Crisis watch

Florentine, a young mother in Mozambique, who received assistance from CARE following drought and food shortages
1 March 2021

Yemen

CARE and 11 other INGOs are warning that disaster looms for Yemen if cuts to humanitarian aid continue. In a joint statement, the INGOs warn:

If governments do not step up and commit enough funding, children, women and men will continue to suffer and die.

Recent figures show that 2.3 million children under the age of five are projected to go hungry this year if adequate funding is not secured. Some 400,000 of them are expected to die from severe acute malnutrition if they do not receive urgent treatment.

Aid programmes have helped provide vital water, food, health services and shelters for families driven from their homes or living in villages and cities ravaged by the war. In 2020, aid donors raised barely half of the amount pledged in 2019. These severe aid cuts have deepened the suffering: some 9 million people in Yemen have had their food assistance halved and 6 million people, including 3 million children, are without clean water and sanitation services during a global pandemic.

Aaron Brent, CARE Yemen Country Director, says:

We are simply running out of ways to emphasise how urgent the situation is. More than 20 million people in Yemen need humanitarian assistance and it is absolutely critical that more funding comes through – otherwise people will die, that is a certainty.

Currently, CARE is operational in 14 governorates across Yemen providing emergency and recovery assistance to over 2 million people.

1 March 2021

Ethiopia – desert locust swarms

Ethiopia’s crops for the Belg (rainy) season which starts in mid-February are at high risk due to the high number of desert locust swarms. Esther Watts, CARE Ethiopia Country Director, says:

Ethiopia is currently facing a triple threat crisis with locusts, flooding from last year and COVID-19. These latest swarms are an added stress on an already struggling population suffering from high levels of hunger, malnutrition and loss of livelihoods across many areas. Climate change is exacerbating the crisis; heavy rains and mild winters contribute to the survival of the large swarms that decimate food security and sources of income. Unfortunately, as climate change makes weather patterns in East Africa less predictable, the impacts for these communities already facing extreme challenges are only expected to get worse.

CARE is particularly worried about the impact the loss of crops and livelihoods will have on women and girls. The Amhara region, where CARE works, already has one of the highest rates of early and forced marriages in the country where as many as 48% of girls are married by the age of 15. Evidence shows that forced early marriage practices often increase during times of economic stress.

CARE is working in locust affected areas of Hararghe as well as northern Amhara, with livelihoods and resilience programmes that also cover desert locust response. We are providing over 2,700 families with cash to support livelihoods recovery.

In the Tigray region, locusts add a worrying dynamic to the deteriorating humanitarian situation as sporadic fighting continues and security remains unstable and unpredictable. Partners on the ground are receiving reports indicating rising hunger, due to conflict exacerbating the impacts of the lean season and to desert locust infestation.

So far CARE has reached over 29,000 individuals in western Tigray with shelter and hygiene support, water treatment tablets and dignity kits in western Tigray locations. As well as contributing to the humanitarian response, CARE programming in Tigray will focus on restoring the disrupted agricultural input supply by supporting service providers, such as agrodealers, poultry farmers, and animal feed producers, so that farmers are prepared for the coming planting season.

22 Feb 2021

Honduras

CARE is warning that “a staggering one third of the population of Honduras” could be “suffering from extreme and chronic hunger” by the end of 2021. Maite Matheu, Country Director of CARE Honduras, says:

A brutal combination of COVID-19 lockdowns throughout 2020 and subsequent loss of livelihoods, thousands of lost jobs, severe tropical storms at the end of last year, and recurrent droughts linked to climate change in the last five years, have all led us here to this situation.

According to Fredesvindo Rápalo, who lives in El Guiral Villanueva Cortes region:

The 105 families that inhabit this community lost 50% of their production, due to hurricanes Eta and Iota, the rivers overflowed causing landslides. The little that is harvested will be for their own consumption. People no longer have economic resources to reinvest because their only income was their crops.

CARE Honduras has provided food support to 24,675 people in our response to COVID-19 and to hurricanes Eta and Iota in November 2020. Another 7,137 (the majority of whom were women) received assistance in cash or vouchers to mitigate the socio-economic impacts associated with these crises. CARE is also providing support to enhance and reactivate rural livelihoods and women’s economic activities in rural and urban settings through the provision of seed capital, agricultural kits and technical support.

10 Feb 2021

Somalia

Up to 2.7 million people or 21 percent of the Somali population is expected to face high levels of acute food insecurity in 2021 if urgent humanitarian assistance is not provided. Ahmed, a 61-year-old father from Lascanod district, said:

The current conditions we are in remind me of the severe drought in 2017 that brought death to my family. I lost two of my children during the previous drought and I cannot bear the thoughts of another drought. I hope this dry spell does not escalate to a major drought.

Iman Abdullahi, CARE Somalia Country Director, says:

Food production has more than halved in recent years and when COVID-19 hit, an already desperate situation deteriorated further. Communities are buckling under the multiple effects of below average and erratic rainfall, the floods, COVID-19 and locusts that have but all destroyed any hopes for better harvests. The prolonged lockdown that was in place also made putting food on the table even harder for so many families and women and girls often miss out as it is usual for men to eat first when there’s not enough to go around.

CARE is responding to the worsening humanitarian situation through WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene), health and nutrition, and food and livelihoods support, including in the form of cash and vouchers, so people can choose how best to prioritise their own household needs.

8 Feb 2021

Pakistan – freezing weather

Freezing conditions continue to impact Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces in Pakistan. Multiple emergencies including the COVID-19 pandemic, locust invasions and flooding have exacerbated the impact of the weather conditions. The flooding and locust invasion in 2020 impacted two cropping seasons, leaving families with inadequate food supplies to see them through the harsh winter. Communities in remote areas are now feeling the force of these compounding economic blows, affecting their ability to purchase necessities including food, winter clothing, blankets and medical supplies.

CARE Pakistan Country Director, Adil Sheraz, says:

CARE will be supporting affected communities with essentials to help them face the freezing weather, including mattresses, quilts, shawls, sweaters, woollen caps and gloves.

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