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United Republic of Tanzania: UNICEF Eastern and Southern Africa Regional Humanitarian Situation Report – Quarter 1, 2019

Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Angola, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Highlights

  • The ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to threaten neighbouring countries including Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Zambia. UNICEF continues to play a key role in the UN wide Ebola prevention and preparedness response, reaching more than 65,000 people with key Ebola messages and EVD prevention supplies.

  • More than 25,000 children have been vaccinated against measles and approximately 60, 000 refugees and host community members accessed safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene.

  • Rwanda, Tanzania and Zambia host almost 530,000 refugees and asylum seekers, largely from Burundi and the DRC. UNICEF and partners ensured quality and equity-based education for more than 112,000 refugee children in Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia.

  • UNICEF continues to strengthen community surveillance and referral systems through active case management of acute malnutrition throughout the region. From January to March, 548 children were admitted for treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM) in Eswatini, Tanzania and Zambia, including 376 refugee children with SAM in Tanzania.

Regional Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

The Eastern and Southern Africa region (ESAR) is affected by recurrent disasters that are undermining the hard-fought development gains of recent years and resulting in major social and economic setbacks. In Eswatini, Lesotho, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia - the countries covered by this report- more than 1.6 million people, including over 790,000 children, are in need of humanitarian assistance due to climate-related shocks, health emergencies and displacement.

The Ebola Virus Disease outbreak in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the DRC continues to threaten neighbouring countries. As 1 April, more than 1100 people have been infected with the disease, including over 692 deaths since the outbreak was declared on 1 August 2018 (WHO). The response to the outbreak has been hampered by insecurity, frequent movement of people in the affected areas, and resistance from some communities, creating a high-risk of cross border transmission into neighbouring countries in the region. In response to this risk, UNICEF, along with the UNCTs, intensified preparedness levels against Ebola importation in Uganda, Burundi, South Sudan and Rwanda (priority one countries) and Angola, Tanzania and Zambia (priority two countries). Rwanda has 10 districts bordering the DRC and Uganda, and there are more than 10,000 daily travelers between Goma and Rwanda resulting in a high level of risk. During the reporting period, EVD was contained to the DRC and no confirmed cases in the ESAR.

Displacement continues to drive high assistance needs with 4.1 million refugees in the region - 25% of the total global refugee population. South Sudan and Burundi are the main sources of origin for refugees in ESA, while Uganda, Ethiopia, Angola, Tanzania and Rwanda are the main host countries. Armed conflict and political instability in South Sudan, Burundi and the DRC has led to growing humanitarian needs for children and their families, who have been forced to flee into neighbouring countries. Almost 60 per cent of the refugee population are children across the region. Between January and March, some 17,843 Congolese fled to neighbouring countries, with a significant increase in refugee flows to Uganda (UNHCR).

By March 2019, Tanzania hosted 325,291 refugees and asylum seekers. Of these, 282,650 are hosted in three refugee camps in Kigoma region (Nduta, Mtendeli and Nyarugusu), while 42,000 reside in villages and settlements across northwestern Tanzania. The majority of the refugees are Burundians (198,177 who have sought asylum in Tanzania since 2015). This number is added to the caseload of 84,473 refugees from DRC, many of whom have lived in Tanzania for the past 20 years. Fifty six percent of the refugee population are children under 18 years, and children under five comprise 20 per cent of the refugee population. Additionally, there are more than 7,500 unaccompanied and separated children in the camps receiving protection services. Tanzania has not received new asylum seekers from Burundi in either 2018 or 2019, which may be due to the continuing restrictions on access to territory since 2017, including closure of all border entry and reception points for Burundian asylum seekers in 2018.

Voluntary repatriation of Burundian refugees resumed in February 2019, after a temporary hold in mid-December 2018 due to lack of resources. The number of refugees registering for voluntary repatriation has decreased in 2019, with more than 50 per cent retractions, no shows and convoy dropouts reported since November 2018. Since the beginning of the voluntary repatriation exercise in September 2017, a total of 61,342 Burundian refugees have been assisted to return and another 20,000 refugees have shown interest to return. During the reporting period, 5278 Burundi refugees were returned to Burundi from Tanzania through the assisted repatriation programme.

According to UNHCR, there were 148,323 total refugees and asylum seekers in Rwanda as of 31 March. Of the total, 70,570 are individually registered Burundian refugees, while 75,212 are from the DRC. In addition, there were 642 groupregistered Burundian refugees and 1,848 Congolese asylum seekers. From January to March, there were 834 new arrivals (UNHCR). Children makeup 49 per cent of the Burundian refugee population. The Government of Rwanda established Mahama Refugee Camp in April 2015, which hosts 59,319 Burundian refugees, making it the largest refugee camp in Rwanda. In addition, there are over 12,000 Burundian refugees in the urban areas of Kigali and Huye.

By the end of March, there were 78,938 persons of concern 56,082 refugees and asylum seekers in Zambia (UNHCR). Of these, 45,805 are from the DRC and are 14,136 registered refugees (58 percent are children) residing in Mantampala settlement. Following the relative peace after the presidential election in the DRC, the number of refugees in Mantapala refugee settlement has remained stable with only 36 new arrivals in 2019. A smaller number of refugees and asylum seekers are from Burundi (5,583) and Somalia (3,262).

Food insecurity in southern Africa started atypically as early as September 2018 in some countries due to the poor 2018 harvest from prolonged dry spells during the second half of the 2017/2018 rainy season. Prolonged seasonal rainfall deficits since the beginning of the southern African monsoon have negatively impacted the grounds of many countries in the region, including southern Angola, northern Namibia, southern Zambia, and northern Zimbabwe. Many areas across the region are experiencing Crisis and Emergency (IPC Phase 3 and 4) outcomes. October 2018 to March 2019 IPC Regional Map showed areas of concern as southern Malawi, most of Zimbabwe, Grand Sud of Madagascar, southern Mozambique, western Zambia, southern Lesotho, and eastern Eswatini.

According to the findings of the November 2018 IPC assessment in Lesotho, an estimated 325,318 people (273,635 people in rural areas and 51,683 people in urban areas) are in need of humanitarian assistance. In the same period, Maseru, Mohale’s Hoek, Qacha’s Nek and Quthing districts were projected to be IPC Phase 3 (Crisis) or higher while the other six districts were projected to be in IPC Phase 2 (Stressed). Due to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation, the Government of Lesotho and partners undertook a rapid needs assessment in March 2019. The first set of results showed that 487,857 people (407,191 in rural areas and 80,666 in urban areas) are currently in need of humanitarian assistance, especially in the WASH, Health, Nutrition, Child Protection and HIV/AIDS sectors. Furthermore, 640,000 people in rural and urban areas are projected to be food insecure during the period July 2019-June 2020. According to the Lesotho Meteorological Services, in the period March-May 2019, below-normal rainfall is projected, further increasing the possibility of a negative impact on the winter planting and harvest.

In Eswatini, the 2018/2019 seasonal projection by the Department of Meteorology indicated normal to below normal rainfall from January to March 2019. However, cyclone activity along the Mozambican channel (peaking in January to February) influenced the weather pattern, which resulted in above normal rainfall, with national rivers reaching full capacity. With the current rainfall addressing drought projections, the Government focus has been on food insecurity as a result of limited crops. Food security remains a high priority with children at risk of severe acute malnutrition. The June 2018 Vulnerability Assessment and Analysis (VAA) report found that 165,723 people (79,547 children) are faced with acute food insecurity in the lean season.

In Zambia, the 2018/2019 season rainfall forecast was largely influenced by weak state of the El Nino Southern Oscillation and the country faced prolonged dry spell conditions especially in southern and western Zambia representing 51 out of 110 districts in Zambia. This impacted negatively on water supply and crop condition especially on the rural farming households; with projection of increased basic food prices, poor harvest for subsistence farmers, depletion of animal stock and drying of sources of water for humans and animals.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: UNHCR RD Congo Factsheet – 30 avril 2019

Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Angola, Burundi, Central African Republic, Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, South Sudan

542.978 réfugiés et demandeurs d’asile en RDC, dont 52% de femmes.

99,3% des réfugiés en RDC vivent dans des zones rurales, et 73,5% des réfugiéssont installés hors camps ou sites de réfugiés.

1.111 nouveaux réfugiés sudsoudanais enregistrés en avril 2019.

Activités principales – Réfugiés

Protection

  • Le HCR apporte un appui pratique et technique aux autorités nationales, provinciales et locales, notamment à la Commission Nationale pour les Réfugiés (CNR). Le HCR forme des interlocuteurs-clé sur les principes de protection des réfugiés et du droit international. Il collabore avec les autorités nationales sur l’enregistrement biométrique des réfugiés et facilite la délivrance de documents d’identification de réfugiés par les autorités congolaises, ainsi que l’accès à l’enregistrement auprès de l’état civil.

  • Le HCR surveille les arrivées, l’environnement de protection (état de droit, caractère civil de l’asile, accès à la justice, non-refoulement) et les besoins spécifiques, notamment aux frontières et dans les zones d’accueil des réfugiés. Le HCR travaille pour la protection des enfants, notamment à travers l’appui à la détermination de l'intérêt supérieur (BID), et effectue le monitoring de détention.

  • Le soutien et l’assistance individuels sont également fournis, notamment le plaidoyer ainsi que la préparation et la soumission des cas urgents de réinstallation.

  • Le HCR facilite également l’accès à la justice, notamment en soutenant la police dans les zones d’accueil de réfugiés, les audiences foraines et la disponibilité de l’assistance légale.

  • Enfin, le HCR soutient l'accès à la terre pour l'agriculture et le logement, en vue de permettre des alternatives aux camps et de soutenir l'autosuffisance dès que possible.

Mozambique: WHO AFRO Outbreaks and Other Emergencies, Week 20: 13 – 19 May 2019; Data as reported by 17:00; 19 May 2019

Source: World Health Organization
Country: Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe

This Weekly Bulletin focuses on selected acute public health emergencies occurring in the WHO African Region. The WHO Health Emergencies Programme is currently monitoring 71 events in the region. This week’s edition covers key new and ongoing events, including:

  • Cyclone Kenneth in Mozambique and Comoros
  • Ebola virus disease in Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic fever in Namibia - Humanitarian crisis in South Sudan.

For each of these events, a brief description, followed by public health measures implemented and an interpretation of the situation is provided.

A table is provided at the end of the bulletin with information on all new and ongoing public health events currently being monitored in the region, as well as recent events that have largely been controlled and thus closed.

Major issues and challenges include:

  • Three weeks after cyclone Kenneth made landfall in northern Mozambique and the Comoros Islands, the affected population continue to suffer from consequences of the cyclone, although the humanitarian conditions continue to improve. Damage caused to agriculture and livestock has contributed to a worsening of living conditions for affected populations, triggering malnutrition among children, due to food insecurity. Humanitarian access remains a challenge in affected areas, especially in Mozambique, with many areas remaining inaccessible by road and requiring access via air or river transport. Humanitarian agencies in Mozambique and Comoros have to continue to monitor and respond to health challenges – including the spread of vector-borne and water-borne diseases in affected areas.

  • The Ebola virus disease (EVD) outbreak in Democratic Republic of the Congo continues, with increasing incidence. This recent rise in the number of new cases could be partly attributed to the disruption of response interventions following the latest spate of insecurity, and continuing pockets of community mistrust. The transmission remains most intense in seven main hotspot areas: Katwa, Mabalako, Mandima, Butembo, Musienene, Kalunguta, and Beni. A new case was also reported in the health zone of Alimbongo this week, with links to cases deriving from Katwa. Responses activities are ongoing in EVD affected provinces.

Ethiopia: UNICEF Ethiopia Humanitarian Situation Report #3 – Reporting Period: March 2019

Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Eritrea, Ethiopia, South Sudan

Highlights

  • The 2019 Ethiopia Humanitarian Needs Overview has identified 8.86 million people in need of humanitarian assistance with 4.66 million being children under 18. Of the 8.86 million people, 8.13 need food assistance and 5.91 need nutrition assistance in 2019.

  • With UNICEF’s support, 24,538 children with Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) were admitted for community-based therapeutic care treatment in stabilisation centres and Outpatient Therapeutic Programmes in January 2019.

  • The humanitarian response in the Tuligulled woreda, in the Fafaan Zone of the Somali region will resume after two months of restrictions due to insecurity.

  • There remains a 65 per cent funding gap for this year’s UNICEF Humanitarian Action for Children.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

The Ethiopia Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) and Ethiopia Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), which were developed by the United Nations Office for Humanitarian Coordination (UNOCHA) in collaboration with the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC), were officially launched on 7 March 2019. Due to the increasing number of conflict induced Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and adverse effects of consecutive years of severe drought in parts of the country,

8.86 million people were identified as people in need for humanitarian and protection assistance in 2019. Of which, 4.67 are children under 18 and 1.3 are children under five. The relief food requirement continues to be significant with 8.13 million people requiring food assistance and 5.91 million people in need of nutrition assistance. Conflict related displacement significantly affected people’s lives through disrupting their access to livelihoods and education plus exposing them to protection risks. Currently, according to the HNO, there are 3.19 million IDPs in Ethiopia. The Oromia and Somali regions host the largest caseloads of those most in need. The lack of access to safe water and sanitation, coupled with poor hygiene practices, continues to pose disease outbreak risks in parts of the country. There are 3.51 million people in need of assistance in areas affected by disease outbreaks.

The 2019 HRP targets 8.3 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and is appealing for US$1.314 billion. The Plan aims to provide life-saving multi-sector assistance, protection services, as well as livelihoods and basic service support to a wide range of people in need, including through durable solutions for IDPs and returnees. UNICEF will support the humanitarian response through its Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) which targets 3.7 million people 1 with an integrated response to displacement triggered by conflict and seasonal climatic shocks. This includes preventing disease outbreaks, addressing malnutrition and ensuring the centrality of protection in all programme interventions. UNICEF is appealing for US$ 124.1 million in support of its HAC targets.

According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), the amount and distribution of Belg rains were below average, leading to late and below average land preparation and planting of short-maturing Belg and long cycle Meher crops.

By mid-March 2019, 6 per cent and 46 per cent of Belg season planting was completed in the SNNP and Amhara regions respectively. Additionally, concerns are growing over the March to May 2019 Gu/Gana/Sugum rains in southern, southeastern and eastern pastoral areas that have either not started or have been erratically distributed, leading to largely belowaverage seasonal totals so far. Furthermore, prices of staple crops increased significantly due to early withdrawal of the 2018 Meher rains, trade flow restriction due insecurity, inflation of the Ethiopian Birr and the inadequate performance of the latest Belg season. As a result, most of these households will remain in crisis (IPC Phase 32 ) between March and September 2019. The Belg assessment to be conducted in June 2019 will inform the hot spot classification of households after September 2019.

There were no reported cases of Acute Watery Diarrhoea (AWD) in March 2019. Overall, reports of AWD cases in Ethiopia in 2019 show a significant decline when compared with the same period in 2018. However, poor sanitation practices continue to negatively impact on the health of IDPs and returnees, especially in areas where the infrastructure and sanitation facilities are weak or non-existent. Lack of access to safe water for drinking and cooking is also a concern.

Strengthened AWD preparedness around hotspots where there were outbreaks in the past three years, especially mass gathering areas such as holy water sites and areas of migrant workers, are being prioritized for ongoing C4D interventions.

The United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), in collaboration with the Administration for Refugees and Returnees Affairs (ARRA), International Organization for Migration (IOM) and other partners, relocated 77 South Sudanese refugees from Gambella to Gure-Shembola camp in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region on 28 March 2019. The relocation followed extensive discussions and registration of those who were willing to relocate to the camp established in May 2017 to accommodate additional new arrivals from South Sudan and ease the pressure on the Gambella Regional State. UNHCR is also working on comprehensive biometric data registration throughout the country. During the period 16-31 March 2019, an additional 38,826 individuals completed the registration process, bringing the overall total number to 385,297 persons.

The updated population figures are planned to be released by June 2019.
According to UNOCHA, the Dilla Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) now has a permanent representative from the National Disaster Risk Management Commission (NDRMC) to strengthen the coordination of the humanitarian response efforts in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ (SNNP) region. This coordination structure will follow the cluster approach through which responses are driven by joint planning and based on prioritized needs agreed by clusters. The EOC was first established in May 2018.

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