Over 257,800 people have returned from northeastern Angola to the greater Kasai region of DRC since 1 October. During displacement, DRC nationals have experienced violence and human rights abuses, and many have arrived with almost nothing. Food, medical, protection and shelter interventions are required, as the host communities in greater Kasai were themselves already facing severe food insecurity and a cholera outbreak.
On 17 August, a fire broke out in the Nyalukemba neighbourhood of Ibanda Municipality in the city of Bukavu, Sud Kivu, only a few days after two fires affected the neighbouring municipality of Kadutu. 289 houses were damaged, and between 2,500 and 3,000 people were left homeless in the aftermath of the fire. They are yet to receive any shelter and NFI assistance. Parts of the only health clinic in Nyalukemba were destroyed, along with medicine and medical equipment stored in a pharmacy. WASH and food needs have also been reported.
As of 18 August, 91 cases of Ebola and 50 deaths (CFR 54.9%) have been reported in Ituri and Nord Kivu provinces of DRC. Conflict and insecurity in both areas are aggravating the crisis and increasing the risk the disease will spread further. Conflict is hampering humanitarian access of health workers to the local population, as well as driving displacement across the border to Uganda. Around 99,400 refugees from DRC have arrived in Uganda since January 2018, and the number of new refugees in Uganda from the two Ebola-affected provinces rose in July to 250 a day from 170 a day. The Ebola outbreak itself is also a cause for cross-border migration, as people try to leave the affected areas.
On 1 August, a new Ebola Virus outbreak was declared in Mabalako health zone, Beni territory, Nord Kivu, when four samples collected from patients suffering from an ‘unknown disease’ tested positive for the virus. So far, 33 cases including 20 deaths (CFR: 60.6%) have been reported, though the latest official press release states 26 cases and 20 deaths as of 28 July. The declaration of this outbreak followed detection of a significant cluster of suspected viral haemorrhagic fever in July in Nord Kivu. Investigations found that sporadic deaths in May in the affected communities may have been related. A strike affecting the health sector in Nord Kivu is one factor why the detection and response to the virus has been impeded.
1,149 cholera cases (including 92 deaths) have been reported in Kasai Oriental, Sankuru, and Lomami provinces since February, with the outbreak intensifying since June, with over 270 cases reported. This is the second cholera outbreak in Greater Kasai region since the crisis first erupted in August 2016. Kasai was cholera-free since 2004, and these outbreaks are a significant indication of a deteriorating humanitarian situation. Poor WASH and health infrastructure within the context of on going insecurity and displacement is exacerbating the fairly quick spread of the disease.
Equateur province in DRC has been affected by an outbreak of the Ebola virus disease (EVD). The outbreak is believed to have begun in early April and was officially declared on 8 May. Since 3 May, 39 suspected cases have been reported, two of which have been laboratory confirmed. The full scale of the outbreak is still being determined as poor infrastructure and the remote location constrain response to the outbreak.
Intercommunal violence between Lendu and Hema communities since December has internally displaced over 300,000 people and led to a severe humanitarian crisis. In a conflict where civilians are being directly targeted, protection of the affected population is a major concern. Thousands of houses have been burned down and livelihood activities, including agriculture, have been disrupted, resulting in significant needs for shelter and food assistance.
Escalation of fighting between the armed forces of the DRC (FARDC) and armed groups in South Kivu province, DRC, have caused large population movements in January both internally and across Lake Tanganyika to Burundi. About 7,000 people arrived in Burundi between 24 and 29 January and new arrivals have been reported daily since then. Poor underlying conditions in affected areas of Burundi, including Rumonge and Makamba provinces, exacerbate acute shelter, food, WASH, health, and protection needs. Transit centres and refugee camps in the country are overstretched.
On 18 December 2017 violence escalated in Ituri and Nord Kivu provinces of north-east Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), causing displacement and an increased refugee influx into Uganda. At least 7,185 refugees have crossed into west and southwest Uganda. Refugees are being relocated to Kyangwali settlement and the Malembo C site in Hoima district, and Kyaka II settlement in Kyegegwa district. Cross-sectoral response must be strengthened as humanitarian resources and capacities are strained due to the increase in arrivals.
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.
This report compares current humanitarian crises based on their level of humanitarian access. Affected populations in more than 40 countries are not getting proper humanitarian assistance due to access constraints. Out of 44 countries included in the report, nearly half of them are currently facing critical humanitarian access constraints, with four countries (Eritrea, Syria, Venezuela, and Yemen) being considered as inaccessible. Moderate humanitarian access constraints are an issue in eight countries, and 15 face low humanitarian access constraints.
Humanitarian Overview 2018 examines major humanitarian crises worldwide to identify likely developments and corresponding needs. The report focuses on countries where the crisis trend indicates a deterioration in 2018 and a corresponding increase in need. It also includes countries where crisis is not predicted to worsen, but is likely to remain severe: Ethiopia, Iraq, Nigeria, Palestine, Sudan, and Syria. Across these countries, food security, displacement, health, and protection are expected
to be the most pressing humanitarian needs in 2018.
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.