Every week, we publish new highlights on recent humanitarian developments to enable crisis responders to prioritise based on the needs of affected populations.
An extratropical cyclone, with heavy rainfall, strong winds, and hailstorms, have affected at least 354,000 people in Brazil. The cyclone has mainly affected southern Brazil, specifically Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul states, since 4 September. As at 14 September, there were nearly 50 dead, 940 injured, and over 25,000 displaced people recorded. Increased river water levels have restricted access to the affected areas from Porto Alegre city, limiting aid delivery. Some areas are isolated in Rio Grande do Sul, which has experienced the passage of four cyclones since June 2023. The weather event has likely affected agriculture and the livelihoods of those working in the sector. Assessments of the needs of the affected population have not been conducted, but they are likely to include shelter, clean water, and food.
(PAHO 15/09/2023, OCHA 11/09/2023, Clarin 05/09/2023)
Afghan refugees in Pakistan are facing increased protection concerns, mainly because of a lack of legal documentation. In mid-September 2023, the caretaker government in Pakistan announced working on a new policy that would send back all Afghans in an irregular status in Pakistan back to Afghanistan. Since that announcement, there has been an increase in the arrest of Afghan refugees. Over 500 Afghans have been arrested, including women and children, despite some holding required documentation. The proof of registration cards that Afghan refugees were provided as a legal document in Pakistan expired in June 2023. Since then, renewal has been difficult for most given bureaucratic hurdles. Without legal documentation, refugees face arrest, torture, and deportation, and they cannot access essential services, such as healthcare, education, or employment. Between January–August 2023, 747,000 Afghans voluntary or forcibly returned to Afghanistan from Pakistan, higher than 548,000 during the same period in 2022.
(DAWN 19/09/2023, TOLOnews 16/09/2023, OCHA 06/09/2023)
A diphtheria outbreak declared on 20 January 2023 continues in several states of Nigeria. Between May 2022 and early September 2023, over 6,000 cases were confirmed. Between June–August, over 5,800 suspected cases were reported, 4,000 of which were recorded in August only. Many of these cases are from Kano state, where over 280 patients are being admitted weekly in treatment centres. Bauchi, Borno, Kaduna, Katsina, and Yobe states have also reported diphtheria cases. A worldwide shortage of treatment [can we say ‘medication’ instead?] given low production capacity and low national vaccination coverage could further worsen the outbreak. As at September 2023, only about 70% of children had received their first vaccine dose. Diphtheria is transmitted through direct contact or air droplets and has a higher death rate in settings with poor access to treatment, particularly among children.
(MSF 19/09/2023, WHO 13/09/2023,