ReliefWeb Latest Reports for Country Office

World: Cluster munitions still used, five years after convention banning them

Yemen - ReliefWeb News - 5 hours 3 min ago
Source: Handicap International Country: Libya, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen

August 1, 2015 is the 5th anniversary of the entry into force of the Oslo Convention banning the use, production, stockpiling and transfer of cluster munitions. Despite the clear success of the convention, which 117 countries have signed, cluster munitions were still being used in conflicts in 2015.

More than 90% of recorded cluster munitions victims are civilians, according to the 2014 Cluster Munition Monitor report. Dropped from aircraft or fired from the ground, cluster munitions are designed to open in the air, releasing cluster munitions over an area that can be as large as several soccer fields. In fact, up to 40% of these cluster munitions do not explode on impact, endangering the lives of civilians sometimes for decades after a conflict, disrupting the economic and social life of polluted areas. They kill and maim civilians and military personnel indiscriminately.

Parties to conflicts in Syria, Yemen, Libya, South Sudan and Ukraine have used cluster munitions in recent years, despite condemnation by the international community.

TOWARDS THE UNIVERSALIZATION OF THE CONVENTION

That said, the Oslo treaty is a powerful arms control instrument, and has made major strides towards the eradication of cluster munitions. Since the convention entered into force, 22 States Parties have destroyed 1.16 million cluster munitions—equivalent to 80% of cluster munitions declared stockpiled by States Parties under the convention.

OBLIGATIONS OF STATES PARTIES

The Oslo Convention is the most important disarmament treaty since the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty. When it came into force on August 1, 2010, the Oslo Convention became an international instrument, binding under international law, banning cluster munitions and requiring States Parties to destroy their stockpiles, provide assistance to victims, clear contaminated areas, and provide risk reduction education to civilians.

From September 7 to 11, 2015, the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, will play host to the First Review Conference of the Convention on Cluster Munitions. At this meeting, each State Party will review its progress towards meeting obligations under the convention, particularly in terms of the destruction of stockpiles, clearance and victim assistance. This conference will also provide States Parties with an opportunity to underline their commitment to the universalization of the convention, and to unanimously condemn any future use of cluster munitions.

Myanmar: In Myanmar, clean water to cook, bathe and grow food – all for about $2

Myanmar - ReliefWeb News - 5 hours 6 min ago
Source: Pact Country: Myanmar

PALE TOWNSHIP, MYANMAR

It’s hard to overstate the difference that reliable access to clean water makes – something that the people of Ohn Hnauk village in central Myanmar are learning firsthand.

Recently, Pact’s Shae Thot program partnered with UN-Habitat to renovate a hand-dug well and provide a pump house and engine, a 1,500-gallon overhead water tank and main pipelines to bring running water to all of the village’s 160 homes. Each has its own tap-stand and water meter.

Like all of Pact’s work, the project was carried out in partnership with the local community and in a manner that ensures lasting impact. Each household contributed $8.70 to cover the cost of installing pipeline to an individual dwelling, and the village has established a collective fund for operations and maintenance. After consulation with the the community, a new Village Water Committee has begun collecting $0.31 for every 200 gallons of water used.

That means households are spending about $2 per month for water.

Given the benefits, families in Ohn Hnauk say the cost is well worth it.

Before the new water system, the entire village relied on the same hand-dug well. It was always surrounded by stagnant water, which polluted the well and spread disease.

And a typical family had to fetch water three or four times each day, which added up to three to four hours of effort. Now households can spend that time at work or tending to businesses to boost their income. For many, the extra money they make in a single day is enough to cover the month’s water bill.

Families now have the clean water they need to cook, bathe and grow food.

Shae Thot is a wide-ranging, integrated five-year development program that Pact launched in Myanmar in 2011 with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development. Working with residents and local organizations, the program is making lasting improvements in maternal and child health, economic opportunity and food security, and water, sanitation and hygiene.

In each village where Shae Thot works, Pact helps form committees called Village Development Committees, comprised of democratically elected village members who are independent from local authorities. Through the committees, Pact supports inclusive and participatory village decision-making and transparent and accountable community planning, implementation and monitoring.

Since Shae Thot began, the program has improved access to drinking water for nearly half a million people.

Myanmar: Swollen river warning

Myanmar - ReliefWeb News - 5 hours 27 min ago
Source: New Light of Myanmar Country: Myanmar

Major waterways reACH dangerous levels: weather bureau

By Ye Myint

Yangon, 31 July — Water levels in Myanmar’s five major rivers — the Ayeyawady, Chindwin,
Thanlwin, Sittoung and Ngawun — are dangerously high and likely to exceed flood warning benchmarks over the next three days, the weather bureau said Friday.
According to the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, the Ayeyawady River exceeded its danger level by 10 centimetres in Ayeyawady Region’s Hinthada Township as of 12.30 pm on Friday.
Despite being 71 centimetres under the warning point in Sagaing Region’s Sagaing Township, the bureau forecast the Ayeyawady to reach its danger mark over the next two days.
The Chindwin River is likely to remain above its danger level over the next three days in Kalaywa Township of Sagaing Region, having already exceeded the benchmark by 143 cm as of Friday afternoon.
In the region’s Mawlike, the Chindwin is expected to be above its danger level within next 24 hours, the department said.
Meanwhile, the Thanlwin River is already 92 cm above its danger level in Kayin State’s Hpaan Township and is likely to remain above the benchmark for the next three days.
Likewise, the Sittoung and Ngawun rivers are likely to be above their danger levels for three more days, after measuring 115 and 57 centimetres above their respective warning points in Madauk, Bago Region and Ngathaingchaug, Ayeyawady Region, the department added.
The weather bureau also warned of heavy rain in Magway,
Sagaing, Bago, Taninthayi and Yangon Regions, as well as Rakhine and Chin States, due to the deep depression formed over Bangladesh.—GNLM

Myanmar: Cyclone Komen weakens, heavy rainfall continues across Myanmar

Myanmar - ReliefWeb News - 5 hours 28 min ago
Source: New Light of Myanmar Country: Myanmar

Yangon, 31 July — Cyclone Komen was likely to gradually weaken from Friday afternoon onward as it continued moving northwest into Bangladesh, according to a weather bureau forecast.
Due to the storm, regionally heavy rainfall is expected across the country as the monsoon is strong to vigorous in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal, the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology said in its forecast Friday.
Severe flooding over the past few weeks inundated nearly 400,000 acres of farmland, destroying nearly 30,000 acres and damaging more than 73,000, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.
The ministry plans assist flood-hit farmers across the country in planting rice by distributing seeds and ploughing fields with stated-owned machinery when the flood recedes, the ministry said.—GNLM

Myanmar: Four regions, states severely hit by floods: gov’t

Myanmar - ReliefWeb News - 5 hours 29 min ago
Source: New Light of Myanmar Country: Myanmar

Yangon, 31 July —The Union government announced Friday that two regions and two states have been severely affected by floods.
The announcement signed by President U Thein Sein stated that Chin and Rakhine states, as well as Sagaing and Magway regions, have seen huge destruction and face difficulty returning to normal conditions.
Meanwhile, a national disaster preparedness committee is making evacuation and resettlement efforts in Ayeyawady and Bago regions, as well as Kayin and Mon states, which are also experiencing floods.
Heavy rain in June and July has caused floods and landslides across wide parts of the country.—GNLM

Myanmar: Torrential rains force Mone, Kyeeohn-kyee-wa dams to release water

Myanmar - ReliefWeb News - 5 hours 30 min ago
Source: New Light of Myanmar Country: Myanmar

Yangon, 31 July — Torrential rains have raised the water levels of the Mone and Kyeeohn-kyee-wa dams in Magway Region close to capacity, forcing the opening of spillways to allow outflows, an irrigation officer said Friday.

The water levels of the dams are 35.7 and 32.4 feet over their spillways, respectively, U Soe Min Lwin said in a Facebookposting at 7 p.m., with declining trend of water inflow into the Mone Dam.
The dams and power intake structures are still in good condition but is being closely watched by irrigation staff, he added, warning that people living downstream may need to be moved to higher ground if the heavy rains persist.

As there has been continued water outflow from spillways of Mone and Kyee-ohn-kyee-wa dams, irrigation officers are preparing emergency response plans, the Myanmar News Agency reported.
According to local sources, the outflow of river water from Mone Creek and spillways of the dams has forced people in Sedoktara and Pwintbyu Townships to abandon their homes, but some have been stranded.

GNLM

Myanmar: Crops damaged by floods in states and regions

Myanmar - ReliefWeb News - 5 hours 31 min ago
Source: New Light of Myanmar Country: Myanmar

Nay Pyi Taw, 31 July — Crops were damaged during heavy rains during June and July in the some states and regions. The Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation is taking necessary measures to grow crops in damaged farmland as soon as water level recedes.

Although 524,895 acres of farmland were flooded in 12 states and regions during the period, flood water decreased in 121,728 acres of farmland until 31 July and arrangements are underway to grow crops in the recovered farmland soon.

MNA

Myanmar: Flood victims receive cash assistance, relief supplies

Myanmar - ReliefWeb News - 5 hours 33 min ago
Source: New Light of Myanmar Country: Myanmar

Mandalay, 31 July — Social organizations, concerned citizens and the Mandalay Region government recently provided cash and emergency supplies to flood evacuees at relief camps in NyaungU,
Singu, Madaya, Thabeikkyin and Mogok townships, where heavy rains have caused flash flooding since 24 July.
The region government donated cash and relief supplies worth more than K133 million, including construction materials.
Local residents and World Vision also donated personal goods, clothes, household utensils and construction materials to 57 households in Thabeikkyin Township and 30 households in Mogok Township.
Dr Kyaw Zin Oo and party of Thabeikkyin Township Public Health Department provided medical care to the evacuees.

Tin Maung (Mandalay)

Central African Republic: République centrafricaine : Mise à jour du suivi à distance, juillet 2015

CAR - ReliefWeb News - 5 hours 45 min ago
Source: Famine Early Warning System Network Country: Central African Republic

Les retours continuent pour certains ménages déplacés

MESSAGES CLÉS

  • Le conflit en RCA persiste mais avec une baisse d’intensité à la faveur du renforcement de la présence des forces nationales et internationales de maintien de la paix et des initiatives locales de résolution et de promotion de la cohésion sociale. Cette situation se manifeste par un retour progressif des personnes déplacées dans leurs villes/villages d’origine.

  • Toutefois, la persistance du conflit est observée avec de nouveaux mouvements de personnes dans les zones où cohabitent les populations éleveurs et les agriculteurs suite aux problèmes d’accès aux ressources naturelles ou d’expropriation du bétail.

  • La situation des moyens d’existence et de la consommation alimentaire des personnes déplacées ou retournées est préoccupante selon les évaluations rapides menées par certaines ONGs. Une situation de Crise (Phase 3 de l’IPC) insécurité alimentaire aiguë va persister jusqu’en décembre 2015 et sera observée principalement dans les préfectures de centre et ouest du pays.

Pakistan: NDMA teams deployed in flood afefcted araes

Pakistan - ReliefWeb News - 6 hours 3 min ago
Source: Government of Pakistan Country: Pakistan

Islamabad :

Another high flood discharge peak is currently being experienced at Taunsa Barrage on River Indus. The same is now heading towards Guddu and Sukkur Barrages, already experiencing high flood levels.

In wake of the current flood situation, NDMA has already deployed teams in the flood affected areas of Chitral since 27 July. In order to monitor the flood situation in the Central and Southern portion of the country and to effectively coordinate relief efforts jointly with the Provincial and Military Authorities, NDMA's teams have also been deployed in vulnerable and flood hit areas of Southern Punjab, Sindh besides in Gilgit Baltistan for assessment of on ground emergency situation.

The teams will move along Guddu-Sukkur and Sukkur-Kotri reach of River Indus to monitor the ongoing relief efforts including coordination with local civil administration and authorities concerned for better and more enhanced response and relief management. These teams will be regularly sharing relevant field data with NDMA Head Office for necessary strategic guidance and additional support, if needed. NEOC at NDMA is constantly monitoring the situation including the weather updates and river flows in close coordination and on round the clock basis with Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD), Federal Flood Commission (FFC) and Pak Commission for Indus Waters (PCIW). In this regard NDMA has been regularly issuing advisories to all concerned in collaboration with PMD to take precautionary measures to avoid any loss. NDMA is also maintaining active liaison with relevant federal and provincial agencies to supplement their efforts for effective flood management.

The entire situation including the weather updates and river flows is being closely monitored, round the clock. Since the onset of Monsoon Season 2015, NDMA in collaboration with relevant PDMAs has been issuing SMS Alerts to identified areas through respective provinces based on weather outlook and river flow situation received through PMD. Close coordination is also being kept with PDMAs Punjab, Sindh including Gilgit Baltistan disaster management authority. So Far, SMS Alerts have been issued to approximately 27 million people in Punjab, Sindh and AJ&K with the assistance of PTA and cellular companies.

Under relief assistance so far, NDMA has transported 15 Tons of Ration, one ton of mineral water bottles, hundred thousand aqua tabs (Water Purification Tablets) through two C130 aircrafts of PAF. Besides that NDMA has transported 2800 Tents to GB and 2,000 Tents to AJ& K along with 24 tons of ration for Chitral, KP and GB as well as 1500 tarpaulin shelters and 2000 blankets to AJ&K for further distribution among affectees as and when needed.

Pakistan: NDMA Regularly Issuing SMS Alerts for Community Awareness

Pakistan - ReliefWeb News - 6 hours 4 min ago
Source: Government of Pakistan Country: Pakistan

Islamabad :

NDMA in collaboration with Pakistan Telecommunications Authority (PTA) and all Cellular Mobile Operators (CMOs) has launched initiative to facilitate Early Warning System that would utilize GSM Cellular technology for dissemination of early warnings by ensuring institutionalization of a message alert system for the community awareness, public service messaging and early warnings in the disaster hit/prone areas for swift communication and timely preemptive measures in case of any any disaster like situation.

Since the onset of Monsoon Season 2015 NDMA in collaboration with relevant PDMAs has been issuing SMS Alerts to identified areas by respective provinces based on weather outlook and river flow situation received through PMD.

So Far, SMS Alerts have been issued to almost 25 million people in Punjab, Sindh and AJ&K with the assistance of PTA and cellular companies.

Pakistan: NDMA’s efforts in ongoing monsoon flood activities, 29 July 2015

Pakistan - ReliefWeb News - 6 hours 6 min ago
Source: Government of Pakistan Country: Pakistan

1. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (Chitral)

a. NDMA transported 15 Tons of Ration, one ton of mineral water bottles, hundred thousand aqua tab (Water Purification Tablets) through two C130 aircrafts of PAF.

b. 80 stranded persons / tourists were also evacuated by NDMA with the help of PAF.

c. Bridge on Dir Chitral Road N45, kept open with the assistance of NHA from the first day.

d. MD, Utility Stores Corporation was assisted in his move to Chitral on specific direction of Prime Minister and also for further coordination with Army authorities.

(1) 5 Mobile Utility Stores outlets have been established for affectees (with avg sale of 1 lac to 1.50 tons daily).
(2) 40 Permanent Utility Stores have been established.
(3) 20 tons of Commodities have been transported to Mastong, Bhoni from Gilgit.

e. On directions of Prime Minister, in coordination with Army, services of FWO have been provided to KP Government for speedy repair of road infrastructure.

f. NDMA has facilitated and coordinated visit of state media to Chitral to cover the relief efforts being undertaken.

g. NDMA in coordination with Pakistan Army is assisting Radio Pakistan in installation of Radio towers in Chitral.

2. Gilgit Baltistan. 2800 Tents along with 1000 food packs (9 kg each)of NDMA have been transported to Gilgit Baltistan and have placed at the disposal of Deputy Commissioners.

3. AJ&K. NDMA has provided 2000 tents, 2000 blankets and 1500 tarpaulin shelters to AJ&K.

4. Remaining Country

a. NDMA is in close contact with all PDMAs.
b. Monitoring the situation proactively.
c. NDMA’s emergency stocks at Rawalpindi, Pirpai (Peshawar), Lahore, Muzafargarh, Karachi, Hyderabad, Kashmor and Quetta are placed on emergency alert to be released on short notice to any PDMA.
d. SMS alerts regarding heavy rain warning through coordination with PTA and Cellular Companies sent to overapprox25million people in Sindh, Punjab, and AJ&K.
e. National Health Emergency Preparedness Network (NHEPRN) has been directed to augment its medical response capacities in the affected areas.
f. NDMA is sharing simulated imageries with Provinces for early warning.
g. NDMA is keeping Media updated through regular press releases, interviews and press conferences

Ethiopia: Canada to Increase Food Security and Stimulate Sustainable Economic Growth in East Africa

Kenya - ReliefWeb News - 31 July 2015 - 11:45pm
Source: Government of Canada Country: Canada, Ethiopia, Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania

Canada to support Canadian Foodgrains Bank initiative to assist African farmers

July 31, 2015 - Ottawa, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Today, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced support for a project that will enable the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) to directly benefit more than 50,000 farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

The Scale-Up of Conservation Agriculture in East Africa initiative will help improve the lives of poor, small-scale farmers in East Africa through training and technical assistance in conservation agriculture methods. The CFGB will help farmers manage issues such as soil fertility and uncertain weather patterns in order to grow more food to feed their families and, therefore, provide them with enhanced livelihoods.

Consistent with Canada’s Food Security Strategy and Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy, this initiative will allow the CFGB to showcase Canadian know-how, technologies and expertise. It builds on Canada’s L’Aquila food security commitments and supports the G-8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.

Quick Facts

  • Increasing food security is one of Canada’s international development priorities.
  • The CFGB provides food assistance and development assistance to people in need on behalf of 15 Canadian church-based member agencies. It is a recognized centre of expertise in food assistance and food security.
  • Canada is a long-term partner of the CFGB. Canada works with this organization to improve nutrition and increase food security in developing countries around the world.
  • Global nutrition is a key pillar of the maternal, newborn and child health initiative—Canada’s top development priority.

Quotes

“Our government is committed to providing farmers in Africa with the necessary tools and information to help improve sustainable agricultural development and enhance the nutritional health and well-being of their families. Canada is working with a wide range of trusted partners, such as the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, to maximize our development results. Ensuring food security for those who need it most remains a pillar of Canada’s development assistance.”

  • The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

“I am proud of our government’s support to this initiative with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. This is an example of how Canada is leveraging our own agricultural expertise to help farmers in developing countries by providing practical assistance that will help feed their families and communities and improve their livelihoods.”

  • Ted Falk, Member of Parliament for Provencher “We are grateful to the Canadian government for its significant support, which will allow us to help more farmers improve their farms and livelihoods. Working together with the Foodgrains Bank members and partners on the ground, we will be able to help small-scale farmers address issues such as soil fertility and uncertain weather to grow more food to feed their families.”

  • Barbara Macdonald, Director, International Program, Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Related Products

Backgrounder – Canada’s Funding to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank’s Scale-Up of Conservation Agriculture in East Africa Initiative

Associated Links

International development efforts in Ethiopia
International development efforts in Kenya
International development efforts in Tanzania
Increasing food security
Stimulating Sustainable Economic Growth

Contacts
Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATD_Dev Like us on Facebook: Canada Is Dedicated to International Development - DFATD

Ethiopia: Canada to Increase Food Security and Stimulate Sustainable Economic Growth in East Africa

Ethiopia - ReliefWeb News - 31 July 2015 - 11:45pm
Source: Government of Canada Country: Canada, Ethiopia, Kenya, United Republic of Tanzania

Canada to support Canadian Foodgrains Bank initiative to assist African farmers

July 31, 2015 - Ottawa, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Today, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, announced support for a project that will enable the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) to directly benefit more than 50,000 farmers in Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania.

The Scale-Up of Conservation Agriculture in East Africa initiative will help improve the lives of poor, small-scale farmers in East Africa through training and technical assistance in conservation agriculture methods. The CFGB will help farmers manage issues such as soil fertility and uncertain weather patterns in order to grow more food to feed their families and, therefore, provide them with enhanced livelihoods.

Consistent with Canada’s Food Security Strategy and Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy, this initiative will allow the CFGB to showcase Canadian know-how, technologies and expertise. It builds on Canada’s L’Aquila food security commitments and supports the G-8’s New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition.

Quick Facts

  • Increasing food security is one of Canada’s international development priorities.
  • The CFGB provides food assistance and development assistance to people in need on behalf of 15 Canadian church-based member agencies. It is a recognized centre of expertise in food assistance and food security.
  • Canada is a long-term partner of the CFGB. Canada works with this organization to improve nutrition and increase food security in developing countries around the world.
  • Global nutrition is a key pillar of the maternal, newborn and child health initiative—Canada’s top development priority.

Quotes

“Our government is committed to providing farmers in Africa with the necessary tools and information to help improve sustainable agricultural development and enhance the nutritional health and well-being of their families. Canada is working with a wide range of trusted partners, such as the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, to maximize our development results. Ensuring food security for those who need it most remains a pillar of Canada’s development assistance.”

  • The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

“I am proud of our government’s support to this initiative with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank. This is an example of how Canada is leveraging our own agricultural expertise to help farmers in developing countries by providing practical assistance that will help feed their families and communities and improve their livelihoods.”

  • Ted Falk, Member of Parliament for Provencher “We are grateful to the Canadian government for its significant support, which will allow us to help more farmers improve their farms and livelihoods. Working together with the Foodgrains Bank members and partners on the ground, we will be able to help small-scale farmers address issues such as soil fertility and uncertain weather to grow more food to feed their families.”

  • Barbara Macdonald, Director, International Program, Canadian Foodgrains Bank

Related Products

Backgrounder – Canada’s Funding to the Canadian Foodgrains Bank’s Scale-Up of Conservation Agriculture in East Africa Initiative

Associated Links

International development efforts in Ethiopia
International development efforts in Kenya
International development efforts in Tanzania
Increasing food security
Stimulating Sustainable Economic Growth

Contacts
Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
Follow us on Twitter: @DFATD_Dev Like us on Facebook: Canada Is Dedicated to International Development - DFATD

Philippines: Philippines Haiyan rebuilding 'inadequate', says UN

Philippines - ReliefWeb News - 31 July 2015 - 11:39pm
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

Manila, Philippines | AFP | Saturday 8/1/2015 - 03:32 GMT

The Philippines has not done enough to rebuild after Super Typhoon Haiyan, as thousands remain in shanties without power or water for nearly two years, a United Nations representative said Saturday.

Many storm survivors in the central region have had to endure relocating to evacuation camps up to three times since Haiyan struck in 2013, and the sub-standard housing leaves them vulnerable to future typhoons, said Chaloka Beyani, UN special rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons.

"While the government is to be commended in terms of its immediate responses, its attention to ensuring sustainable durable solutions for IDPs (internally displaced persons) remains inadequate to date," Beyani said in a statement posted on the UN website.

Beyani was in the Philippines in late July to check on the government's handling of people displaced by Haiyan and by fighting between the military and Muslim rebels in the south.

Aside from falling short of safety standards, the wood-and-tin "bunkhouses" also leave women and girls vulnerable to sexual abuse and early pregnancy, Beyani said.

The box-like shanties also rob the storm survivors of their "privacy and dignity" as they struggle to rebuild their lives, he said.

Haiyan, the most powerful storm ever recorded to hit land, wiped out entire communities and left 7,350 dead or missing when it struck the impoverished central islands in November 2013.

Roughly 2,000 families remain in the bunkhouses as well as in palm-thatch temporary homes, said Social Welfare Secretary Corazon Soliman.

The government aims to move 70 percent of the 2,000 into permanent concrete homes by year-end, she said.

"We are aware of the need to fast-track the permanent shelters, but there are constraints," Soliman told AFP.

Soliman said the lack of power and running water in some areas was due to local governments' unpaid utility bills.

An increase in land prices also delayed the construction of permanent homes as land owners cashed in on government demand, she said.

President Benigno Aquino has budgeted 160 billion pesos ($3.6 billion) to rebuild after Haiyan, considered as one of the major tests of his six-year term that will end in June next year.

The Philippines is one of the world's most disaster-prone countries, at risk from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and an average 20 typhoons yearly.

jfg/st

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

Central African Republic: World Bank Brings Public Works Jobs to Rural Families in Central African Republic

CAR - ReliefWeb News - 31 July 2015 - 11:34pm
Source: World Bank Country: Central African Republic

WASHINGTON, July 30, 2015— The World Bank has mobilized a total of US$20 million from the International Development Association (IDA)* to support the Central African Republic (CAR) government to develop jobs through road maintenance works in this fragile, war-torn country. The project will benefit 35,500 men and women living in rural districts throughout the nation by providing families with income, improving transportation opportunities and boosting access to markets and basic social services.

The IDA grant supports the LONDO project (or ‘Stand-Up’ in Sango, the official language in CAR) that will provide temporary employment to vulnerable people throughout the entire country, with the exception of Bangui, the nation’s capital city. Designed to support social and economic recovery as well as facilitating peacebuilding, the project will pay stipends to 35,500 men and women for 40 working days each. The LONDO project benefits from the experience of the Labor Intensive Public Works program in Bangui, as well as the lessons learned from other cash-for-work programs in fragile and conflict-affected countries such as Afghanistan, Cote d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

“There is currently a rare window of opportunity open for stabilization and recovery in CAR, with the deployment of the United Nations peacekeeping mission since September 2014 and a strong call from the Government and the CAR population for the World Bank to sustain its engagement by providing additional economic opportunities to vulnerable people,” says Jean-Christophe Carret, World Bank Country Manager for the Central African Republic. “A short-term employment program such as the one supported by today’s project that provides a productive role and occupation to vulnerable people can help to restore confidence between the state and citizens, while the injection of this money into CAR’s stalled economy will help to reduce the nation’s high unemployment and lessen the chronic poverty of millions of rural families.”

With about a quarter of its population displaced and over half in need of humanitarian assistance the CAR is currently home to one of Africa’s most serious crises. The recent unrest has significantly weakened government institutions leaving CAR’s roughly 4.5 million citizens with limited or no access to basic services, a loss of outside investment and dramatic violence.

A unique delivery framework has been developed for the project under which AGETIP-CAF (Agence d'Exécution des Travaux d'Intérêt Public en Centrafrique), a national and public agency, will execute the road works rather than procuring them to third parties. With AGETIP-CAF’s leadership, 71 local reconstruction teams of 500 workers will be set up to upgrade and maintain about 10,000 kilometers of national and rural roads which are in poor repair. The successful operation of AGETIP-CAF’s regional offices may help to attract additional financing in the rural provinces.

LONDO will help establish a community maintenance system (cantonnage communal) to support the sustainability of both jobs and improved roads. Local authorities will receive tools, equipment and technical assistance. Workers will receive bicycles for transportation to and from work sites and may also benefit, during working hours, from short trainings and consultation on topics such as HIV/AIDS, when locally available, to help improve socio-economic integration.

“By focusing on tangible outputs such as stipend payments and improved rural roads with LONDO’s Labor Intensive Public Works approach, the project will go beyond infrastructure-building and will promote collective decision-making, collaborative behaviors, and community ownership,” says Paul Bance World Bank Task Team Leader for this Project. “LONDO will also lay the ground for more development projects to follow in areas of CAR that have been underserved in the past.”

LONDO benefits from strong collaboration between the Bank and several other international partners, including the UN peacekeeping mission (MINUSCA) and the Agence française de dévelopment.

  • The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA), established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 77 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change for 2.8 billion people, the majority of whom live on less than $2 a day. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 112 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $18 billion over the last three years, with about 50 percent going to Africa.

Syrian Arab Republic: Syria Crisis: Children in Need in the Region, UNICEF Regional Response Activities 2015 (June 2015)

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 31 July 2015 - 11:09pm
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey

Syrian Arab Republic: Syria Crisis Dashboard (June 2015)

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 31 July 2015 - 11:05pm
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey

Over the hot summer months UNICEF is continuing to provide a water, sanitation and hygiene response in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. In Syria UNICEF, with sector partners, is supporting water access in areas where control of water is increasingly being used in the war in Damascus, Rural Damascus, Aleppo and Dara governorates. UNICEF is providing water trucking, rehabilitation of wells and fuel to power systems. In Aleppo city, where water access has been dramatically reduced particularly for populations in collective shelters and populations further from piped water networks, water trucking is supporting 300,000 people. In Jordan in the last month UNICEF and partners have handed over a water system to improve water access for over 500,000 people.

Despite the fact that UNICEF has recieved 55% of the funds required for the humanitarian response inside Syria and to Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries, further funding is required to meet the needs with vulnerabilities continuing to increase across the region.

Iraq: In ISIL-controlled territory, 8 million civilians living in ‘state of fear’ – UN expert

Iraq - ReliefWeb News - 31 July 2015 - 10:53pm
Source: UN News Service Country: Iraq, Syrian Arab Republic

31 July 2015 – The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has engaged in widespread and systematic human rights violations of the most serious kinds in Syria and Iraq, brutally forcing some 8 million people to “assimilate, flee or face death,” according to a United Nations expert.

“These violations may amount to genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes and widespread attacks on the civilian population,” according to Ben Emmerson, the UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism.

An estimated 8 million people live under ISIL territory in Iraq and the Syrian Arab Republic.

“The brutal nature and overall scale of abuses appears to be intended to reinforce the group’s absolute monopoly on political and social life and to enforce compliance and conformity among communities under its control. The result is that civilians who remain in ISIL-controlled areas live in a state of constant and almost unimaginable fear,” said Emmerson in his report, which was presented to the Human Rights Council last month.

ISIL has targeted religious and ethnic groups in Iraq and Syria and committed acts of violence against civilians because of their affiliation with them. These communities have been forced to assimilate, flee or face death, he explained. “In Iraq, violence against the Yezidis have been reported with men being separated from women and children, then taken to ditches and brutally executed,” he added.

Extremely vulnerable to violence and discrimination, women face sexual and gender-based violence, including sexual slavery, killings, enslavement, and rape. They are confined to their homes and forced to adhere to a strict dress code, pointed out the expert. And children as young as six have been raped, tortured and kidnapped.

Children as young as 8 years old have also been trained and used in military roles. “They are reportedly made to watch videos of beheadings, and mass executions to desensitize them to forms of violence employed by ISIL.”

The growing military capacity of ISIL also means the spread of fear and terror on civilians, Mr. Emmerson continued, emphasizing that more than 20,000 foreign fighters have now joined the ranks of non-State armed groups from about 80 countries around the world.

Addressing the military response by the international coalition of States, led by the United States, he said that civilians living in ISIL-controlled territory are mainly residing in urban areas where many of the coalition air strikes have been performed. It has also been reported that ISIL strategically places its fighters among civilians, in civilian areas or uses hospitals and schools as military bases, to provoke civilian casualties in the event of attacks by the coalition.

The UN Rapporteur then called attention to the lack of transparency with coalition operations in Iraq and Syria.

“Each nation participating in the air war operates under unique rules of engagement, and transparency levels differ significantly,” the expert noted. While air strikes are carried out by different sources, it is difficult to know which States were responsible for an event and when they will occur.

The Special Rapporteur recalled the coalition states’ obligations under international law to ensure that their military operations are “transparent and accountable,” and that any civilian death resulting from these operations is “promptly, independently and impartiality” investigated.

Highlighting the failure by the Security Council to take appropriate and immediate action to protect civilians in affected areas, Mr. Emmerson also stressed the need for the international coalition of States engaged in military acts against ISIL to ensure that measures are put into place to protect civilians and prevent further casualties.

Experts like Mr. Emerson work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

Kenya: UNHCR Kenya Kakuma Operational Update, 24 - 29 July 2015

Kenya - ReliefWeb News - 31 July 2015 - 10:24pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Kenya, South Sudan

HIGHLIGHTS

  • As at 29 July 2015, Kakuma had received 46,315 asylum seekers from South Sudan. The transit centre has been temporary closed due to insecurity at the border.

  • Formation of Zonal Management Committees has been completed for Kakuma 4 where the block leaders elected on 27th June were sensitized on the need to elect 5 representatives per zone for the positions of Chairman/Chairlady, V.Chairman/V. Chairlady and Secretary. These leaders will join others during monthly interagency coordination meetings to present issues affecting the new arrivals. They will also support blocks in the formation of sectorial committees.

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