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CrisisInSight Weekly Picks, 13 October 2021

DR Congo
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The health situation in Tanganyika province has been particularly challenging since the start of the year with outbreaks of endemic disease and limited medical services available. A cholera outbreak was declared in mid-August in Kalemie town, with 1,016 cases reported as at 26 September – 630 of these since 6 September – and ten related deaths. Patients in the most affected health zones (Kalemie and Nyemba) have only one operational health facility they can go to, which is overwhelmed. In addition to cholera, 284,000 cases of malaria including 686 deaths have been reported this year. This disease particularly affects displaced populations whose access to basic healthcare is very limited. Over the past three years, armed violence in Tanganyika province has drastically reduced access to healthcare and many health facilities have been destroyed or looted. The limited access to health services is particularly affecting children, many of whom are at risk of suffering from malnutrition, diarrhoea, and measles.

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Two main power plants ran out of fuel and stopped working on 9 October, pausing all electricity generation in Lebanon for one day, until more fuel was delivered by the army. Lebanon's power plants provided only a few hours of electricity per day prior to the outage, leaving most of the Lebanese population dependent on private generators. These are increasingly expensive because of extreme fuel shortages and the economic crisis. Fuel and food prices have also been increasing due to high inflation rates and depreciation of the Lebanese pound, resulting in the multidimensional poverty rate (calculated with 20 indicators across 6 dimensions such as health, public utilities, housing) reaching 82% in 2021, double the rate reported in 2019. The number of people reporting challenges to obtain food and meet their other basic needs, including healthcare, has been increasing among the Lebanese population and Syrian refugees.

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Myanmar’s currency (kyat) started depreciating rapidly and lost more than 60% of its value in September 2021, leading to increase in basic commodity prices including food, medicines, and fuel. The currency has been steadily depreciating with the ongoing political unrest since the 1 February 2021 military coup, aggravated by shortages of foreign currency and the COVID-19 economic impact. This weakened the purchasing power of vulnerable households, pushing them into more severe humanitarian needs. Funding shortages, armed clashes, insecurity, and COVID-19 restrictions are preventing humanitarians from responding to people in need. Cash assistance programs have been particularly impacted because of disrupted banking services and limited cash availability.

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