The severity of humanitarian need in Yemen is deepening, with the number of people in acute need a staggering 27 per cent higher than last year. Two-thirds of all districts in the country are already pre-famine, and one-third face a convergence of multiple acute vulnerabilities, including cholera: between 1 January and 25 May there were 344,000 suspected cholera cases and 621 associated deaths.
The escalation of the conflict has dramatically aggravated the protection crisis in which millions face risks to their safety and basic rights. In addition to our wider humanitarian response including food, water, health and livelihoods support, CARE is currently implementing a UNFPA-funded programme – My Safety, Our Future – to support women and girls who are GBV (gender-based violence) survivors with economic opportunities.
CARE, Save the Children, and Oxfam have strongly criticised the lack of focus on the needs of women and girls in funding for the humanitarian response to cyclones Idai and Kenneth. Marc Nosbach, CARE’s country director in Mozambique, said:
In focus groups with women who were impacted by both cyclones, we have found multiple protection concerns, such as their safety in new resettlement sites, fear of exploitation, increased social tensions, and violence that could stem from the change of gender roles due to the loss or injury of male members. All these issues need more support and funding flexibility for aid organisations to be able to plan their responses properly.
To date, CARE has reached 103,000 people with food, shelter and WASH (water, sanitiation, hygiene) support.
Over the past week, airstrikes, shelling and ground fighting intensified across the de-militarised zone in northwest Syria, exacerbating the impact of the conflict on civilians, civilian infrastructure, and humanitarian service provision. CARE International has been forced to suspend some of our aid provision, including at two CARE-supported basic obstetric health facilities, that serve some 180 women on a daily basis. Aleksandar Milutinovic, CARE’s Syria Country Director, said:
The last five weeks have been characterised by indiscriminate bombing on civilians and civilian infrastructure in northwest Syria. Our healthcare facilities have been damaged and suspended due to the hostilities, affecting hundreds of women, who are in dire need of basic maternal healthcare.
Ten weeks after Cyclone Idai struck, many Mozambicans are still living in tents in displacement camps, or in improvised sheds that are not suitable for living. CARE’s country director in Mozambique, Marc Nosbach, has warned that long-term funding will be needed to help communities rebuild:
Without continued attention, humanitarian organisations like CARE will struggle to continue helping these communities overcome the impact of the cyclones [Idai and Kenneth]. Addressing immediate needs is important, but what is as important is helping these communities recover completely.
Both cyclones came at a moment where farmers were expecting their harvest. The storms and the consequent flooding have destroyed most of the crops. Families are already worried about not having enough food, which is expected to exacerbate in the coming months. Coupled with an ongoing drought in wide parts of the country’s southern provinces, Mozambique is expected to face a serious food emergency before the next harvest season in 2020. Marc Nosbach said:
The impact of climate change is no longer in the future, it has become a reality. While industrial, developed countries are contributing to these unusual weather patterns, the impact of this phenomenon is on the poorer, underdeveloped countries. As we need to continue supporting the heavily affected countries, such as Mozambique, taking serious steps towards reducing the impact of climate change is an urgent need, before similar weather disasters bring additional destruction to our world.
The protracted regional conflict now in its 10th year has displaced more than 2.5 million people, stoked high levels of hunger and malnutrition, and subjected millions of civilians to extreme hardship. Insecurity is hampering the resumption of normal life, leaving conflict-affected families dependent on humanitarian assistance to survive.
CARE has so far reached more than 1.3 million people in Niger, Nigeria, Cameroon and Chad with assistance including sexual and reproductive health, food and nutrition, shelter and non-food items, GBV protection, and livelihoods support. The withdrawal of donor funds from the region dues to the protracted nature of the crisis remains a concern.
Cyclone Idai Appeal