Every week, we publish new highlights on recent humanitarian developments to enable crisis responders to prioritise based on the needs of affected populations.
On 8 August 2023, the Jama'a Nusrat ul-Islam wa al-Muslimin has imposed a blockade on the Timbuktu region, restricting commercial transport on the main roads and waterways. Attacks on commercial convoys have included shelling at Timbuktu airport, leading to the suspension of humanitarian air travel in early September. Over 33,100 people have fled to other localities and neighbouring countries since the start of the blockade. In the Timbuktu region, many goods are imported from Algeria and Mauritania, and the prices of food products have increased considerably. This raises fears of worsening food insecurity in an area where more than 92,000 people were already facing acute food insecurity (CH Phase 3). The blockade has forced humanitarian organisations to limit or suspend their movements outside the city. Certain social services, including healthcare and access to medicine, are also limited. The most urgent needs include food assistance and psychosocial support.
(OCHA 30/08/2023, Protection Cluster 12/09/2023, ACLED 21/09/2023)
ARMENIA/AZERBAIJAN: After nine months of blockade, on 19 September, Azerbaijan launched a military campaign on the Armenian-controlled Nagorno-Karabakh region. Over 100,000 out of 120,000 ethnic Armenians have crossed into Armenia since the border opened on 24 September. The blockade created food, fuel, and medicine shortages, aggravated by military action leading to further shortages of electricity, water, and basic supplies. On 25 September, dozens of people were killed after a powerful explosion at a fuel storage depot. The blast happened as residents were lining up to refuel their cars to leave the region. A humanitarian aid station has been established at Kornidzor, near the Armenian border, where the flow of refugees is reaching a critical mass. In Goris, the closest large city near the border where refugees are gathering, shelter, food, and medicine needs are increasing. (Al Jazeera 26/09/2023,
ABC News 30/09/2023)
There are around 963,000 registered Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh; around 932,000 of them live in the refugee camps of Ukhia and Teknaf subdistricts, Cox’s Bazar district, which is the world’s largest refugee settlement. They are not allowed to travel outside the settlement. Movement between and inside camps is also limited, as they have to cross checkpoints where they face arbitrary movement restrictions, arrests, extortion, and harassment by security forces. The refugees also have to comply with an 18:00–06:00 curfew, which makes them increasingly vulnerable to violence from armed groups and gangs that tend to take control of camps at night and whose activities have significantly increased in the last two years. Refugees’ access to basic necessities such as food, water, and healthcare completely depends on humanitarian aid, and such movement restrictions limit their access to humanitarian assistance. (UNHCR 11/09/2023, HRW 17/01/2023, RFA 22/09/2023)