Briefing Note Update: Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, Yemen Special In-Focus on Yemen

Ongoing conflicts continue to give rise to serious protection challenges in northeast Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan, and Yemen. Conflicts in all four countries have created humanitarian crises of monumental proportions. They have triggered wide scale displacement, civilian casualties, and severely eroded coping mechanisms of the civilian population as well as threatened the lives of more than 20 million people. As conflicts continue unabated, the length of displacement is increasing, and the loss of livelihoods is particularly affecting the most vulnerable who face difficulties paying rent, food and basic health services.

Yemen is fighting a triple threat of cholera, famine, and conflict. The protection and humanitarian needs of people affected by the conflict in Yemen are staggering due to serious and widespread violations of International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and International Human Rights Law (IHRL), absence of the rule of law and limited access to justice, as well as massive gaps in accessing the most basic services. In South Sudan, insecurity and conflict restricts movement and aid delivery, particularly in northern and southern states. In Somalia, despite political progress, the conflict has rendered more than half of the population in need of life-saving protection and humanitarian assistance, with 360,000 children suffering acute malnutrition. Tackling the root causes, promoting human rights and the rule of law, strengthening governance and institutions are key to ending the crises in the four countries.

Denial of access to deliver life-saving protection and humanitarian assistance is reportedly used as a weapon of war, as much as its consequence, demonstrating how tactics imposed by parties to the conflict have increased risks of famine and contributed to the spread of the cholera endemic. While the conflict situation in each of the four countries is different with varying funding and access challenges, analyses show:

• non-adherence to IHL and IHRL coupled with a long history of instability, underdevelopment, poverty, poor governance and the rule of law are risking the lives of millions of civilians;
• the current food and cholera crises are largely the result of conflict as well as unaddressed underlying causes; and
• the need for more humanitarian financing and renewed efforts to bring these conflicts to a sustainable end.

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