Crisis watch

Florentine, a young mother in Mozambique, who received assistance from CARE following drought and food shortages
31 March 2021

Mozambique

An escalation of violence on 24th March by non-state armed groups in Palma district in Cabo Delgado has left dozens killed and caused thousands more to flee their homes. Elias Antoniou, Emergency Team Leader at CARE Mozambique based in Pemba, says:

At the resettlement sites, fleeing civilians are arriving after walking through the bush for 2-4 days. Many of them have nothing except the clothes on their backs and are hungry, thirsty, and terrified, following the traumatic ordeal they have experienced. Not only are we receiving girls, women, and whole families but also unaccompanied children. We are also extremely concerned for those still living in the conflict-affected areas who are unable to flee or be reached by humanitarian assistance, and the vulnerable groups such as women, girls, unaccompanied children, and the elderly.

CARE works in and around Pemba in southern Cabo Delgado, where many of those fleeing the fighting are arriving, and stands ready to assist with basic relief items, water and sanitation assistance, and other support to traumatised survivors.

CARE is working to set up safe spaces to mitigate the risks to women and girls by raising their awareness and providing them with sexual and reproductive health services. Some of the other practical measures being taken to ensure their safety include the provision of separate toilet facilities for women and girls, safe places to sleep, and proper lighting at night.

CARE and other humanitarian organisations in the area have the capacity and commitment to scale up services, but there is limited funding to do so. Humanitarian access to those in conflict-affected areas remains challenging to assist those affected with much of the area cut off and limited information coming out. Antoniou adds:

The civilians fleeing the violence have been terrorised. Despite this, they are determined to put their lives back together and need our support to do so. The funding that is desperately needed is not only about giving household items but also providing an opportunity for the people to stabilise and get on with their lives as best as they can, in this unstable and insecure context.

15 March 2021

Syria

15th March 2021 marks the 10th year of conflict in Syria. Despite the resilience of the Syrian people, the cumulative consequences of the conflict – particularly on the most vulnerable, including women and girls – are truly shocking. In 2021, an estimated 13.4 million people need humanitarian assistance – more than half (64 per cent) of the current population. Read more on our Syria Crisis page.

CARE supports vulnerable people caught in the conflict in Syria through the distribution of relief supplies such as food baskets, hygiene and baby kits, dignity kits for the elderly, and kitchen sets. During the harsh winter, our partners have supported families with mattresses, blankets, floor covering, and children’s clothing. CARE’s partners also work with health clinics, providing primary care as well as maternal and reproductive health support for women to increase access to health care for Syrian communities affected by the conflict.

Together with partners, CARE has developed programmes which contribute to strengthening the resilience of communities affected by the crisis, providing families with early recovery and livelihoods support, including agricultural production, cash for work, women’s economic empowerment, microfinance and psychosocial support programming. Additionally, CARE and our Syrian partner organisations provide access to clean water, improved sanitation, and hygiene.

CARE works in the northern region of Syria, largely with partners. In 2020, CARE reached over 1.5 million people in Syria. In total, CARE has reached more than 6 million people in Syria since 2014.

15 March 2021

Somalia

The humanitarian crisis is predicted to worsen in 2021 as a result of economic contraction linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, Desert Locust infestation, localised floods, poor rains from the Deyr season (Oct-Dec 2020) and a projected harsh Jilaal dry season (Jan-March 2021), which has affected crop production and food security.

Already pastoralist communities have started migrating in search of water and pasture due to the poor regeneration of pasture and acute shortage of water. In addition, a huge population in Sool, Sanaag and Lower Juba are facing acute water shortage and are currently dependent on emergency water trucking done by humanitarian agencies including CARE. Up to 2.7 million people across Somalia are expected to face food consumption gaps or depletion of livelihood assets indicative of Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse outcomes through mid-2021.

CARE Somalia’s current response has reached 159,000 people through food, nutrition, health including COVID-19 response, WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene), protection and education in emergencies interventions.

14 March 2021

Mozambique

Two years after Cyclone Idai left a trail of destruction across parts of Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi, the people of Mozambique have faced a further three cyclones, leading to hunger and hardship, while more than 100,000 people still live in resettlement sites.

Chica Manuel Catita, a mother of three children, says:

Cyclone Idai caused devastation and heavy loss of life, Cyclone Eloise also did the damage, and the last one destroyed everything. We have not been able to harvest anything on our farms. These cyclones are bringing hunger in our life.

Maria Joao, a mother of five children, says:

In past years, when we cultivated our fields, we were able to have a harvest and good production and be able to sell produce and feed our children. However, in recent years, we are regularly hit by strong winds and torrential rains, which have destroyed our properties. There is a lot of difference between how we lived in the past and the way we are currently living. Now we are suffering. We have no food.

Chikondi Chabvuta, CARE’s Southern Africa Regional Advocacy Advisor, says:

The most vulnerable communities continue to pay the price for climate change while more wealthy countries take the time to deliberate over weak climate action targets and finance goals. Instead, rich countries should increase their financial contributions immediately, delivering climate adaptation and loss and damage finance as separate funding mechanisms. Contributing to climate risk financing would also help insure communities against these frequent and devastating climactic shocks.

As part of our integrated humanitarian response to the cyclones, CARE has distributed drought-resistant seeds, which include sorghum, cowpeas, ground nuts, pineapple seedlings, maize and millet, to more than 4,000 small scale farmers in the central region where crops were destroyed by the storms. CARE has also been providing basic training in improved agricultural practices to complement traditional practices. These techniques will help communities combat the effects of climate change going forward.

11 March 2021

South Sudan

Continued conflict and violence, two years of devastating flooding, and some of the worst food insecurity in recent years have all converged to leave parts of South Sudan in a critical humanitarian situation. Over 7 million people are projected to be in a crisis state of food insecurity by April this year, with the situation continuing to worsen. The greatest concern is thatover 100,000 people are anticipated over the next several months to be in ‘catastrophic’ levels of food insecurity, at risk of dying from starvation, malnutrition and related disease. Rosalind Crowther, CARE South Sudan country director, says:

Women, men and children in Pibor who have been through years of repeated conflict and flooding tell us today that they are living through one of the worst periods of hunger in years. Without an immediate and significant increase in humanitarian assistance, more people will die of entirely preventable causes.

CARE and other NGOs across South Sudan (through the NGO Forum South Sudan) are calling for an urgent and massive scale up of the humanitarian response in order to prevent devastating loss of life.

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