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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Central Sahel - Syria

15 Sep 2020


A displaced mother with her son at a UN-supported settlement in Barsologho in the north of Burkina Faso. Credit: OCHA/Giles Clarke

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 15 September 2020

Central Sahel: Humanitarian update

OCHA reports that a record 13.4 million people in Burkina Faso, Mali and western Niger need humanitarian assistance and protection this year to survive as complex and fast-growing crises continue to cause record levels of suffering in the region.

The number of internally displaced people has risen twentyfold, from 70,000 to 1.4 million in less than two years in the Central Sahel.

In addition, compared with last year, the number of severely food-insecure people has almost quintupled in Burkina Faso, almost doubled in Mali and increased by 77 per cent in Niger, bringing the total number of severely food-insecure people in the region to 6.6 million. This number may rise further due to the socioeconomic effects of COVID-19.

While needs are at an all-time high – triggered by a combination of armed violence and insecurity, underlying poverty, weak governance and fragility, severe environmental stress linked to climate change, and demographic pressures – it is increasingly difficult to access vulnerable people due to insecurity, including attacks on civilians and humanitarian workers and their assets.

Climate change effects are complicating an already dramatic humanitarian situation with record hot spells and unpredictable weather, such as the current floods, tending to exacerbate inter-communal tensions and violence. As of 15 September, more than 500,000 people have been affected by floods in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger.

The three countries' combined Humanitarian Response Plans, seeking US$1.4 billion to provide critical life-saving and protection assistance to 9.8 million people, are severely underfunded, with just 35 per cent funding received so far.

A ministerial-level pledging event will take place on 20 October in Denmark to address the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in the region.


Syria: Aid worker killing

An unknown armed men reportedly attacked a Turkish Red Crescent vehicle yesterday near al-Bab town in the northern part of Aleppo governorate in Syria, killing an aid worker and injuring another.

The UN condemns any attacks against humanitarian workers and reminds all parties, and those with influence over them, of their obligation to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure as required by international human rights law and international humanitarian law.