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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: South Sudan - Yemen - Fiji

16 Dec 2020

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A joint Inter-Cluster Coordination Group mission to Naivasha camp for internally displaced people in Wau County, Western Bahr el Ghazal State, South Sudan, October 2020.
Credit: Luluwa Ali

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 16 December 2020

South Sudan

Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Mark Lowcock yesterday briefed the Security Council on the humanitarian situation in South Sudan, highlighting worsening food insecurity.

He noted that millions of South Sudanese have been pushed to a breaking point. Violence, flooding, COVID-19 and a deteriorating economy are making an already bad humanitarian crisis much worse.

Humanitarian agencies and non-governmental organizations in South Sudan are scaling up response across sectors. The World Food Programme (WFP) has expanded its air fleet, to get food, nutrition and health services delivered more quickly in a challenging logistical and security environment.

Mr. Lowcock reiterated three things that need to happen now to prevent the problem from worsening; de-escalate the violence; safe and unhindered access to reach people in need; and additional funding for the Humanitarian Response Plan, particularly to deal with severe food insecurity.

 

Yemen

OCHA confirms that the UN response plan for Yemen remains less than half funded, at 49 per cent. This is less than half as much as aid agencies received last year. The UN is now helping only about 9 million people every month, down from a peak of more than 13 million earlier in the year.

More than 80 per cent of Yemenis need humanitarian assistance and protection.

Next year, more than half of all Yemenis will go hungry (IPC 3+). The UN expects 5 million people to be living just one step away from famine (IPC 4). And about 50,000 people will be living in famine-like conditions (IPC 5).

Preventing famine is the top priority right now. Everyone must do everything they can to prevent famine from taking hold. This includes increasing humanitarian funding; supporting the economy through foreign-exchange injections; and pushing for an end to the violence.

The Secretary-General has also called on everyone to avoid any steps that could make the situation even worse. Yemen needs all those things right now.

 

Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Yasa has intensified into a Category 5 storm and continues to move slowly towards the pacific island of Fiji. While the track of the storm may still change, the current forecast is that the cyclone is expected to make landfall on Friday morning.

The Fiji Meteorological Service has put a warning into force for islands that are expected to be most affected, while authorities activated the Emergency Operations Centre and are taking the lead in preparedness actions ahead of the storm’s arrival.

The UN in Suva is liaising closely with the Government and stands ready to support national emergency response efforts.

The Pacific UN Humanitarian Team is also upgrading preparedness procedures with humanitarian partners and is coordinating with relevant authorities in Fiji.