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Brief updates from around the world: Attacks on aid workers, famine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and floods in Niger.
Africa World News

Brief updates from around the world: Attacks on aid workers, famine in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and floods in Niger.

Jens Laerke, a spokesperson for OCHA, informed journalists in Geneva that of the 71 aid worker fatalities documented thus far in 2020, 22 occurred in South Sudan and 19 in Sudan.

According to Mr. Laerke, the majority of those affected are local aid workers actively involved in the frontline response efforts.

The speaker emphasized that any assaults on those providing aid and the locations where aid is given are breaches of global humanitarian regulations. They urged for the responsible parties to be held responsible for their actions.

Rules of warfare

He stated that parties involved in conflicts must adhere to the laws of war without any exceptions.

Mr. Laerke highlighted the dire humanitarian needs in both countries and the funding gaps. The humanitarian response plan for Sudan remains only 32 per cent funded while the response in South Sudan has received 53 per cent of the required funds. 

The WHO has also raised concerns about the state of affairs in South Sudan, where 75% of the population requires humanitarian aid and 66% are experiencing severe food shortages.

UN agencies report that more than 25 million people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo are currently facing a food crisis.

The most recent international food security report (IPC) revealed that over 25 million individuals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are still dealing with severe or urgent levels of food insecurity. This information was released on Friday.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and UN World Food Programme (WFP) have reported that the country remains one of the biggest sources of global food insecurity.

Despite facing significant hunger, the Democratic Republic of Congo has fertile lands and plentiful water resources that have the potential to make it self-sufficient or even a net exporter.

However, there are multiple underlying reasons, such as increasing conflicts in the unstable eastern region and inadequate investment in rural development, that are hindering the country from meeting its supply demands.

Peter Musoko, the Country Director and Representative for the World Food Programme in the DRC, expressed concern over the persistent issue of hunger affecting a large number of people throughout the country.

In this vulnerable situation, the consequences of not taking action are unimaginable. We must collaborate with the government and humanitarian groups to secure more resources for this overlooked emergency.

The ongoing rains in Niger have resulted in fatalities and devastation due to flooding.

The ongoing heavy rainfall in Niger has raised concerns among UN aid workers as flooding is severely impacting the southern region.

According to UN Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric, in a briefing to reporters in New York on Friday, the recent floods have affected 13,000 people in the past week and have impacted a total of 160,000 people since July. The floods have caused over 14,000 houses to collapse and have resulted in more than 50 deaths.

In July, the military took control in Niger and removed the democratically elected president, Mohamed Bazoum, who has been detained since then. Several Western countries and neighboring nations have placed sanctions on the new military leaders.

According to Mr. Dujarric, the unofficial leaders and relief organizations are still providing aid to help those affected by the serious flooding in Niger. They have given out items such as mattresses, mosquito nets, blankets, and other necessary items.

Over 13,000 families have been provided with food assistance as well.

The Spokesperson stated that our humanitarian partners have advised that there are still significant deficiencies in crucial areas such as housing, access to clean water and sanitation, and healthcare. Additionally, we are collaborating with local communities to prepare for potential floods.