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Nepal: Bahrain's relief consignment reaches Nepal

Nepal - ReliefWeb News - 35 min 54 sec ago
Source: Government of Bahrain Country: Bahrain, Nepal

08 : 51 PM - 05/05/2015

Manama, May 5(BNA):A thirty-ton relief-aid consignment arrived in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu following royal directives to establish the Bahrain-Nepal Support Committee.

HM the King's Representative for Charity Works and Youth Affairs, Royal Charity Organisation (RCO) Board of Trustees' Chairman His Highness Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa is leading the humanitarian efforts.

RCO Secretary-General, head of Bahrain-Nepal Support Committee Dr. Mustapha Al-Sayyed was at Kathmandu airport as Bahrain cargo plane landed, with the consignment on board. Dr. Al-Sayyed paid tribute to HM King Hamad, extending thanks to His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier and HH Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad Al-Khalifa for their support.

He commended the role of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health, Bahrain people and all those who donated in support of the Nepalese people, in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake which struck their country, leaving thousands dead and injured and wreaking havoc in the mountain Kingdom.

He hailed the role of the BDF delegation in assisting the Nepalese people, lauding the efforts of the relief team led by Shaikh Isa bin Abdulla Al-Khalifa to set up tents and comfort traumatized survivors. "The 30-ton consignment contains medication, tents, blankets and water purifiers in addition to 7000 kilos of food supplies donated by Bahrain people through Lulu Hypermarket", said Dr. Al-Sayyed, who met Nepalese Government officials and MPs to coordinate the distribution of the consignment to quake-stricken people.

A H N

BNA 1920 GMT 2015/05/05

Nepal: Australians dig deep to help Nepal

Nepal - ReliefWeb News - 38 min 11 sec ago
Source: Australian Council for International Development Country: Nepal

Australians have been extraordinarily generous in helping the people of Nepal in the aftermath of the devastating 25 April earthquake, according to Australia’s peak aid organisation.

“More than $20 million has already been donated to Australian aid organisations working in Nepal,” said ACFID Executive Director, Marc Purcell.

“These donations are vital to help the immediate humanitarian needs of the Nepalese.

The UN has set a target of raising $415 million to help deliver live saving assistance to 8 million people over the next three months alone.

“ACFID welcomes the additional $5 million pledged by Foreign Minister Julie Bishop last Friday to the Nepalese relief effort, bringing the total the Australian Government has committed to $10 million.

“But new development assistance funds to Nepal will be needed to help reconstruct and rebuild homes, schools, community centres and infrastructure in this devastated country. We call on the Australian Government in the upcoming budget, to provide additional support to help rebuild communities left devastated by this earthquake.

"Despite the many operational challenges, ACFID member organisations are reaching affected communities distributing food, water, blankets and shelter, providing medical care, establishing safe spaces for affected and vulnerable children and responding to the needs of people with disabilities.

"ACFID members are also working in coordination with other non-government organisations, UN agencies and the Nepalese Government.

“Many Australians and Australian companies are keen to donate goods like clothing, food, water and machinery to the relief effort. But sending goods in kind to remote overseas locations is costly, complex and can sometimes lead to unintended consequences.

"We strongly encourage members of the public who wish to support the relief effort, that the best way to help is to donate cash to a reputable charitable organisation.

“ACFID members are signatories to the ACFID Code of Conduct that commits them to standards of good practice, transparency and accountability and has a public complaints mechanism. Our members proactively inform donors of how they are using donations on the ground.

A full list of ACFID members currently running appeals is available here.

Media contact: Lyn Larkin 0400 343 227

Guinea: Guinea's government, opposition in all-out war

Guinea - ReliefWeb News - 41 min 36 sec ago
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Guinea

Conakry, Guinea | AFP | Wednesday 5/6/2015 - 03:34 GMT

by Selim SAHEB ETTABA

With the Guinean government accused of electoral dark arts and the opposition of spoiling for a coup, the west African country's political factions are embroiled in a standoff that may require international arbitration.

Across the capital Conakry, supporters boast of victory for the nation's incumbent leader months before the presidential campaign has even begun, waving banners saying "Re-election of Alpha Conde in the First Round".

The opposition, convinced of having been robbed in previous polls and provoked by this triumphalism, angrily points out that no regional elections have been held in 10 years and accuses Conde of filling local administrations with unelected cronies who will help him rig October's presidential polls.

"For the moment we are in the street, we are getting our activists out into the street and we will keep doing so as many times as is necessary," says former prime minister Sidya Toure.

Guinea's opposition is campaigning for a revision of an election timetable that they say stacks the odds in the regime's favour by delaying regional elections until after the presidential vote.

After protests in Conakry marked by deadly clashes between activists and security forces, the opposition's strategy is to get its supporters onto the streets throughout the country.

This would not have been possible a few months ago with Ebola ravaging the country, but recent months have seen a sharp decline in transmission and activists have been out in force in the provinces.

In a recent interview with the newspaper Le Monde in Paris, Conde accused his opponents of attempting to "create chaos, to have lots of deaths, to reach a serious crisis, and ultimately a military coup".

The head of state, elected in 2010, has vowed that local council officials -- whether his people or not -- will play "no role in the elections" in October.

Opposition leaders made a joint declaration on March 24 that Conde had lost "all legitimacy", prompting Foreign Minister Francois Lounceny Fall to denounce their alleged desire to "make the country ungovernable, and maybe push the army to intervene".

  • 'Permanent tension' -

The opposition denies any impulse to go back to the days of autocracy, but its activists are quick to recall the 1984-2008 military regime of Lansana Conte as a means of reproaching Conde.

"I was General Lansana Conte's prime minister. I can assure you things were much better," says Toure, citing the economy, but also "better preserved public freedoms, ethnic and communal tensions that were 100 times lower".

He said people's dreams of the idyll of civilian rule after decades of authoritarianism and military coups had been shattered.

"This permanent tension, it's his culture," Toure said of Conde.

Opposition leader and former prime minister Cellou Dalein Diallo, beaten in 2010 presidential polls, believes political and ethnic divisions have widened under Conde, especially at the expense of his Fulani community.

In his part of Conakry, he says, officials installed by the regime to run the 2013 parliamentary elections removed voting slips carrying Fulani surnames, automatically assuming them to be opposition supporters.

Diallo complains that the opposition's struggle is misunderstood by an international community that does not appreciate "the whole process and the frustration that comes from this ruse used by Alpha Conde".

Peter Pham, director of the Africa programme at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington, said "the universal support that (Conde) had four years ago, I think, is no longer there".

"After Burkina Faso, after Nigeria, Washington and its European partners are increasingly taking a much more robust look at African democracy," he said.

As a result, Pham believes, the Guinea election process will be "more closely scrutinised than it would have been even a year, a year-and-a-half ago".

"I think really what happens in the next six months depends on both sides, (on) who... is reading the international political winds correctly," he said.

sst-bm/cs/ft/gd

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

Nepal: NEPAL: Earthquake exposes crisis in governance

Nepal - ReliefWeb News - 5 May 2015 - 11:58pm
Source: Asian Human Rights Commission Country: Nepal

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) is particularly concerned about the residents of villages in Nepal devastated by the impact of a 7.8 Richter scale earthquake, and its destructive aftershocks. The loss of human lives, over 7,000 and counting, and the destruction of infrastructure supporting daily lives, already under stress in one of the poorest countries on earth, has been terrible. Food, water and medical resources are scarce. So many need help; it is overwhelming to even fathom where to begin. The next few months will be a struggle: infrastructure for food, water, and shelter stand compromised as the rainy season begins.

International help is direly needed now. The indications, however, are that the offers of international assistance are being poorly managed, and the consequences will be negative. While thanking the international community for their generous support in the aftermath of the massive earthquake, the Nepal government has asked all Search and Rescue (SAR) teams that arrived in Nepal from 34 countries to return home. If the global community walks away, the people of Nepal will not receive the assistance required for them to rebuild their lives.

With few exceptions, the state has, so far, performed miserably in the aftermath of the earthquake.

The lack of decentralized governance in the past two decades has become a glaring fissure following the quake. The largest oversight in the government’s disaster preparedness is the lack of robust, empowered local governance. Local elections have not been held since 1997, leaving villages and towns at the mercy of the whims of centrally appointed bureaucrats. Between 2008 and 2012 this was the case for local political leaders too, appointed through “All Party Mechanisms”. Centralized misgovernance of the past two decades rendered development and resource allocation at the local level into inconsistence and unaccountability. And, today, the lack of elected village authorities means there is little co-ordination on the ground for distribution of relief materials. This has complicated distribution to the point that no assistance is arriving where it is needed most.

It bears noting that there has been no political will among Nepal’s politicians to decentralize power. All of the parties are stuck in the centralized, top-down model of governance. And, with power centralized and the centralized system in a prolonged impasse, the middle and local governance have languished.

Imagine if robust local and regional governance systems had existed when the earthquake hit? Then relief efforts would not suffer from the unplanned approach on display today.

The situation in the countryside is far worse, yet, almost a week since the quake, the truth of it remains largely unknown. It appears that in several districts, where millions of people live, most villages have been destroyed. Seismologists have estimated that the death toll as a result of the earthquake could reach as high as 50,000.

It is a reality that most villagers in need have not received relief. But, can one expect the State, which never reached out to its villages in the past, be expected to create an enormous mechanism and roads to reach the villages affected by the earthquake overnight? Had the State laid the foundations in the form of infrastructures and roads, and in the form of emergency mechanisms, a proactive approach could have been taken to provide assistance and to better manage the international assistance and relief distribution.

In Nepal while the government plays a minimal role in many people’s lives, it cannot expect only to receive support, but must be prepared to offer support. There are already reports of public anger directed at the authorities in regional towns. And, in Kathmandu too, those who have lost everything say they have received nothing from the government. There is a risk that this frustration, if not addressed quickly, could boil over.

One trend has become clear. There is a big difference in terms of who gets top priority. Those villages with better connections to people in power have got tents and supplies long ago, whereas many villages where vulnerable Dalit, Janajati and Madhesi residents live are still sleeping in the fields and in animal sheds. Even those that have accessed tents are worried though. Spending the monsoon rains in the tents will be difficult. The rains will begin in about a month, and it will be a busy time for rice and millet plantation.

Since the tremors began, Nepali communities around the world have poured in their support.

Nepali citizens have proven their unity and commitment to each other over and over again when pushed to the limit. Many youths and local groups in the country have realized their role and are doing whatever they can to help Nepal. Now it is time for the government to do so, too.

Morocco: Morocco UNHCR Operational Update January-March 2015

Guinea - ReliefWeb News - 5 May 2015 - 11:51pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic

HIGHLIGHTS

  • End of February, the Bureau des Réfugiés et des Apatrides started the regularisation process of the refugees identified through UNHCR’s refugee status determination procedure after September 2013. At the end of March, 28 new refugees had been auditioned by the inter-ministerial Committee on regularisation and all were regularised.

  • UNHCR registered a pick in Syrians approaching the office in January, with 222 persons. In February and March, the trend is back to what it was during the last quarter of 2014 (around 100 persons per month).

  • On March 10, the Ministry of Moroccan residing abroad and of Migration Affairs presented to the donor community its “National strategy for Immigration and Asylum”. The strategy includes 11 sectorial programmes aiming at supporting refugees and immigrants to have access, i.a., to education, health, housing, social and humanitarian assistance and employment. It also includes the creation of a Moroccan Office for Refugees and Stateless Persons.

  • On March 31, the Ministry of Migration Affairs organized the second annual forum on immigration under the theme “Challenges of multiculturalism and integration issues”. The forum was an opportunity to begin a national dialogue on the various dimensions of interculturalism, studying the achievements and limits of integration policies in other countries, focusing on the lessons which should guide public action in the construction of a Moroccan model of cultural integration.

Morocco: Morocco UNHCR Operational Update January-March 2015

Côte d’Ivoire - ReliefWeb News - 5 May 2015 - 11:51pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic

HIGHLIGHTS

  • End of February, the Bureau des Réfugiés et des Apatrides started the regularisation process of the refugees identified through UNHCR’s refugee status determination procedure after September 2013. At the end of March, 28 new refugees had been auditioned by the inter-ministerial Committee on regularisation and all were regularised.

  • UNHCR registered a pick in Syrians approaching the office in January, with 222 persons. In February and March, the trend is back to what it was during the last quarter of 2014 (around 100 persons per month).

  • On March 10, the Ministry of Moroccan residing abroad and of Migration Affairs presented to the donor community its “National strategy for Immigration and Asylum”. The strategy includes 11 sectorial programmes aiming at supporting refugees and immigrants to have access, i.a., to education, health, housing, social and humanitarian assistance and employment. It also includes the creation of a Moroccan Office for Refugees and Stateless Persons.

  • On March 31, the Ministry of Migration Affairs organized the second annual forum on immigration under the theme “Challenges of multiculturalism and integration issues”. The forum was an opportunity to begin a national dialogue on the various dimensions of interculturalism, studying the achievements and limits of integration policies in other countries, focusing on the lessons which should guide public action in the construction of a Moroccan model of cultural integration.

Morocco: Morocco UNHCR Operational Update January-March 2015

CAR - ReliefWeb News - 5 May 2015 - 11:51pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Spain, Syrian Arab Republic

HIGHLIGHTS

  • End of February, the Bureau des Réfugiés et des Apatrides started the regularisation process of the refugees identified through UNHCR’s refugee status determination procedure after September 2013. At the end of March, 28 new refugees had been auditioned by the inter-ministerial Committee on regularisation and all were regularised.

  • UNHCR registered a pick in Syrians approaching the office in January, with 222 persons. In February and March, the trend is back to what it was during the last quarter of 2014 (around 100 persons per month).

  • On March 10, the Ministry of Moroccan residing abroad and of Migration Affairs presented to the donor community its “National strategy for Immigration and Asylum”. The strategy includes 11 sectorial programmes aiming at supporting refugees and immigrants to have access, i.a., to education, health, housing, social and humanitarian assistance and employment. It also includes the creation of a Moroccan Office for Refugees and Stateless Persons.

  • On March 31, the Ministry of Migration Affairs organized the second annual forum on immigration under the theme “Challenges of multiculturalism and integration issues”. The forum was an opportunity to begin a national dialogue on the various dimensions of interculturalism, studying the achievements and limits of integration policies in other countries, focusing on the lessons which should guide public action in the construction of a Moroccan model of cultural integration.

Nepal: Hospital Built by China in Nepal Withstands the Strong Earthquake, Being an Important Rescue Center

Nepal - ReliefWeb News - 5 May 2015 - 11:38pm
Source: Government of the People's Republic of China Country: China, Nepal

May 4, 2015 - 09:07 BJT (00:07 GMT) MOFCOM

On April 25, an 8.1-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, causing serious financial losses and causalities. China-aid projects stood intact, among which the Civil Service Hospital of Nepal built by China was honored as the “Strongest Building”, and has become an important local rescue center.

The Civil Service Hospital of Nepal is located in Minbhawan, Katmandu, the Capital of Nepal, with 120 beds, and covering 11,330 square meters. There are 22 general and professional sections and 4 logistics departments in the hospital, and the seismic fortification intensity is 8 degree. The hospital’s construction was completed and handed over to Nepal in October 2008, which is the first China-aid project since the establishment of the new government of Nepal.

After the earthquake, the major structure of the Civil Service Hospital was intact and solid, as well as the overall appearance, the outer wall, doors and windows and glasses. No cracks are found in the beam columns, and the interior walls were also free from cracks. The indoor suspended ceiling and the floor tile were generally good, with only a few suspended ceiling falling off and a little transverse cracks found in the outer wall of the second floor. Currently, the hospital is still in the intense operation to receive the wounded from Katmandu and other regions continuously, and it has become an important rescue center there.

Over the years, apart from the Civil Service Hospital, China has built a comprehensive technological school, a research center for nature conservation and a training center for traditional medicine. After the strong earthquake on April 25, the Ministry of Commerce instructed the Economic and Commercial Counselor’s Office of the Embassy of China in Nepal immediately to organize the engineering technicians in Nepal, checking the situation of the completed China-aid projects. According to the check, the major structures of these projects were all solid and steady, and the appearance and interior furnishings were good, withstanding the strong earthquake.

The Chinese government has always attached great attention to the quality of foreign-aid projects, has formulated regulations and systems corresponding to every link of the projects construction, and has taken part in the whole process of the projects implementation with the recipient countries. At the end of 2014, the Ministry of Commerce issued a comprehensive departmental administration of foreign aid The Management Method of Foreign Aid, clarifying that the long-term quality assurance and supporting technological services were monitored by the project management , driving the quality of China’s foreign aid projects to a new level.

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Ghana: Ghana: Factsheet March-April 2015

Côte d’Ivoire - ReliefWeb News - 5 May 2015 - 11:35pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Liberia, Togo

HIGHLIGHTS

Targeted training for frontline border officials

Border officials from 3 key regions were trained in access to asylum and core international protection principles in preparation for the upcoming elections in neighbouring countries.

Ministerial Committee on Buduburam land inaugurated

The Ministry of Interior inaugurated a six-member committee to investigate and make recommendations to resolve land dispute issues at Buduburam refugee camp.

More residence permits issued for Liberian refugees who opted for LI

The Ghana Immigration Service issued another batch of residence permits for Liberians locally integrating in Ghana.

WFP and UNHCR Reps on visit to Ivorian camps

UNHCR and WFP Representatives have paid a joint visit to the Ivorian camps to assess the situation on the ground as we move towards the September 2015 deadline for discontinuation of general food assistance to Ivor

Djibouti: Yemen: In-Transit Customs Snapshot - Djibouti Hub (05 May 2015)

Yemen - ReliefWeb News - 5 May 2015 - 11:23pm
Source: Logistics Cluster Country: Djibouti, Yemen

Currently, due to the conflict in Yemen and the complex use of sea and airspace, Djibouti is serving as the staging area for Logistics Cluster Services into the country. As the Cluster is currently providing temporary storage options in the Free Zone at Djibouti Port, customs requirements for humanitarian cargo transiting through Djibouti and utilizing Cluster services, are provided in this Snapshot. Further information will be added once confirmed.

Organisations remain responsible for following the procedures for in-transit cargo in Djibouti and for customs clearance at the entry point in Yemen.

India: Rehabilitation of Kashmiri Pandits

Pakistan - ReliefWeb News - 5 May 2015 - 11:20pm
Source: Government of India Country: India, Pakistan

Due to onset of militancy in the State of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) in early 1990s, most of the Kashmiri Pandit families along with some Sikh and Muslim families migrated from the Kashmir Valley to Jammu, Delhi and other parts of the country. Present number of registered Kashmiri migrant families is about 62,000. About 40,668 registered Kashmiri migrant families are residing in Jammu; about 19,338 registered Kashmiri migrant families are living in Delhi and about 2,000 families are settled in other states.

The Government announced a Comprehensive Package amounting to Rs. 1,618.40 Crore in the year 2008 for the return and rehabilitation of the Kashmiri Migrants, which provides for many facilities for the migrants e.g. financial assistance for purchase/construction/ repair of houses, construction of transit accommodation, continuation of cash relief, scholarship to students, employment/self-employment, assistance to the agriculturists and the horticulturist and waiver of interest on unpaid loan etc. The Prime Minister’s Package – 2008 is being implemented by the Government of Jammu & Kashmir. So far state government jobs have been provided to 1,553 migrant youths and one family has availed the benefit of Rs. 7.5 Lakh for construction of house. Also, 469 Transit accommodations have been constructed in the Kashmir Valley and these have been allotted to the newly appointed migrant employees under the Package.

The expenditure incurred by the State Government of Jammu and Kashmir in respect of relief and rehabilitation of the Kashmiri migrants is reimbursed by the Government of India under Security Related Expenditure (Relief & Rehabilitation) – SRE (R&R). An assistance of approx. Rs. 1,599.18 Crore has been provided to the Government of Jammu and Kashmir by the Central Government in this respect under SRE (R&R) since 1989-90.

No proposal to create separate zones exclusively for the Kashmiri Pandits in the State of Jammu and Kashmir is under consideration.

This was stated by the Minister of State for Home Affairs, Shri Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary in a written reply to a question by Shri P.Nagarajan, Shri Sudheer Gupta, Shri Lallu Singh, Shri Ashwini Kumar, Shri Gajanan Kirtikar, Kunwar Haribansh Singh, Shri Lalubhai Babubhai Patel, Shri B.Sriramulu and Adv. M. Udhayakumar in the Lok Sabha today.

KSD/PK/BK/RS LS (Release ID :121185)

Nepal: IRCS Steps up relief as scale of needs starts to get clearer

Nepal - ReliefWeb News - 5 May 2015 - 11:15pm
Source: Indian Red Cross Society Country: Nepal

As the Nepal Army Chief fears that the toll from the Earthquake devastation could reach up to 15,000, and millions affected, the Indian Red Cross Society is upscaling its support to the Nepal Red Cross. Dr Agarwal, the Secretary General, Indian Red Cross Society held talks with the movement partners and apprised them that it has been decided to send another large water purification machine (capacity 300 lt/hr) and two manual small (backpacks) water purification machines to Nepal.

The Secretary General said that he had a word with Mr Simon Missiri, head of delegation-IFRC, SARD and assured him all help to Federation in relief assistance to Nepal.

Meanwhile, the IRCS is also planning to send in 1500 Family packs to the Bihar state Red Cross to supplement their efforts for help to the Earthquake victims. Many other state Red Cross Societies are also sending relief to the people in distress. The IRCS is monitoring the situation closely and is in touch with the Nepal Red Cross to send in more relief supplies as and when required. Meanwhile a tracing mechanism has been set up by the ICRC for people to get an update about their loved ones. This site is available in both English and Nepalese. http://familylinks.icrc.org/nepal-earthquake/

Nepal: Medical team from Red Cross leaves for Nepal

Nepal - ReliefWeb News - 5 May 2015 - 11:03pm
Source: Philippine National Red Cross Country: Nepal

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) medical team composed of two volunteer doctors from Makati Medical Center (MMC) and three volunteer nurses from PRC chapters left for Nepal today. The team will join the contingent from the Canadian Red Cross who will set up an emergency field hospital (EFH) to provide emergency medical care to the vulnerable population affected by the earthquake.

Particularly, the medical team from the Philippines will concentrate on providing maternal and child health care, with capability to provide surgical operations. Members of the Philippine team are highly trained and have been previously deployed in other EFH operations such as in the aftermath of typhoon Yolanda.

According to PRC chairman Richard Gordon, the EFH and medical staff were deployed to help cater to the growing medical and health needs of the affected population. “Currently, hospitals in Nepal are overwhelmed by the volume of patients. They need medical supplies and equipment, and that’s why we are sending our team there,” he said.

Gordon also disclosed that the medical team from the Philippines will no longer be bringing with them equipment aside from their own personal response kits. “The equipment has already been shipped by the Canadian Red Cross. We already have a field hospital set up there with equipment, including medicines,” said Gordon.

Members of the Philippine medical team include Dr. Ranvier Martinez from the Department of Emergency Medicine of MMC and Dr. Cleofe Medina from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology of MMC. They are joined by volunteer nurses from PRC chapters: Florianne Adlawan, from Cebu; Jasper Caleb Aguilo from Southern Leyte, and Dan Espenzer Velasco from Pangasinan.

The medical team will leave for Kuala Lumpur at 12:50 pm and proceed to Kathmandu tonight. They are expected to arrive in Kathmandu at 10:30pm (Philippine time).

Yesterday, an emergency response unit (ERU) search and rescue team, composed of 13 trained emergency response personnel, left for Nepal from the PRC national headquarters in Manila. The ERU team from the PRC will assist the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) in the search and rescue and retrieval of trapped victims from collapsed structures. All of the team members are highly trained and experienced on collapsed structure search and rescue (CSSR) and urban search and rescue (USAR). The team members are also trained and experienced emergency medical technicians and firefighters.

As of 9am today, the team is already onboard a flight to Kathmandu and are expected to arrive in Kathmandu by 3pm (Philippine time)/1pm (Nepal time).

The ERU team is headed by Leonardo Ebajo, ERU manager from the PRC. Other members of the team include 1 from the Manila chapter, 4 volunteer staff from PRC national headquarters ERU, and 7 from Olongapo City/SBMA. Here are the other members of the PRC ERU team that were deployed to Nepal: Don Erikson Orje, Aldrin Benavidez Pacapac, Eric James Pinlac Talavera, Dave Dennis Nicolas Navida, Bernie Jay Santos, Rani Chuaco Cruz, Edwin Paule Santos, Jay-Arr Aquino Basa, Andre Perex Villanueva, Noel Bautista Lapid, Romeo Dela Cruz Paulmino, and Hedion Dela Cruz Esteban.

Gwendolyn Pang, secretary general of the PRC, meanwhile appealed for support from Filipinos for the Nepal Red Cross. “As part of our additional support to the Nepal Red Cross and to the whole Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, the PRC calls upon the kind hearts of our Filipino countrymen to extend our spirit of generosity at a time when it is needed most. As we too have received overwhelming blessings of compassion and goodwill during our times of crisis especially during typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda, may we take this opportunity to give back the support we have received,” she said.

Cash donations could be sent to the PRC through the following:

Banco de Oro (Port Area)
Peso: 00-453-0190938
Dollar: 10-453-0039482
Swift Code: BNOR PH MM
Type: Savings

Metrobank (Port Area)
Peso: 151-7-15152434-2
Dollar: 151-2-15100218-2
Swift Code: MBTC PH MM
Type: Savings

Bank of the Philippine Islands (Port Area)
Peso: 4991-0036-52
Dollar: 4994-0103-15
Swift Code: BOPI PH MM
Type: Savings

Philippine National Bank (Escolta)
Peso: 3752-8350-0034
Dollar: 3752-8350-0042
Swift Code: PNB MPH MM
Type: Savings

Unionbank (Taguig)
Peso: 1015-400-002-01
Dollar: 1315-400-000-90
Swift Code: UB MPH MM
Type: Savings

Or donate online by visiting the following link: http://ushare.redcross.org.ph

Kenya: Police discount claims of killings a day after officials reported raid

Kenya - ReliefWeb News - 5 May 2015 - 10:54pm
Source: Kenya Daily Nation Country: Kenya

In Summary

  • Nadome, where 46 people were reported to have died on Monday night, is in the Suguta Valley, on the boundary between Turkana and East Pokot.

  • In retaliation, the affected community on the Pokot side launched a counter-attack in which 36 people were killed.

  • In Nairobi, Mr Kamama asked the government to come up with a plan to ensure that all roads in the volatile region are reopened and the Rapid Deployment Unit of the Administration Police sent to provide security.

More people are feared to have died during two nights of attacks and retaliatory raids between two pastoralist communities in Turkana and Baringo counties.

However, police yesterday said they had not found any bodies, shrouding in mystery earlier reports of an attack that led to 46 fatalities.

“We were at the scene but did not see anything,” said Mr Peter Pamba, the officer leading Administration Police in the operation initiated after reports claimed that 46 people had been killed in a bandit raid. “We will continue with the operation tomorrow,” said Mr Pamba last evening.

Earlier in the day, Tiaty MP Asman Kamama had asked security forces to move into the greater Suguta belt and pacify the region, which he said had been taken over by bandits.

Efforts to reach Daily Nation reporters on the ground were fruitless as their phones went unanswered.

Senior government officers had said that a remote village in Turkana East, identified as Nadome, had been attacked by bandits on Monday.

Yesterday, Mr Kamama, who chairs the National Assembly’s committee on National Security, asked the government to boost security in the volatile region.

Nadome, where 46 people were reported to have died on Monday night, is in the Suguta Valley, on the boundary between Turkana and East Pokot.

In Rift Valley, another government source who refused to be identified claimed that the toll had reached 94, with many still missing.

And in Nairobi, Mr Kamama, whose Tiaty Constituency is one of the areas affected, told reporters that heavily armed warriors from Turkana raided Silda ward in his constituency and killed 14 herders from 10 manyattas before stealing their livestock.

In retaliation, the affected community on the Pokot side launched a counter-attack in which 36 people were killed.

The MP said in neighbouring Loiyangalani district, 13 people were also killed on Monday while six others were killed yesterday in an area near Baragoi, where 40 police officers were massacred by bandits three years ago. No one has been brought to book over the killing of the officers to date.

“The Suguta belt has become the wild West, where banditry has become a way of life. The situation is so bad that the locals believe that it’s impossible to drive bandits away from the area,” said Mr Kamama.

Mr Warfa confirmed 46 deaths on the first day of the fighting, but the death toll is suspected to have risen after retaliatory attacks.

It was difficult for the Nation to establish with certainty what was happening in the volatile area yesterday because the region has a poor mobile phone coverage. Calls to the Nation reporters on the ground were not going through. Neither were those of government officials who had gone to assess the security situation.

“A team of officers has just flown to the area so let us wait for them to give us the final number,” said Mr Warfa when asked exactly how many people had been killed.

A local administrator from the area had earlier told the Daily Nation team that a boundary dispute was the underlying problem behind the attacks.

In Nairobi, Mr Kamama asked the government to come up with a plan to ensure that all roads in the volatile region are reopened and the Rapid Deployment Unit of the Administration Police sent to provide security.

On Monday night, a security source said that the raiders who attacked Nadome were ambushed by police officers from Kapedo but changed course and started driving the stolen livestock in a different direction, towards Silale and Naudo areas in the Suguta Valley.

The harsh terrain and poor communication make it difficult for security teams, including the Kenya Defence Forces based at Kapedo, to pursue raiders.

About 200 people have lost their lives over the past one year in various attacks in the region.

Nepal: Finnish Red Cross responds to the plight of Nepal

Nepal - ReliefWeb News - 5 May 2015 - 10:48pm
Source: Finnish Red Cross Country: Nepal

Finnish Red Cross is sending an emergency response unit (ERU), specialized in logistics, to Kathmandu airport. This single international airport in the country is, and will be for the foreseeable future, a hub for incoming aid. There are only a couple of land routes into the country, and the roads are difficult to negotiate.

The Finnish Red Cross logistics unit will be at the centre of the concerted Red Cross effort to bring in aid and professionals to support the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) to deliver the much needed help to the people in need.

In addition to the Finnish ERU, the Red Cross family of National Societies has deployed one field hospital, two health centre units, one water and sanitation unit, another logistics unit plus a relief unit specialized to secure distribution of relief items to the most vulnerable as well as other specialised units. A telecom unit provides Red Cross response elements with independent telco-connections.

Finnish Red Cross has released 250,000 euros from its Emergency Relief Fund. At the end of April people in Finland had donated almost half a million euros for the Nepal operation. Together with the Finnish Red Cross, Finland’s Nepalese community has been extremely active in organizing fundraising activities. Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs funds the Finnish Red Cross Nepal operation with 0.9 million euros.

In addition to the logistics ERU Finnish Red Cross sends relief items, such as family tents and kitchen sets to Nepal, and contributes to the shared bursary paying for local and regional purchases of items most needed to relieve the plight of the affected people.

Experienced Finnish Red Cross aid workers hold key positions as part of the International Red Cross (IFRC) coordination of the operation. Head of IFRC Country Office in Nepal is Ms. Ritva Lahti. Ms. Tiina Saarikoski heads the concerted effort to solve health issues, and Mr. Marko Korhonen is in charge of the co-operation of the various Red Cross elements operating in Nepal as part of the joint response.

Finnish Red Cross delegates Minna Passi and Aapo Huhta were some of the first to visit the badly affected rural district of Sindhupalchowk. People were still feverishly digging for survivors in the flattened buildings. Army helicopters scout the area to see where there are needs for help. Local people´s message to all helpers is clear: Please try to get to remote areas. Need for help there is huge.

Kenya: Kenyan refugees back from Uganda

Uganda - ReliefWeb News - 5 May 2015 - 10:45pm
Source: Kenya Daily Nation Country: Kenya, Uganda

In Summary

  • One of the returnees, Ms Ruth Bilongo, said she was grateful to President Uhuru Kenyatta for restoring stability in Kenya.

  • The lucky ones who could still remember their relatives shouted in disbelief while others fiercely hugged each another on arrival.

  • Handing them over to Kenyan officials, Ugandan Relief Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Minister Hilary Onek said the two governments must ensure violence-free countries.

By ALBERT TUMWINE

There were tears of joy at the Uganda-Kenya border yesterday as Kenyans who fled to Uganda seven years ago reunited with their relatives.

About 6,500 Kenyans fled the 2007-2008 post-election violence following disputed presidential election results and settled at Kiryandogo refugee settlement in Masindi District, Uganda.

Shortly after the violence ended, they started returning home in groups, leaving about 1,350.

One of the returnees, Ms Ruth Bilongo, said she was grateful to President Uhuru Kenyatta for restoring stability in Kenya. “I am delighted to return home after more than seven years,” she said.

She, however, expressed fears that life might be difficult. “Although we are now home, it is difficult to lead the life of a person who has never run away. We have sick, elderly and disabled people who will need special help from the government,” she said.

The refugees travelled in 12 buses to the border.

The lucky ones who could still remember their relatives shouted in disbelief while others fiercely hugged each another on arrival.

“We are happy to be home but we request the government to provide us with a small start-up capital as we lost our property,” said one of them.

The former refugees will stay at an Internally Displaced Persons camp in Malaba near the border with Uganda until they return to their homes.

They were given $50 (about Sh5,000) by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to help them settle.

Handing them over to Kenyan officials, Ugandan Relief Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Minister Hilary Onek said the two governments must ensure violence-free countries.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that nobody runs away from home because of disagreements,” he said.

He also said Uganda was preparing to repatriate refugees of other nationalities to their countries.

Receiving the returnees, Mr James Serian, the Region Coordinator, western Kenya, assured them of safety.

“Kenya is now safe and this is the last group to be resettled. I want to thank our Ugandan counterparts for the brotherly cooperation. You helped our people when we had trouble and this should continue,” he said.

Kenya: Kenyan refugees back from Uganda

Kenya - ReliefWeb News - 5 May 2015 - 10:45pm
Source: Kenya Daily Nation Country: Kenya, Uganda

In Summary

  • One of the returnees, Ms Ruth Bilongo, said she was grateful to President Uhuru Kenyatta for restoring stability in Kenya.

  • The lucky ones who could still remember their relatives shouted in disbelief while others fiercely hugged each another on arrival.

  • Handing them over to Kenyan officials, Ugandan Relief Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Minister Hilary Onek said the two governments must ensure violence-free countries.

By ALBERT TUMWINE

There were tears of joy at the Uganda-Kenya border yesterday as Kenyans who fled to Uganda seven years ago reunited with their relatives.

About 6,500 Kenyans fled the 2007-2008 post-election violence following disputed presidential election results and settled at Kiryandogo refugee settlement in Masindi District, Uganda.

Shortly after the violence ended, they started returning home in groups, leaving about 1,350.

One of the returnees, Ms Ruth Bilongo, said she was grateful to President Uhuru Kenyatta for restoring stability in Kenya. “I am delighted to return home after more than seven years,” she said.

She, however, expressed fears that life might be difficult. “Although we are now home, it is difficult to lead the life of a person who has never run away. We have sick, elderly and disabled people who will need special help from the government,” she said.

The refugees travelled in 12 buses to the border.

The lucky ones who could still remember their relatives shouted in disbelief while others fiercely hugged each another on arrival.

“We are happy to be home but we request the government to provide us with a small start-up capital as we lost our property,” said one of them.

The former refugees will stay at an Internally Displaced Persons camp in Malaba near the border with Uganda until they return to their homes.

They were given $50 (about Sh5,000) by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to help them settle.

Handing them over to Kenyan officials, Ugandan Relief Disaster Preparedness and Refugees Minister Hilary Onek said the two governments must ensure violence-free countries.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that nobody runs away from home because of disagreements,” he said.

He also said Uganda was preparing to repatriate refugees of other nationalities to their countries.

Receiving the returnees, Mr James Serian, the Region Coordinator, western Kenya, assured them of safety.

“Kenya is now safe and this is the last group to be resettled. I want to thank our Ugandan counterparts for the brotherly cooperation. You helped our people when we had trouble and this should continue,” he said.

Nepal: Earthquake in Nepal: Switzerland sends 38 tonnes of relief supplies to the affected area

Nepal - ReliefWeb News - 5 May 2015 - 10:41pm
Source: Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency Country: Nepal, Switzerland

Bern, Media release, 01.05.2015

38 tonnes of relief supplies will be sent from Zurich to Nepal as soon as landing permission is granted by the Nepalese authorities. As well as large tents and tarpaulins for the construction of emergency shelters in higher altitude regions the material includes water-treatment and medical supplies. This material is urgently needed according to the assessment of the Swiss rapid response team that has been in the disaster-stricken area since 26 April.

Swiss Humanitarian Aid is sending a cargo aircraft with 38 tonnes of relief supplies to the stricken area as soon as landing permission is granted by the Nepalese authorities. Besides approximately 30 tonnes of humanitarian aid supplies, the aircraft is also transporting almost 2.8 tonnes of relief supplies on behalf of Terre des Hommes and 4.3 tonnes for the Swiss Red Cross.

For Swiss Humanitarian Aid, the aircraft is carrying 30 urgently-needed large multi-purpose tents as well as 2,000 tarpaulins for constructing emergency shelters. The consignment also includes 1,000 cooking sets, each sufficient for a family of five, and 1,500 sleeping mats. To prevent the spread of disease, water needs to be purified as quickly as possible, which requires chlorine. This can be produced using water, salt and electricity thanks to 50 modules that are also part of the consignment. Electricity is currently a rare commodity in the area struck by the earthquake, which is why generators, solar panels and batteries are also on board. Twenty-eight transportable tests make it possible to test the effectiveness of the water treatment. The 50 modules are designed to purify 200,000 litres of water per hour, enough for about 15,000 people.

In addition, the consignment includes approximately one tonne of medical supplies. With this "IDA kit", a hospital can treat as many as 10,000 people for three months. Furthermore, the ten members of the "Mother and Child" team deployed to the region on Tuesday will be supplied with additional materials. The highly mobile medical team, which can be deployed on very short notice, has been carrying out surgical procedures on children and adults in the hospital in Gorkha and providing support to women in childbirth for two days. On Thursday the team carried out 13 minor medical procedures and 6 operations and assisted in 5 births. The number of patients from surrounding villages is also rising daily.

Three logistics staff and an IT and telecommunications specialist will also travel on the flight to reinforce the Swiss team on the ground, which currently numbers 27 staff. Accordingly, the aircraft is also transporting nearly half a tonne of IT equipment, needed to facilitate communication between the FDFA's head office in Bern, the embassy in Kathmandu and the teams in the rural areas.

Further information:
Nepal (Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC)

Address for enquiries:
Information FDFA
Bundeshaus West
CH-3003 Bern
Tel.: +41 58 462 31 53
Fax: +41 58 464 90 47
E-Mail: info@eda.admin.ch

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