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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Central African Republic - Ethiopia - Myanmar

01 Feb 2021

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From 6 to 7 December 2020, OCHA, WHO, REACH and UNICEF conducted a joint needs assessment mission to the towns of Yalinga and Ouadda in the Central African Republic. © OCHA/Virginie Bero

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 1 February 2021

Central African Republic

OCHA is very concerned about the serious deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the Central African Republic, which has resulted in a spike in new displacements. Between 15 December 2020 and 28 January 2021, 226,000 people were pre-emptively displaced internally, 129,000 of whom had since returned home, while 97,000 remained internally displaced.

In addition, refugee arrivals into the Democratic Republic of the Congo have reached 92,000, according to local authorities, and some 13,240 people have crossed into Cameroon, Chad and the Republic of Congo since violence erupted in December 2020 ahead of the Central African Republic’s general elections. Refugees continue to arrive.

The very high levels of insecurity along the main supply route from Cameroon (MSR1) has caused the suspension of imports. More than 1,600 inbound trucks, including 500 with humanitarian supplies, have been blocked at the border since mid-December. Humanitarian organizations are beginning to report critical stock outages, including of food and trauma kits.

The closure of the supply route has also caused a worrying increase (between 75 per cent and 220 per cent) in prices of basic foodstuffs (cassava, oil, meat, rice) in several markets in the country, including Bangui, as well as the closure of several markets because of the impossibility for traders to restock.

This is happening in a context of severe food insecurity, as 2.3 million people were already projected to be food insecure. Recent rapid assessments show alarming figures of severe malnutrition among the newly displaced.

Despite an increasingly difficult operational environment due to insecurity and access constraints, the humanitarian response has continued across several regions in the country.

 

Ethiopia

Access constraints in Ethiopia due to the ongoing conflict and administrative bureaucracy continue to challenge the urgent scale-up of humanitarian assistance and prevent the population from accessing life-saving support.

Access to essential services, livelihoods and cash remains restricted across large swathes of Tigray. Two refugee camps remain inaccessible since November, hunger is increasing and the health system has reportedly collapsed.

Access is particularly limited in rural areas, where 80 per cent population of Tigray lived before the start of the conflict and where many additional people took refuge.

Although dozens of trucks carrying humanitarian commodities are being mobilized towards Tigray, most of the critical staff that are needed to carry out distributions and ensure the response is principled and based on needs have not been able to travel to the region.

A large number of humanitarian staff are waiting in Addis Ababa, ready to move into Tigray, and the Humanitarian Coordinator and OCHA continue working closely with the Ministry of Peace to make sure UN agencies and NGOs receive clearance to travel to the region.

 

Myanmar

Myanmar continues to grapple with deeply rooted humanitarian challenges, with nearly 1 million people identified as being in need of humanitarian assistance.

More than 336,000 people have been displaced from their homes in different parts of the country, including some 250,000 in situations of protracted displacement.

An estimated 600,000 Rohingya people remain in Rakhine State, including some 126,000 who are effectively confined to camps or camp-like settings established in 2012. They continue to be unable to move freely and have extremely limited access to basic health and education services.

More than 100,000 people from various communities remain displaced by conflict between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army in Rakhine and Chin states. Humanitarian access to more than a third of these displacement sites remains cut off.

The expanding impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has further complicated the lives of people in humanitarian settings.

In 2021, the Humanitarian Response Plan calls for $276 million to meet the life-saving needs for 945,000 people.