Source: International Organization for Migration
Country: Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, South Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen
Nairobi – Près de 400 000 mouvements de migrants ont été enregistrés à Djibouti, en …
This monthly digest comprises threats and incidents of violence affecting the delivery of aid.
It is prepared by Insecurity Insight from information available in open sources.
Indonesia Earthquake and Tsunami Response
New safety, security and access information
01 October 2018: On Sulawesi island, the National Disaster Management Authority asked international NGOs to pull out and announced that it would only authorise certain selective forms of foreign aid. No reason was given for this decision. Sources: IRIN and The Guardian
Security Incidents and Access Constraints
09 October 2018: In Fada N’Gourma, Pama and Gayéri towns, Est region, criminal and terrorist activities forced NGOs to reduce their working hours and to refrain from in-field work, leading to some delays in the implementation of projects. Source: RFI Africa
31 October 2018: In Kilambo village, Bafuni region, Masisi territory, 10 IDPs, including teachers, were abducted by the Reformed Nduma Defence of the Congo militia. No further details specified.
01 October 2018: Burundian authorities placed a three-month ban on almost all international NGOs operating in Burundi, including MSF and Catholic Relief Services, on the basis that some organisations have violated the 2017 ‘General Framework for Cooperation between the Republic of Burundi and Foreign NGOs’, an amendment for ethnicity quotas in the hiring of national staff. Only INGOs running hospitals and schools are exempt. Sources: Amnesty International,
Devex and VOA News
10 October 2018: In Muyinga city and province, police arrested three IRC employees, one Congolese and two Burundian, for violating the aforementioned ban on international NGOs. Source: Le Figaro
05 October 2018: In Tole region, Fako department, soldiers entered an IDP camp and began shooting, leaving three civilians dead. No further information specified. Source:
Central African Republic
19 October 2018: In Bria town, Haute-Kotto province, anti-Balaka militiamen abducted four MINUSCA peacekeepers but released them two days later, on 21 October. Source: aBangui
31 October-01 November 2018: In Batangafo town, Ouham prefecture, armed men attacked and torched three IDP camps, destroying them completely and leaving around 27,000 people without a home. This incident prompted NGOs to suspend their activities at the sites. Source: RJDH
01 October 2018: In western Chad, a truck carrying UN provisions to Baga Sola, near Lake Chad, was attacked near Maou village by unidentified perpetrators. The driver and his assistant went missing and are presumed kidnapped, while the truck and its cargo were recovered. No further details specified. Source: AWSD
26 October 2018 (DoA): In the island areas of western Chad a series of militant attacks forced six aid organisations – including the WFP – to suspend their operations, leaving tens of thousands of people without food and health services for weeks. Source: Reuters
Democratic Republic of the Congo
02 October 2018: In Butembo city, north Kivu region, two or three local Red Cross workers (accounts vary) were attacked during the burial of Ebola victims, leaving them with serious injuries. No further details specified. Sources: IFRC, Media Congo, AWSD, Reuters and The Telegraph
09 October 2018: In Beni city, North Kivu province, a citywide attack by armed militias forced the IRC to suspend its programmes until 10 October, when the organisation resumed its activities only within the city limits of Beni. Source: Reuters
12 October 2018 (DoA): In Beni city, North Kivu province, an attack staged by armed militias forced two WHO personnel to remain indoors for two full days. Source: VOA News
15 October 2018: In areas hit by the Ebola outbreak, insecurity prompted the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention to pull back its personnel. Source: CNN
21 October 2018: In Beni city, North Kivu province, residents threw stones at vehicles belonging to unnamed aid organisations and MONUSCO amidst a protest over the killing of 15 civilians by an armed militia. Sources: AP (a), AP (b), The New York Times and VOA News
29 October 2018: In Fizi territory, South Kivu province, Congolese authorities banned all movement to and from the Lusenda Burundian refugee camp following the discovery within the camp of an armed man linked to the Burundian rebel group National Liberation Forces. Sources: Actualite and SOS Médias Burundi
31 October 2018: In Kilambo village, Bafuni region, Masisi territory, 10 IDPs, including teachers, were abducted by the Reformed Nduma Defence of the Congo militia. No further details specified. Source: ACLED
By Batul Sadliwala and Alex de Waal
The synopsis taught in Irish schools of the demographic impact of the Great Hunger that devastated Ireland from 1845-52 is as follows: 1 million dead, 2 million emigrants. Is it a general rule that famines generate mass migration or was Ireland the exception? Remarkably, despite long-standing demographic research into famine and intensive current interest in migration, there is no definitive answer. But there is urgent policy interest in the link between mass starvation and migration. After decades in which famines had declined almost to vanishing point, 2017 and 2018 have witnessed their disturbing return, perhaps most starkly surrounding the war-induced starvation unfolding in Yemen. Meanwhile, Venezuela’s economic collapse and the government’s highly selective allocation of food and other essentials are causing unprecedented mass migration to the country’s Latin American neighbors, with reports of severe malnutrition and deaths from starvation.
This article examines the causes and migration patterns of episodes of mass starvation from the 19th century onward and demonstrates the critical need for deeper research on the linkages between famine and migration. Among the unanswered questions: Does migration mitigate starvation or worsen it? Does it precede or follow famine? And how?
Resurgence of an Age-Old Reality
The two global food insecurity and famine early-warning systems—the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Global Early Warning-Early Action (EWEA) report and the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET)—sounded the alarm in 2017 and repeated it earlier this year. According to the FAO, six countries/regions were at a high risk of their food security and agriculture deteriorating to the point of an emergency. Of these, Yemen, South Sudan, and Somalia were described as facing the “risk of famine.”
In Somalia and Ethiopia’s Somali region, a prolonged drought combined with armed conflict threatens the collapse of agricultural production and livelihoods. Conflict and ensuing mass displacement have set conditions for widespread starvation in South Sudan and northeast Nigeria. And in Yemen, the economic war waged by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to try to force the Houthi rebellion into surrender has brought the country to the brink of a disaster, described by UN Undersecretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Mark Lowcock as “an imminent and great big famine.”
According to FEWSNET, 53 percent of Yemen’s population—15 million people—need monthly emergency food assistance. To date, there have been 1 million cases of cholera and uncounted deaths from starvation. Moreover, as detailed in a recent report by London School of Economics Professor Martha Mundy on the Saudi-led coalition’s military strategy, there is strong evidence that the aerial bombardment of food-production and distribution facilities in areas under control of the Houthi opposition is deliberate.
The Changing Face of Famine
Famines are shape-shifters. In the pre-industrial era, agrarian societies were vulnerable to famine when crops failed. Imperial conquest and the devastations it wrought brought mass starvation to many colonized peoples. The wars of extermination of the mid-20th century and totalitarian rule in Europe and Asia engendered mass starvation through genocidal policies—Stalin’s Holodomor famine in Ukraine in 1932-34 and the Nazi Hunger plan on the Eastern Front in 1941-44 stand out as particularly terrible examples, each claiming millions of lives. Brutal efforts at titanic social transformation in Mao Zedong’s China killed somewhere between 25 million and 40 million, while in Pol Pot’s Cambodia more than 1 million perished.
In total, famines and episodes of forcible mass starvation have killed more than 104 million people worldwide since 1870, with an estimated 30 million dying from great famines in the last three decades of the 19th century and 74 million during the 20th century, according to estimates recorded by the World Peace Foundation’s Famine Trends Dataset.
Famine in the 21st Century
By comparison, the complex emergencies in contemporary Africa are demographically much less devastating affairs, their effects mitigated by increasingly proficient humanitarian relief efforts. By the early 2000s, scholars of famine were predicting that their subject matter was fast becoming consigned to history. But in the last two years, famine has made a comeback.
As famine makes an unsettling return, the global spotlight on migration nods to its potential implications for population displacement and migration governance. The final text of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly, and Regular Migration due to be approved by most UN Member States in December acknowledges food insecurity both as one of several adverse drivers of migration whose effects need to be minimized (Objective 2.b) and as a rights violation to be avoided during migrants’ detention (Objective 13.f). Yet famines—food crises that cause elevated mortality over a specific period of time—are distinct from the food insecurity and hunger characterized by underdevelopment. The Global Compact’s perfunctory mention of food insecurity belies the fact that surprisingly little is known about the connection between acute food crises and population mobility. If famines are indeed making a return, this is a critically important question for policymakers.
The State of Current Research
Which people are most likely to migrate during a famine? Where do they go and for how long? Does migration mitigate starvation or worsen it? What factors determine its effectiveness as an escape? And how do conflict, politics, and political instability complicate the relationship between famine and population movements? To pose the question within a more concrete context: with the ongoing war in Yemen, for instance, what might be the humanitarian and development implications of famine-induced migration for the Middle East and Europe?
A systematic review of the relevant literature reveals that we are frighteningly ill-equipped to answer these questions. A Google Scholar search for the terms “famine” AND “migration” yields around 150,000 results. But a closer look at the quality of those results reveals only a handful are relevant to the subject. Tellingly, when the search is focused on databases of peer-reviewed publications and its parameters narrowed to home in on clear and specific examinations of the connection between famine and migration, just 35 articles, books, and chapters (8 percent of overall results) make the cut. And even among these, the variability in methods and scope is so vast that only the most tenuous of generalizations can be made. Scholars are overwhelmingly focused on the impact famine has on mortality, fertility, and refugee assistance, and not the how, when, who, and so what of the famine-migration nexus.
Most writing on the demographic and socioeconomic consequences of famine makes the commonsensical assumption that hunger compels people to leave their homes, villages, and towns. But the conclusions are far too broad and generalized to be of practical relevance for policymakers or humanitarian practitioners. Leading authorities on famine including David Arnold, Tim Dyson, and Cormac Ó Gráda only go so far as to say that migration:
Is both a response to and an indicator of famine; modern improvements in transport and communications have potentially increased its viability as a means of escape from starvation
Is mostly short-term and local (to urban areas)
Can have either positive or negative net mortality effects—the latter by adding to physical weakness conducive for the transmission of communicable diseases—but as economies have diversified and transportation improved, it likely has a beneficial effect overall
Is age and sex-selective. Conventional wisdom assumes young men, seen as less vulnerable on the road, are more likely to migrate and seek employment or aid elsewhere, while women remain to care for the home.
However, a literature review by the authors of this article shows that these generalizations are not based on an inductive comparison of findings across a wide range of cases. The current state of research does not allow them to be. Just a handful of historical famines and their migratory dynamics—most notably Ireland and some other 19th century European and South Asian famines—have been studied with significantly more rigor than others. And these studies’ findings do not always correspond to the points above. Famines and their patterns of migration depend upon the specific socioeconomic context, levels of infrastructure and technology, and the decisions of political and military leaders. War-famines are conspicuously under-researched—but these are the most common kind faced today. The lack of uniform and systematic research across cases at the aggregate level is thus compounded by the complexity of socioeconomic and political forces shaping the famine-migration nexus.
The Irish and Other Famine Migrations
Undoubtedly the most well documented and extensively researched case of a famine migration is that of the Great Irish Famine. The emigration of 2 million Irish between 1845-52 was predominantly long distance (to the United States and Canada) and permanent. Social and economic historians and demographers have researched this calamity in unparalleled detail. They ask why some Irish counties experienced greater levels of outmigration than others, what the trans-Atlantic passage to America was like, how did family and friends abroad facilitate mobility, and whether political authorities could have done more to facilitate migration as a form of relief.
Studies of other cases are sparser or deal with narrow aspects of the famine-migration nexus. India is blessed with exceptionally good population statistics dating back to the mid-19th century, making it a favorite focus for demographic research. Data on migration during famines such as Bombay (1876-78), Madras (1877-78), and Punjab (1896-97), are used to answer questions about the number of people killed by disease or hunger and about the effect on fertility. But with the exception of Christopher Hill’s study of British famine policy in colonial north India and its effect on peasants’ migration, scholars have paid next to no attention to the kinds of questions asked in the Irish case. Meanwhile, handicapped by poor data and mostly reliant on village-level studies, most research into African food crises focuses on questions of household livelihoods.
Politics is the often-missing link in the research agenda. Government policies are often to blame for creating or exacerbating famines, and are also the determining factor in what kind of migration is feasible. Thus, the lack of political support for publicly assisted emigration during the Great Irish Famine’s worst years—a dearth partially fueled by anti-Irish prejudice in Britain—meant that the most vulnerable were the least able to escape. And during the 1867-69 famine in the present-day Estonia, the regional government in fact increased restrictions on peasants’ mobility because population movement was not in landowners’ best interests. Turning to the more recent case of the Ethiopian famine of 1983-85, forced population transfers under the guise of food relief were a key feature of the counterinsurgency strategy of the military regime against rebels in the northern provinces of Tigray and Wollo. This state-led restrictive management of mobility did little to alleviate starvation while some external donors’ relief efforts unwittingly abetted forced resettlement. From the authors’ review, the politics of famine migration is however the least deliberately and uniformly studied aspect of the issue.
Different Patterns of Migration
Patterns of famine-related migration are even more complex than these cases imply. The different causal sequences that lead to famine also contribute to different patterns of migration. The mobility of the hungry is influenced strongly by the structure of rural livelihoods and varies according to the causes of the famine. For instance, places subject to recurrent food insecurity and famine, such as Sudan and the West African Sahel, have witnessed long-term trends of migration away from ecologically marginal areas on the desert edge to more productive areas further south, and from rural areas to cities. Such movements are not always limited by state borders, and communities and individuals also migrate transnationally in search of sustainable livelihoods. Literature on the Sahelian famine of the 1970s and among the pastoralist Afar and Somali of Ethiopia details how sedenterization of formerly nomadic peoples—a change in movement patterns rather than migration—resulted in the deprivation of a traditionally autonomous society. For the Gogo of Tanzania, colonial polices such as labor conscription stripped traditional agrarian societies of their autonomous ability to deal with the risk of food shortages.
Modern-day, state-led counterinsurgency strategies also act as drivers of displacement and traumatizing accelerants of urbanization. Military strategies selectively inflict hunger, whether deliberately or as collateral damage, through the control of food and other humanitarian aid. In Yemen, Mundy’s analysis of Saudi coalition attacks since March 2015 finds a systematic shift away from military targets towards economic ones, including farms, which cover less than 3 percent of the country’s land surface. Between March 2015 and August 2016, farms followed by livestock were the most frequent agricultural targets, with Sa’da governate—the Houthis’ home base—being most severely hit. Combine this with blockades of the main port at Al-Hudayda (which receives the bulk of humanitarian and commercial shipments), the sealing-off of Sanaa airport, and relocation of the central bank to Aden (which means government employees in areas controlled by the rebels no longer get paid), and a clear strategy to starve into submission emerges. Sometimes hunger is used as a weapon to force people to flee (as in South Sudan today), sometimes to keep them in place to force them to surrender (as in the besieged enclaves of Syria, or the militant-held areas of northeastern Nigeria), or a combination of the two (as in Yemen today). However, although this topic is generating media coverage and bouts of public angst, the academy—limited by its disciplinary silos—has yet to devote sustained attention to the famine-migration nexus. As in the case of other pressing issues, famine demographers, analysts of rural livelihoods, migration specialists, and scholars of conflict struggle to meaningfully acknowledge and integrate one another’s work into their own.
A Pressing Need for an Evidence-Based Humanitarian and Policy Response
Not nearly enough is known about the intersection of famine and migration. One can predict that it is fast becoming a pressing humanitarian and political concern. Furthermore, it is increasingly clear that the narrow and often managerial treatment of food insecurity as an adverse driver of migration within global development and humanitarian policy fails to address the key political aspects of modern famines and related mass-distress migration. The understanding of contemporary famine has shifted from a focus on food availability or access to politics and policies. Work by (among others) Stephen Devereux, David Keen, and Alex de Waal shows that disruptions in food supply or access, climate change, and natural disasters are themselves insufficient conditions for a famine to occur. Famines strike when a political decision, by way of an act of commission or omission, creates one (see Figure 2). Migration—whether voluntary or forced, internal or international—is likewise shaped by the political context within which it occurs.
The international regimes for responding to famine and to forced migration are ill-matched. The standard relief program regards those who have migrated from hunger as short-term displaced people in need of food and shelter until they can return home when matters improve. Relief workers do not see their job as assisting in longer-term processes of urbanization or outmigration, and still less are they equipped to deal with the political causes of starvation. This may be starting to change: UN Security Council Resolution 2417, adopted in May 2018, condemns the use of starvation of civilians as an unlawful war tactic. Meanwhile, a classical understanding of the 1951 Refugee Convention would not yield a sympathetic outcome for persons fleeing famine or food deprivation, especially if the politics which determine who starves and who must flee are not acknowledged by the international community, specifically host governments and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). If climate change contributes to food crises and distress migration—and also fuels the malign and xenophobic politics that worsen these two problems—governments may find their legal and policy tools even more poorly suited to the challenges ahead.
Review of what is known—and what must be known—about the famine-migration nexus turns up an astonishing scarcity of rigorous scholarly research in this field. As famines appear again, one can only conclude with a cri de coeur: This is an urgent topic about which we know far too little.
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Berhanu, Betemariam and Michael White. 2000. War, Famine, and Female Migration in Ethiopia, 1960–1989. Economic Development and Cultural Change 49 (1): 91–113.
Clark, Andrew F. 1994. Internal Migrations and Population Movements in the Upper Senegal Valley (West Africa), 1890-1920. Canadian Journal of African Studies / Revue Canadienne Des Études Africaines 28 (3): 399–420.
Cousens, S. H. 1960. The Regional Pattern of Emigration during the Great Irish Famine, 1846-51. Transactions and Papers (Institute of British Geographers), no. 28: 119–34. Available online.
Davies, Susanna. 1996. _Adaptable Livelihoods: Coping with Food Insecurity in the Malian Sahel. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 1996._
de Waal, Alex. 2005. _Famine That Kills: Darfur, Sudan, _revised edition. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
—. 2017. Mass Starvation: The History and Future of Famine. Cambridge, UK and Medford, MA: Polity Press.
Devereux, Stephen, ed. 2007. The New Famines: Why Famines Persist in an Era of Globalization. New York: Routledge.
Duffield, Mark. 2014. _Global Governance and the New Wars: The Merging of Development and Security. _New York: Zed Books Ltd.
Dyson, Tim and Cormac Ó Gráda, eds. 2002. Famine Demography: Perspectives from the Past and Present. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET). 2018. Acute Food Insecurity: Near Term (September 2018). Available online.
—. 2018. Yemen Food Security Alert. October 24, 2018. Available online.
Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). 2017. Global Early Warning – Early Action Report on Food Security and Agriculture, January – March 2017. Available online.
—. 2018. FAO and IOM Boost Cooperation on Migration. FAO news article, January 24, 2018. Available online.
—. 2018. Global Early Warning – Early Action Report on Food Security and Agriculture, January – March 2018. Available online.
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Hammond, Laura. 2011. Governmentality in Motion: 25 Years of Ethiopia’s Experience of Famine and Migration Policy. Mobilities 6 (3): 415–32.
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Lowcock, Mark. 2018. Remarks of the Under Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator to the Security Council on the Humanitarian Situation in Yemen. October 23, 2018. Available online.
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Watts, Michael. 1983. Silent Violence: Food, Famine, & Peasantry in Northern Nigeria. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
Whitcombe, Elizabeth. 1993. Famine Mortality. Economic and Political Weekly 28 (23): 1169–79.
Young, Helen, Karen Jacobsen, and Abdul Monium Osman. 2009. Livelihoods, Migration and Conflict: Discussion of Findings from Two Studies in West and North Darfur, 2006 – 2007. Medford, MA: Tufts University, Feinstein International Center. Available online.
The International Organization for Migration (IOM)continues to be actively involved in anumber of Migrants’ Assistance projects and Human Mobility data collection activities in the Horn of Africa (HoA) and in the Arab Peninsula. This report aims atproviding an overview ofthe trends observed in thefirst halfof 2018 in theregion, across Ethiopia,Somalia, Djibouti, and Yemen.
Region: 444,490 migration movements were observed between January and June 2018 through the network of around forty two (42) flow monitoring points (FMPs) – in Ethiopia (9), Djibouti (14), Somalia (12), and Yemen (7)1 . 45 per cent of the movements observed were towards the Horn of Africa, and 42 per cent on the Eastern route, including Yemen and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Countries. Minor percentages corresponding to 7 per cent and 5 per cent of movements were recorded along the Southern and the Northern routes respectively.
On the Eastern route, most of the flows (91%) are driven by economic reasons, and the migrant
population is mostly made of young men looking for jobs. Similar to the Eastern route, the
Northern route is, to a great extent, also taken for economic purposes (64%). Furthermore, IOM
observed the highest proportion of women on this route. Children regionally made up for 23 per
cent of the migration flows (4.7% under the age of 5 years), with an even divide between boys and
girls. Conversely, male adults (51%) outnumbered female adults (26%) by a factor of two. In
addition, a total of 8,400 (1.99%) unaccompanied children were also tracked during this time -the
majority in Djibouti (44.5%), followed by Somalia (35.8%), Yemen (10.3%), and Ethiopia (9.4%).
While the Eastern route accounts for only 11 per cent of the vulnerabilities, the type of vulnerability
identified is alarming, with 58 per cent of the overall unaccompanied children taking this route. 1
out of 3 respondents or 32 per cent has been displaced previously, and almost half of the
respondents (43%) has attempted to migrate in the past.
November 11, 2018 (NYALA) – At least 20 fighters from the government militia Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have been killed and more than 100 wounded in the fierce fighting that has been going on for days in Yemen, a reliable source told Sudan Tribune.
According to the source, 17 bodies of RSF fighters participating in the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen have arrived in Nyala, capital of South Darfur State on Sunday.
The same source pointed out that the RSF militiamen had been killed (…)
United Nations-coordinated Appeals
FUNDING REQUIRED $25.20B
FUNDING RECEIVED $11.97B
UNMET REQUIREMENTS $13.23B
PEOPLE IN NEED 135.3 M
PEOPLE TO RECEIVE AID 97.9 M
COUNTRIES AFFECTED 41
Global Humanitarian Funding
FUNDING RECEIVED $17.98B
UN-COORDINATED APPEALS $11.97B
OTHER FUNDING $6.01B
Global Appeal Status
At the end of October 2018, 21 Humanitarian Response Plans (HRP) and the Syria Regional Response Plan (3RP) require US$25.20 billion to assist 97.9 million people in urgent need of humanitarian support. The plans are funded at $11.97 billion; this amounts to 47.5 per cent of financial requirements for 2018. Requirements are lower than in September 2018 due to revision of the Ethiopia Humanitarian and Disaster Resilience Plan (HDRP). For the remainder of 2018, humanitarian organizations require another $13.23 billion to meet the needs outlined in these plans.
Global requirements are $1.10 billion higher than at this time last year. Overall coverage and the dollar amount were only marginally higher in late October than at the same time in 2017.
On 8 October the Government of Ethiopia and humanitarian partners issued a Mid-Year Review of the HDRP. The revised plan reflects changes in the humanitarian context, and requires $1.49 billion for 2018, as opposed to the March 2018 requirement of $1.6 billion to reach some 7.88 million people in need of food or cash relief assistance and 8.49 million people with non-food assistance in the course of the year. Despite the general good performance of this year’s belg (spring) rains, the number of people targeted for relief food and cash support remains largely unchanged due to the significant spike in internal displacement since April 2018.
Security Council Briefings and High Level Missions
At a briefing to the Security Council on 23 October, Under-Secretary-General/Emergency Relief Coordinator (USG/ERC) Mark Lowcock called on all stakeholders to do everything possible to avert catastrophe in Yemen. In a follow up note on the humanitarian situation in Yemen of 30 October, the USG/ERC thanked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States, Kuwait, the United Kingdom and all donors for the record amount raised for the humanitarian appeal in 2018 which had meant nearly 8 million people had received assistance across the country; more than 7 million people had received food and more than 420,000 children been treated for malnutrition; clean water, sanitation and basic hygiene support is now available to 7.4 million people and about 8 million men, women, girls and boys had benefited from health services.
At a Security Council briefing on the humanitarian situation in Syria on 29 October, the USG/ERC urged the Security Council and key Member States to ensure that the ceasefire holds in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib to prevent a military onslaught and overwhelming humanitarian suffering. He thanked donors for the $1.7 billion contributed so far towards the HRP for Syria, but pointed out that this HRP is currently funded at less than 50 per cent.
In her statement to the Security Council on 30 October, Assistant Under-Secretary-General/Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator (ASG/DERC)
Ursulla Mueller spoke of the steady decline in humanitarian funding for the Ukraine over the years and mentioned that the HRP for 2018 is funded at only 32 per cent. This is simply not enough to cover food, health care, water, sanitation and other life-saving assistance. ASG/DERC Mueller appealed to donors to increase their support for consolidating gains in anticipation of the fast-approaching winter.
During a joint mission to Chad and Nigeria (5-7 October) with UNDP Administrator Achim Steiner, as part of a series of country visits the two will make to advance humanitarian-development collaboration, the USG/ERC called on donors to fulfil pledges and announcements of over $2 million made in Berlin last month at the High Level Conference on the Lake Chad Region (3-4 September). He noted the importance of maintaining humanitarian response in the region as needs were still very high.
Following her visit to the Republic of the Philippines from 9 to 11 October, ASG/DERC Mueller announced that OCHA would continue advocating for sustained funding to address humanitarian needs of people displaced by the Marawi conflict while ensuring that support for the transition to longerterm and sustainable recovery is forthcoming.
- The Global Humanitarian Overview 2019 and World Humanitarian Data and Trends will be launched in the course of joint event to take place in the Palais des Nations, Geneva, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. on 4 December 2018.
Between January and the end of October 2018, country-based pooled funds (CBPFs) have received a total of $708 million in contributions from 32 donors (including contributions through the UN Foundation). During the same period, a total of $616 million from the 18 operational funds was allocated towards 1,071 projects with 575 implementing partners. Nearly 40 per cent ($246 million) of the funds were allocated to international NGOs and some 26 per cent (approximately $160 million) to national NGOs. UN agencies received 32 per cent ($202 million) of the allocated funds and Red Cross/Red Crescent organizations received over 1 per cent (some $8 million) of all allocated funds. The largest allocations per sector went to health; food security; water, sanitation and hygiene; nutrition; emergency shelter and NFIs.
Between 1 January and 31 October 2018, the Emergency Relief Coordinator approved $477 million in grants from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to support life-saving activities in 45 countries. This includes $297.7 million from the Rapid Response Window and $179.7 million from the Underfunded Emergencies (UFE) Window. A total of $31.6 million in Rapid Response grants was approved in October in response to cholera outbreaks in Zimbabwe, Niger and Nigeria; flooding in Laos; and the population influx from Venezuela to Brazil, Ecuador and Peru; as well as to support Government relief efforts following the earthquake and tsunami in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia. The UFE 2018 second round was completed this month, with $30.6 million approved in September and the remaining $49.4 million of the round’s $80 million released in October to assist people caught up in nine chronic emergencies in Angola, Bangladesh, Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Libya,
Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Sudan.
Funding for humanitarian activities in the occupied Palestinian territory (oPt) is at an all-time low. Nearly all agencies requesting financial support through the HRP have received less funding in 2018 than in previous years. This leaves humanitarian partners ill-placed to meet emerging needs or respond to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, where the rise in casualties during the recent demonstrations has stretched Gaza’s overburdened health system.
Humanitarian agencies appealed in August for $43.8 million to respond to the Gaza crisis, particularly trauma management and emergency health care, in 2018. On 22 September, the Humanitarian Coordinator for the oPt launched an $8.3 million allocation from the oPt Humanitarian Fund to implement critical HRP projects, mainly in Gaza. Stocks of medical supplies are in extremely short supply and depleted to almost half of requirements. Since late October, the Gaza power plant has been providing up to eleven hours of electricity a day. However, around 250 health,
WASH and essential solid waste facilities continue to rely on UN-procured emergency fuel for running back-up generators. This year’s intensive operations have depleted funds and stocks and the $1 million allocated by the oPt Humanitarian Fund for fuel supplies will only last until the end of November. Further and urgent financial support is therefore required.
Conditions in Yemen continued to deteriorate in October, pushing the country to the brink of famine. On 23 October, the USG/ERC warned the Security Council that without urgent action, up to 14 million people – half the population – could face pre-famine conditions in the coming months.
Assessments are currently under way, with initial results expected in mid-November. The economic crisis is raising the risk of famine. The Yemeni rial has depreciated by nearly 50 per cent over the last year. Commodity prices have soared, as Yemen imports 90 per cent of staple food and nearly all fuel and medicine.
Urgent steps are required to avert immediate catastrophe. First, a cessation of hostilities is needed; this is especially critical in populated areas.
Second, imports of food, fuel and other essentials must be able to enter Yemen without impediment. Roads must remain open so these goods can reach communities across the country. Third, the Yemeni economy must be supported, including by injecting foreign exchange, expediting credit for imports and paying salaries and pensions. Fourth, international funding must increase now to allow humanitarians to meet growing needs for assistance. Finally, all parties must engage with the UN Special Envoy to end the conflict. Yemen remains the largest humanitarian operation in the world, with more than 200 partners working through the Yemen HRP.
• In Q1-2018, the FAO cereal price index rose by 8.6 percent from Q1-2017, while the global food price index declined by 2 percent year-on-year.
• The real price for wheat was 22 percent above Q1-2017 levels: crops suffered dryness in the United States and cold weather in Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, leaving production forecasts open to a downward revision.3 World ending stocks remain at record levels.
• The real price for maize was 6 percent higher than last quarter but stable compared to Q1-2017.
Overall favourable crop conditions offset mixed production outcomes in the southern African regions, leading to firm world supplies.
• The real price of rice increased by 14 percent from Q1-2017, with a slight contraction of stocks in exporting countries and increased buying interest from importing countries.
• In Q1, the real price of crude oil increased by 5 percent from the previous quarter following an agreement on extensive production cuts in major oil-producing countries.
• The cost of the basic food basket increased severely (>10%) in Q1-2018 in five countries: Bangladesh, Central African Republic, Rwanda, the Sudan and Yemen. High increases (5–10%) were seen in Indonesia, Iraq, Myanmar, South Sudan, Turkey and Viet Nam. In the other monitored countries, the change was moderate or low (<5%).
• Price spikes, as monitored by ALPS, were detected in 19 countries, particularly in Burkina Faso, Haiti, Mali, Sudan, Sri Lanka, South Sudan and the Sudan (see the map below).4 These spikes indicate crisis levels for the two most important staples in each country, which could be maize, milk, millet, oil, rice, sorghum, sweet potatoes or wheat.