Crisis watch

Florentine, a young mother in Mozambique, who received assistance from CARE following drought and food shortages
18 Nov 2020

Sudan – influx of displaced people from Tigray conflict

Conflict in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia has already forced over 27,000 people to flee the fighting and cross the borders into Sudan with an average of 4,000 people arriving each day. This figure is predicted to rise to a staggering 200,000 over the coming days and weeks, putting immense pressure on existing structures in the border Sudanese states of Gedaref and Kassala. Tesfaye Hussein, Program Director for CARE International in Sudan, says:

More than half of the people arriving are women, children and a significant number of them are pregnant and lactating mothers which adds additional challenges and health risks. The number of refugees already exceeds the capacity of the two sites designated by the government for this influx and the border areas are congested with people waiting to be relocated. People are arriving exhausted and afraid – it is truly a terrible situation.

CARE has a sub-office in Kassala and Gedaref States and implements WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene), health, nutrition, and COVID-19 responses targeting host community members and more than 40,000 refugees in Shagrab refugee camp, close to where the new refugees have arrived. The most urgent immediate needs are food, WASH, health and nutrition services, sanitary pads for women and girls of reproductive ages, and emergency shelter. Hussein notes:

Sudan is already recovering from some of the worst floods in our recent history, with over 7 million people facing high levels of acute food insecurity, as well as continuing COVID-19 cases and a resurgence of polio cases in Gedaref, that are putting added pressure on a stretched health system. Now the arrival of potentially hundreds of thousands of refugees who are desperately in need of everything from food, to medical care and a place to stay, is creating a true humanitarian crisis for the country, the likes of which have not been seen for many years. This is not a situation we predicted in our emergency scenario planning. We are honestly worried how we will cope.

CARE has released internal emergency funds to start an immediate response and is appealing for donor funding to provide water, sanitation and hygiene services as well as health and nutrition services to refugees in both Kassala and Gedaref states.

18 Nov 2020

Hunger and food insecurity made worse by COVID-19

The United Nations has warned of a growing hunger epidemic in seven countries (Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen, Ethiopia) due to a combination of conflict, economic decline, climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic.

A new report from CARE, Sometimes we don’t even eat: How conflict and COVID-19 are pushing millions of people to the brink, warns that the number of people experiencing serious food insecurity could nearly double before the end of 2020. The report details how conflict not only leads to life threatening hunger but how the compounding stressors of conflict and food insecurity uniquely impact women and girls, increasing their risk for intimate partner violence, early and forced marriage, cutting off education, and being forced to engage in transactional sex.

  • Read more in the report, including case studies of the situation in the DRC, northeast Nigeria, South Sudan, and Yemen.
18 Nov 2020

Central America – Hurricane Iota

flooded village in Honduras after storm Eta
A village in Cortés, Honduras, submerged by floods after the passage of tropical storm Eta

Hurricane Iota is expected to bring further devastation to vulnerable communities in Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and other countries in the region which are still dealing with the aftermath of storm Eta.

More than 2 million people in the region have already been impacted by Eta, with Honduras experiencing the most severe impacts. The country remains in national red alert, with an estimated 20% of the population affected, many of whom are cut off from assistance. CARE Honduras Country Director Maite Matheu says:

People are still trapped and living on their roofs to escape the flood waters in some of the worst affected areas. Around 68 communities remain entirely cut off, and homes, bridges and other key infrastructure have been destroyed, as well as large numbers of livestock killed.

María Magdalena Rivera Villatoro is a tilapia farmer in the country’s northeastern region. Eta caused the river where they farm to overflow, destroying her family’s livelihood. She says:

When the storm came, we couldn’t do anything. We just saw how it destroyed everything we had worked so hard for … it is really painful.

CARE Honduras is focusing its emergency response efforts on providing food, shelter, essential items like blankets, tarps and kitchen kits, water and sanitation support, and protection services to particularly vulnerable groups such as women and girls, who now find themselves in cramped communal shelters.

12 Nov 2020

Philippines – Typhoon Vamco

On Wednesday, November 11, 2020, the Philippines was hit by another typhoon named Vamco (locally known as Ulysses). Typhoon Vamco battered Metro Manila and the same provinces hit by typhoon Goni (Catanduanes, Albay, and Camarines Sur in the Bicol Region).

The typhoon caused flash floods in several parts of Metro Manila and nearby provinces. More than 400,000 families have been affected, with damage reported to more than 140,000 homes in Bicol, Calabarzon, and Mimaropa regions. Significant damage is also reported to agricultural land and resources, affecting the livelihoods of farmers and fisherfolks.

CARE and partners are on the ground, conducting local assessments and coordination with the UN, other organisations, and local government units on damages and needs of affected populations. Our response will focus on provision of multi-purpose cash transfers in most areas, as well as food, shelter and non-food items in some isolated areas. In Manila, CARE Philippines is in touch with a partner in Metro Manila and is planning an initial response.

10 Nov 2020

Central America – Storm Eta

Storm Eta has wreaked havoc across Central America destroying crops and food stocks for millions already suffering from food insecurity and the COVID-19 pandemic. Nearly 2 million people are displaced or have had their crops, food stocks and livelihoods destroyed. According to Catalina Vargas, Regional Humanitarian Manager for CARE in Latin America and the Caribbean:

In Guatemala and Honduras around 4.5 million people were already suffering from hunger, food shortages and high prices that has been exacerbated by COVID-19 lockdowns. With tropical storm Eta coming on top of this, I really don’t know how millions of Central Americans will cope going into 2021.

Maite Matheu, CARE Honduras Country Director, says:

In Honduras, people are still trapped and living up on their roofs to escape the flood waters in some of the worst affected areas. Around 68 communities remain entirely cut off and homes, bridges and other key infrastructure has been destroyed, and well as large numbers of livestock killed.

CARE and our partners have identified more than 10,000 people in remote areas who are now living in terrible conditions; in makeshift shelters without water supply for drinking or washing and no source of food.

The worst hit areas – Cortés, Yoro, Atlántida, Colón – are extremely densely populated, which is why we are seeing such high numbers of people affected.

CARE Honduras is focusing its emergency response efforts on providing food, shelter and protection services to particularly vulnerable groups such as women and girls, who now find themselves in cramped communal shelters.

In Guatemala, “thousands of homes and crops have been damaged” says CARE Guatemala Country Director Rogelia Soto:

Some of the worst affected areas are not accessible, with whole communities been cut off as a result of landslides, on top of the flooding. The numbers of people affected are increasing daily and many people are still missing.

CARE Guatemala is carrying out a needs assessment and will support people with water and food packages and hygiene kits alongside local organisations working in the area.