Over 3,360 refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) fled into Zambia between 30 August and 3 October 2017. The refugees have been fleeing inter-ethnic conflicts as well as clashes between government forces and armed militias in Haut-Katanga province. Several of them have reported extreme brutality committed by all parties against civilians. The total number of refugees from Zambia in 2017 is estimated at 60,000. Given the current security situation in the southeast of DRC, flows of refugees across the border are expected to continue. The refugees are reliant on humanitarian assistance. Priority sectors for assistance are emergency shelter, health, and WASH. Other needs include food and relief materials.
Update: Fighting in and around the Kasai regions continues to cause displacement. So far, approximately 1.3 million people have fled violence in eight provinces. Between April and 22 May, over 23,500 people arrived in Angola. By mid-April 2017, at least 400 deaths had been recorded, including many civilians, but the number is likely higher. Armed clashes began between militia loyal to a local chief, Kamuina Nsapu, and FARDC in Kasai in August 2016. Since then, fighting has occurred between different militia groups in Kasai-Central, Kasai Oriental, Kasai, Lomami, and Sankuru. Violence is also now partly driven by ethnic tensions.
Since August 2016, armed clashes between militia loyal to Kamuina Nsapu (KN) and the Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC) have occurred in Kasai-Central, Kasai Oriental, Kasai, Lomami, and Sankuru. As of mid-April 2017, at least 400 deaths have been recorded, including many civilians, but the number is likely higher. As of 27 April, at least 1.17 million people had been internally displaced due to clashes since August 2016, of whom 140,000 since mid-April. An additional 9,000 people have crossed the border into Angola in April, where there is now over 11,000 refugees. Figures are likely underestimated due to lack of access.
Since August 2016, armed clashes between militia loyal to tribal leader Kamuina Nsapu and Armed Forces of DRC (FARDC) have taken place in Kasai and Kasai-Central. Fighting intensified in mid-December. As of mid-January, over 600 deaths have been reported. 216,000 people – 36,000 households – have been displaced by fighting in the region since August 2016. The majority of these people have reportedly fled to villages in Kasai Oriental and nearby forests. Their needs include food, shelter and NFIs, and protection. So far, the exact number of returnees, and their needs, have not been reported.
Since mid-July over 15,000 South Sudanese refugees have arrived in the territories of Faradge and Aru in Haut-Uele and Ituri provinces following a resurgence of violence in South Sudan. DRC has been experiencing an influx of refugees into Aru territory in Ituri, close to the border with South Sudan, since October 2015. There is now a total of 27,250 registered South Sudanese refugees in the territories of Faradge and Aru in Haut-Uele and Ituri provinces. The new arrivals have received little humanitarian assistance. Lack of food, shelter, and medicine has been reported in Ituri.
- As of 19 June, 1,106 suspected and 68 confirmed cases of yellow fever have been reported in DRC and 75 people have died. Cases have been reported in Kinshasa, Kongo-Central, and Kwango.
- There is a high risk that the outbreak will spread into other provinces that share the border with Angola: Kasai, Kasai-Central, and Lualaba.
- The porous border between Angola and DRC and uncontrollable movement of people and mosquitoes across the border hamper the response.
Outbreaks of Fall Armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, have been reported in DRC, Zambia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Ghana and Kenya. Regionally, around 330,000 hectares of staple crops, especially maize, have been affected. The remaining southern African mainland countries remain at high risk. The severity of the impact on regional crop production is yet to be established. The damages caused by the infestation depend on the stage at which the pest attacked the plant. Crops that were infested during the early stages of crop development, in late December, had to be replanted, while those infested later in their growth seem to have recovered without intervention.
Update: The further spread of Fall Armyworm was observed in Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe in March. Damage from existing outbreaks was also sustained in Rwanda, Uganda, and Zambia. While further outbreaks are expected only in northern Tanzania in the coming months, all countries are advised to continue monitoring diligently and to apply appropriate preventative measures. Although the Fall Armyworm season is expected to end in June, long-term impacts are expected for affected countries, and neighbouring countries should also remain diligent.
The Crisis Overview 2016: Humanitarian Trends and Risks for 2017, outlines the countries where needs are greatest, and growing, as we approach the end of 2016.
Based on our weekly Global Emergency Overview (GEO), and four years of data on humanitarian needs across 150 countries, we have identified ten countries where humanitarian needs are likely to be highest in 2017, as well as four that merit attention, as they face a potential spike in needs. We also consider the humanitarian situation in the northern triangle region of Latin America, where the wide-ranging humanitarian impact of pervasive gang violence is chronically underreported.