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CrisisInSight Weekly Picks, 18 May 2022

Burkina Faso
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Burkina Faso

Armed-group attacks in Oudalan (Sahel) and Kompienga (Est) provinces on 14 May killed at least 43 people including at least 27 civilians. People in need of humanitarian aid in these regions have had their access considerably reduced by the growing presence of armed groups that impose blockades and destroy public infrastructure to force people to flee. More than 730,000 displaced people were reported across Sahel and East regions as at 31 March. This area of Burkina Faso has also been hit by the worst drought in more than a decade of worsening food insecurity. More than 688,000 people currently face Crisis (IPC-3) or Emergency (IPC-4) levels and this number is expected to rise sharply in the coming months. The Est and Sahel regions are also the most affected by school closures, with respectively 1,049 and 972 schools closed, affecting more than 280,000 students in total. The most urgent needs in these regions include food, protection, shelter, WASH and education.

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The DPRK announced its first COVID-19 outbreak on 12 May 2022, followed by a renewed national lockdown. Between the end of April and 17 May, state media reported that around 1.5 million were suffering from fever and 56 people had died. The lack of diagnostic testing facilities makes it difficult to estimate if the cases are all COVID-19-related. The DPRK has relied on strict lockdowns and quarantine measures since 2020 and has not yet accepted any vaccines for its population of 26 million. Humanitarian response is likely to continue being delayed by these strict containment measures, including bans on internal travel. The public health infrastructure lacks sufficient medicines and medical supplies to respond to the outbreak. In 2019, an estimated 40% of the total population was food-insecure. Strict border control measures since early 2020 have heavily depleted food stocks, worsening the food security and nutrition situation in the country.

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Clashes between armed gangs for territorial control have increased in Port-au-Prince since 24 April. At least 92 people with no connection to the gangs have been killed, with another 113 injured, many with gunshot wounds. Threats, forced recruitment, kidnapping, robbery, and sexual violence are reported, and 9,000 people have displaced to safer neighbourhoods or cities. Increased fighting has deteriorated access to healthcare, especially in the north of Port-au-Prince, where five medical centres are out of service, and two private hospitals have suspended operations following the abduction of a staff member. The rising cost of living has further restricted access to medical care. Medical staff have been confined to medical centres at times because of insecurity. Access restrictions have affected ambulance movement and movement of water tankers that provide drinking water. In neighbourhoods such as Brooklyn, civilians have been confined to their homes because of fighting, roadblocks, or targeting by armed gangs.

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