Menu ENN Search

People affected by conflict: humanitarian needs and numbers

Summary of report1

Location: Global

What we know: Conflict has humanitarian consequences.

What this report adds: Analyses of CRED Complex Emergency Database surveys indicate that displaced people and conflict affected residents are most adversely affected by conflict in terms of health and nutrition. Refugees have the lowest death rates and least bad nutrition/health indicators. National health data are unreliable guides to the health needs of people affected by conflict. Measles vaccination coverage is below target in most conflict affected populations, acute malnutrition is increasing and mortality is falling.

A recent report by Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) documents the humanitarian needs and numbers of people affected by conflict (PAC). In 2012, it estimates that more than 172 million people were affected by conflict worldwide. Of this total, 149 million or 87% were conflict-affected residents (CARs). Internally displaced persons (IDPs) accounted for another 18 million and refugees for five million.

Pakistan and Nigeria had the largest numbers of PAC - at 28 million and nearly 19 million respectively - but Libya and Somalia had the largest proportion of their populations affected by violence and insecurity, at around 90% each.

Detailed analyses of CE-DAT surveys2 demonstrate that an individual’s health is directly related to their status as a CAR, IDP or refugee:

The report recommends that IDPs should be a higher priority for the humanitarian community and that the specific health needs of CARs should not be overlooked.

CE-DAT surveys demonstrate that national health data are unreliable guides to the health needs of PAC. The three basic indicators of health (mortality, malnutrition and measles vaccination) are rarely the same for national and conflict affected populations.

Looking at PAC health indicators, rather than national data, also changes the ranking of countries by need. Yemen, for example, jumped from 10th place to the top of our list when the focus was PAC child mortality, rather than national death rates. For childhood malnutrition, Djibouti rose to second place from 11th, while Kenya climbed ten places.

For all these reasons, the report suggests that needs-based decision-making about humanitarian aid should not be based on national estimates of mortality or malnutrition. Small-scale surveys are a better source of timely and accurate information. Better use of this data resource should be made for needs assessment and funding appeals.

Causes of death in young children are overwhelmingly from preventable causes, including measles, diarrhoea, malaria, respiratory and other infectious diseases, plus malnutrition. Acute malnutrition is a growing problem in conflict-affected countries. DAT surveys show measles vaccine coverage is below the UNHCR target in every surveyed country except Kenya. To some extent, mortality is under control in most conflict-affected countries. While the report cannot give a full account why death rates are falling, it may be due to a lower intensity of conflicts that were of greatest concern a decade ago. Somalia is a notable exception.

Show footnotes

1People affected by conflict: humanitarian needs and numbers (2013). CRED. http://www.cred.be/publications

2The Complex Emergency Database (CE-DAT) was launched within the SMART initiative and has been developed and is run by CRED at the Catholic University of Louvain. It is an international initiative to monitor and evaluate the health status of populations affected by complex emergencies. The database focuses on mortality and acute malnutrition – the most commonly used public health indicators of the severity of a humanitarian crisis. CE-DAT currently contains more than 3,300 epidemiological surveys from 51 countries.

More like this

FEX: Mortality and nutrition surveys by NGOs

Summary of research1 Between 1980 and 2000, the number of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) registered within the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development...

FEX: Short and long-term droughts, food security and child mortality in Ethiopia: Can sub-national surveys tell us more about the success of mitigation efforts?

Summary of presentation1 View this article as a pdf By Tefera Darge Delbiso, Chiara Altare, Jose Manuel Rodriguez-Llanes, Shannon Doocy and Debarati Guha-Sapir Tefera Darge...

FEX: Distribution of WFP food aid in West Darfur

Summary of research1 Receiving WFP food aid in West Darfur In order to investigate the evolution of the humanitarian situation in Darfur, trends in nutritional status and...

FEX: Patterns of mortality rates in Darfur

Summary of published research1 Several mortality estimates for the Darfur conflict have been reported since 2004, but few accounted for conflict dynamics such as changing...

FEX: High levels of mortality, malnutrition and measles amongst displaced Somali refugees in Dadaab, Kenya

Summary of published research1 Location: Dadaab, Kenya What we know already: Routine vaccination of children aged 6 months to 15 years, supplemented by mass vaccination...

FEX: Trends in malnutrition prevalence and mortality

The May 2010 issue of the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CE-DAT) publication, CE-DAT Scene1 includes a summary of the 2009 trends in malnutrition and...

FEX: 2011 famine in South Somalia: the role of the early warning information System

By Abukar Yusuf Nur - Nutrition Analyst, Ahono Busili - Nutrition Team Manager, Elijah Odundo - Nutrition Data Analyst, Joseph Waweru - Nutrition Analyst, Louise Masese -...

FEX: Improved surveillance prevents excess mortality: the Gode experience

Summary of published paper1 A study on the epidemiology of the famine in Gode district of Ethiopia has just been published. The primary objectives of the study (which was...

FEX: Lessons Learned From Complex Emergencies

Published paper1 Children being fed in MFS-H feeding programme Another paper in the same series in the LANCET reviewed the lessons learned from complex emergencies over the...

FEX: Mortality in Somalia during food insecurity and famine (2010-2012)

Women and children wait for assistance from the drought/famine in Dolo, southern Somali The report summarised below on mortality rates during the Somali famine of 2010-12...

FEX: Simplifying the response to childhood malnutrition: MSF’s experience with MUAC-based (and oedema) programming

By Kevin P.Q. Phelan, Candelaria Lanusse, Saskia van der Kam, Pascale Delchevalerie, Nathalie Avril and Kerstin Hanson Kevin P.Q. Phelan was the Nutrition Working Group Leader...

FEX: Experiences of implementing CMAM in Yemen and number of deaths averted

By Najwa Al-Dheeb, Anna Ziolkovska and Stanley Chitekwe View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici Najwa Al-Dheeb is the Health and Nutrition...

en-net: Concern Worldwide is looking for a Consultant Nutrition Advisor in Pakistan

Terms of Reference Consultant Nutrition Advisor March - April 2011 Background Concern has been responding to the urgent humanitarian needs of flood affected population in...

en-net: Nutrition SMART SENS Survey Specialist for Chad - UNHCR Consultancy

Context

Following the Darfur conflict of 2003-2004, refugees from Sudan are found in Eastern Chad and are settled, among others, in 12 camps. As soon as they...

en-net: Advertisement

Terms of Reference Purpose To Design, Implement and Support Capacity Development of Nutrition Coverage Assessment using the SQUEAC Methodology Location Daynile, Dollow,...

FEX: Tackling non-communicable disease among Syrian refugees and vulnerable host communities in Jordan

By Loren Hyatt View this article as a pdf Loren Hyatt is the Programme Manager for International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) in Amman, Jordan, where she oversees a...

FEX: Promoting an integrated famine prevention package: Breaking bottlenecks

Summary of the report of the global Food Security and Nutrition Cluster meeting, 26 April 2017 at World Food Programme HQ, Rome The global Food Security Cluster (FSC) and...

FEX: Towards better documentation of mortality in crises

Summary of research1 A family in an IDP camp in DRC A recently published article identifies the two main functions of mortality data in crises as the support of relief...

FEX: Management of acute malnutrition in Niger: a countrywide programme

By Dr Guero H Doudou Maimouna, Dr Yami Chegou and Prof Ategbo Eric-Alain Dr Guero H Doudou Maimouna is a Paediatrician and holds a PhD in Public Health. She has over 15 years...

FEX: ENN’s perspective on the nutrition response in the Syria crisis

By Carmel Dolan, Marie McGrath and Jeremy Shoham Unless otherwise stated, referenced articles feature in Field Exchange 48. While the ENN's role is first and foremost to...

Close

Reference this page

Summary of report (2014). People affected by conflict: humanitarian needs and numbers. Field Exchange 47, April 2014. p54. www.ennonline.net/fex/47/people

(ENN_4520)

Close

Download to a citation manager

The below files can be imported into your preferred reference management tool, most tools will allow you to manually import the RIS file. Endnote may required a specific filter file to be used.