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Philippines: Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No. 14 re Effects of Magnitude 6.7 Earthquake in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte

18 hours 30 min ago
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Date: 24 February 2017, 8:00 AM

I. SITUATION OVERVIEW

At 10:03 PM on 10 February 2017, Friday, a strong earthquake of magnitude 6.7 shook the island of Mindanao. The epicenter is located 16 km offshore northwest of Surigao City, Surigao Strait with a depth of 10 km. The earthquake was generated by the movement of Surigao segment of the Philippine Fault. Small-magnitude earthquakes followed afterwards, and as of 6:00 AM of 21 February 2017, 227 aftershocks have been recorded by the PHIVOLCS seismic monitoring network.

Based on preliminary intensity reports, the strongest ground shaking was felt at PHIVOLCS Earthquake Intensity Scale (PEIS) VII (Destructive) in Surigao City. Furthermore, the municipalities of Pintuyan in Southern Leyte, and San Francisco and Malimono in Surigao del Norte experienced the ground shaking at PEIS VI (Very Strong), while the municipalities of Mainit and Placer in Surigao Del Norte, Libjo and Sari Jose in Dinagat Island, San Ricardo, Limasawa and San Francisco in Southern Leyte and Manduae City felt the shaking at PEIS V (Strong). This earthquake was felt PEIS IV to I as far as 250 km away (Butuan City, Ormoc City, Tacloban City, Catbalogan City, Bislig City, Cebu City, Cagayan De Oro City, Dumaguete City and Tagbilaran City) from the epicentral area. The strong ground shaking near the epicentral area resulted to damages to some buildings, roads and bridges.

II. EFFECTS

A. AFFECTED POPULATION

  1. A total of 6,472 families / 32,360 persons were affected in 82 barangays in the province of Surigao del Norte and a total of 1,567 families / 7,835 persons are served outside evacuation centers.

Philippines: Philippines: NDRRMC scales up preps for magnitude 7.2 earthquake

18 hours 35 min ago
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

QUEZON CITY, Feb. 24 - National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) members convene to discuss plans and preparations for a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on Thursdays at the NDRRMC Conference Room, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

NDRRMC Vice Chairperson for Preparedness and Secretary of the Interior and Local Government Ismael D Sueno chaired the meeting attended by Vice Chairperson for Response and Social Welfare Secretary Judy M Taguiwalo and NDRRMC Executive Director and Civil Defense Administrator Usec Ricardo B Jalad. Directors of member agencies namely; DILG, DSWD, OCD, DOST-PHIVOLCS, DPWH, DOH, DepEd, DFA, MMDA, PNP, AFP, PCG, BFP, PDRF, ADMU were present during the meeting as well as Regional Directors of OCD and DILG from Luzon.

Mr. Ishmael C Narag of PHIVOLCS presented on the Metro Manila West Valley Fault System including the possible effects of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. In his presentation, he focused on the massive impacts of a strong earthquake in Metro Manila including a huge economic loss. Mr. Narag emphasized that the “Big One” is not only for Metro Manila but also in other regions of the country thus the need for a whole of society preparation.

BGen Manuel S Gonzales of MMDA gave an overview of the Oplan Metro Yakal Plus which outlines the contingency plan for an earthquake based on the Metro Manila Earthquake Impact Reduction Study (MMEIRS). This stipulates the twinning system or the regions identified to assist the quadrants in Metro Manila during a response.

Further, Director Felino O Castro V of DSWD explained the National Disaster Response Plan (NDRP) for Earthquake and Tsunami. The plan was approved by the National Council during the recent council meeting on 17 January 2017 and is being cascaded through the DSWD.

During the discussion, members of the National Council emphasized on the full utilization of the NDRP and recommended that Local Government Units (LGUs) align its plans with the NDRP on assisting Metro Manila in the event of an earthquake. The interoperability of all the plans of government agencies and LGUs was discussed during the meeting.

Secretary Judy M Taguiwalo expressed the need to firm up local plans and identify the details of assistance needed from the LGUs.

“We should spell out the assistance we need from the LGUs to harmonize emergency response in the event of an earthquake,” said Secretary Taguiwalo.

The National Council is set to create a Technical Working Group to draft the guidelines for the creation of local plans for assisting Regions likely to be affected. A team composed of experts was proposed to be organized to monitor the progress of preparations for the implementation of the NDRP for Earthquake and Tsunami. (NDRRMC)

World: Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific: Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination (as of 23 Feb 2017)

23 February 2017 - 9:50pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Bangladesh, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Thailand, Vanuatu, World

Overview

Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination facilitates the essential dialogue and interaction between civilian and military actors in humanitarian emergencies necessary to protect and promote humanitarian principles, avoid competition, minimize inconsistency, and when appropriate, pursue common goals. The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) civil-military coordination strategy focuses on building a predictable civil-military coordination engagement tailored to the regional context. An important element is establishing and maintaining strategic and operational partnerships with military and police during the response preparedness phase.

Philippines: After Nock-ten: Responding to dire needs with the START Network

23 February 2017 - 1:52pm
Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development Country: Philippines

Raising an alert to the START Network about the crisis sparked by typhoon Nock-ten, which struck the Philippines on 25th December 2016, ACTED and other INGOs enabled the quick release of a START Fund* to respond to the emergency within 45 days. ACTED joined the START Network in May 2016: the emergency response to typhoon Nock-ten is the first operation implemented with funding from the START Network.

Providing Shelter kits to address urgent needs of vulnerable families

With this funding, ACTED provided shelter and water, hygiene and sanitation (WASH) assistance from the beginning of January until the end of February, in consortium with Action Against Hunger and Handicap International in the island province of Catanduanes, heavily struck by typhoon Nock-ten on Christmas 2016. In total, ACTED and its consortium partners distributed 1,400 shelter kits in the Bato, San Andres and San Miguel municipalities (Catanduanes province).

ACTED also raised awareness on build back safer techniques and hired cash-for-workers to help the most vulnerable families rebuild their home, reaching some 430 households. In parallel, the consortium partners distributed hygiene kits and provided hygiene promotion sessions in the same areas to the most vulnerable households, notably households with a person with disability or a pregnant/lactating women, and households headed by a single woman.

A lot of needs remain unmet

In spite of the shelter and hygiene interventions carried out by the consortium, needs remain important. Nock-ten first made landfall in the Catanduanes province, and about 90% of its population was affected by the typhoon, according to the Provincial Government, particularly in southern municipalities.

With 24,300 shelters partially damaged and 9,500 shelters completely destroyed, many families still need shelter assistance, particularly transitional shelters, but also additional kits. Similarly, as abaca plants, which constitute the main source of livelihoods, were destroyed, families will soon face a food security crisis: priority is now to address urgent food needs of these populations.

Advocating for a greater visibility of disaster-affected communities

Since Haiyan, the government of the Philippines has improved its preparedness and is now able to significantly reduce the number of casualties when natural hazards hit the country, which allowed to strengthen the resilience of populations affected by natural disasters.

Concerns now focus on the amount of assistance provided in the affected areas: only a small part of the food needs have been covered so far. NGOs strive to respond to the major issues and still important dire needs, but are facing difficulties in finding funds.

  • The Start Fund was created to fill a gap in humanitarian funding. It enables NGOs to make collective decisions on the basis of need alone and respond quickly to ‘under the radar’ emergencies around the world.

World: Amnesty International rapport 2016/17 La situation des droits humains dans le monde

23 February 2017 - 3:55am
Source: Amnesty International Country: Bangladesh, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Honduras, Hungary, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Myanmar, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World

PRÉFACE

Le Rapport 2016/17 d’Amnesty International rend compte de la situation des droits humains dans le monde en 2016. L’avant-propos, les cinq résumés régionaux et l’étude au cas par cas de la situation dans 159 pays et territoires témoignent des souffrances de femmes, d'hommes, d'enfants en grand nombre, qui ont subi les conséquences des conflits, des déplacements forcés, de la discrimination ou de la répression. Ce rapport montre aussi que, dans certains domaines, des progrès significatifs ont été accomplis en matière de protection et de sauvegarde des droits humains. Bien que tout ait été fait pour garantir l'exactitude des informations fournies, celles-ci peuvent être modifiées sans avis préalable.

Philippines: USDA Commodity Intelligence Report - PHILIPPINES: Recent Typhoons Result in Limited Rice Losses

23 February 2017 - 2:26am
Source: Government of the United States of America Country: Philippines

Three powerful typhoons ploughed across the northern Philippines in October and December 2016, striking at the heart of the most important agricultural region of the country. Typhoon Sarika struck prime rice growing areas in mid-October 2016, causing widespread flooding and wind-related crop damage. It was followed several days later by Super Typhoon Haima, which stuck further north. Finally, Super Typhoon Nock-Ten ravaged the minor producing region of Bicol southeast of the capital, Manila, on Christmas day. These storms collectively impacted over 350,000 hectares of rice fields during the most important producing period of the year (October to December).

Preliminary post-typhoon assessments by Philippine government agencies indicate that much of the acreage damaged in the October storms will recover through replanting efforts. USDA, however, conservatively estimates that at least 150,000 hectares or 43 percent of total storm-affected rice acreage from the three storms will be unable to fully recover. As a result, USDA reduced estimated milled rice production by 500,000 metric tons in December to a total of 11.5 million metric tons for 2016/17. Hardest hit were the rice crops in Bicol province, which were in advanced growth stages at the end of December and will be permanently lost. The Philippines Department of Agriculture estimates that nearly 50,000 hectares were severely damaged by sustained 155 mile-per-hour winds as Typhoon Nock-ten scoured the lowlands surrounding Mt. Isarog in the Bicol provinces of Camarines Sur and Albay.

Though the Bicol region is frequently shrouded in cloud cover, satellite-derived evidence of crop losses on agricultural lands is widely apparent. MODIS NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) illustrates the sharp contrast in crop conditions before and after Typhoon Nock-ten. In the December 9 image, it is apparent that crop conditions in Liago, Oas, and Polanqui were above average during the early grainfill growth stage. After the storm NDVI plummeted as shown by the February 1 image, indicating substantial crop damage. The region has limited irrigation and enters a 5-month dry season in February. It is unlikely that farmers will be able to replant and recoup their losses.

Approximately 40 percent of the Philippine's annual rice production occurs during the October to December period, which marks the end of the first half of the USDA 2016/17 marketing year. USDA estimates total 2016/17 Philippine rice production at 11.5 million metric tons (milled basis), up 1 percent from last year’s El Nino drought-reduced crop. Harvested area is estimated at 4.6 million hectares, marginally lower than last year owing to typhoon-related damage. Yield is estimated above-average at 3.97 tons per hectare as increased rainfall in 2016 has benefited crops in most regions.

This report has been published by the Office of Global Analysis (OGA), International Production Assessment Division (IPAD). Current USDA area and production estimates for grains and other agricultural commodities are available on IPAD's Agricultural Production page or at PSD Online.

This report has been published by the Office of Global Analysis (OGA), International Production Assessment Division (IPAD).  Current USDA area and production estimates for grains and other agricultural commodities are available on IPAD's Agricultural Production page or at PSD Online.

Visit Crop Explorer http://www.pecad.fas.usda.gov/cropexplorer/

For more information contact Michael Shean | michael.shean@fas.usda.gov | (202) 720-7366 USDA-FAS, Office of Global Analysis

Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No. 13 re Effects of Magnitude 6.7 Earthquake in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte

22 February 2017 - 4:02am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

I. SITUATION OVERVIEW

At 10:03 PM on 10 February 2017, Friday, a strong earthquake of magnitude 6.7 shook the island of Mindanao. The epicenter is located 16 km offshore northwest of Surigao City, Surigao Strait with a depth of 10 km. The earthquake was generated by the movement of Surigao segment of the Philippine Fault. Small-magnitude earthquakes followed afterwards, and as of 6:00 AM of 21 February 2017, 227 aftershocks have been recorded by the PHIVOLCS seismic monitoring network.

Based on preliminary intensity reports, the strongest ground shaking was felt at PHIVOLCS Earthquake Intensity Scale (PEIS) VII (Destructive) in Surigao City. Furthermore, the municipalities of Pintuyan in Southern Leyte, and San Francisco and Malimono in Surigao del Norte experienced the ground shaking at PEIS VI (Very Strong), while the municipalities of Mainit and Placer in Surigao Del Norte, Libjo and San Jose in Dinagat Island, San Ricardo, Limasawa and San Francisco in Southern Leyte and Manduae City felt the shaking at PEIS V (Strong). This earthquake was felt PEIS IV to I as far as 250 km away (Butuan City, Ormoc City, Tacloban City, Catbalogan City, Bislig City, Cebu City, Cagayan De Oro City, Dumaguete City and Tagbilaran City) from the epicentral area. The strong ground shaking near the epicentral area resulted to damages to some buildings, roads and bridges.

Philippines: Bangsamoro delayed: Stakes rising for Duterte in the Philippines

22 February 2017 - 1:45am
Source: International Peace Institute Country: Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte’s election in the Philippines was hailed as an unprecedented opportunity to resolve protracted conflicts in the country’s Mindanao region. Yet setbacks in writing the Bangsamoro Basic Law, which would provide greater autonomy to the region, and the potential establishment of an Islamic State (ISIS) province could prove stubborn obstacles for the popular leader. These challenges have collided in recent weeks, with Duterte warning secessionist groups not to house terrorists unless they were prepared to face a new government offensive.

Euphoria marked the March 2014 signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro between the Philippines government and the major secessionist group, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF). The agreement was hailed as the solution to the decades-long Mindanao struggle. It was forecast that a Bangsamoro government would be up and running by the end of the Aquino administration in June last year. Unfortunately, this optimistic assessment was shattered by the early 2015 Mamasapano incident, in which 44 police commandos perished in a botched counterterrorism raid. Police officers chasing after an Indonesian terrorist known as Marwan strayed into a MILF-influenced area in central Mindanao. The operation subsequently degenerated into a confused firefight.

Enter Duterte and his meteoric rise to the Philippines presidency. The president’s campaigning emphasized his Mindanao roots along with a curated folksy persona, and promised a swift end to political violence in the island. Days after his inauguration, Duterte forecast that a framework for the Bangsamoro Basic Law  would be ready by the end of 2016. The law  provides the legal foundation for the establishment of the Bangsamoro, a political entity that greatly expands the present Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao. It is envisioned that the Bangsamoro would be the political solution to address the secessionist demands of the MILF, by providing greater political and fiscal autonomy.

At present, however, there is little indication that even a draft law is in the works. Duterte expanded membership to the commission drafting the law to make it “more inclusive.” But, while laudable, this step has only delayed the process. The commission has yet to be convened five months before the July 2017 deadline. It is ironic that Duterte’s penchant for quick fixes and incendiary speech is unable to speed up the bureaucratic arrangements necessary to implement the new arrangements. Even if the Bangsamoro commission sends in the draft basic law for legislation, it may take months for both chambers of Congress to pass the measure.

The Duterte administration can ill afford further delays to the peace process. A recent spike in violence in central Mindanao has raised the specter of an ISIS province or _wilayah _in the Philippines. According to Philippine Secretary of Defense Delfin Lorenzana, gunmen from the purportedly ISIS-aligned Abu Sayyaf Group have moved from their strongholds off the coast of western Mindanao to central areas of the region. Curiously, however, none of the usual ISIS propaganda outfits such as the Amaq Agency, nor the loose network of so-called “jihobbyists,” have trumpeted the operational links of Abu Sayyaf head Isnilon Totoni Hapilon to the ISIS leadership.

Whether true or not, as I have previously argued, the prospect of an ISIS wilayah in central Mindanao may prove damaging to the regional peace process. Local politicians opposed to the Bangsamoro may use the threat of ISIS expansion in their jurisdictions to engage in spoiling activities. There is historical precedent for this type of behavior, when Christian politicians in central Mindanao organized to lobby against any type of political settlement with the MILF.  The complexity of conflict in Mindanao is apparent in the overarching military strategy being pursued by the Armed Forces of the Philippines. The army’s Development Support and Security Plan _Kapayapaan_ (“peace”) continues to prescribe the use of intelligence-driven combat operations against terrorist groups like Abu Sayyaf.

It is unclear how much Duterte shares the military’s perspective. The president has oscillated between hard and soft approaches on the matter. Duterte has referred to Abu Sayyaf as “desperate men” driven by poverty, as well as barbarians he intends to eat raw, with vinegar and salt. These conflicting messages may harm efforts in constructing a narrative against extremist groups in the short term. In the longer term, such rhetoric makes government peace overtures appear less sincere.

Duterte’s view of Mindanao must go beyond the parochial mindset he constructed as Davao City mayor. Mindanao is no longer just the backyard of the city he rules over. Rather, it is increasingly being drawn into international developments including the prevalence of the ISIS narrative. Indonesian and Malaysian jihadists have stated their intent to wage jihad in Mindanao instead of traveling to Syria and Iraq.

The longer the Mindanao conflict persists, the louder the clarion call for foreign fighters displaced from ISIS territory in Syria and Iraq will ring. Instead of provocative speech, the Duterte administration may find it more effective to continue with the behind the scenes diplomacy that laid the groundwork for the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro. Duterte should transition to a more nuanced approach to the Mindanao conflict. By limiting his pronouncements to actionable pledges, he can more effectively use the political capital he had when he took power. A Bangsamoro delayed will have severe consequences beyond Duterte’s presidential term.

Joseph Franco is Research Fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Nanyang Technological University Singapore.

Originally Published in the Global Observatory

World: Amnesty International Annual Report 2016/17 - The State of the World's Human Rights [EN/AR/RU]

21 February 2017 - 7:01pm
Source: Amnesty International Country: Bangladesh, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Honduras, Hungary, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Myanmar, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World

‘Politics of demonization’ breeding division and fear

  • Amnesty International releases its Annual Report for 2016 to 2017
  • Risk of domino effect as powerful states backtrack on human rights commitments
  • Salil Shetty, head of the global movement, warns that “never again” has become meaningless as states fail to react to mass atrocities

Politicians wielding a toxic, dehumanizing “us vs them” rhetoric are creating a more divided and dangerous world, warned Amnesty International today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world.

The report, _The State of the World’s Human Rights_, delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights around the world, covering 159 countries. It warns that the consequences of “us vs them” rhetoric setting the agenda in Europe, the United States and elsewhere is fuelling a global pushback against human rights and leaving the global response to mass atrocities perilously weak.

“2016 was the year when the cynical use of ‘us vs them’ narratives of blame, hate and fear took on a global prominence to a level not seen since the 1930s. Too many politicians are answering legitimate economic and security fears with a poisonous and divisive manipulation of identity politics in an attempt to win votes,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“Divisive fear-mongering has become a dangerous force in world affairs. Whether it is Trump, Orban, Erdoğan or Duterte, more and more politicians calling themselves anti-establishment are wielding a toxic agenda that hounds, scapegoats and dehumanizes entire groups of people.

“Today’s politics of demonization shamelessly peddles a dangerous idea that some people are less human than others, stripping away the humanity of entire groups of people. This threatens to unleash the darkest aspects of human nature.”

Politics of demonization drives global pushback on human rights

Seismic political shifts in 2016 exposed the potential of hateful rhetoric to unleash the dark side of human nature. The global trend of angrier and more divisive politics was exemplified by Donald Trump’s poisonous campaign rhetoric, but political leaders in various parts of the world also wagered their future power on narratives of fear, blame and division.

This rhetoric is having an increasingly pervasive impact on policy and action. In 2016, governments turned a blind eye to war crimes, pushed through deals that undermine the right to claim asylum, passed laws that violate free expression, incited murder of people simply because they are accused of using drugs, justified torture and mass surveillance, and extended draconian police powers.

Governments also turned on refugees and migrants; often an easy target for scapegoating. Amnesty International’s Annual Report documents how 36 countries violated international law by unlawfully sending refugees back to a country where their rights were at risk.

Most recently, President Trump put his hateful xenophobic pre-election rhetoric into action by signing an executive order in an attempt to prevent refugees from seeking resettlement in the USA; blocking people fleeing conflict and persecution from war-torn countries such as Syria from seeking safe haven in the country.

Meanwhile, Australia purposefully inflicts terrible suffering by trapping refugees on Nauru and Manus Island, the EU made an illegal and reckless deal with Turkey to send refugees back there, even though it is not safe for them, and Mexico and the USA continue to deport people fleeing rampant violence in Central America.

Elsewhere, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Thailand and Turkey carried out massive crackdowns. While other countries pursued intrusive security measures, such as prolonged emergency powers in France and unprecedented catastrophic surveillance laws in the UK. Another feature of “strongman” politics was a rise in anti-feminist and -LGBTI rhetoric, such as efforts to roll back women’s rights in Poland, which were met with massive protests.

“Instead of fighting for people’s rights, too many leaders have adopted a dehumanizing agenda for political expediency. Many are violating rights of scapegoated groups to score political points, or to distract from their own failures to ensure economic and social rights,” said Salil Shetty.

“In 2016, these most toxic forms of dehumanization became a dominant force in mainstream global politics. The limits of what is acceptable have shifted. Politicians are shamelessly and actively legitimizing all sorts of hateful rhetoric and policies based on people’s identity: misogyny, racism and homophobia.

“The first target has been refugees and, if this continues in 2017, others will be in the cross-hairs. The reverberations will lead to more attacks on the basis of race, gender, nationality and religion. When we cease to see each other as human beings with the same rights, we move closer to the abyss.”

World turns its back on mass atrocities

Amnesty International is warning that 2017 will see ongoing crises exacerbated by a debilitating absence of human rights leadership on a chaotic world stage. The politics of “us vs them” is also taking shape at the international level, replacing multilateralism with a more aggressive, confrontational world order.

“With world leaders lacking political will to put pressure on other states violating human rights, basic principles from accountability for mass atrocities to the right to asylum are at stake,” said Salil Shetty.

“Even states that once claimed to champion rights abroad are now too busy rolling back human rights at home to hold others to account. The more countries backtrack on fundamental human rights commitments, the more we risk a domino effect of leaders emboldened to knock back established human rights protections.”

The world faces a long list of crises with little political will to address them: including Syria, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Central America, Central African Republic, Burundi, Iraq, South Sudan and Sudan. Amnesty International’s Annual Report documented war crimes committed in at least 23 countries in 2016.

Despite these challenges, international indifference to war crimes has become an entrenched normality as the UN Security Council remains paralyzed by rivalries between permanent member states.

“The beginning of 2017 finds many of the world’s most powerful states pursuing narrower national interests at the expense of international cooperation. This risks taking us towards a more chaotic, dangerous world,” said Salil Shetty.

“A new world order where human rights are portrayed as a barrier to national interests makes the ability to tackle mass atrocities dangerously low, leaving the door open to abuses reminiscent of the darkest times of human history.

“The international community has already responded with deafening silence after countless atrocities in 2016: a live stream of horror from Aleppo, thousands of people killed by the police in the Philippines’ ‘war on drugs’, use of chemical weapons and hundreds of villages burned in Darfur. The big question in 2017 will be how far the world lets atrocities go before doing something about them.”

Who is going to stand up for human rights?

Amnesty International is calling on people around the world to resist cynical efforts to roll back long-established human rights in exchange for the distant promise of prosperity and security.

The report warns that global solidarity and public mobilization will be particularly important to defend individuals who stand up to those in power and defend human rights, who are often cast by governments as a threat to economic development, security or other priorities.

Amnesty International’s annual report documents people killed for peacefully standing up for human rights in 22 countries in 2016. They include those targeted for challenging entrenched economic interests, defending minorities and small communities or opposing traditional barriers to women’s and LGBTI rights. The killing of the high-profile Indigenous leader and human rights defender Berta Cáceres in Honduras on 2 March 2016 sent a chilling message to activists but nobody was brought to justice.

“We cannot passively rely on governments to stand up for human rights, we the people have to take action. With politicians increasingly willing to demonize entire groups of people, the need for all of us to stand up for the basic values of human dignity and equality everywhere has seldom been clearer,” said Salil Shetty.

“Every person must ask their government to use whatever power and influence they have to call out human rights abusers. In dark times, individuals have made a difference when they took a stand, be they civil rights activists in the USA, anti-apartheid activists in South Africa, or women’s rights and LGBTI movements around the world. We must all rise to that challenge now.”

Background

Amnesty International has documented grave violations of human rights in 2016 in 159 countries. Examples of the rise and impact of poisonous rhetoric, national crackdowns on activism and freedom of expression highlighted by Amnesty International in its Annual Report include, but are by no means limited, to:

Bangladesh: Instead of providing protection for or investigating the killings of activists, reporters and bloggers, authorities have pursued trials against media and the opposition for, among other things, Facebook posts.

China: Ongoing crackdown against lawyers and activists continued, including incommunicado detention, televised confessions and harassments of family members.

DRC: Pro-democracy activists subjected to arbitrary arrests and, in some cases, prolonged incommunicado detention.

Egypt: Authorities used travel bans, financial restrictions and asset freezes to undermine, smear and silence civil society groups.

Ethiopia: A government increasingly intolerant of dissenting voices used anti-terror laws and a state of emergency to crack down on journalists, human rights defenders, the political opposition and, in particular, protesters who have been met with excessive and lethal force. 

France: Heavy-handed security measures under the prolonged state of emergency have included thousands of house searches, as well as travel bans and detentions.

Honduras: Berta Cáceres and seven other human rights activists were killed.

Hungary: Government rhetoric championed a divisive brand of identity politics and a dark vision of “Fortress Europe”, which translated into a policy of systematic crackdown on refugee and migrants rights.

India: Authorities used repressive laws to curb freedom of expression and silence critical voices. Human rights defenders and organizations continued to face harassment and intimidation. Oppressive laws have been used to try to silence student activists, academics, journalists and human rights defenders.

Iran: Heavy suppression of freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and religious beliefs. Peaceful critics jailed after grossly unfair trials before Revolutionary Courts, including journalists, lawyers, bloggers, students, women’s rights activists, filmmakers and even musicians.

Myanmar: Tens of thousands of Rohingya people - who remain deprived of a nationality - displaced by “clearance operations” amid reports of unlawful killings, indiscriminate firing on civilians, rape and arbitrary arrests. Meanwhile, state media published opinion articles containing alarmingly dehumanizing language.

Philippines: A wave of extrajudicial executions ensued after President Duterte promised to kill tens of thousands of people suspected of being involved in the drug trade.

Russia: At home the government noose tightened around national NGOs, with increasing propaganda labelling critics as “undesirable” or “foreign agents”, and the first prosecution of NGOs under a “foreign agents” law. Meanwhile, dozens of independent NGOs receiving foreign funding were added to the list of “foreign agents”. Abroad there was a complete disregard for international humanitarian law in Syria.

Saudi Arabia: Critics, human rights defenders and minority rights activists have been detained and jailed on vaguely worded charges such as “insulting the state”. Coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia committed serious violations of international law, including alleged war crimes, in Yemen. Coalition forces bombed schools, hospitals, markets and mosques, killing and injuring thousands of civilians using arms supplied by the US and UK governments, including internationally banned cluster bombs.

South Sudan: Ongoing fighting continued to have devastating humanitarian consequences for civilian populations, with violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law.

Sudan: Evidence pointed strongly to the use of chemical weapons by government forces in Darfur. Elsewhere, suspected opponents and critics of the government subjected to arbitrary arrests and detentions. Excessive use of force by the authorities in dispersing gatherings led to numerous casualties.  

Syria: Impunity for war crimes and gross human rights abuses continued, including indiscriminate attacks and direct attacks on civilians and lengthy sieges that trapped civilians. The human rights community has been almost completely crushed, with activists either imprisoned, tortured, disappeared, or forced to flee the country.

Thailand: Emergency powers, defamation and sedition laws used to restrict freedom of expression.

Turkey: Tens of thousands locked up after failed coup, with hundreds of NGOs suspended, a massive media crackdown, and the continuing onslaught in Kurdish areas.

UK: A spike in hate crimes followed the referendum on European Union membership. A new surveillance law granted significantly increased powers to intelligence and other agencies to invade people’s privacy on a massive scale.

USA: An election campaign marked by discriminatory, misogynist and xenophobic rhetoric raised serious concerns about the strength of future US commitments to human rights domestically and globally.

Venezuela: Backlash against outspoken human rights defenders who raised the alarm about the humanitarian crisis caused by the government’s failure to meet the economic and social rights of the population. 

For more information or to request an interview please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on

+44 20 7413 5566 or +44 (0)77 7847 2126

email: press@amnesty.org

twitter: @amnestypress

International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK

World: Amnesty International Annual Report 2016/17 - The State of the World's Human Rights

21 February 2017 - 7:01pm
Source: Amnesty International Country: Bangladesh, China, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, France, Honduras, Hungary, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Myanmar, Philippines, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Turkey, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World

‘Politics of demonization’ breeding division and fear

  • Amnesty International releases its Annual Report for 2016 to 2017
  • Risk of domino effect as powerful states backtrack on human rights commitments
  • Salil Shetty, head of the global movement, warns that “never again” has become meaningless as states fail to react to mass atrocities

Politicians wielding a toxic, dehumanizing “us vs them” rhetoric are creating a more divided and dangerous world, warned Amnesty International today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world.

The report, _The State of the World’s Human Rights_, delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights around the world, covering 159 countries. It warns that the consequences of “us vs them” rhetoric setting the agenda in Europe, the United States and elsewhere is fuelling a global pushback against human rights and leaving the global response to mass atrocities perilously weak.

“2016 was the year when the cynical use of ‘us vs them’ narratives of blame, hate and fear took on a global prominence to a level not seen since the 1930s. Too many politicians are answering legitimate economic and security fears with a poisonous and divisive manipulation of identity politics in an attempt to win votes,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.

“Divisive fear-mongering has become a dangerous force in world affairs. Whether it is Trump, Orban, Erdoğan or Duterte, more and more politicians calling themselves anti-establishment are wielding a toxic agenda that hounds, scapegoats and dehumanizes entire groups of people.

“Today’s politics of demonization shamelessly peddles a dangerous idea that some people are less human than others, stripping away the humanity of entire groups of people. This threatens to unleash the darkest aspects of human nature.”

Politics of demonization drives global pushback on human rights

Seismic political shifts in 2016 exposed the potential of hateful rhetoric to unleash the dark side of human nature. The global trend of angrier and more divisive politics was exemplified by Donald Trump’s poisonous campaign rhetoric, but political leaders in various parts of the world also wagered their future power on narratives of fear, blame and division.

This rhetoric is having an increasingly pervasive impact on policy and action. In 2016, governments turned a blind eye to war crimes, pushed through deals that undermine the right to claim asylum, passed laws that violate free expression, incited murder of people simply because they are accused of using drugs, justified torture and mass surveillance, and extended draconian police powers.

Governments also turned on refugees and migrants; often an easy target for scapegoating. Amnesty International’s Annual Report documents how 36 countries violated international law by unlawfully sending refugees back to a country where their rights were at risk.

Most recently, President Trump put his hateful xenophobic pre-election rhetoric into action by signing an executive order in an attempt to prevent refugees from seeking resettlement in the USA; blocking people fleeing conflict and persecution from war-torn countries such as Syria from seeking safe haven in the country.

Meanwhile, Australia purposefully inflicts terrible suffering by trapping refugees on Nauru and Manus Island, the EU made an illegal and reckless deal with Turkey to send refugees back there, even though it is not safe for them, and Mexico and the USA continue to deport people fleeing rampant violence in Central America.

Elsewhere, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Iran, Thailand and Turkey carried out massive crackdowns. While other countries pursued intrusive security measures, such as prolonged emergency powers in France and unprecedented catastrophic surveillance laws in the UK. Another feature of “strongman” politics was a rise in anti-feminist and -LGBTI rhetoric, such as efforts to roll back women’s rights in Poland, which were met with massive protests.

“Instead of fighting for people’s rights, too many leaders have adopted a dehumanizing agenda for political expediency. Many are violating rights of scapegoated groups to score political points, or to distract from their own failures to ensure economic and social rights,” said Salil Shetty.

“In 2016, these most toxic forms of dehumanization became a dominant force in mainstream global politics. The limits of what is acceptable have shifted. Politicians are shamelessly and actively legitimizing all sorts of hateful rhetoric and policies based on people’s identity: misogyny, racism and homophobia.

“The first target has been refugees and, if this continues in 2017, others will be in the cross-hairs. The reverberations will lead to more attacks on the basis of race, gender, nationality and religion. When we cease to see each other as human beings with the same rights, we move closer to the abyss.”

World turns its back on mass atrocities

Amnesty International is warning that 2017 will see ongoing crises exacerbated by a debilitating absence of human rights leadership on a chaotic world stage. The politics of “us vs them” is also taking shape at the international level, replacing multilateralism with a more aggressive, confrontational world order.

“With world leaders lacking political will to put pressure on other states violating human rights, basic principles from accountability for mass atrocities to the right to asylum are at stake,” said Salil Shetty.

“Even states that once claimed to champion rights abroad are now too busy rolling back human rights at home to hold others to account. The more countries backtrack on fundamental human rights commitments, the more we risk a domino effect of leaders emboldened to knock back established human rights protections.”

The world faces a long list of crises with little political will to address them: including Syria, Yemen, Libya, Afghanistan, Central America, Central African Republic, Burundi, Iraq, South Sudan and Sudan. Amnesty International’s Annual Report documented war crimes committed in at least 23 countries in 2016.

Despite these challenges, international indifference to war crimes has become an entrenched normality as the UN Security Council remains paralyzed by rivalries between permanent member states.

“The beginning of 2017 finds many of the world’s most powerful states pursuing narrower national interests at the expense of international cooperation. This risks taking us towards a more chaotic, dangerous world,” said Salil Shetty.

“A new world order where human rights are portrayed as a barrier to national interests makes the ability to tackle mass atrocities dangerously low, leaving the door open to abuses reminiscent of the darkest times of human history.

“The international community has already responded with deafening silence after countless atrocities in 2016: a live stream of horror from Aleppo, thousands of people killed by the police in the Philippines’ ‘war on drugs’, use of chemical weapons and hundreds of villages burned in Darfur. The big question in 2017 will be how far the world lets atrocities go before doing something about them.”

Who is going to stand up for human rights?

Amnesty International is calling on people around the world to resist cynical efforts to roll back long-established human rights in exchange for the distant promise of prosperity and security.

The report warns that global solidarity and public mobilization will be particularly important to defend individuals who stand up to those in power and defend human rights, who are often cast by governments as a threat to economic development, security or other priorities.

Amnesty International’s annual report documents people killed for peacefully standing up for human rights in 22 countries in 2016. They include those targeted for challenging entrenched economic interests, defending minorities and small communities or opposing traditional barriers to women’s and LGBTI rights. The killing of the high-profile Indigenous leader and human rights defender Berta Cáceres in Honduras on 2 March 2016 sent a chilling message to activists but nobody was brought to justice.

“We cannot passively rely on governments to stand up for human rights, we the people have to take action. With politicians increasingly willing to demonize entire groups of people, the need for all of us to stand up for the basic values of human dignity and equality everywhere has seldom been clearer,” said Salil Shetty.

“Every person must ask their government to use whatever power and influence they have to call out human rights abusers. In dark times, individuals have made a difference when they took a stand, be they civil rights activists in the USA, anti-apartheid activists in South Africa, or women’s rights and LGBTI movements around the world. We must all rise to that challenge now.”

Background

Amnesty International has documented grave violations of human rights in 2016 in 159 countries. Examples of the rise and impact of poisonous rhetoric, national crackdowns on activism and freedom of expression highlighted by Amnesty International in its Annual Report include, but are by no means limited, to:

Bangladesh: Instead of providing protection for or investigating the killings of activists, reporters and bloggers, authorities have pursued trials against media and the opposition for, among other things, Facebook posts.

China: Ongoing crackdown against lawyers and activists continued, including incommunicado detention, televised confessions and harassments of family members.

DRC: Pro-democracy activists subjected to arbitrary arrests and, in some cases, prolonged incommunicado detention.

Egypt: Authorities used travel bans, financial restrictions and asset freezes to undermine, smear and silence civil society groups.

Ethiopia: A government increasingly intolerant of dissenting voices used anti-terror laws and a state of emergency to crack down on journalists, human rights defenders, the political opposition and, in particular, protesters who have been met with excessive and lethal force. 

France: Heavy-handed security measures under the prolonged state of emergency have included thousands of house searches, as well as travel bans and detentions.

Honduras: Berta Cáceres and seven other human rights activists were killed.

Hungary: Government rhetoric championed a divisive brand of identity politics and a dark vision of “Fortress Europe”, which translated into a policy of systematic crackdown on refugee and migrants rights.

India: Authorities used repressive laws to curb freedom of expression and silence critical voices. Human rights defenders and organizations continued to face harassment and intimidation. Oppressive laws have been used to try to silence student activists, academics, journalists and human rights defenders.

Iran: Heavy suppression of freedom of expression, association, peaceful assembly and religious beliefs. Peaceful critics jailed after grossly unfair trials before Revolutionary Courts, including journalists, lawyers, bloggers, students, women’s rights activists, filmmakers and even musicians.

Myanmar: Tens of thousands of Rohingya people - who remain deprived of a nationality - displaced by “clearance operations” amid reports of unlawful killings, indiscriminate firing on civilians, rape and arbitrary arrests. Meanwhile, state media published opinion articles containing alarmingly dehumanizing language.

Philippines: A wave of extrajudicial executions ensued after President Duterte promised to kill tens of thousands of people suspected of being involved in the drug trade.

Russia: At home the government noose tightened around national NGOs, with increasing propaganda labelling critics as “undesirable” or “foreign agents”, and the first prosecution of NGOs under a “foreign agents” law. Meanwhile, dozens of independent NGOs receiving foreign funding were added to the list of “foreign agents”. Abroad there was a complete disregard for international humanitarian law in Syria.

Saudi Arabia: Critics, human rights defenders and minority rights activists have been detained and jailed on vaguely worded charges such as “insulting the state”. Coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia committed serious violations of international law, including alleged war crimes, in Yemen. Coalition forces bombed schools, hospitals, markets and mosques, killing and injuring thousands of civilians using arms supplied by the US and UK governments, including internationally banned cluster bombs.

South Sudan: Ongoing fighting continued to have devastating humanitarian consequences for civilian populations, with violations and abuses of international human rights and humanitarian law.

Sudan: Evidence pointed strongly to the use of chemical weapons by government forces in Darfur. Elsewhere, suspected opponents and critics of the government subjected to arbitrary arrests and detentions. Excessive use of force by the authorities in dispersing gatherings led to numerous casualties.  

Syria: Impunity for war crimes and gross human rights abuses continued, including indiscriminate attacks and direct attacks on civilians and lengthy sieges that trapped civilians. The human rights community has been almost completely crushed, with activists either imprisoned, tortured, disappeared, or forced to flee the country.

Thailand: Emergency powers, defamation and sedition laws used to restrict freedom of expression.

Turkey: Tens of thousands locked up after failed coup, with hundreds of NGOs suspended, a massive media crackdown, and the continuing onslaught in Kurdish areas.

UK: A spike in hate crimes followed the referendum on European Union membership. A new surveillance law granted significantly increased powers to intelligence and other agencies to invade people’s privacy on a massive scale.

USA: An election campaign marked by discriminatory, misogynist and xenophobic rhetoric raised serious concerns about the strength of future US commitments to human rights domestically and globally.

Venezuela: Backlash against outspoken human rights defenders who raised the alarm about the humanitarian crisis caused by the government’s failure to meet the economic and social rights of the population. 

For more information or to request an interview please call Amnesty International's press office in London, UK, on

+44 20 7413 5566 or +44 (0)77 7847 2126

email: press@amnesty.org

twitter: @amnestypress

International Secretariat, Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW, UK

Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No. 12 re Effects of Magnitude 6.7 Earthquake in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte

21 February 2017 - 6:58pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

I. SITUATION OVERVIEW

At 10:03 PM on 10 February 2017, Friday, a strong earthquake of magnitude 6.7 shook the island of Mindanao, The epicenter is located 16 km offshore northwest of Surigao City, Surigao Strait with a depth of 10 km. The earthquake was generated by the movement of Surigao segment of the Philippine Fault. Small-magnitude earthquakes followed afterwards, and as of 6:00 AM of 21 February 2017, 227 aftershocks have been recorded by the PHIVOLCS seismic monitoring network.

Based on preliminary intensity reports, the strongest ground shaking was felt at PHIVOLCS Earthquake Intensity Scale (PEIS) VII (Destructive) in Surigao City. Furthermore, the municipalities of Pintuyan in Southern Leyte, and San Francisco and Malimono in Surigao del Norte experienced the ground shaking at PEIS VI (Very Strong), while the municipalities of Mainit and Placer in Surigao Del Norte, Libjo and San Jose in Dinagat Island, San Ricardo, Limasawa and San Francisco in Southern Leyte and Manduae City felt the shaking at PEIS V (Strong). This earthquake was felt PEIS IV to I as far as 250 km away (Butuan City, Ormoc City, Tacloban City, Catbalogan City, Bislig City, Cebu City, Cagayan De Oro City, Dumaguete City and Tagbilaran City) from the epicentral area, The strong ground shaking near the epicentral area resulted to damages to some buildings, roads and bridges.

II. EFFECTS

A. Affected Population

A total of 6,156 families / 30,780 persons were affected in 62 barangays in the Province of Surigao del Norte and are served inside and outside evacuation centers:

B. Casualties

  1. A total of eight (8) persons were reported dead and 202 persons sustained injuries due to the earthquake in the province of Surigao del Norte. Out of 202 persons injured, 142 were identified and admitted at the CARAGA Regional Hospital.

Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan: Shelter Case Studies

20 February 2017 - 11:34pm
Source: University of Colorado at Boulder Country: Philippines

Lead Author
Aaron Opdyke
PhD Candidate | Construction Engineering and Management
USAID/OFDA Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements Fellow
Department of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering
University of Colorado Boulder

Foreword

Urbanization, climate change, and conflict continue to strain the global humanitarian system. In 2016, the United Nations estimated that there was a $15 billion funding gap for humanitarian assistance.
In 2013, the world watched as Typhoon Haiyan descended on the Central Philippines, making landfall with sustained wind speeds in excess of 315kph (195mph). The storm was the strongest ever recorded based on wind speed at landfall. The aftermath was devastating.

Too often, we as humanitarians get caught up in attending to the next response without taking time to track actions and outcomes. To improve the delivery of shelter solutions, it is imperative that we reflect on our successes and failures to learn across programs, and disasters.

Through this report, we hope to illuminate innovative approaches, barriers to implementation, and surprises that followed the delivery of shelter assistance following Haiyan, highlighted through 19 diverse shelter cases. We have also compiled commentary pieces on shelter themes that defined the response.

Haiyan presents a compelling case to study because of the range of shelter modalities utilized by organizations. We have a unique opportunity to examine the intimacies of approaches and compare them within a context that in many ways reflects the complexity we continue to see in other responses.

It is our hope that this serves as a tool to document the wealth of shelter knowledge that was put forth after Haiyan. We applaud the successes we’ve made as a community of practice and eagerly look forward to continuing to improve our methods of delivering resilient and sustainable shelter solutions for those affected by natural disasters and conflicts.

Introduction

This report is the culmination of three years of research tracking 19 separate shelter programs in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. The 19 selected cases that follow are intended to encompass the range of strategies and approaches used by NGOs in shelter reconstruction in the aftermath of Haiyan. Presented is information on project locations, strategies used in planning, design, and construction, and discussion of program barriers and successes. Each project includes a photo set of completed construction efforts. Programs encompass three regions – Cebu, Leyte and Eastern Samar – each with unique challenges, but with an underlying set of characteristics that include severity of damage experienced and socio-cultural context. The programs all provided shelter assistance through formal organizational intervention, however, processes used to achieve reconstruction differed, ranging from emphasis on self-recovery to contractor built housing

Philippines: Philippines: IDP protection assessment report - Armed Conflict between AFP and NPA in Laak, Compostela Valley - Issue No. 01

20 February 2017 - 10:51pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Protection Cluster Country: Philippines

INCIDENT BACKGROUND

On 12 February 2017, an armed encounter between the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and New People’s Army (NPA) occurred in the remote areas of Barangay Langtud, Laak municipality, Compostela Valley province. The firefight lasted for almost three hours. Around 1,532 families were affected in Barangays Bollucan, Langtud, Macopa and Poblacion. According to interviews with some IDPs, one house was destroyed during the incident and an undetermined number of other houses were partly damaged by explosions.

As of 15 February 2017, at least 135 families (approximately 550 individuals) are displaced and are staying in Laak National High School and Tuk-an Elementary School, both in Barangay Poblacion. Some of them return to their farms at daytime but sleep in the evacuation centers at night. Other displaced families are staying with relatives or friends, but there is no verified data on their number. Movement of the displaced families is highly unpredictable due to the mounting tension between the AFP and NPA, following the withdrawal of their respective ceasefire declarations and suspension of peace negotiations.

CURRENT SITUATION

Despite security threats, displaced families attempt to return to their villages at daytime in order to save any undamaged properties, farm supplies, and animals. Fearing that the situation may not normalize soon and they would be forced to support themselves while staying in the evacuation centers, some families sold their farm animals at very low prices.

The IDPs, including those staying with relatives or friends, received assistance from the local government unit (LGU) to meet their immediate needs for food, water, kitchen utensils, and medical services. Stress debriefing was also provided to those affected and traumatized by the incident.

On 13 February 2017, the AFP declared some of the affected areas cleared, except those in the interior and remote sitios. There were also families who decided to go back to their farms despite safety risks. Tensions between the AFP and NPA persist following the declaration of an ‘all-out-war’ by the government. Curfews were enforced due to the on-going operations of the AFP against NPA.

Philippines: Philippines: Displacement Dashboard, Mindanao, Issue no. 34: December 2016—January 2017

20 February 2017 - 10:38pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Protection Cluster Country: Philippines

The Mindanao Displacement Dashboard is a monthly publication of the Protection Cluster in Mindanao, Philippines, which is co-led by UNHCR with the Department of Social Welfare and Development. This publication aims to provide an overview of the protection environment of displacement incidents in Mindanao for each month. Displacement incidents were collected with the support of Protection Cluster members in Mindanao.

The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement note that “internally displaced persons are persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border.”

Durable Solutions - UNHCR with Protection Cluster members continue to identify communities that are subjected to protracted displacement over the course of the year to ensure all IDPs are identified and the appropriate attention and resources can be obtained to support finding a durable solution to their displacement.

CURRENT NUMBER OF IDPS IN NEED OF DURABLE SOLUTION

  • 224,402 Total no. of persons who are presently displaced in Mindanao since 2012 - January 2017.
    • 88,996 presently displaced due to conflict
    • 135,406 presently displaced due to natural disaster

Philippines: DILG leads crafting of Regional Disaster Preparedness Plan

20 February 2017 - 10:10pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, Feb.21 (PIA) -- Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) recently convened select members of the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) to craft the Regional Disaster Preparedness Plan (RDPP).

“The primary goal of preparedness is to avert the loss of lives and assets due to threats and emergencies. While essentially implementation of preparedness is before any hazard or any disaster strikes, preparedness outcomes straddle in pre-disaster, disaster, and post-disaster phases based on existing definitions,” Office of Civil Defense OIC-Regional Director and RDRRMC Chairperson Nigel Lontoc said.

DILG leads its crafting being the council’s Vice Chair for Preparedness per Republic Act 10121 otherwise known as the Philippine DRRM Act of 2010.

Anchored on the National and Regional DRRM Plans, the National DDP, and existing DRR-related policies, the RDPP has seven key components namely Information, Education, Campaigns (IEC); Capacity Building; DRRM Localization; Risk Assessments and Plans; Preparedness for Emergency and Disaster Response; Continuity of Essential Services; and Partnerships.

“Tasks of the IEC team include preparation of Information Integration Platform with those gathered from RDRRMC member-agencies and stakeholders; and preparation of multiple-hazard, hazard-specific, and ecosystems-based preparedness, DRRM, and Climate Change Adaptation (CCA) materials,” Lontoc disclosed.

Moreover, Capacity Building covers trainings, simulations, drills, and other activities sustaining education, research, and publication in DRRM and CCA to develop knowledge, skills, attitudes, systems, and mechanisms that reduce vulnerabilities and help various stakeholders to cope with hazards.

DRRM Localization secures functional and operational institutions in the event of threats and emergencies while Risk Assessments and Plans prepares multiple scenario-based contingency plans covering preparedness and response, integrated assessment tools and guidance for operations, and integrated tools for assessment, coordination, and deployment search, rescue, and retrieval among others.

Preparedness for Emergency and Disaster Response, on the other hand, ensures functional and responsive systems that are well resourced and ready to respond in the event of threats and emergencies by securing resources.

“Continuity of Essential Services enable the continuity of essential service delivery through preparation of operations and continuity plans while Partnerships enhance coordination, complementation, interoperability of DRRM institutions and systems, and participation of stakeholders in DRRM work to secure that communities are able to anticipate, cope with, and recover from threats and emergencies,” Lontoc explained. (CLJD-PIA 3)

Philippines: DSWD, disaster response agencies monitor possible flooding, landslide as tail-end of a cold front batters CARAGA anew

20 February 2017 - 10:07pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Disaster relief and response agencies, including the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), are continuously monitoring the possible impacts of the new tail-end of a cold front currently battering CARAGA and Davao Region.

According to the issued bulletin of state weather bureau PAGASA, the weather disturbance which was initially observed last February 15, has already weakened but will continue to bring light to moderate rains and thunderstorms in the two regions.

The DSWD has received reports that 11,541 families or 38,391 persons have been displaced in 46 barangays in CARAGA, of which 1,170 families or 4,105 individuals are still staying in 25 evacuation centers.

The DSWD Field Office (FO) CARAGA, through its Disaster Risk Reduction and Response Operations Unit (DRRROU), is continuously coordinating with concerned local governments for additional resource augmentation and technical assistance.

DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo also warned residents to stay alert for possible impacts of the weather disturbance.

“We urge citizens to remain alert for possible flash floods or landslides that may occur in CARAGA and Davao Region due to the inclement weather. Our field offices are continuously monitoring the situation on the ground and are ready to receive requests for augmentation and other assistance needed by families in evacuation centers,” assured the Secretary.

Status of relief ops in Surigao City

Yesterday, the DSWD-FO CARAGA distributed 1,780 Family Food Packs (FFPs) to affected families in Brgy. Canlanipa, Surigao City.

Aside from the continuous relief operations, staff members from the FO-CARAGA are also conducting rapid damage assessment to the areas affected by the earthquake.

Likewise, the DSWD-Disaster Response Assistance and Management Bureau (DReAMB) team, led by Ms. Esther Geraldoy, held an ocular inspection and provided technical assistance in the disaster relief operations for the victims of the 6.7 magnitude earthquake.

Meanwhile, Sec. Taguiwalo commended the efforts of non-government organizations, local and national government’s disaster response teams and private individuals and organizations for their dedication and service to assist the disaster survivors.

“The collective efforts of national government agencies, LGUs, NGOs, and other private entities to help in the relief operations for our kababayans affected by the earthquake have been effective and efficient despite the initial delays. We are grateful to all our humanitarian and social workers for offering their time, resources and dedication to serve the Filipino people. Let us continue our best practices and strive to also empower communities even as we help disaster survivors to start anew,” said Sec. Taguiwalo. ###

Philippines: No letup in Red Cross relief efforts in earthquake-ravaged Surigao

20 February 2017 - 3:02pm
Source: Philippine National Red Cross Country: Philippines

The Philippine Red Cross (PRC) provides without letup relief assistance for and psychosocial support to the victims of the 6.7 magnitude earthquake that hit Surigao City on Feb. 10.

To date, the PRC has distributed 76,500 liters of water to survivors. The strong-intensity earthquake severely damaged the water system of Surigao City and its neighboring municipalities, and on Feb. 14, Department of Social Welfare and Development Secretary Judy Taguiwalo asked fellow Filipinos for help with the city's water supply. “We need to continue the provision of relief assistance to the citizens of Surigao, and this includes water. There is no way that people can function well and survive without a steady supply of water for drinking and for other household needs,” she said.

The PRC started distributing safe water on Feb. 15 and has since then distributed thousands of liters of water to the residents of the devastated areas. “Water is essential to survival,” said PRC Chairman Richard Gordon. “Survivors can go on without food for a few days, as long as they have water. We have been water tankering since Feb. 14. Yesterday, we did water tankering in Brgy. Sabang, Surigao City, and in Brgy. San Isidro, Sison. We also did water and sanitation (WatSan) assessment in Caragya Regional Hospital and Brgy. Sabang. As of Feb. 19, we have distributed 76,500 liters of water.”

Besides water, the Red Cross has donated family tents, plastic mats, mosquito nets, mosquito traps, blankets, hygiene kits, jerry cans, and canned goods, such as sardines.

Surigao City remains under a state of calamity. The earthquake has killed 8 people and injured 197 others. Currently, 4,786 families (or 7,744 individuals) are trying to recover from the tragedy.

“The Philippine Red Cross will continue giving water, relief goods, medical assistance, and psychosocial support to help with the recovery and rebuilding of the communities affected by the earthquake in Surigao,” said Gordon.

Philippines: Evacuated families in Ifugao town return home

20 February 2017 - 10:40am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Marcelo B. Lihgawon

ASIPULO, Ifugao, Feb. 20 (PIA) - - Residents affected by the armed conflict at barangay Namal, this municipality are back in their homes after spending some nights in government facilities that served as evacuation centers.

A total of 98 families consisting of 398 individuals returned to their respective homes on February 17 after government troops ensured their safety. The families also received assorted goods from government and non-government organizations and kind-hearted individuals.

The families were evacuated for their safety after soldiers overran a suspected New People's Army (NPA) camp in Sitio Pinugao, Barangay Namal, here last February 12 and recovered some ammunitions, three lap tops, assorted medical and food supplies and other personal belongings.

Acting Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Officer Cecil Unghiyon informed that the Social Welfare and Development (SWAD) office provided 500 food packs, 127 plastic mats, 127 blankets and 60 dignity kits to the families.

The PDRRM office also provided 27 blankets and four boxes of can goods, 10 sacks of rice and used clothings from the municipality of Lamut and blankets and assorted clothings from the people of Kiangan while Ifugao Rep. Teodoro Baguilat donated P15, 000, she added.

The Municipal Health Office of Asipulo also held medical consultations after the conduct of Critical Incident Stress Debriefing.

Meanwhile, Joseline Niwane, Provincial Social Welfare and Development officer clarified that affected families were not evacuated in Kiangan town as reported by some media outfits. “They were evacuated in government facilities of the same barangay,” Niwane stressed. (JDP/MBL - PIA CAR, Ifugao)

Philippines: Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (14 - 20 February 2017)

20 February 2017 - 5:12am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines

PHILIPPINES

As of 19 February, over 30,700 people remain displaced in northeastern Mindanao (Caraga region) by flooding triggered by a series of weather systems since 8 January. At least 2,100 people are in 18 shelters, while most are staying with relatives and friends. Local authorities and NGOs, with support from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) are providing food and other relief items.

As of 16 February, eight deaths and 202 injuries were confirmed as a result of the 6.7 magnitude earthquake that struck Surigao City on 10 February. About 7,800 people remain displaced, of which 370 people are in tents on the capitol grounds in Surigao City while the rest are camping on their properties or staying with relatives or friends. Access to potable water has been restored to nearly all of the affected areas. DSWD and the Red Cross have been providing psychosocial services in addition to relief goods. As aftershocks continue, regional disaster management authorities remain on red alert status, due to the heightened risk of landslides. There has been no request for international assistance.

INDONESIA

Over the past week, torrential rains were reported in many major cities on Java Island causing temporary flooding. While BNPB reported no casualties, at least 14,700 people were displaced between 15 and 16 February in Jakarta, Bekasi and Brebes. On 15 February, a localized whirlwind also hit Sidoarjo District (East Java) and damaged 175 houses. Local governments provided basic relief assistance with the support of provincial authorities

BANGLADESH

As of 20 February, an estimated 73,000 people have crossed from Rakhine State (Myanmar) into Bangladesh since October 2016. They are residing in registered camps and makeshift settlements in Cox’s Bazar, and in Teknaf and Ukhiya host villages.
Over the last few weeks, there has been a decrease in the number of the new arrivals, although some cross border movements continue to be observed.
New families have been reported in Balukhali, Teknaf and Ukhiya host villages. From 20 to 23 February, the UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar is on mission to Bangladesh.

NEW ZEALAND

During the past week, bushfires across South Island caused one death and triggered the evacuation of over 1,000 people, according to local media. The fires destroyed at least 11 houses in Christchurch and Selwyn and caused power disruptions. As of 16 February, a state of local emergency has been declared for Christchurch City and Selwyn District. The situation is considered to be within the national capacity to respond.

Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No. 11 re Effects of Magnitude 6.7 Earthquake in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte

20 February 2017 - 1:39am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

I. SITUATION OVERVIEW

At 10:03 PM on 10 February 2017, Friday, a strong earthquake of magnitude 6.7 shook the island of Mindanao, The epicenter is located 16 km offshore northwest of Surigao City, Surigao Strait with a depth of 10 km. The earthquake was generated by the movement of Surigao segment of the Philippine Fault. Small-magnitude earthquakes followed afterwards, and as of 6:00 AM of 18 February 2017, 210 aftershocks have been recorded by the PHIVOLCS seismic monitoring network.

Based on preliminary intensity reports, the strongest ground shaking was felt at PHIVOLCS Earthquake Intensity Scale (PEIS) VII (Destructive) in Surigao City. Furthermore, the municipalities of Pintuyan in Southern Leyte, and San Francisco and Malimono in Surigao del Norte experienced the ground shaking at PEIS VI (Very Strong), while the municipalities of Mainit and Placer in Surigao Del Norte, Libjo and San Jose in Dinagat Island, San Ricardo, Limasawa and San Francisco in Southern Leyte and Manduae City felt the shaking at PEIS V (Strong). This earthquake was felt PEIS IV to I as far as 250 km away (Butuan City, Ormoc City, Tacloban City, Catbalogan City, Bislig City, Cebu City, Cagayan De Oro City, Dumaguete City and Tagbilaran City) from the epicentral area, The strong ground shaking near the epicentral area resulted to damages to some buildings, roads and bridges.

II. EFFECTS

A. Affected Population

A total of 6,156 families / 30,780 persons were affected in 62 barangays in the Province of Surigao del Norte and are served inside and outside evacuation centers:

B. Casualties

A total of eight (8) persons were reported dead in the province of Surigao del Norte due to the earthquake.