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Very large assistance needs and famine risk will continue in 2018
by Famine Early Warning Systems Network, ACAPS
2018 Global Humanitarian Appeal. (OCHA)
Some 136 million people across the world are in urgent need of humanitarian aid and protection due to protracted conflicts, natural disasters, epidemics and displacement.
In response to people’s urgent needs, UN-coordinated humanitarian response plans aim to reach 91 million of the most vulnerable people with food, shelter, health care, emergency education, protection and other basic assistance in 2018.
UN Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mark Lowcock:
''The Global Humanitarian Overview for 2018 is the world’s most comprehensive, authoritative, and sophisticated assessment of humanitarian need in the year ahead. It is based on data gathered from hundreds of different sources, including from hundreds of thousands of face-to-face interviews with people affected by humanitarian crises across the 30 or 40 countries where we expect to need to deliver a humanitarian response in 2018.
The overview - and the detailed country by country reports which accompany it - sets out highly prioritized, costed plans that aim to alleviate the suffering of affected people and aim to deliver assistance quickly and efficiently.
The response plans are coordinated across the United Nations and most of the world’s leading NGOs, and they reflect participation and inputs from Governments, the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, and a wide range of other stakeholders.
In 2018, in countries with Humanitarian Response Plans, we are projecting that 136 million people will need humanitarian assistance and protection, that is 6 per cent higher than we were projecting for 2017 this time last year. During the course of 2017, the number of people in need has gone up reflecting some new crises like that of the Rohingya refugees and also reflecting bigger problems on some of crises that we were forecasting.
The 2018 overview calls for adequate funding to provide urgent assistance and protection to 91 million of those affected people across 26 countries. (With costs averaging approximately $230 a year per person to meet essential needs).
Conflict and violence will continue to be the main drivers of humanitarian need in 2018, they force people to flee from their homes, they deny them access to adequate food, and they rob them of their means of making a living. Droughts, floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters will also fuel humanitarian suffering.
In 2017, humanitarian agencies reached tens of millions of people in need, saving millions of lives. Together, aid groups and humanitarian donors helped stave off famines in South Sudan, Somalia, north-east Nigeria and Yemen and stepped up to provide rapid assistance to refugees fleeing from violence in Myanmar.
Each year the global humanitarian system reaches tens of millions of people and we save millions of lives, but we don’t have the resources we need and we’re facing some very big challenges. We need more support for our work to deliver urgently needed assistance to those in great need''.
Helle Thorning-Schmidt, CEO of Save the Children International:
“With unprecedented levels of humanitarian need, we at Save the Children have a lot to do.. But we also need governments and institutions to take a longer term approach by tackling the cause of these crises as well as the symptoms. By brokering peace agreements, investing in education, helping communities build resilience to climate shocks, and speaking up when people are persecuted. Without this, we will continue to see a record level of suffering.”
For 2018, needs will remain at exceptionally high levels in Nigeria, South Sudan, the Syria region and Yemen, which is likely to remain the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, in terms of the number of people who need help and whose life are in immediate danger.
In some countries needs will fall, but still remain significant, including Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iraq, Mali, and Ukraine. But at the same time, needs are rising substantially in Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya and Somalia.
* 2018 Global Humanitarian Appeal:
November 28, 2017
Very large assistance needs and Famine risk will continue in 2018. (Fews-Net)
Following unprecedented food assistance needs in 2017, little improvement is anticipated during the coming year. Across 45 countries, an estimated 76 million people are expected to require emergency food assistance during 2018. Four countries – Yemen, South Sudan, Somalia, and Nigeria – face a credible risk of Famine (IPC Phase 5).
Given that no improvement in underlying conditions is expected in these countries, the provision of humanitarian assistance will be a primary determinant of whether Famine is averted. Governments, international agencies, donors, and other stakeholders should make all possible efforts to resolve conflict, ensure humanitarian access, and provide timely, multi-sectoral assistance to prevent large-scale loss of life.
Conflict will be the primary driver of food security emergencies during 2018 including in Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Nigeria and the Lake Chad region, South Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. In these countries, ongoing insecurity will continue to disrupt livelihoods, limit trade and market functioning, displace households, and hinder the delivery of humanitarian assistance. Poor rainfall, and its impact on crop and livestock production, will also contribute to a high level of need in some countries.
In parts of the Horn of Africa, a severe drought during the past 18 months has decimated livestock herds and sharply reduced crop production, particularly in Somalia and southeastern Ethiopia. Forecasts also indicate that below-average rainfall is likely during the spring 2018 rainy season, in part due to the ongoing La Niña.
In addition, rainfall in some pastoral areas of West Africa has been mediocre to poor for a third consecutive year, and forecasts for the upcoming seasons in Southern Africa and Central Asia indicate an increased likelihood of drier than usual conditions.
As a result of conflict, below-average rainfall, and a range of other shocks, an estimated 76 million people are likely to require emergency food assistance during 2018. This figure is 60 percent higher than in 2015 and only slightly lower than the 83 million people in need during 2017. The decline between 2017 and 2018 is due, almost entirely, to improvements in Southern Africa. The size of the food insecure population is likely to grow in most other countries.
Thirteen countries are expected to have more than one million people (local populations, IDPs, and refugees) in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse and in need of emergency assistance during 2018. These include: Yemen (>15 million); Syria, South Sudan, DRC, Ethiopia, and Nigeria (5.00–6.99 million); Afghanistan, Somalia, and Sudan (3.00–4.99 million); and Kenya, Iraq, Uganda, and Pakistan (1.00–2.99 million).
Four countries face a credible risk of Famine during 2018. In Yemen, a country which relies on maritime imports for 80 percent of its food, the closure of all ports to commercial trade risks a major deterioration in food insecurity, which is already severe.
In northeast Nigeria, while humanitarian access has improved in some areas, a Famine may be ongoing in remaining inaccessible areas of Borno State where access to food has been limited by ongoing conflict.
In South Sudan, ongoing conflict and hyper-inflation have led to extreme levels of food insecurity. In the absence of assistance, Famine would be likely in many areas, including Wau county, central Unity State, and northwest Jonglei State.
Finally, in Somalia, a severe drought during 2016 and 2017 has driven high levels of livestock death and three consecutive below-average crop harvests. While assistance may have prevented Famine in Somalia during 2017, the large loss of livestock and forecasts for poor 2018 rains mean that continued assistance flows are critical.
FEWS NET also remains very concerned about Ethiopia’s Somali Region where severe food insecurity persists, especially among displaced pastoral households.
* Access the report via the link below or see: Food Assistance Outlook Oct. 2017:
Humanitarian Overview: An Analysis of Key Crises into 2018, report from Assessment Capacities Project. (ACAPS)
The Humanitarian Overview: An analysis of key crises into 2018 focuses primarily on the crises that are expected to deteriorate in the coming year and outlines the likely corresponding humanitarian needs.
Based on our weekly Global Emergency Overview (GEO), we have identified 12 countries that are likely to face deteriorating humanitarian situations in 2018. We include a further six countries where the crises are already severe and likely to continue in a similar trend.
Across these countries, food security, displacement, health, and protection are expected to be the most pressing humanitarian needs in 2018.
Most humanitarian crises in this report are driven by conflict, with a spread in violence and shifts in tactics this year in several countries. The situations in Congo, South Sudan, and Venezuela are further compounded by economic crisis, and Ethiopia and Somalia are particularly affected by natural disasters.
ACAPS has taken a regional approach to analysis of the Rohingya crisis as the scope of it covers both the high influx of refugees into Bangladesh as well as those that have remained in Myanmar.
Each country section of this report covers the key driving factors of the current situation and the outlook and resulting humanitarian needs for 2018.
"If 2017 did not look good, predictions for 2018 are no better: violence and insecurity are likely to deteriorate in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Ethiopia, Mali, Somalia, and Syria next year," ACAPS director Lars Peter Nissen writes in the report.

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Conflicts and Climate Change pose major threats to 2030 Hunger Goals
by Action Against Hunger, agencies
Action Against Hunger urges World Leaders to make Hunger a Political Priority
Projections and analysis in a new study published by the Inter-Agency Regional Analysts Network (IARAN) and the international humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger warn that the global effort to end hunger by 2030 could be in jeopardy without major efforts to break the cycle of hunger and conflict and address the root causes of food crises.
The number of hungry people in the world increased from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016, according to a report issued in September by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
In early 2017, the United Nations warned that 20 million people face the threat of famine in four countries. In many places in these countries, insecurity prevents aid delivery and food assitance, as is the case in many situations of armed conflict. This rise in world hunger cannot be understood without recognizing—and addressing—the links between conflict, climate, and food insecurity.
“Famine is manmade, and it is never unexpected,” said Andrea Tamburini, Chief Executive of Action Against Hunger. “Despite the lessons of history and despite the incalculable human toll, the number of people suffering from hunger in the world is rising. We know this rise is happening not only because of the surge in conflicts and extreme weather patterns, but also—and above all else—because hunger is not a global political priority.”
The new report from IARAN and Action Against Hunger analyzes relevant data to identify nine key drivers of hunger—with conflict chief among them—and projects how those drivers could steer five possible scenarios by 2030.
“One of the scenarios predicts strong and equitable growth and a trajectory toward a more equitable form of ‘Western-led’ development,” says IARAN Global Analyst Tyler Rundel. “Another trajectory projects growth coming from strong, perhaps tumultuous development of ‘non-Western’ economies and actors.”
Another projection in the IARAN analysis predicts possible slow and fragile growth, or a “business as usual” situation in which, without major changes, hunger continues to affect hundreds of millions of people for decades to come. Still another scenario projects “system shock,” and illustrates the catastrophic outcome if a series of major shocks were to occur in the near future.
Action Against Hunger emphasizes that that there are multiple, major drivers of hunger threatening progress, including: poverty; inequality; conflict and displacement; climate change; inadequate agricultural policies; and poor governance and weak infrastructure.
In recognition of World Food Day on October 16th, Action Against Hunger urges:
National governments and the international community to exert political pressure to end crises, avert famine, and break the vicious circle between hunger and conflict.
International donors and governments from developing countries to increase both their humanitarian and long-term funding and to support small-scale farming for the long term, as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies.
“In order to achieve the ambitious goal of ending hunger by 2030, the international community must exert stronger political will and mobilize more resources,” said Tamburini. “Without a multidimensional approach that focuses on key drivers, hunger will persist.”
* Access the report via the link below:
Promises Do not Feed Hungry People
Our world produces enough food for every man, woman, and child on the planet, yet 815 million people still lack sufficient access to food to meet their daily needs.
We believe that with sufficient investment, collaborative action, and political commitment—that number could be dramatically reduced. It’s a promise that global governments have already made: two years ago, world leaders pledged to take action to end hunger and malnutrition in all its forms by 2030.
A world free from hunger is possible, between 2000 and 2015, hunger levels in some of the world’s poorest countries fell significantly, by over 20% in some cases. But we have also seen setbacks: according to the latest data from the United Nations, conflicts, displacement, and climate change caused hunger to rise in 2016 threatening the remarkable achievements we have made in the last 20 years.
In 2017, 20 million people in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen face the threat of famine and are struggling to survive.
October 16th marks World Food Day. Action Against Hunger is determined to achieve zero hunger.
Undernutrition is the single greatest threat to child survival. An estimated 155 million children suffer from irreversible physical and cognitive stunting as a result of chronic undernutrition: one in every three children in the world’s least developed countries suffers from this easily preventable condition. One million children die every year as a direct result of severe acute malnutrition. This is not just unacceptable: it is a scandal.
World leaders declared 2016-2025 “The Decade of Nutrition” and have committed to a new global Agenda for Sustainable Development that charts the course for ending hunger, promising to leave no one behind. But promises won’t feed the 815 million people who go to bed hungry every night.
Levels of international aid and domestic financing of nutrition interventions are far below what is required to meet the commitments for Sustainable Development Goal 2, the global goal for achieving zero hunger by 2030. Today, we are at a critical turning point in the fight against hunger: we must move from talk to action.
All of us, along with policy makers, governments, civil society, academics, journalists, business leaders, youth, faith groups, everyday citizens, and communities must move from “business as usual” to real action to stop enormous food crises like those in South Sudan and Nigeria from happening in the first place.
We are the generation that can make hunger history: we face a remarkable opportunity and a profound responsibility.
We must make a choice: are we passive bystanders in the fight to end hunger? Or are we the agents of change who refuse to accept that children are still dying from undernutrition when the world produces enough food for all of us?
Will we stand up for the one million children whose lives could be saved every year with greater investments, policy change, and access to nutritious food, clean water, and health care? What choice will you make? Together, we can build a world free from hunger. For everyone. For good.
* FAO 2017 State of World Food Security (130Page):

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