IN THIS ISSUE
P.1 Protection of civilians in armed conflict: The UN Secretary-General report
P.2 Return of displaced people to Logone et Chari is observed as needs remain high
P.2 The ‘Cadre harmonisé’ analysis indicates 2.4 million people in Cameroon projected to be in acute food insecurity
P.3 Cholera epidemic not yet tackled despite some positive developments
FIGURES (HUMANITARIAN NEEDS OVERVIEW 2022, UNHCR, IOM, OCHA)
3.9 million People in need of humanitarian assistance
2.6 million People targeted (Humanitarian Response Plan 2022)
936,767 Internally displaced people
488,112 Refugees and asylum seekers
518,853 Returnees (previously IDPs)
(HRP 2022, FINANCIAL TRACKING SERVICES –FTS)
US$ 376 million Requested
PROTECTION OF CIVILIANS IN ARMED CONFLICT: THE UN SECRETARY-GENERAL’S REPORT
On 10 May 2022, the UN Secretary-General issued the annual report on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts.
In 2021, the United Nations recorded at least 11,075 civilian deaths across 12 armed conflicts. Armed conflict continued to be characterized by high levels of civilian death, injury and psychological trauma, sexual violence, torture, family separation and disappearance. Conflict damaged and eroded critical infrastructure, disrupting vital water, sanitation, electricity and health services, and fuelling deprivation, hunger and displacement.
According to the report, armed conflict in several countries intersected with intercommunal violence, violent protests, organized crime or other forms of violence, raising concerns about human rights violations and abuses, compounding suffering, and obscuring distinctions between armed conflict and other situations of violence. The climate crisis also exacerbated conflict-related vulnerabilities such as food insecurity, fuelling violence and escalating humanitarian crises.
Civilian casualties from mines, improvised explosive devices and explosive remnants of war were also reported. In 2021, the United Nations recorded 9,797 such related civilians’ casualties.
The report also highlighted specific vulnerabilities. In the conflicts in Afghanistan,
Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Iraq, Mozambique, Somalia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, Yemen and elsewhere, the number of children killed, injured or subjected to sexual violence remained very high, with devastating effects on mental health and development of survivors. Children in those countries faced elevated risks of abduction, recruitment, and use in hostilities.
Throughout the reporting period, educators were killed, injured, kidnapped, and assaulted across at least 13 countries and territories affected by conflict. The highest recorded number of killed educators were in Afghanistan and the highest number kidnapped educators were in Nigeria and Yemen. In several countries including Cameroon, attacks on and the military use of schools deprived children of learning and other services received through schools and made them more vulnerable to other dangers.
Throughout 2021, medical workers, facilities, equipment and transports came under attack, and parties interfered with medical care. According to data in 17 countries and territories affected by conflict, 219 healthcare workers were killed in 2021, 233 were injured, 120 were kidnapped, and 68 were assaulted.
Attacks on humanitarian workers and assets are cause for grave concern. Over 143 security incidents against humanitarian workers were recorded in 14 countries and territories affected by conflict (Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, Somalia, the Syrian Arab Republic, Yemen and the Occupied Palestinian Territory). Incidents included shootings, aerial bombardment and shelling, bodily and sexual assault, kidnapping, and explosions of landmines and improvised explosive devices, principally during ambushes, combat and crossfire, raids, and individual attacks. These incidents resulted in the death of 93 humanitarian workers.
The report reminded that protecting civilians depends on full compliance with international humanitarian law by all parties. “I urge States and non-States armed groups, as appropriate, to adopt and share policies and practices to strengthen the protection of civilians, and to develop national policy frameworks that build upon those policies and practices,” stated Antonio Guterres, the UN Secretary General.
The most effective way to protect civilians is to prevent the outbreak of armed conflicts and settle them peacefully. Parties to conflict, all States, the United Nations and civil society play distinct and complementary roles in ensuring the protection of civilians, concluded the report.