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Rapid assessments of the hunger–climate–conflict nexus in Mali, South Sudan and Somalia: first assessment

Research reports

Written by Sarah Opitz-Stapleton, Leigh Mayhew

Hero image description: Women leaving a camp for internally displaced persons to collect firewood, Gereida, South Darfur, Sudan Image credit:Sven Torfinn Image license:© Panos

This is the first of two rapid assessment reports focusing on severely affected crisis contexts in sub-Saharan Africa. It provides a rapid assessment of crisis-affected populations in Somalia, South Sudan and Mali, to inform and bolster Action Against Hunger's humanitarian programming and interventions.

This report covers the findings of interviews and focus group discussions at three sites each in Somalia, South Sudan and Mali, examining the ways in which people’s nutritional status and livelihoods are being impacted by fragility, conflict and climate shocks; household and community coping mechanisms; how existing interventions are reducing hunger and acute malnutrition; and what gaps remain. The report also undertakes a review of existing interventions by Action Against Hunger and other humanitarian, development, peacebuilding and climate change adaptation actors, in order to explore how such interventions are anticipating and mitigating the layered impacts of conflicts, climate and non-climate stressors.

The report supports Action Against Hunger’s work to provide effective humanitarian support to crisis-affected populations in seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa: Ethiopia, Mali, Niger, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. More generally, it aims to scale up and shape how the humanitarian sector tackles ‘layered crises’, where long-term fragile governance and conflict make people more vulnerable to climate shocks and non-climate stressors, and where crisis-affected populations require more long-term support to build their resilience, in addition to meeting their immediate needs.

The learning points are followed by a number of recommendations, which in the short term include: extending coverage of cash assistance, increasing community health screenings, and implementing vitamin and mineral supplementation programmes in the short term. In the longer term, priorities to build resilience include: providing spaces for women’s voices and supporting women’s empowerment, educating both children and adults, as well as supporting job skilling and diversification programmes, and supporting early warning and early action systems.

Authors: Sarah Opitz-Stapleton, Leigh Mayhew, Mary Allen Ballo, Teddy Atim, and Muzzamil Alhaji Abdi Sheikh