UNHCR is mandated to provide protection, assistance and solutions for refugees, asylum-seekers, returnees, stateless persons, internally displaced people and others of concern to the Office, of whom there were 86.5 million at the end of 2019.
Within a month (August to September) 2020, more than 1.21 million people in 12 different countries have been affected by floods across Africa and many other countries are currently experiencing more widespread rainfall than usual in the long rain season leading to transboundary flooding in several areas.
Humanitarian food assistance needs are high across Somalia, where Stressed (IPC Phase 2) and Crisis (IPC Phase 3) outcomes remain widespread. An estimated 3.5 million people in rural livelihood zones, urban areas, and IDP settlements need food assistance. In July, food assistance reached only 55 percent of the population in need.
Coinciding with COVID-19, an upsurge of desert locusts is taking place in the Horn of Africa, Arabian Peninsula and Southwest Asia, with risk of spreading to the Sahel region of Africa if it is not stopped by July. The desert locust is the world's most dangerous migratory pest.
At the beginning of April, the 2020 edition of the Global Report on Food Crises was issued, presenting a stark warning for the future. In 2019 – prior to the COVID-19 pandemic – 135 million people experienced “crisis” and worse levels of acute food insecurity. A further 183 million were on the edge in “stressed” food security conditions.
Today, nearly 55 million people in the Arab States, 13.2 percent of the population, are hungry and the situation is particularly worrying in countries affected by conflicts and violence: Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan, and Yemen.
A new report launched today by Somalia—titled the Somalia Health and Demographic Survey (SHDS) Report 2020—offers the country’s decision makers and stakeholders vital information on the health and lives of Somali women of childbearing ages and children.
Roughly half of all Somali households rely on remittances to cover basic needs such as food, water and basic health care. According to Somali money transfer operators (MTOs), remittances have already declined substantially since the onset of COVID-19 due to economic pressures on members of the Somali diaspora.