 16% of refugees are aged 15–24 (UNHCR 06/2014, UNFPA 06/08/2014)
- Lebanon will need USD 1.6 billion to cope with the humanitarian situation this year; as of 1 June, only 23% had been raised (UNHCR 03/07/2014).
- Shelter is a critical problem: as of 10 July, over 173,000 refugees are living in 1,259 informal tented settlements (UNHCR).
- Vulnerability has increased since late 2013: UN mapping indicates 242 most vulnerable localities, where 68% of Lebanese reside on less than USD 4 per day with 86% of registered Syrian refugees.
Lebanon has the highest per capita concentration of refugees worldwide. While the country struggles to deal with the refugee influx, which exceeds a quarter of the Lebanese population, tensions between host and refugee populations are increasing due to pressure on health and education systems, housing, employment, and food price hikes. The World Bank estimates that the Syria crisis cost Lebanon USD 2.5 billion in lost economic activity during 2013 and threatens to push 170,000 Lebanese into poverty by the end of 2014.
National Political Context
On 23 July, lawmakers failed for the ninth time to convene and elect a new president for lack of quorum. Former president Michel Sleiman’s term expired on 25 May, leaving Lebanon without a head of state. March 8 bloc lawmakers, which include Hezbollah, have boycotted the last eight rounds of voting, arguing that the sessions are futile until rival groups agree on a consensus candidate.
A new Government was formed on 15 February after ten months of political stalemate amid exacerbated sectarian tensions. The new Government brings together the Hezbollah movement and its allies and the Future Movement bloc, who back opposing sides in the Syria war. The agreed compromise ensures neither side has veto power over the other.
Fighting broke out in Aarsal on 2 August, in the worst violence to hit the area since the beginning of the Syria crisis in 2011. Armed fighters seized control of the town, but on 7 August, IS fighters withdrew. The outbreak of violence also sparked clashes in the northern city of Tripoli.
No major armed confrontations have been reported since 7 August, but the situation around Aarsal remains volatile. 827 out of 1,072 displaced Syrian and Lebanese households have returned to the town, but the security situation does not allow for the restoration of regular humanitarian operations, though some partners have been able to deliver food, WASH, health, and shelter assistance (UNHCR 21/08/2014).
16 fighters died in July when clashes broke out between Hezbollah and Syrian opposition in an un-demarcated area of the border between Qalamoun in Syria and Lebanon's Aarsal. Shelling from Syria on the border regions frequently results in casualties. Between 16 April and 31 May, over 45 rockets and shells, most allegedly fired from Syrian territory, landed in Bekaa and some in Akkar. Clashes were also reported in Aarsal. Two suicide bombings on 20 and 23 June marked a return of insecurity to Lebanon after months of relative calm. The Al Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades announced that the attacks will continue until Hezbollah withdraws from the conflict in Syria.The first major clashes between Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and Syrian opposition fighters inside Lebanese territory were reported in June 2013.
On 11 July, unidentified armed fighters began launching rockets from southern Lebanese territory towards Israel, prompting Israeli retaliatory shelling on 14 July.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The UN estimates that Lebanon will need USD 1.6 billion in funding to cope with the humanitarian situation this year; as of 1 June only 23% has been raised. (UNHCR 03/07/2014)
Security forces at the municipality and national level have confirmed, following a joint security assessment on 21 August, that the situation around Aarsal remains highly volatile. In addition to concerns regarding the presence of armed elements, community tensions remain high. Bringing in visible truckloads of NFIs and food kits would most likely increase inter-communal tensions (UNHCR 26/08/2014).
As of 27 August, nearly 1,170,000 Syrians are registered as refugees in Lebanon and almost 33,000 are awaiting registration. 78% are women and children. The number of Syrians in Lebanon who are not registered with UNHCR is unknown. The percentage of refugees who experienced multiple internal displacement in Syria before arriving in Lebanon went from 11% in January to 54% in April (UNHCR 06/2014). Refugees reside in over 1,700 locations, of which some 1,000 are informal settlements.
Most Lebanese families are believed to have returned to Aarsal, while some refugees have chosen to relocate. Some 125 households that remain displaced are now mainly in three locations, namely El Fakehe, Chaat, and Baalbek. Reports suggest that movement in and out of Aarsal is now possible for Syrian refugees holding documentation (UNHCR 19/08/2014)
Palestinian refugees from Syria: Over 53,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria (PRS) have been recorded by UNRWA. There has been a decrease in registered arrivals due to entry restrictions imposed on 8 May. According to Human Rights Watch, the unclear application process for entry permits makes it almost impossible for Palestinian refugees to enter Lebanon.
Iraqi Refugees: Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas stated that, since June, 1,000 Iraqi refugees have entered Lebanon and are registered with UNHCR, but he considers the number to be much higher. 7,000 people had arrived before June (Daily Star 27/08/2014).
Monitoring in August indicates that 27% of new Syrian refugees have poor to borderline food consumption scores (UNHCR 14/08/2014).
As of August, nearly 74% of households face some degree of food insecurity, with the majority mildly food insecure. Almost 13% of households were classified as moderately or severely food insecure, a significant decrease compared to the Vulnerability Assessment for Syrian Refugees (VASyR) results in 2013. Coping strategies reflect the deteriorating situation for Syrian refugees compared with 2013, and are the main determining factor for food insecurity. Nearly 68% households reported having reduced the number of meals (and/or money to buy food). 77% relied on other livelihood sources such as non-agricultural casual labour and debts or loans. Approximately 80% of households borrowed money or received credit (VASyR 10/08/2014).
The Lebanese economy is widely affected by the large influx of refugees and the economic spillover of the Syrian crisis. Furthermore, heightened political instability and insecurity is affecting overall economic activity in the country. In 2013, the real GDP growth rate was just 0.9%, even lower than the 1.6% recorded in 2006 during the conflict with Israel. The public debt: GDP ratio in 2013 was 141%, reversing the declining trend observed in previous years. Instability in Syria has spilled over to the service sector in Lebanon, especially tourism. The structurally weak labour market is also under stress from the refugee influx. (WFP 07/08/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Aggregate cereal consumption has increased from 0.9 million metric tons a year (2004–2008) to 1.2 million, but the supply side has not responded: national grain production has remained stagnant at just under 200,000 metric tons over the past decade (WFP 07/08/2014). 85% of cereal requirements are imported. Wheat accounts for the bulk of grain imports, followed by rice and maize
A severe drought has resulted in a substantial decline in agricultural production throughout the country. The most affected products are fruits and vegetables, for which prices have increased (Inter Press Service 23/07/2014).
28% of Syrian refugee households resorted to emergency coping strategies this year, up from 22% in 2013, according to preliminary results of the 2014 VASyR. Between 70% and 91% of Syrian refugee households are in debt, mainly to friends of relatives (MSNA 05/2014). Half of households had debts amounting to USD 400 or more (WFP 28/07/2014).
Only 22% of refugee households report having any income (UNHCR): 90% of those completely reliant on others for support cited lack of work as the main problem (MSNA 05/2014).
Most working Syrians endure harsh conditions, and the average monthly income for a Syrian refugee in Lebanon is almost 40% less than the national minimum wage (ILO). UNHCR reports that newcomers arriving in 2014 are in general more vulnerable, having spent their savings and assets while in Syria and finding conditions more difficult on arrival.
Palestinian refugees from Syria: More than 37% of PRS have reported cash and food aid as their main source of income (UNRWA, 03/2014). The majority of employed PRS cannot rely on wages to ensure a decent standard of living. Only 11% of PRS households were able to rely on previous saving and remittances.
Lebanese population: Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas stated on 3 July that border communities hosting Syrian refugees were under particular pressure because of the increase in people willing to work for low wages. Unemployment in these areas, especially among unspecialised or unskilled labour, has doubled since the refugee influx (Reuters 03/07/2014)
As of May, unemployment rates among Lebanese ranged from 58% in Wadi Khaled, to 44% in Sahel Akkar, and 23% in Bekaa (Save the Children 27/05/2014).
Health and Nutrition
The Rafic Hariri Primary Healthcare Centre was damaged during the vilence around Aarsal and will require structural repair (UNICEF 22/08/2014)
72% of primary health centres assessed by UNICEF lack a sufficient supply of essential drugs, 67% lack sufficient medication for chronic diseases, and 49% lack sufficient antibiotics for children (UNICEF 22/08/2014). Many refugees still find it difficult to cover the costs of medical treatment; distance is also a barrier to accessing healthcare.
High costs, coupled with unhygienic living conditions, have resulted in a rise in waterborne diseases amongst the refugee population in Lebanon. A recent needs assessment conducted by ACTED in Beirut and Mount Lebanon highlighted the frequent occurrence of diarrhoea and scabies among refugees, with children particularly affected (UNHCR 10/08/2014).
At the end of June, approximately 85% of primary health consultations were for acute conditions and 15% chronic conditions, mental health conditions, and injuries. Chronic non-communicable diseases, which consist of mainly respiratory and cardiovascular conditions, and diabetes, are having a disproportionate effect due to poor quality treatment (UNHCR 18/07/2014).
Referral for secondary or tertiary healthcare is extremely expensive in Lebanon and the health budget required for 1.5 million refugees remains extremely underfunded (UNHCR 20/06/2014). Among the refugee population to have sought medical attention, over 70% of patients are women and nearly a quarter are children under five (UNHCR 03/2014).
Low utilisation of antenatal and post-natal services is leading to high rates of emergency obstetrics (34% of all deliveries are caesarean sections as of March). Geography and cost present barriers to accessing antenatal care (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: 42% of surveyed households had at least one member who required hospitalisation. More than a quarter (27%) of households reported at least one pregnant or breastfeeding woman within the household. Households living outside the refugee camps have been less frequently accessing UNRWA’s health services than households in the camps (UNRWA, 03/2014)..
Between 21 May to 20 June, 16,531 Syrian refugee children aged 6–59 months were screened for malnutrition: 77 were diagnosed as moderately malnourished and 25 cases severely malnourished without complications (UNICEF 22/08/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: Almost 75% of PRS children aged between six months and five years were sick in the two weeks prior to the UNRWA survey in March. 91% of PRS children did not meet the minimum acceptable meal frequency levels and 86% did not have acceptable dietary diversity.
Around 300,000 displaced Syrians are estimated to be most vulnerable to mental health concerns, 60% of them being women and children (WHO 16/07/2014).
Lebanon is now considered one of the top 13 countries with high polio vulnerability (Global Polio Eradication Initiative). Lebanon has been polio-free for 12 years.
33% of refugee households do not have drinking water, compared to 28% in 2013. Approximately 12% of households (twice the percentage in 2013) do not have access to bathrooms (i.e. a place for washing/bathing) at all, and out of those who had access, over 7% were sharing bathrooms and latrines with 15 persons or more (VASyR 10/08/2014).
544 latrines in informal settlements and communal shelters in Aarsal were destroyed during the conflict, as was 623,000 litres of water storage capacity in informal settlements. 1,300,000 litres are needed to meet standards (UNHCR 19/08/2014).
The demand for water has increased by 7% due to the refugee influx (UNHCR 01/07/2014). An estimated 28% of Syrian refugees do not have enough access to safe water. WASH conditions are worse for the Syrian refugees living in informal settlements, and for Syrian refugees in difficult-to-access locations in the Bekaa Valley and the north. 26,000 PRS are also considered to be among those most in need of WASH assistance (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
2014 is likely to be the driest year in 100 years. Average rainfall in 2014 is estimated at 470mm, far below annual averages of 824mm, according to the Rafik Hariri International Airport Meteorological Department (Inter Press Service 23/07/2014). Available groundwater resources are around 80%. Consequently, water costs will increase and higher salinity levels on groundwater near coastal areas can be expected. Ageing and inefficient water systems result in over 50% water loss through leakage (UNHCR 14/08/2014).
Waste management: The lack of adequate sanitation is a particular concern in buildings and settlements that were not originally intended as living spaces. In informal settlements, wastewater is not properly evacuated (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
59% of households live in apartments and independent houses, while 41% live in tents, collective shelters, unfinished constructions, garages, squatting, and separate rooms. Households in tented settlements amount to over 14%. Poor quality shelter, overcrowding, and limited access to water, sanitation, and urban services are the norm throughout the country for the vast majority of the vulnerable. Housing is the most serious concern for most refugees both in terms of quality and monthly cost (UN Habitat 09/08/2014, VASyR 10/08/2014)
About 1,250 informal settlements across the country host over 173,000 Syrian refugees This is a more than fourfold increase in settlements since June 2012, when there were 282 informal settlements (UNHCR 27/07/2014). Akkar has over 300, and the Bekaa 700, of four or more tents. Threats of and actual evictions are growing: a recent assessment of the 200 largest informal settlements in Bekaa revealed an increase in potential eviction cases (OCHA 16/07/2014). The multi-sectoral assessment of informal settlements in Bekaa indicates congestion, low quality drainage systems and great needs for shelter repair.
Shelter is the primary reason for widespread secondary displacement among Syrian refugees, with people seeking better or cheaper shelter, and some being evicted (MSNA 05/2014). Only 10% of registered Syrian refugees possess a written rent agreement.
Aarsal: According to initial assessments, the shelters of 822 Syrian families in 14 informal settlements and seven families from a collective shelter were affected by the recent fighting. (UNHCR 21/08/2014). General rehabilitation of damaged shelters in informal settlements, and especially in residential areas, was not advised by the municipality as it meant shelter materials had to be delivered (UNHCR 26/08/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: PRS households are residing in alarmingly crowded dwellings, with an average of 4.6 persons per bedroom; 8.4 people on average sharing one bathroom. Most households (71%) reported paying rent for shelter. Slightly over a quarter of households (27%) were hosted for free.
Lebanese returnees: Some 50,000 Lebanese nationals are expected to return from Syria by the end of 2014, with the majority obliged to rent or live with host families. At least 51% are shelter insecure and require assistance to cover rental costs or shelter repair (UNHCR 01/07/2014).
Aarsal: The clashes resulted in substantial damage to three UNICEF learning spaces, affecting the education activities of 600 children (UNICEF 22/08/2014).
462,300 school-age children are in need of education assistance. The enrolment rate of Syrian refugee children is approximately 20%. The Lebanese education system is predominantly private, and the Syrian influx has increased demand on the limited public school places by almost 134% (UNHCR 01/07/2014)
Language barriers and safety concerns contribute to a high drop-out rate among refugees. Transportation is another need. Access to education differs between geographical areas, primarily depending on proximity to schools. Child protection actors report that bullying and violence in schools are causing high tensions and resulting in children dropping out from school (UNHCR 18/07/2014).
6% of Syrian refugees aged 15–24 years are enrolled in education in Lebanon; representing just 16% of those who had been studying in Syria (UNFPA 05/08/2014).
Palestinian refugees from Syria: School enrolment rates have doubled since the last academic year, to 64%. Most PRS children are enrolled in UNRWA schools, which are predominantly located within refugee camps, resulting in lower enrolment rates for those outside camps. Enrolment rates decrease as a child’s age increases (even within the same household): children aged 13 years and older are facing difficulties adjusting to UNRWA’s Lebanese curricula, taught in English or French.
After the fighting in Aarsal, there is growing animosity between the host community and Syrian refugees. Attempts to provide humanitarian assistance have led to hostility between the local community and assistance providers, including with respect to assistance to Lebanese. Rehabilitation of shelter options in Aarsal was also perceived as unwanted (UNHCR 10/08/2014).
Syrian refugees are mainly residing among the poorest communities of Lebanon: 86% of Syrian refugees are living in Lebanon’s 242 most vulnerable locations, sharing scarce resources. Wages and work opportunities have been reduced for many. Social services cannot cope with the increasing demand. Host communities also fear infectious disease outbreaks as the number of insanitary informal refugee settlements grows. A perception that Syrian refugees get preferential treatment, perhaps due to humanitarian assistance directly targeting them, is adding to the friction.
REACH undertook an assessment of host community needs in Akkar governorate, where 63% of the population currently lives below the poverty line. Approximately one-third of the population are refugees, with 195 villages in Akkar hosting refugees. Livelihoods have been affected, with tensions created by competition for scarce income-generating opportunities, more expensive goods and services, and less affordable accommodation. (REACH 05/08/2014)
Only Syrians with valid and undamaged identification cards or passports can enter Lebanon. While most Syrians are granted access, there is a reported increase in arrests and detentions of Syrians for illegal entry and stay (UNHCR). An average of 13% of registered refugees enter through unofficial border crossings and are not recognised as legally present in Lebanon (UNHCR 15/08/2014).
On 31 May, Lebanon’s Interior Minister announced that displaced Syrians registered with UNHCR must refrain from entering Syria from 1 June 2014, or they will lose their status as refugees in Lebanon.
PRS have reportedly been denied entry into Lebanon due to tightened border restrictions (Amnesty International, 30/06/2014). The report indicated evidence of a policy to deny PRS entry into Lebanon altogether. Since 8 May, Palestinians fleeing Syria will not be provided visas at the border, and the 53,000 Palestinians from Syria already in Lebanon will not have their visas renewed.
Syrian and PRS refugee parents continue to experience barriers to registering the births of refugee children born in Lebanon, mainly due to the lack of legal residency permits and, in the case of PRS, the inability to renew visas. It is estimated that 35,000 Syrian refugee children will be born in Lebanon at the end of 2014. There is a risk of statelessness for those who are unregistered (UNHCR 01/07/2014). In addition, some refugees arrive in Lebanon with unconfirmed nationality, or without documents proving their nationality, including Syrian Kurds, who were denaturalised in Syria in 1962.
The renewal of legal stay documentation remains unaffordable for many families, while the lack of clarity over their status is raising fear and inhibiting refugees’ ability to access services. Many living unofficially in Lebanon are already unable to move freely. Over 45,000 individuals have been de-registered this year as of end June because they failed to keep in contact with UNHCR or were otherwise found not to be in need of international protection (UNHCR 18/07/2014).
Mines and ERW
Lebanon has nearly 1,400 confirmed minefields and 520 cluster munitions strike areas, including in areas hosting refugees. In March, refugees were living within 10–20m of known minefields in West Bekka and Rashaya (Mine Action Group).
Sexual and Gender-based Violence
Refugee women in Lebanon report that fear of sexual harassment and exploitation has restricted their mobility, and some families are resorting to child marriage as a coping mechanism (UNFPA 13/08/2014).
A weak legal framework, limited resources, and social barriers prevent refugees at risk of SGBV, or victims of violence and abuse, from seeking and receiving adequate protection. Other challenges include lack of documentation, overcrowding, and growing tension between refugees and host communities.
Scarce economic opportunities coupled with high costs of living lead some families to negative coping mechanisms including early marriage, child labour, survival sex.
Child labour is reported to be increasing across the country, and children are engaging in dangerous forms of work. There is a noted increase of unaccompanied or separated children amongst working children. Within Mount Lebanon, there are reports of men approaching girls on the streets. Increased restrictions on visa renewals and entry into Lebanon of Palestinian refugees from Syria is also increasing concerns about the impact on children (UNHCR 18/07/2014).
22 August: Every county of Liberia has been affected by Ebola; Sinoe was the latest one (WHO).
22 August: As of 20 August, 1,082 Ebola cases, including 624 deaths, had been reported. Between the 17 and 20 August, 236 new cases and 143 deaths were reported (WHO).
- Between March and 20 August, 2,615 cases of Ebola and 1,427 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria (WHO, 22/08/2014). The numbers of registered cases and deaths in all three majorly affected countries seem to underestimate the real magnitude of the outbreak (WHO, 16/08/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Health and Nutrition
As of 20 August, 1,082 Ebola cases, including 624 deaths, had been reported. Between the 17 and 20 August, 236 new cases and 143 deaths were reported (WHO, 22/08/2014). The epidemic is spreading across the country, and every county is now affected, Sinoe being the most recently affected (WHO). 76% of new cases were reported in Lofa and Montserrado counties.
Over 6–13 August, the number of patients in Ebola treatment units nearly tripled, from 61 to 175 (UNICEF, 16/08/2014). The high number of cases reported is partially due to a backlog in processing reports (Government, 26/08/2014).
As of 3 August, Monrovia's Elwa hospital had turned away Ebola cases, due to the withdrawal of international staff following the infection of two US health workers (Reuters, 03/08/2014). At one point in mid-August, all five of the main hospitals in Monrovia were closed. Some have since reopened, but are barely functioning (MSF, 18/08/2014). Health workers lack training and knowledge of Ebola (UN, 15/07/2014). Liberia has 0.1 doctors per 10,000 people (MSF, 18/08/2014).
In Lofa county, health workers have threatened to stop working if risk premiums were not distributed (Ministry of Health, 28/07/2014).
The current number of treatment centres is not sufficient to cope with actual demand. Laboratory capacity needs strengthening.
Logistical capacity, such as transport for health staff, equipment, and medicines, is extremely limited, especially in Nimba county (WHO, 05/08/2014; Ministry of Health, 28/07/2014). In Lofa county, bodies cannot be buried due to the lack of body bags (Government, 19/08/2014). The only crematorium in the country is overwhelmed (international media, 22/08/2014).
The prices of some hygiene items are rising, making them unaffordable for many (AFP, 31/07/2014). The President asked the Ministry of Commerce to guarantee an affordable price for all hygiene products (international media, 30/07/2014).
Containment measures: In additional measures to combat the Ebola outbreak, on 19 August President Ellen Johnson imposed a night curfew from 20 August and quarantined two affected neighbourhoods, including Monrovia's West Point slum. All entertainment centres and all video centres are to be closed at 18:00 (AFP, 20/08/2014).
On 11 August, Lofa county, with an estimated population of 276,000 was put in quarantine, becoming the fourth county in quarantine after Bomi, Grand Cape Mount and Gbarpolu (international media, 11/08/2014, Government, 03/2008).
On 6 August, the President declared a state of emergency for a period of 90 days (Government, 06/08/2014). On 30 July, Liberia announced all schools would be closed and non-essential government workers placed on 30 days’ leave. All markets in border areas are closed until further notice (AFP, 30/07/2014). Liberia closed its borders on 29 July, with the exception of major entry points and the airport. One commercial airline has suspended all fights from Sierra Leone and Liberia to Nigeria (OCHA, 29/07/2014). The crossings that are still open, together with the International Airport, will intensify screening of travellers (ECHO, 29/07/2014).
Regional Ebola Outbreak
As of 20 August, the total cumulative number of cases reported in Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone was 2,615, including 1,427 deaths (WHO, 22/08/2014). Ebola patients have been identified in more than 60 locations across the four countries, complicating efforts to treat patients and curb the outbreak (MSF, 25/06/2014). There are difficulties, notably in forest areas, in identifying cases, tracing contacts, and raising public awareness about the infection and how to reduce the risk of transmission (WHO/UN Department of Public Information, 27/06/2014).
On 26 July, the Director General for WHO declared a Level 3 Emergency, the highest crisis category, to garner the requisite resources to tackle the epidemic (OCHA, 07/2014). The Ministers of Health of 11 countries and partners involved in the outbreak response agreed on 3 July on an inter-country accelerated response to contain the epidemic. This will include enhanced cross-border cooperation and a regional coordination centre based in Conakry, Guinea (WHO, 07/07/2014).
Food SecurityAuthorities delivered food and water in West Point slum on 21 August. NGOs are concerned about potential shortages in the slum; water prices have already quadrupled (international media, 22/08/2014).
Up to a million people in West Africa who are affected by the Ebola outbreak need food aid. With states of emergency and severe restrictions on movement imposed in Liberia, there are reports of food shortages (ECHO, 19/08/2014; AFP, 15/08/2014). The quarantine has meant that traders have been unable to travel to buy food and farmers cannot harvest their crop, which has sent prices soaring (international media, 10/08/2014; 27/08/2014).
On 20 August, violence erupted in West Point slum. Soldiers opened fire and used tear gas on crowds protesting at the quarantine. Four residents were injured in the clashes (AFP, 21/08/2014).
On 17 August, a quarantine centre was attacked and looted, mostly by young men armed with clubs. Seventeen Ebola patients fled. They were found two days later (AFP, 19/08/2014). Health officials expressed concern that the stolen supplies, likely infected with the virus, could result in the further spread of the disease (donor, 20/08/2014).
Community resistance against health workers and treatment remains high (WHO, 06/08/2014). People are becoming frustrated because of the delays in provision of lab results and removal of sick patients and dead bodies (Government, 08/08/2014). In Lofa county, there are threats from unidentified persons to burn the hospital and disrupt burials (Ministry of Health, 28/07/2014). In Monrovia, many have complained that overstretched health workers have been leaving bodies on the streets and in homes for days (AFP, 04/08/2014). In Nimba county, people are moving out of Ganta from fear of Ebola (Government, 21/08/2014).
Mauritania Country Analysis
No significant news reported this week, 25/08/2014. Last update: 21/08/2014.
- 800,000 people are estimated to be food insecure, of whom 190,000 are severely food insecure (OCHA, 02/2014).
- Mauritania’s acute malnutrition level has already surpassed the estimated 2014 caseload (SMART survey), with a reported 31,000 SAM and 95,000 MAM children (UNICEF, 03/2014).
- Security challenges continue to be a problem in Mbera refugee camp on the border with Mali. The camp currently hosts most of the 52, 850 Malian refugees in Mauritania. Mauritania is the largest recipient of refugees fleeing the conflict in Mali (UNHCR, 06/2014 and OCHA, 04/2014).
National Political Context
On 21 June, President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz was elected for another five-year term, winning 82% of the vote, according to the Election Commission. Anti-slavery campaigner Biram Ould Dah Ould Abeid, who came second, filed a complaint to the Constitutional Council, arguing that fraud and irregularities marred the voting. Most opposition parties boycotted the poll, citing a lack of electoral reform.
The National Forum for Democracy and Unity (FNDU) demonstrated against the election process in Nouakchott on 4 June. The coalition combines the Islamist National Rally for Reform and Development (Tawassoul) and the parties of the Co-ordination of Democratic Opposition, which announced their intention to boycott the election, as they did last year’s legislative election.
The 2013 elections were the first parliamentary polls since 2006, and the country’s ruling Union for the Republic and its allies won 76 of 147 seats. The National Electoral Commission announced a record turnout of 75% of 1.2 million registered voters. However, the vote was boycotted by most parties in the 11-member Coordination of Democratic Opposition. The credibility of the government continues to be questioned by much of the northern population, who claim they are being marginalised concerning the provision of basic services.
Regional Political Context
In a bid to strengthen bilateral relations, Malian President Keita visited Nouakchott in January, discussing security issues and the voluntary return of the refugees who have fled to Mauritania since the violence erupted in Mali two years ago. Also on the agenda was military cooperation regarding the increased threat of militant terror groups in the Sahel region.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Mauritania continues to suffer from a multidimensional crisis related to food insecurity, high prevalence of malnutrition, the presence of Malian refugees, and significant flooding that hit the country in 2013.
Rains in Selibaby, in Guidimaka region, have caused floods that destroyed some 125 houses and severely damaged 278 others; about 1,400 individuals are affected. The National Food Security Commission has distributed food and tents to the affected (OCHA, 13/08/2014).
40,000 people are yet to recover from the torrential rains of July 2013 (OCHA, 22/08/2014).
With 52,850 Malian refugees as of 31 July, Mauritania is the largest recipient of refugees fleeing conflict in Mali (UNHCR, 31/07/2014). Almost all refugees live in Mbera camp, a remote desert location on the border with Mali that has significant security challenges. According to UNICEF, 60% of camp residents are women and children, and many have been in the camp for two years, resulting in overlapping emergency and medium-term needs. Mbera camp is located in a poor region, where food insecurity and malnutrition are high and government services are few. Security problems and the inaccessibility of areas of northern Mali make it difficult to obtain return figures. At the moment, a tripartite agreement is being prepared between UNHCR, Mali, and Mauritania to facilitate the safe return of refugees.
The food security situation is particularly difficult in northern Guidimakha, Gorgol, and Brakna, where poor households began facing food consumption gaps and were experiencing Crisis levels of food insecurity in June (FEWSNET, 06/2014). The lean season has begun; poor and very poor households, who rely on market for supplies will be the most affected due to the early depletion of food reserves (OCHA, 31/07/2014). The 2013-2014 harvest only met 40–50% of outstanding needs (OCHA, 22/08/2014).
In southern Mauritania, crop conditions and moisture availability have been negatively impacted and may worsen if good rains fail to return (FEWSNET, 15/08/2014). Pastoral conditions continue to deteriorate throughout the country, causing atypical migrations to seasonal grazing areas inside and outside the country. For several months, pastoralists in western agropastoral zone and northern Guidimakha have been experiencing Stressed food security outcomes. They have resorted to purchasing animal feed, the price of which has risen steeply, and risk livelihood protection deficits (FEWSNET, 06/2014).
As of February, nearly 800,000 people, a fifth of the total population, were food insecure, including 190,000 severely food insecure (OCHA, 02/2014). Half of the country records malnutrition rates above the emergency threshold, and humanitarian partners indicate that a third of the country’s population requires humanitarian assistance. Chronic poverty and limited access to basic services have created high levels of vulnerability.
Food Security in the Sahel Region
In March 2014, more than 25 million people in the Sahel (Burkina Faso, north Cameroon, Chad, the Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, north Nigeria, and Senegal) suffered from food insecurity (FAO, 03/04/2014). Food insecurity in 2014 has risen dramatically compared to 2013, when 11.3 million people had inadequate food (OCHA, 03/02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
Late March, UNICEF reported that 125,300 children will be affected by acute malnutrition in 2014, including 30,740 children with severe acute malnutrition; an increase of almost 30% compared to the 2013 caseload. An estimated 90% of expected SAM cases live in the seven most vulnerable regions.
According to the post-harvest Nutrition Survey of December 2013, 6% of under-fives are affected by acute malnutrition, and 0.7% by SAM. However, these malnutrition rates are likely to rise with the approach of the summer lean season. According to ECHO, over 114,000 Mauritanian children needed therapeutic feeding in 2013.
Late August: In 2013, 12,000 HIV infections were reported. 52% of adults (over 15) living with HIV receive antiretroviral treatment (OCHA, 08/2014).
- More than 100,000 people are in need of food assistance and over half a million people are at risk of food insecurity from June to December 2014 (Food and Nutrition Security working group, 22/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Despite significant improvement in crop production this year, 117,600 are affected by a food security crisis and around 557,900 people in rural areas are at risk (Food and Nutrition Security Working Group 22/07/2014).
The northern regions have been worst affected, with the largest number of food insecure found to be in Kavango and Ohangwena. Households have employed negative coping strategies, including reducing the numbers of meals and increasing consumption of wild foods.
National cereal production is provisionally forecast at 122,390 metric tons, an increase of 50% from last season's harvest but still 2% below average (OCHA, 19/05/2014). Maize production is expected to increase by nearly 70%. The millet harvest is expected to increase by 48%. Pasture and livestock conditions have also improved in most parts of the country this year.
However, water deficits have continued to negatively impact pasture development in the northwestern region of Kuene (FAO, 19/05/2014). OCHA has indicated that water levels have been decreasing, and 40–50% of water points no longer function. Many farmers have been forced to sell cattle due to lack of pasture. Cattle from drought-affected regions Kwanza Sul and Benguela in Angola are reportedly crossing the border in search of food, fuelling tribal tensions.
Health and Nutrition
No new cholera cases have been reported since 23 April: the number of cholera cases reported in Khomas region (which covers Windhoek) remains at 70, with two deaths, since November 2013. The last cholera patient was discharged on 26 April (OCHA, 30/04/2014).
In 2013, 12,000 HIV infections were reported. 52% of adults (over 15) living with HIV receive antiretroviral treatment (OCHA, 08/2014).
As of July, GAM among children under five is at 7%, while 15% of the population is underweight (OCHA, 25/07/2014).
No new developments this week, 27/08/2014. Last update: 08/08/2014.
- Over 245,900 people have been affected by heavy rainfall and flooding across Paraguay (WFP, 07/08/2014).
- Paraguay is prone to a variety of natural disasters, particularly seasonal floods and droughts.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
According to WFP, 245,900 people have been affected by flooding in June affected in 11 provinces and 83,500 people (17,000 families) remained displaced, including 76,000 in Asunción (WFP, 07/08/2014).
Rural residents in eight departments were displaced, crops were lost, homes inundated, and roads blocked. Several health centres lost equipment and sustained structural damage, which, along with access problems caused by road closures, compromised their ability to sustain health services delivery. Additionally, lack of access to safe water and inadequate sanitary conditions increase disease risks (WHO & PAHO, 23/08/2014).
Outlook: Rainfall over Paraguay have been heavy since May, and heavy rain in southeastern Brazil since the beginning of June has also had an impact. The level of the Paraguay River reached its highest level on 10 July, at 7.38m. However, water levels may rise again with the beginning of El Niño in a few months (BBC, 26/07/2014).
25 August: Households affected by recent production shortfalls are expected to be at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity, while most of the country has reported Minimal (IPC Phase 1) levels (FAO).
- 260,650 people are food insecure (OCHA 05/08/2014).
In late July, Rwandan Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi was dismissed and replaced by Anastase Murekezi. Murekezi is the third Prime Minister since 2000 (VOA, 24/07/2014).
Twenty years after the genocide that killed more than one million people in under than 100 days, Rwanda is perceived by its neighbours as a progressive country (Peace Direct, 23/07/2014). The current government is said to have put ethnic differences aside, prioritising the economic development of the country (UNHCR, 02/2014).
While the overall security situation in Rwanda is calm, the armed conflict in DRC’s North Kivu, on the border with Rwanda, has affected security (UNHRC 02/2014). The Rwandan Hutu Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), mostly active in DRC, are a destabilising factor and source of insecurity in the region. The UN has denounced FDLR as being behind forced labour, harassment, beatings, and torture in eastern DRC (AFP, 06/08/2014).
On 30 May, a voluntary disarmament process for FDLR started under the auspices of MONUSCO, the African Union and the Southern African Development Community. On 2 July, several nations from the region, including Angola, Burundi, CAR, Republic of Congo, DRC, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia, agreed to suspend military operations against Rwandan FDLR insurgents for six months in order to give them more time to lay down their arms.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Refugees in Rwanda
Rwanda currently hosts 73,336 refugees, mainly from DRC (OCHA, 16/06/2014), located in Nyabiheke, Gihembe, Kiziba, and Kigeme (American Refugee Committee, 01/2014). Due to deterioration of the security situation in DRC, there has been an influx of refugees into the country since last year, prompting humanitarian actors to prepare a fifth refugee camp in Mugombwa. The monthly arrival rate is 2,600 (UNHCR 20/08/2004).
Rwandan Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 1 August, there are 1,395 Rwandan refugees in Kenya (UNHCR, 31/07/2014). Rwanda has remained peaceful since the 1994 genocide, and more than three million Rwandans have returned home since then (UNHCR).
Households affected by recent production shortfalls are expected to be at Stressed (IPC Phase 2) levels of food insecurity (FAO, 25/08/2014). 260,650 people are food insecure in Rwanda (OCHA, 05/08/2014). The areas hardest hit by poor food availability are the eastern Semi-Arid Agro-Pastoral zone (western Rwanda), the Bugesera Cassava zone (southeastern Rwanda), and the Eastern Congo Nile Highland Subsistence Farming zone (eastern Rwanda). These areas will most likely revert to negative coping mechanisms between July and December in order to meet food needs.
Households throughout the country will most probably exhaust their own stocks in August, relying on markets for food until November. Most of the country has reported Minimal (IPC Phase 1) food insecurity (FAO, 25/08/2014). Most areas of the country will be in IPC Phase 1 between July and December (FEWSNET, 12/08/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
In some eastern agro-pastoral areas, where moisture deficits are significant, maize and beans outputs are 50% below average (FAO, 25/08/2014).
Cumulative rainfall March to May was below average, and food availability over the dry season has been reduced by dry spells in April and May, affecting crop yields. With the start of the dry season, agricultural labour opportunities and wages have begun to decline (FEWSNET, 12/08/2014).
1 September: Almost 1.9 million people across 17 districts are affected by drought (Disaster Management Ministry 25/08/2014; UN/OCHA, 01/09/2014; 21/08/2014).
- Inter-communal tensions between the Buddhist majority and the Muslim minority are rising again.
- An estimated 770,000 people are food insecure due to consecutive droughts and floods.
Tensions are rising again between Buddhists and the Muslim minority, who make up 10% of the population. In May, Muslim legislators asked President Rajapakse to protect their minority community from what they described as Buddhist extremist elements.
In June there was a significant outbreak of sectarian violence in which three Muslims were killed and 80 people were seriously injured. Clashes took place in Aluthgama and Beruwela, two Muslim-majority towns on the Buddhist Sinhalese-dominated southern coast, during a protest march led by the hardline Buddhist group Bodu Bala Sena (BBS), or Buddhist Power Force. The Sri Lankan Government imposed an indefinite curfew.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
On 15 August a Sri Lankan court ordered authorities to stop deporting Pakistani asylum seekers following complaints that they were being forcibly sent home without having their claims properly assessed. 88 Pakistanis have been deported since 1 August according to UNHCR, which has been denied access to 75 people awaiting deportation (Trust.org 15/08/2014).
Some 157 asylum seekers, including 84 Pakistanis, 71 Afghans, and two Iranians, remain in detention. UNHCR has requested that the Government stop deportations immediately and grant it access to asylum seekers in detention so that its staff can assess their needs for international protection (UNHCR 12/08/2014).
A 700% increase in the asylum seeker and refugee population has been observed since 2013, with 1,562 asylum seekers and 308 refugees by 30 June, according to a government report in early August, which also states that the majority of them are driven by commercial human trafficking networks.
In July, over 870 houses were damaged in Nuwara Eliya, Badulla, Ratnapura, Monaragala, and Matale districts due to strong winds, according to government sources.
The number of people affected by drought has increased to 1,883,249 (542,858 families or 9% of the total population) over 17 districts in different parts of the country (Disaster Management Ministry 25/08/2014; UN/OCHA, 01/09/2014; 21/08/2014).
Food security has deteriorated, affecting around 770,000 people. The areas most affected by food insecurity are the rain-fed paddy-growing areas of Ampara and Moneragala in the east. The mixed paddy and palmyra region in the north of the country (Vavuniya, Jaffna, Mullaitivu, and Kilinochchi) is also affected (WFP, 04/2014 and FAO, 05/2014). In normal conditions, the proportion of households with poor or borderline food consumption in the northern provinces is estimated to be around 6%; in May, 18% of the population in affected areas had limited meal diversity and/or quantities (WFP, 04/2014 and FAO, 05/2014).
Agriculture and Markets
Rainfall was below average every month between September 2013 and March 2014. This covers the October–January northeast monsoon season, which supplies water for agriculture across the key rice-producing areas of the country. By July, the north and east had not received significant rain since November. The southwest monsoon rains (beginning in May) have also been below average. Families are suffering shortages of water for domestic and agricultural use in Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Hambantota, Puttalam, Mannar, Vauniya, Moneragala, Batticaloa, Mullaitivu, Trincomalee, Killinochchi, Jaffna, Kurunegala, and Ampara districts.
Overall, crop production has decreased by 42% compared to 2013 (Government of Sri Lanka 05/08/2014). Harvesting of the 2014 main season maha rice and maize crops was completed by mid-April and the rice output was 17% below last year’s record level. Early prospects for the 2014 yala rice crop, currently being planted, are unfavourable.
Prices for fresh fish and vegetables continued to increase in June. Tomato prices were 115% higher than a year ago, although lower prices for chicken, eggs and coconuts offset the increases. Dryness conditions have caused shortages of many basic commodities in local markets. Rice prices have dropped as imports have increased (FAO, 31/07/2014).
20 August: Cholera outbreaks have been identified in the northwestern districts of Arua and Moyo (UNICEF).
20 August: The Government of Uganda has secured land in Moyo district to build a new refugee camp for newly arriving South Sudanese refugees (UNICEF).
- 123,149 South Sudanese refugees have arrived since December 2013.
- Cholera is endemic in the region, with an ongoing outbreak in Arua and Moyo districts (25/08/2014).
- 19.9% GAM among South Sudanese refugees. GAM is above 10% in Karamoja (OCHA, 05/08/2014; WFP, 06/2014).
- The Allied Democratic Forces (ADF), an Islamist group fighting the Ugandan government and based in the DRC–Uganda border region, has been accused of recruiting child soldiers, sexually abusing women and children, and carrying out attacks on peacekeepers.
On 6 July, Ugandan troops killed 41 people in a clash with tribal gunmen on the border with DRC (AFP, 06/07/2014). On 8 July, another 13 attacks, presumed to be the result of inter-ethnic clashes between two tribes, occurred across three districts in the same area, leaving 90 people dead (UNHCR, 08/07/2014). Most of the 2,000 Ugandans who sought refuge in Bundibugyo district’s Bubukwanga transit centre have returned home (UNHCR, 08/07/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
As of July, Uganda hosts 30,196 IDPs (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
Refugees in Uganda
As of 30 June, Uganda hosts 388,950 refugees (UNHCR, 08/07/2014), 87% of whom are women and children (OCHA, 11/06/2014).
As of 14 August, 123,149 South Sudanese refugees have fled to Uganda since December 2013. The total population of South Sudanese refugees in Uganda has reached 145,413 (UNHCR, 21/08/2014). The daily arrival rate has dropped to below 100. Arua, Adjumani, and Kyriandongo, where most South Sudanese refugees are settled, is stretched far beyond capacity, and there is an urgent need to improve services. The Ugandan Government has secured additional land in Moyo district in order to settle newly arrived refugees. (UNICEF, 20/08/2014).
170,000 refugees are from DRC (IRIN, 10/07/2014). Transportation from Kyangwali to the DRC border has been set up for 3,500 refugees in Uganda who have expressed their will to return (IRIN, 10/07/2014).
As of 22 July, 1,500 Kenyans are still living in Kiryadongo refugee settlement, from the 4,000 who crossed into Uganda during the 2007–2008 post-election violence (local media, 22/07/2014).
The rest of the refugee population is believed to be from Somalia.
Ugandan Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 31 July, there were 1,263 Ugandan refugees in Kenya (UNHCR, 31/07/2014). As of 30 June, there were 1,211 Ugandan refugees in DRC (UNHCR, 30/06/2014).
As of 5 August, 560,000 people are food insecure (OCHA 05/08/2014).
Karamoja: Karamoja is classified as in Crisis (IPC Phase 3). Northern Nakapiripirit, Moroto, Kotido, Napak, and Kaabong districts are the areas of concern, with an estimated 824,104 food insecure. At least 20% of households in the region are only marginally able to meet minimum food needs, with continued erosion of livelihoods through sales of livestock. Current levels of humanitarian assistance are not meeting the needs of vulnerable households (FEWSNET, 31/07/2014).
In Karamoja, the September–October harvest is expected to be only 20–30% of average (FEWSNET, 01/08/2014)
Health and Nutrition
Health centres in Arua, Adjumani, and Kyriandongo require additional staff, space and supplies to respond to refugee needs (UNICEF, 20/08/2014).
Morbidity levels are high across Karamoja, with more than half of the children having suffered at least one illness in the two weeks prior to assessment (WFP, UNICEF, 06/2014).
Cholera outbreaks have been identified in the northwestern districts of Arua and Moyo (UNICEF, 20/08/2014).
A rising trend in malaria has been reported (Medical Team International cited by UNHCR, 18/07/2014).
GAM among South Sudanese refugees in Uganda has reached 19.9% (OCHA, 05/08/2014).
In June, GAM among children under five in Moroto district, Karamoja, had reached 22.2%. GAM was at 14.6% in Nakapiripirit district (WFP, UNICEF, 06/2014).
In Amudat district, safe water access, latrine access, and sanitation issues are a serious concern (WFP, UNICEF, 06/2014).
Democratic People's Republic of Korea Country Analysis
No new significant developments this week, 01/09/2014. Last update: 13/08/2014.
No current data on child mortality, food security, food price levels, or the general magnitude of humanitarian needs is available. Therefore, DPRK is not included in the Global Overview prioritisation.
- Massive human rights infringements, including against prisoners in prison camps who face starvation and torture, continue to be reported. Humanitarian access remains extremely limited (UN).
- Information on the food security situation remains limited. As of August, an estimated 16 million people (almost 65% of DPRK’s population) are chronically food insecure and an estimated 2.4 million people need food assistance (OCHA).
- As of August, malnutrition rates, particularly in the northwest, were extremely high with global chronic malnutrition (stunting) at almost 28% and global acute malnutrition (wasting) at 4% among children under five (OCHA).
- DPRK is disaster prone, regularly experiencing seasonal flooding that, for instance, affected over 800,000 people in summer 2013 (OCHA).
On 26 March, the UN Human Rights Council passed a resolution condemning DPRK for what it considered as longstanding and ongoing systematic, widespread, and gross human rights violations. On 17 March, China dismissed the UN report on the ground that it made unfounded accusations. On 18 February, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights had urged world powers to refer DPRK to the International Criminal Court after a UN report documented evidence of widespread and systematic human rights violations and crimes against humanity. The team conducting the report recommended targeted UN sanctions against civil officials and military commanders suspected of the worst crimes.
On 29 April, Pyongyang conducted a scheduled military exercise near its sea border with South Korea, international observers reported. On 25 April, South Korean officials said that DPRK had completed all steps required prior to a potential nuclear test. Pyongyang has conducted three nuclear tests in the past.
On 12 February, Seoul and Pyongyang held talks at their fortified border in the Panmunjom truce village. In the first high-level talks in seven years, the two sides explored ways to mend ties. According to reports, although no pre-arranged agenda was set, the parties discussed a range of issues including reunions of families separated during the 1950–1953 Korean War.
On 5 September 2013, DPRK agreed to restore a cross-border military hotline with South Korea, a sign of easing tensions. The line had been shut down six months earlier. Also in September, DPRK and South Korea reopened the joint industrial park in Kaesong. Pyongyang pulled its 53,000 workers out of the park in April, at the height of tensions with Seoul and Washington over its nuclear military programme.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Humanitarian access is extremely limited. On 1 May, the UN Human Rights Council’s recommendations to the Government as part of the Universal Periodic Review included unrestricted access to prisons and prison camps for humanitarian organisations, and close collaboration with humanitarian organisations to ensure the transparent distribution of aid.
Information on food security remains limited. An estimated 16 million people, of a total population of 24.6 million, are chronically food insecure. An estimated 2.4 million people need food assistance (OCHA, 08/2014). OCHA reports that although the humanitarian situation has improved slightly since 2013, the structural causes of vulnerability persist and external assistance is needed, notably in the northeastern provinces. WFP reports that 25% of households have acceptable food consumption, while 45% have borderline and 30% poor food consumption.
The lean period, which lasts between May and August, is expected to further aggravate the food security situation of much of the population (FAO, 03/07/2014). In June 2013, WFP approved a new two-year operation starting on 1 July and targeting 2.4 million people, mainly children and pregnant and nursing women, with 207,000 metric tons of food assistance. WFP said that food assistance delivered in May was the highest monthly amount on record in 2014, but still only represented a quarter of the amount planned due to insufficient funding (international media, 03/06/2014).
Despite a small increase in the aggregate food production for a third consecutive year in 2013/14, the food security situation remains unsatisfactory. The food system in DPRK remains highly vulnerable to shocks and serious shortages exist, particularly in the production of protein-rich crops. FAO reported in March that DPRK could, in the right conditions, become self-sufficient in cereals by end 2014. However, in November 2013, the results from an FAO/WFP Crop and Food Security Assessment Mission indicated that, despite a slight increase in cereal production, most households have borderline or poor food consumption, limited in terms of quantity and quality.
In February, an outbreak of the highly contagious livestock disease foot-and-mouth was reported.
Health and Nutrition
Chronic child malnutrition and poor dietary diversity among children, women, and households remain the main concern. Super cereal, biscuits, pulses and oil are needed to supplement the poor dietary intake among target vulnerable groups (WFP 06/2014).
Acute malnutrition rates have improved in recent years. The prevalence of wasting (4%) is within the normal range, according to international standards.
DPRK announced it is to publish a human rights report to counters claims of crimes against humanity made in the UN report published earlier this year (international media, 08/2014).
China is cracking down on Christian NGOs near its border with DPRK, with hundreds of people forced to leave the country. This is believed to be aimed at closing off support to people who flee and illegally enter China before going on to other countries, according to August reports in the international media.
No significant developments this week, 28/08/2014. Last update: 20/08/2014.
No accurate or verified data relating to the food security situation or food price levels in Eritrea is available, therefore Eritrea is not included in the Global Overview prioritisation.
- Torture, arbitrary detention, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and religion are common in Eritrea (UN, HRW).
- Ongoing human rights abuses prompt thousands of Eritreans to flee the country every year. In December 2013, Ethiopia was hosting an estimated 84,200 Eritrean refugees (UNHCR).
- Over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported as being undernourished between 2011 and 2013 (WFP).
Human rights abuses, including torture, arbitrary detention, and severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association, and religion are common in Eritrea, according to Human Rights Watch. Conscription to national service can last for an indefinite period of time, and is reportedly poorly paid. Interviews with Eritrean asylum seekers revealed that the main reason for fleeing the country was to avoid conscription. Harassment of citizens by authorities, on the grounds of their plotting to leave Eritrea, is reportedly widespread (UN Human Rights Council, 31/03/2014).
Between 5,000 and 10,000 political prisoners are being held in a country of just over six million people. The UN human rights chief has accused the government of torture and summary executions (UN Human Rights Council, 05/02/2014).
Eritrea and Djibouti engaged in border wars in 1996 and 2008. During the latter, according to Ethiopian officials in 2014, a number of Eritrean soldiers deserted and became refugees in Djibouti.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
There is a lack of updated and reliable data on the humanitarian situation due to limited humanitarian access.
In 2011, the Government of Eritrea issued a directive to all non-state development partners operating in Eritrea to cease operating by the end of 2012. In November-December 2013, several projects in partnership with the UN and the government commenced (IFRC, 30/05/2104).
As reported in ECHO’s Humanitarian Implementation Plan (HIP) released in October 2013, providing direct humanitarian assistance remains a challenge due to limited access, and absence of assessments and humanitarian space.
On 24 April, according to media sources, the UAE Red Cross had access to a million children across six provinces to distribute clothing.
As of 30 April, 64 stateless persons and IDPs reside in Eritrea (UNHCR).
As of 31 May, 3,136 refugees reside in Eritrea, including 3,056 Somalian refugees (UNHCR).
Eritrean Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
According to 2012 UNHCR figures, there are 300,000 Eritrean refugees in neighbouring countries as well as in Europe and Israel. According to UN figures, some 4,000 Eritreans, among them hundreds of unaccompanied minors, are fleeing the country every month to escape government repression and lack of basic freedoms (UN, 05/06/2014).
Ethiopia: The number of refugees crossing into Ethiopia is on the rise compared to 2012. In December 2013, OCHA said that Ethiopia had registered the arrival of 3,043 new refugees from Eritrea. As of 31 December, Ethiopia was hosting an estimated 84,200 Eritrean refugees, who are mainly settled in four camps in the northern Tigray region and two others in Afar region (OCHA). As indicated in ECHO’s HIP, the high proportion of unaccompanied minors who cross from Eritrea to Ethiopia is a priority problem (UNHCR).
Sudan: Eastern Sudan received an average 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 also receives an estimated 110 Eritreans each month (UNHCR). On 30 June, 74 Eritrean refugees and asylum seekers were sent back from Sudan, after being convicted of illegally entering Sudan (UNHCR, 04/07/2014)
Yemen: Hundreds of Eritrean refugees are currently in Yemen. Several NGOs have called upon the Yemeni authorities to stop deportation of Eritrean political refugees (UNHCR). Reports indicate hundred of Eritrean refugees are scattered across the streets of Al Safeyah in Sana’a, without proper shelter or livelihood. Refugees have informed UNHCR that most are imprisoned upon arrival in Yemen, who state security concerns (Yemen Times, 19/08/2014).
Kenya: As of 31 July, there are 1,641 Eritrean refugees in Kenya, most of them located in Nairobi (UNHCR 31/07/2014).
As reported by FAO on 11 February, erratic rainfall affected the 2013 cropping season. Although available information remains limited, erratic rainfall is likely to have resulted in fewer fields being cultivated in 2013 as well as having negatively impacted the crucial grain-filling phase of crop development. FAO indicated that livestock with poor pasture conditions had also probably been affected.
A swarm of desert locusts was treated in July. Small scale breeding will occur in the western lowlands in August, causing locust numbers to increase slightly (FAO, 01/08/2014).
As indicated in ECHO’s October HIP, as a result of access restrictions imposed by the authorities, no data on food security in Eritrea is available. However, it is estimated that Eritrea produces only 60% of the food it needs, and markets do not seem to be functioning properly. These two factors suggest that a significant part of the population may be in need of food assistance. In addition, local food and fuel prices are likely to remain high, putting severe pressure on household coping mechanisms. The government officially denies any food shortages within its borders and refuses food aid.
Health and Nutrition
Malnutrition remains a widespread problem. As reported by UNDP, quoting the Food Security Strategy (2004) report, 38% of Eritrean children experience stunting; 44% are underweight, and 50% suffer from anaemia. About 59% of the Eritrean population consumes less than the daily calorie requirement.
According to FAO in 2013, over 60% of the Eritrean population was reported to be undernourished during 2011–2013.
On 13 May, the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea was released. It focuses on the indefinite national service and arbitrary arrest and detention, including incommunicado detention and inhumane prison conditions. Rampant human rights violations cause hundreds of thousands to leave the country (UN Human Rights Council).
22 August: As of 20 August, 607 Ebola cases, including 406 deaths, have been reported in Guinea. Between the 17 and 20 August, 64 new cases and 12 deaths were reported (WHO).
- Between March 2014 and 20 August, 607 Ebola cases, including 406 deaths, have been reported in Guinea. 2,615 Ebola cases and 1,427 deaths have been reported in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Nigeria (WHO, 22/08/2014).
- 220,000 of 6.7 million people are severely food insecure in Boke, Kindia, Conakry, and N’Zerekore; 1.8 million people are estimated moderately food insecure (FAO, 02/2014).
The population lacks even the most basic social services and infrastructure is in urgent need of improvement. President Condé is under intense pressure to deliver concrete social and economic change ahead of the next presidential vote in 2015.
Legislative elections in late 2013 led to transition back to civilian rule after a 2008 military coup. With the exception of Hope for National Development, all opposition parties now have a seat in the National Assembly. The elections were criticised by the opposition, and the international community noted irregularities in eight of 38 constituencies. On 25 November, at least one person was killed and several wounded during a protest over the results.
On 12 December 2013, the European Union announced full resumption of development cooperation with Guinea.
Humanitarian Context and Needs
Food security remains fragile. In February, FAO reported that over 220,000 of 6.7 million people were severely food insecure in Boke, Kindia, Conakry, and N’Zerekore. An additional 1.8 million were estimated moderately food insecure (FAO, 02/2014).
Health and Nutrition
As of 20 August, 607 Ebola cases, including 406 deaths, have been reported in Guinea. Between the 17 and 20 August, 64 new cases and 12 deaths were reported (WHO, 22/08/2014). As of week 34, the disease has spread to several new areas including Nzerekore and Yomou in the South, and Siguiri, close to the border with Mali, bringing the number of active infection areas to eight (Conakry, Gueckedou, Kouroussa, Macenta, Siguiri, Pita, Nzérékoré and Yomou) (UNICEF, 21/08/2014).
At 22 August, the total cumulative number of cases across the region had reached 2,615, including 1,427 deaths (WHO, 22/08/2014). Ebola patients have been identified in four countries of West Africa: Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, and Nigeria. The outbreak in West Africa has been declared a Grade 3 Emergency under WHO’s Emergency Response Framework (ECHO, 29/07/2014).
All age groups have been affected, but most cases are adults aged 15–59. Twenty-six health workers have been affected, 19 of whom have died (UNICEF).
On 13 August, Guinea declared the Ebola outbreak a "health emergency". President Alpha Conde announced a series of measures including strict controls at border points, travel restrictions, and a ban on moving bodies from one town to another until the end of the epidemic. In addition all suspected victims will automatically be hospitalised until they are cleared of infection (AFP, 14/08/2014).
Public awareness of Ebola is higher in Guinea than in other affected countries and respected community leaders have been used to secure the cooperation of 26 villages that were highly resistant to outside help. The opening of these villages has resulted in a surge of reported cases (WHO, 19/08/2014). However, there are difficulties, notably in forest areas, in identifying cases, tracing contacts, and raising public awareness about the disease and how to reduce the risk of transmission (WHO/UN Department of Public Information, 27/06/2014).
WHO declared the epidemic a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC). It has advised the affected countries to declare a state of emergency and recommends neighbouring countries to take preventative measures. WHO did not, however, impose a travel ban. Guinea-Bissau decided to close its border with Guinea in a bid to prevent the entry of the virus (Reuters, 13/08/2014).
On 1 August, West African Ebola-hit nations agreed to impose a cross-border isolation zone at the epicentre of the outbreak, amid warnings that the deadly epidemic is spiralling out of control (AFP).
A shortage of trained health workers who can treat Ebola victims and prevent further spread of the deadly disease is hampering response efforts in the region (IRIN, 31/07/2014). MSF said the Ebola outbreak is moving faster than humanitarian organisations can handle (AFP, 15/08/2014).
Between January and June, meningitis is believed to have affected 539 people, mostly in three districts of Upper Guinea: Siguiri, Mandiana and Kouroussa. Fifty-two people have died (IRIN, 12/06/2014).
27 August: More than 230,000 people are displaced in Ukraine (OCHA).
26 August: Ukrainian President Poroshenko dissolved parliament and called for early elections to be held on 26 October (OCHA).
- 3.9 million people live in areas directly affected by violence (OCHA, 11/08/2014). The humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine is worsening; there is increasing need for basic services such as water, electricity and health care (OCHA, 29/08/2014).
- Access to humanitarian aid in conflict areas is reportedly near to impossible (OCHA, 28/08/2014). 500,000 people in Donetsk are in a critical situation (IPWR, 11/08/2014). 250,000 civilians in Luhansk are reportedly unable to leave the city (UNICEF, 13/08/2014).
- Worsening tuberculosis epidemic in eastern Ukraine, according to doctors (AFP, 18/08/2014).
- Competition over scarce resources and fatigue among host communities have increased tensions among IDPs and host communities (OCHA, 09/08/2014).
More than 230,000 people have been displaced, while continued fighting and lack of transportation make it difficult for civilians to escape contested areas.
Medical supplies are lacking and health services limited. The supply of fresh food supply is limited in some contested cities. Gas, water and electricity facilities in the east have been damaged or destroyed, as well as transportation infrastructure. The human rights situation is deteriorating as a consequence of the continued instability and violence.
On 26 August, Ukrainian President Poroshenko dissolved parliament and called for early elections to be held on 26 October (OCHA, 29/08/2014).
After a referendum in the Crimea region on 16 March 2014, Crimea was absorbed into Russian territory: Russia seized all military bases in Crimea and the acting Ukrainian president ordered Ukrainian forces to leave. More than 15,000 people fled the region (OCHA, 08/08/2014).
By early April, tensions flared across eastern Ukraine, with uprisings by pro-Russian activists and the seizure of government buildings in the cities of Luhansk, Kharkiv, Donetsk, Slovyansk, and others. The Ukrainian forces strengthening operations in eastern Ukraine. On 6 July, government forces retook control of Slovyansk and Krematorsk. Fighting in the following weeks concentrated on the densely populated urban centres of Donetsk and Luhansk.
On 12 August, humanitarian aid left Russia for Luhansk and has not yet reached Ukraine. Ukrainian officials are concerned that Russia is using humanitarian assistance as a pretext to invade eastern Ukraine (international media, 12/08/2014).
As of 19 August, more than 2,249 people had been killed in eastern Ukraine, including civilians, the military and members of the armed groups. 6,033 people have been confirmed wounded by the conflict; the actual number is likely to be higher (OCHA, 25/08/2014). On average, at least 60 people a day have been killed or wounded since mid-April (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Humanitarian Context and Needs
The humanitarian situation in eastern Ukraine is worsening; there is increasing need for basic services such as water, electricity, and healthcare (OCHA, 29/08/2014). Humanitarian needs are growing just as the civil society response is weakening (OCHA, 15/08/2014).
Access to humanitarian aid in conflict areas is reportedly near to impossible because of constant shelling, especially in Donetsk and Luhansk (OCHA, 28/08/2014).
In Luhansk, 250,000 civilians, mostly pensioners and families with children, are reported unable to leave the city, although a humanitarian corridor appears to be functioning (UNICEF, 13/08/2014; international organisation, 14/08/2014). The city's infrastructure is worsening every day. Residents have been without electricity, clean drinking water, and gas for two weeks, and there are problems with food supplies (international organisation, 14/08/2014). There has been no mobile phone service in Luhansk region since 1 July (international organisation, 14/08/2014).
Road transportation from Ukraine to Crimea experiences many border checks by Crimean authorities and long delays at the ferry crossing in Kerch. Since 15 July, international shipping has been prohibited from the ports of Evpatoria, Kerch, Sevastopol, Theodosia, and Yalta on the Crimea peninsula (GARD, 17/07/2014). Every day passengers travelling to and from Crimea are denied passage due to a lack of documentation (OSCE, 15/08/2014).
Laws required to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance might be postponed due to the dissolution of parliament, until after new parliamentary elections (OCHA, 29/08/2014).
As of 27 August, 230,389 IDPs are registered in Ukraine (OCHA, 29/08/2014). Numbers of displaced are likely to be higher as there is no functioning centralised registration system (UNHCR, 05/08/2014). Fighting and shelling in Donetsk and Luhansk is resulting in accelerated displacement (OCHA, 28/08/2014).
The IDP situation is a cause for major humanitarian alert. Most have left with few belongings, and need shelter, food and other essential assistance. It is impossible for authorities to restore basic services, access and supply routes are increasingly disrupted, and the cold weather is approaching (UN, 19/08/2014).
In June, humanitarian corridors were created to help civilians flee fighting but these are regularly blocked by combatants (UN, 05/08/2014). Many people are reportedly afraid to use evacuation corridors (OCHA, 10/08/2014). Cases of extortion and harassment were also reported (UNHCR, 05/08/2014). In July, the Ukrainian Ministry of Transportation arranged extra train capacity from the eastern regions, but intensified fighting makes it difficult to enter railway stations (OSCE, 12/08/2014).
Tensions between IDPs and host communities are rising (IDMC, 15/08/2014). Kharkiv’s regional social protection department says the region “has exhausted” its capacity to absorb more IDPs (OSCE, 15/08/2014).
Most IDPs from Donetsk and Luhansk regions have expressed their intention to return home as soon as the security situation allows (OSCE, 12/08/2014).
An estimated 24,000 IDPs have reportedly returned to Kramatorsk and Slovyansk since government forces retook the area, and are facing challenges due to damage to infrastructure, housing, businesses and industries (OCHA, 09/08/2014).
Refugees in Neighbouring Countries
As of 28 August, 283,085 people fled to neighbouring countries. About 242,000 people had crossed into Russia since the beginning of the year, and over ten thousand had applied for asylum in other neighbouring countries such as Poland and Belarus (OCHA, 27/08/2014).
In addition, an estimated 17,000 people are estimated to be displaced within Crimea (OCHA, 29/08/2014).
A significant number of people are crossing the border for short periods during the day, to withdraw money and to buy medicine and other supplies, and return in the evening (OSCE, 20/08/2014).
In Donetsk city, conflict is causing difficulties in supply for some supermarkets, and locally produced items are in short supply (Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 11/08/2014). Food access in the east (both physical and economic) warrants concern (UN, 19/08/2014).
At the beginning of August, banks in Donetsk were reported to be closed. The people remaining in the areas affected by unrest are very vulnerable as they are financially dependent on government transfers (Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 11/08/2014).
The economic situation remains very unstable: since the end of July, there has been another wave of currency depreciation (international organisation, 14/08/2014).
Health and Nutrition
In eastern Ukraine, critical supply shortages include vaccines and dialysis treatment, as well as treatment for diabetes, cancer, and rare diseases, both for IDPs and residents.
Health services in parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions are facing extreme difficulties functioning, due to shortages of all resources, including staff (OCHA, 29/08/2014). An estimated 70% of health staff have fled the area (OCHA, 05/08/2014). People living with HIV/AID or TB, and drug users who are displaced or reside in parts of Luhansk and Donetsk regions are at risk of interruption of care (OCHA, 25/08/2014).
Lack of security is preventing access to emergency and primary health services in Shahtersk, Snizhne, Yasinovataya. In sites under insurgent control, health services continue to be limited, including in Donetsk and Luhansk regions (OCHA, 29/08/2014).
Due to low vaccine coverage rates, especially among children, there is a heightened risk of infectious disease outbreaks among IDPs and affected populations in conflict areas (UNICEF, 27/06/2014; OCHA, 05/08/2014).
Doctors are warning of a worsening tuberculosis epidemic in eastern Ukraine. 48,000 people are registered with the disease: however, one in four people with TB are not officially registered, according to WHO (AFP, 18/08/2014).
27% of IDPs live in the 500 temporary shelters established by the Ukrainian authorities: 60% of these shelters cannot be used during the winter (UNHCR, 05/08/2014).
In the area around Mariupol, some IDPs are in dire conditions, lacking the most basic services: people are living in tents, cars, or summer camps that had been unused for years (OCHA, 15/08/2014). Unofficially, there are around 20,000 IDPs in Mariupol. According to the UNHCR, more than 4,000 IDPs are registered in the city (OSCE, 19/08/2014).
Water supply in eastern Ukraine is hampered by the destruction of or damage to water facilities. Water supplies to close to 200,000 people in Luhansk and Donetsk region have been cut since 12 July. Water pollution is potentially affecting up to 175,000 in Debaltseve, Druzhkivka and Khartsyzk (UN, 19/08/2014).
In Luhansk, water had not been treated and rubbish has not been collected for more than two weeks (UN, 29/08/2014).
Supply of drinking water to Bryanka, Pervomaisk, Petrovsky, and Stakhanov in Luhansk region has deteriorated significantly due to the shutdown of a water filtration plant, damaged by fighting on 27 August (OCHA, 29/08/2014).
Armed groups have increasingly committed human rights abuses, including abductions, torture/ill-treatment, unlawful detentions and killings as well as the seizure and occupation of public buildings. Armed groups have increasingly committed human rights abuses, including abductions, torture/ill-treatment, unlawful detentions and killings as well as seizure and occupation of public buildings. Abductions have taken place across eastern Ukraine, in Donetsk and Luhansk areas (OHCHR, 08/06/2014). According to Ukrainian government sources, 924 people have been abducted by armed groups, including 811 politicians, journalists, professionals, students, and other civilians. OSCE monitors, and 113 servicemen, military border guards, and security personnel have been detained between April and August (OHCHR, 08/06/2014).
On 18 August, a reported attack on a convoy of displaced people raised concerns about the capacity of warring parties to provide a safe means for civilians to leave conflict-affected areas (OCHA, 25/08/2014).
Mines and UXO
Increasing reports of mines and unexploded ordinance have been reported in areas affected by conflict of Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts, with civilian deaths reported (UN, 19/08/2014).
An estimated 260,000 Roma live in Ukraine. In August, OCHA reported that the Roma population displaced from Donbas experiences access restrictions to government health and social services, as 40% of them do not have documentation (OCHA, 06/08/2014). Roma are afraid to be registered as IDPs, fearing persecution when they return (UNHCR, 05/08/2014).
In Crimea, harassment and discrimination has reportedly intensified against Ukrainian nationals, Crimean Tatars, religious minorities, and activists who opposed the 16 March referendum (OHCHR, 15/06/2014).
Elderly people are particularly affected as many were left alone after their families fled. About 20,000 older people or people with disabilities have been left alone in Donetsk region and have no access to their pensions or food (UN, 29/08/2014).
117 schools have been partially or completely destroyed in Donetsk and Luhansk regions (UNICEF, 13/08/2014).