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Posts published in “Disaster Management”

Democratic Republic of the Congo: ECHO Factsheet – The Democratic Republic of Congo – EU Response to the Ebola epidemic (Last updated 07/05/2019)

Source: European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Uganda

FACTS & FIGURES

In 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared its 9th and 10th Ebola outbreaks.

Over 1 570 cases and 1 045 deaths reported since 1 August 2018 in the DRC’s current Ebola outbreak

In 2014-2016, there were 28 600 Ebola cases and 11 300 Ebola-related deaths in West Africa

EU response to the tenth (and current) Ebola outbreak in the DRC: €17.83 million since 2018

EU response to Ebola What is it?

The Ebola virus is a severe and often fatal illness in humans. The virus is transmitted to people from wild animals and spreads further through human-to-human transmission. Beyond the human suffering and loss of life, the disease has a devastating impact on the security, economies, and healthcare systems of the affected regions. The European Union appointed an Ebola Coordinator in 2014, at the height of the pandemic in West Africa, and has since mobilised all available political, financial, and scientific resources to help Ebola patients and contain the disease.

Why is this important?

When Ebola ravaged previously unaffected countries in West Africa between 2014 and 2016, leaving in its wake a huge death toll and paralysed economies, the world woke up to the potential global threat of the disease. Until then, Ebola had been mostly limited to East and Central Africa, with the number of reported cases never exceeding 500 at each outbreak.

However, in 2014, the Ebola virus found a new conducive environment in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. It was only two years later that an end could be put to the outbreak, thanks to the combined efforts of the international community. In the meantime, nearly 30 000 cases were reported and over 11 000 lives were lost.

In 2018, Ebola returned to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) where the first ever outbreak of the Ebola virus disease was reported back in 1976. The DRC declared its ninth outbreak in May 2018 in Equateur province, in the west of the country, and its tenth outbreak on 1 August, barely a week after the previous one had come to an end. Despite the intensive response that has been put into place since the outbreak was declared, the disease is still not under control.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the public health risk from Ebola is considered to be "very high" at a national and regional level, given the proximity of the affected area to the borders of South Sudan, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi. The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) considers the risk of the virus reaching the EU to be low.

South Sudan: South Sudan Operation Overview – May 2019

Source: World Food Programme, Logistics Cluster
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan

Background

The Logistics Cluster facilitates the coordination of the logistics response in support of the humanitarian community. Furthermore, it p...

World: 100 Years of Fighting for Children – Annual report 2018

Source: Save the Children
Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Rep...

South Sudan: WFP South Sudan Situation Report #247, 7 June 2019

Source: World Food Programme
Country: South Sudan

In Numbers

6.87 million people facing acute food insecurity from May
to July 2019 (IPC)
2.1 million acutely malnourished women and children
(HRP)
2.77 million people assisted by WFP in April 2019
1.9...

World: Humanity in Action – Annual Review 2018

Source: International Committee of the Red Cross
Country: Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Humanity in Action provides an at-a-glance guide to how ...

South Sudan: UNICEF South Sudan Humanitarian Situation Report – April 2019

Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan

Highlights

  • A total of 61 children (28 boys; 33 girls) have been reunified with their primary care giver in April, contributing to reaching the milestone of 6,000 unaccompanied and separated children reunified with their primary caregivers by UNICEF and partners since the beginning of the conflict in 2013.

  • Back to Learning initiative campaigns were launched at locations throughout the country, including Pibor, Yambio, Wau and Malakal. High-level mobilization efforts such as these helped to increase primary school enrolment by 163,045 learners, including 32,368 girls, over the past month.

  • Measles outbreaks continues to be reported throughout the country. As of end of April, a total of 986 cases, including six deaths have been reported, resulting in a case fatality rate of 0.6 per cent in 11 counties and three Protection of Civilian sites (PoCs).

SITUATION IN NUMBERS

1.83 million Internally displaced persons (IDPs) (OCHA South Sudan Humanitarian Snapshot,
April 2019)

2.30 million South Sudanese refugees in neighbouring countries (UNHCR Regional Portal, South Sudan Situation 30 April 2019)

6.45 million South Sudanese facing severe food insecurity (February-April 2019 Projection, Integrated Food Security Phase Classification)

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

Similar to previous months, there remained a largely conducive environment for humanitarian access in April. UNICEF and partners were able to maintain consistent and secure access in lower Unity, Western Bahr el Ghazal and Western Equatoria states, all previous hotspots with limited access in 2018. UNICEF and partners have taken advantage of the improved operating environment, including participating in the first road mission to Leer and leading an assessment in northern Yambio county, both of which had not been possible since 2016, and expanding outreach services to an estimated 20,000 displaced people in Greater Baggari. Fewer fees and taxes are also being collected at checkpoints along main supply routes, helping to reduce operating costs and facilitating the dry season prepositioning of supplies in field locations.

At the same time, UNICEF and partners continue to face a range of challenges to maintaining principled and secure access to women and children in South Sudan. While fighting in southern Central Equatoria state has decreased in April over previous months, unpredictable clashes, insecurity along the roads and the multiplicity of armed actors continue to limit access outside of Yei town, impeding UNICEF’s ability to assist an estimated 15,000 IDPs in Otogo and Lujulo payams and undertake EVD preparedness activities. Fighting and insecurity have also limited access around Mundri and Maridi, in Western Equatoria. Both government and opposition authorities also continue to impose bureaucratic restrictions and interfere in humanitarian action, including by requesting additional taxes and fees, interfering in recruitment processes, harassing staff and confiscating humanitarian assets. Criminality, particularly along the roads, also remains a concern, with several incidents of road side robberies of UNICEF cargo transporters and implementing partners recorded in April alone.

According to the January 2019 integrated food security phase classification (IPC) projections for February to April 2019, the total number of people in crisis (IPC phase 3) acute food insecurity or worse is projected to 6.5 million people or 57 per cent of the population. Out of this total, 45,000 are projected to be in IPC phase 5. In 2019, about 860,000 children under five are estimated to be acutely malnourished including 259,000 of severe acute malnutrition (SAM). To reach 2019 targets and be ready to respond for first semester 2020, UNICEF Nutrition Programme need to mobilize US$ 42 million before September 2019 for procurement of Ready-To-Use Therapeutic food (RUTF) and frontline cost of the programme. There is a risk of ready-to-use therapeutic food (RUTF) pipeline break in the last quarter of 2019 if UNICEF fails to mobilize adequate resources before September 2019. UNICEF appeals for donor support to avoid pipeline break for this life saving nutrition intervention.

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.

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