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Libya: Manila to evacuate 13,000 amid renewed Libya clashes

31 July 2014 - 9:00am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Greece, Libya, Philippines

07/31/2014 12:56 GM


TRIPOLI, July 31, 2014 (AFP) - The Philippines was preparing Thursday to evacuate 13,000 citizens from Libya as violence raged and after a Filipino worker was beheaded and a nurse was gang-raped there.

Greece is also sending a warship to evacuate some of its citizens as well as people from other countries.

Philippine Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario was heading to neighbouring Tunisia to organise an evacuation as fighting resumed between militias seeking to control the Libyan capital's crippled international airport.

Del Rosario said he was repeating a 2011 mission that evacuated thousands of Filipino workers during the uprising that toppled Libyan dictator Moamer Kadhafi.

"Our major challenge, as in 2011, is to convince our folks that they must leave Libya at the soonest time to avoid the perils of a highly exacerbating situation there," he told reporters in Manila.

The Philippines ordered an evacuation on July 20, hours after the discovery in the eastern city of Benghazi of the beheaded remains of a Filipino construction worker who had been abducted.

Manila also imposed a travel ban to the North African country, which has been plagued by violence since Kadhafi's overthrow.

On Wednesday, a Filipina nurse was abducted by a gang of youths outside her residence in Tripoli and gang-raped before being released two hours later, the foreign department said.

  • Refusing to leave -

Despite the dangers, del Rosario said many of the Filipinos, mostly employed in construction and hospitals, are refusing to leave because they would be unemployed back home.

Only a few more than 700 had left Libya by Wednesday, despite the rapidly deteriorating situation, as warring militias battle for control of key population centres.

Del Rosario said he is flying to Tunisia's Djerba island to "try to convince our people to leave (Libya) because the situation there is very dangerous.

"We are in the process of engaging ships from Malta that would pick up our people from Benghazi, Misrata and hopefully Tripoli then return to Malta for air transport to Manila," he said.

While each vessel could carry up to 1,500 people, he said the government was still negotiating safe passage through these ports.

Failing that, the Filipinos would be bused to Tunisia, where flight arrangements would be made, he added.

In Athens, meanwhile, an official said a navy frigate was en route to Libya to evacuate some 200 people, including diplomatic staff.

These include around 70 Greeks, some 15 Cypriots and 80 Chinese, in addition to other nationalities.

"There are a lot of requests but capacity on the frigate is limited," the official said.

Del Rosario could not have flown in to Tripoli if he had wanted to, because the airport was knocked out of commission by fighting earlier this month.

  • Fighting resumes at airport -

Another round of clashes erupted on Thursday, airport security chief Al-Jilani al-Dahech told AFP, with attackers assaulting the facility using both small arms and heavy weapons.

Dahech said some of his men had been wounded, but gave no details.

At least 100 people have reportedly been killed and 400 wounded since July 13 when the airport battle erupted.

Witnesses said there was also fighting on the road to the airport and in a western suburb of the capital on Thursday, while numerous explosions were heard in the city centre.

The Tripoli clashes, the most violent since Kadhafi's ouster, began with an assault on the airport by a coalition of groups, mainly Islamists, which has since been backed by fighters from third city Misrata.

The attackers are battling to flush out fellow former rebels from the hill town of Zintan, southwest of Tripoli, who have controlled the airport for the past three years.

The United States, Canada, France and Brazil have temporarily shuttered their embassies in Tripoli, while several Western countries and Egypt have advised their citizens to leave immediately.

Meanwhile, firefighters were still battling a blaze at a fuel depot near the airport that broke out on Sunday when a rocket hit a storage tank.

More than 90 million litres of fuel are stored in the facility, which also houses a natural gas reservoir.


© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Philippines: Supporting women's health in typhoon ravaged areas

31 July 2014 - 7:04am
Source: World Health Organization Country: Philippines

Over six hundred health facilities were destroyed because of typhoon Yolanda. Now, eight months after the devastation, the World Health Organization, the Philippine Department of Health, and other local and international health partners are relentlessly working to rehabilitate these facilities.

The Marasbaras Women’s Health Clinic is the only clinic of its kind in the province of Leyte. Prior to the typhoon the clinic provided health services to registered sex workers, clients of sex workers, and men who have sex with men. After typhoon Yolanda struck, its facilities were severely damaged paralyzing services for nearly four months and although the city health office continued to provide services of the women’s clinic after the typhoon, many of its regular clients were difficult to locate.

For women like Alona Sorono, access to women’s health services is essential given the nature of her work, “I used to go to the women’s health clinic three times a week for routine testing but after Yolanda I couldn’t. I started work in January and this made me nervous because the clinic in Marasbaras was closed and I couldn’t find out if I was in good health” she said.

Myla Garcia, head nurse of the clinic, explained the challenges she faced following the storm, “I had some clients who died, some I could not locate anymore because they were displaced, while others only came back when we reopened the clinic in Marasbaras.” Many of the clients of the clinic come from the nine registered entertainment establishments in the city making the services crucial to providing basic reproductive health services.

"The WHO was a great help to us because they gave us all that we need. They rehabilitated our building and they're giving us all the equipment and supplies we had lost in the typhoon" exclaimed Nilda Cantay, medical technologist of the clinic. The WHO was able to complete the rehabilitation of the actual structure of the Marasbaras women’s health clinic by March of 2014 and was able to restore full functionality in April 2014 by providing equipment such as microscopes, computers, and refrigerators which were mostly stolen shortly after the typhoon.

“All these months (after typhoon Yolanda) we either stopped working or continued to work without knowing whether we were healthy or not. Now it’s good because we are able to access contraceptives, know whether we have a sickness, and if we do, treat it right away. It’s really much better for us now.” said Virgie Ganom. Services such as STI/HIV testing and STI treatment, one on one health education and counselling, family planning services, as well as STI/HIV/AIDS seminars have been resumed giving communities access to essential sexual and reproductive health care services.

Philippines: Birthing Centre Reopens after Yolanda

31 July 2014 - 5:46am
Source: UN Population Fund Country: Philippines

Eight months after Typhoon Yolanda, the Government of Japan and the United Nations Population Fund completed the repair and handed over to the local government of Palo, Leyte one of the birthing facilities damaged during the typhoon last November.

A day before the ceremonial handover, 26-year-old Amelia Sozalo became the first mother to give birth at the UP SHS Health Centre and Palo Maternity House after its renovation. The baby boy, named Bob Ramiel, weighed 3.1 kilos at birth on July 1.

Amelia was nostalgic about the birth. “He is my second son. This was the same birthing centre where my first son was born two years ago,” she said, adding that she did not expect the facility to be back in operation by the time she gives birth.

Amelia was two months pregnant when she and her family escaped the wrath of Yolanda, which was categorized as super typhoon, on November 9, 2013. Despite the many stories of harrowing experiences by survivors, Amelia’s family was thankful all they suffered was a damaged house.

The birthing centre stopped operating since the disaster. The facility is just one of the 19 birthing centres damaged by Yolanda through the generous support of the Government of Japan, which donated $1.4 million for the Yolanda humanitarian response through UNFPA.

“UNFPA and Japan have an excellent cooperative relationship over the years. Japan, through its financial assistance, has been working with UNFPA in projects such as those aimed at responding to reproductive health needs and preventing and managing gender-based violence,” said Hiroyuki Enoki, First Secretary from the Economic Section of the Japanese Embassy in Manila.

“In a sustained manner, construction of birthing facilities is one of the key activities for responding to reproductive health needs. It is a great honour for Japan to be able to contribute to the improvement of reproductive health in the Philippines,” he added.

Incidentally, the health centre was built in 2007 through Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects.

Midwife Teresita Conos, who assisted Amelia in her delivery, was happy to be back at work in the facility. Prior to Yolanda, she said as many as 60 babies are born at the birthing center per month. The facility also serves residents from neighbouring municipalities.

Philippines: UNICEF’s unconditional cash grants to benefit Pantawid Pamilya families in E. Visayas

31 July 2014 - 2:12am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, 30 July 2014—The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), through the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), will extend financial assistance to beneficiaries of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) in Eastern Samar who were worst affected by super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda.

UNICEF’s Unconditional Cash Transfer (UCT) program will benefit 5,801 4Ps households in Eastern Samar, namely the municipalities of Guiuan, Hernani, Mercedes, Balangkayan and Salcedo. The identified beneficiaries come from vulnerable households who are unable to meet their food and essential non-food needs.

Through a Memorandum of Agreement signed by UNICEF and DSWD, each household beneficiary will receive P4,400 monthly, on top of the regular cash grant provided by the 4Ps. The cash distribution will run concurrently with 4Ps pay-outs. The additional cash grant will cover six months starting July until December 2014.

The UNICEF-DSWD partnership expands from the 10,000 households currently supported by UNICEF’s UCT programme in Leyte. Implemented with UNICEF partner, Action Contre La Faim (ACF), it provides a similar cash grant over six months.

“The unconditional transfer of cash to carefully selected families allows them to take a step back from the decisions they have to make after Haiyan/Yolanda, given their loss of property, savings and livelihoods, said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Philippines Representative.

The UCT programme in Leyte shows that with very low household incomes, half of the transfers are being spent on food, while the rest are spent on shelter, health care, education and savings.

“These efforts complement the recovery efforts of the 4Ps toward improving the country’s human capital by keeping poor children in school, and giving them medical assistance, while extending immediate financial support to their families,” Sylwander said.

“Eight months after Haiyan/Yolanda, we continue to receive support from our partners whose mandate involves empowering children and families. We are grateful to UNICEF for extending assistance to 4Ps beneficiaries in selected areas in Eastern Samar. With our strong partnership with UNICEF, we can significantly contribute to positive changes in the lives of our beneficiaries,” said DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman.

Through the UCT program, UNICEF supports the 4Ps in its current recovery phase activities and remains committed in its work to advance the welfare of children.

“Through our collaboration with DSWD, we demonstrate our commitment to reach more children and families in the most direct way possible, including advancing their rights to determine and fulfill their immediate recovery needs,” said Lotta Sylwander, UNICEF Philippines Representative.

Philippines: OCD-CAR intensifies DRRM –CCA trainings and advocacy in LGUs

31 July 2014 - 2:04am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Carlito Dar

BAGUIO CITY, July 31 (PIA) - - In ensuring disaster-resilient communities and aiming for zero casualties during this rainy season, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD – CAR) continues to intensify its support for the conduct of Disaster Risk reduction and Management and Climate Change Adaptation (DRRM – CCA) training and advocacy in the region.

On Thursday( July 30), through the initiative of Mayor Edna Tabanda, OCD opened in La Trinidad, Benguet a three-day Contingency Plan Formulation Workshop which aims to help the municipal DRRM Council in crafting preparedness and response plan for worst case scenario of specific disaster hazards such as flooding and earthquake.

Next on OCD’s schedule is the conduct of Incident Command System (ICS) training for the municipality of Mankayan, Benguet on August 5 to 6, an initiative of Mayor Materno Luspian for their local DRRM Council.

ICS is a vital tool in organizing on-scene disaster response and management mechanism to mitigate and reduce vulnerabilities of local communities through the infusion of disaster management best practices that would ensure the safety of responders and other stakeholders, achievement of tactical objectives and for the efficient use of resources.

Earlier this month, OCD, in partnership with the municipal government of Luna, Apayao also spearheaded the conduct of Water Search and Rescue (WASAR) Training Course designed to enhance the skills of local responders in water, flood and rope rescue in order to increase effectiveness and limit liabilities during emergency operations.

Last July 9, OCD also closed its last leg of provincial DRRM summit for this year with the Benguet Summit held at the Provincial Capitol, in partnership with the Provincial DRRM Council chaired by Governor Nestor Fongwan.

OCD – Cordillera Regional Director Andrew Alex Uy, in an interview, outlined the importance of forging continuing partnership with the different LGUs, local DRRM councils and other stakeholders in the region, in enhancing and strengthening DRRM and CCA activities and advocacies in every community, towards a disaster – resilient Cordillera.

“We have to continue working together and maintain a pro-active approach in ensuring disaster-resilient communities in the region. We must learn from our experiences in past disasters and continuously aim for zero-casualty”, he added. (JDP/CCD – PIA CAR)

Philippines: Breastfeeding pushed in evacuation centers during disasters

31 July 2014 - 2:02am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Miriam P. Aquino

SAN FERNANDO CITY, July 31 (PIA) – Nutrition experts have advised nursing mothers to continue breasfeeding babies in evacuation areas instead of turning to infant formula milk which is not allowed in temporary shelters.

Ma. Eileen C. Blanco, Nutrition Council regional nutrition program coordinator, said mothers should continue breasfeeding despite harsh conditions in evacuation centers.

“Infant formula in these areas (are not allowed) in compliance to Executive Order 51 or the Milk Code. Though in reality, evacuation centers are flooded with milk donations during disasters,” Blanco added.

The council noted that malnutrition incidence increases in evacuation centers due to scarcity of food.

“When breastfeeding mothers are under stress, their milk production decreases,” she added.

“Life in evacuation areas is not normal but parents, particularly mothers, should understand that this is just temporary. Sooner or later, everything will go back to normal, ” Blanco said.

As part of the Nutrition Month celebration, the council partnered with Ajinomoto culinary expert to teach the Pantawid Pamilya (4Ps) beneficiaries, mothers, barangay officials, health workers, media, and line-agency representatives on how to cook a variety of recipes using sardines and noodles as the primary ingredients notimg that these are the most common food items available in evacuation centers.

"(When taken frequently) sardines and noodles become unhealthy because of too much sodium content and preservatives," the nutrition officer said.

The NNC also monitors the functionality of nutrition clusters in the barangays which play a big role to nutrition in the community.

They are the frontliners who have direct access to barangay folks and are more knowledgeable as to who should be given priority. They are tapped by NNC to identify the primary needs of the people in disaster areas and also monitors the continuous practice of breastfeeding among lactating mothers.

Blanco also reminded other basic needs like hygienic products - towel, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, blankets, clothes which should be included in the list of goods for distribution to evacuees during disaster. (MCA/MPA/PIA1 La Union)

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Nouvelles études de cas

30 July 2014 - 5:34pm
Source: Cash Learning Partnership Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo, Philippines, Zimbabwe

Étude de cas du CaLP - Soutien au relèvement économique des foyers urbains dans la ville de Karoi, au Zimbabwe

Dans la zone urbaine de Karoi, au Zimbabwe, Save the Children a allié des programmes d’argent contre travail au soutien des moyens de subsistance pour répondre aux besoins alimentaires immédiats et soutenir le relèvement économique des familles en situation de pauvreté. Le projet a utilisé des cartes à puces pour transférer l’argent aux bénéficiaires. Ce mode de paiement s’est révélé approprié et offre des avantages à plus long terme, malgré certaines contraintes technologiques dans la région du projet.

Télécharger l’étude de cas

Étude de cas du CaLP - Subventions monetaires sans conditions pour l’aide humanitaire et le relevement dans les provinces de Rizal et de laguna aux Philippines (suite au typhon Ketsana)

Afin de répondre aux inondations soudaines survenues dans les provinces de Laguna et de Rizal aux Philippines, Oxfam International a mis en oeuvre un programme de transfert monétaire en trois phases : 1) des transferts monétaires sans conditions pour la population afin de répondre aux besoins essentiels ; 2) des transferts monétaires conditionnels pour la population reprenant des activités génératrices de revenus ; et 3) des transferts monétaires pour les groupes afin qu’ils poursuivent leurs activités conjointes contribuant aux moyens de subsistance de leur communauté.

Télécharger l’étude de cas

Étude de cas du CaLP - Foires aux coupons pour les biens non alimentaires dans le territoire de Walikale, au Nord-Kivu, en République démocratique du Congo (RDC)

Afin de répondre à une situation d’urgence soudaine, l’UNICEF et Solidarités International ont eu recours à une approche monétaire par le biais de coupons dans les villages de Nyasi et Bobolo, dans le territoire de Walikale, au Nord-Kivu, en République démocratique du Congo (RDC). Dans le cadre du large programme d’intervention multi-partenaires et multi-provinces en République démocratique du Congo, connu sous le nom de RRMP (Réponse rapide aux mouvements de populations), le projet a eu recours à des coupons monétaires lors de foires afin de fournir aux familles récemment déplacées un accès aux biens non alimentaires essentiels. Cette étude de cas est un exemple parmi tant d’autres des foires aux coupons pour les biens non alimentaires et l’abri, organisées par les partenaires de l’UNICEF et d’autres organisations en RDC depuis 2008. Entre 2008 et 2011, ces foires ont fourni des biens non alimentaires à 157 000 familles en situation d’urgence (environ 785 000 personnes) en RDC. Fin 2011, l’approche avait été élargie à six provinces et elle est à présent utilisée pour fournir plus de la moitié de l’aide en biens non alimentaire du pays.

Télécharger l’étude de cas

Philippines: Philippines typhoon recovery aims for lasting results / Filipino pastors strengthen skills for next disaster

30 July 2014 - 11:57am
Source: Mennonite Central Committee Country: Philippines

Philippines typhoon recovery aims for lasting results

By Laurie Oswald Robinson

July 30, 2014

AKRON, Pa. – Since Typhoon Haiyan devastated communities in the Philippines last November, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has been helping residents such as Virginia Pagatan restore what took only hours to destroy.

Pagatan, captain of a local government council in San Isidro in Leyte province, is grateful for how MCC and its partners have been carefully laying the groundwork for typhoon response. She cried tears of joy when she spoke about a distribution of shelter kits, which are collections of basic home-building materials, in her neighborhood.

“Others have come and made promises, but today you have delivered what you promised,” Pagatan told Ann Campbell-Janz, an MCC staff member who traveled to the Philippines May 12-23 to monitor MCC-funded projects in the hard-hit provinces of Leyte and Biliran.

Early on May 21, community members and Pagatan’s volunteer shelter committee unloaded roofing sheets, lumber, plywood and nails from a truck. They carefully numbered 155 piles, one for each beneficiary in the community.

Pagatan joined a staff member of International Children’s Action Network (ICAN), which was working with MCC partner Church World Service (CWS) in implementing the MCC-supported distribution, to check names on the distribution list and help people find their pile of materials. Volunteers assisted those who weren’t able to get materials to their home location on their own.

MCC has slated $4.3 million for typhoon recovery, which includes providing materials to rebuild homes and supporting school reconstructions. MCC also is partnering with Peacebuilders Community, Inc., a ministry of Mennonite Church Canada Witness, to help provide training in emergency response and conflict resolution for pastors. (See accompanying story.)

“MCC is not just providing materials for rebuilding but is honoring the residents’ dignity and their desire to assist others in their community,” Campbell-Janz said. “The process of community involvement takes time but pays off by building community trust and cooperation. These attributes and skills will be beneficial not only for responding to this disaster but for possible future typhoons, earthquakes or other disasters.”

MCC’s shelter recovery response emphasizes establishing local volunteer shelter committees that check the beneficiary lists, encourage the participation of local government units and hold trainings in typhoon-resistant construction.

By late July, 80 percent of the 5,179 shelter kits to be provided had been distributed in consultation with local volunteer shelter committees in areas hit by Typhoon Haiyan, one of the strongest typhoons ever recorded.

Campbell-Janz met with beneficiaries such as 32-year-old Jenny Laurente, who lost the home in Navel, Biliran, where she lived with her husband and four boys. Laurente shared how her husband and brother rebuilt the family home in seven days with a combination of the shelter kit provided by MCC and materials they purchased with their savings.

In addition to providing materials, the MCC-funded response is employing local skilled and unskilled laborers to build homes through cash-for-work and food-for-work programs and is training them in typhoon-resistant construction methods. It’s an effort to provide short-term earnings and construction skills for people whose livelihoods on coconut plantations or in the fishing industry were disrupted by the storm.

MCC has recently approved a second project – a partnership with ICAN to rebuild 13 schools, Campbell-Janz said. “When the typhoon hit, agencies started their recovery efforts by providing emergency food and then shelter for families, and now they are ready to rebuild schools,” she said.

Unlike the more grassroots nature of home shelter repair, school reconstruction will require the efforts of skilled contractors, she said. The schools, which as public buildings have different and stricter building codes, also will double as typhoon shelters.

Mennonite Central Committee: Relief, development and peace in the name of Christ

  • END -

Laurie Oswald Robinson is a freelance writer from North Newton, Kan.

Filipino pastors strengthen skills for next disaster

By Laurie Oswald Robinson

July 30, 2014

AKRON, Pa. – A crucial part of MCC’s response to last November’s Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines includes training pastors to build networks to respond to future disasters and to improve their skills in helping people heal from trauma and resolve conflicts.

MCC is partnering with Peacebuilders Community, Inc. (PCBI) – a local Philippines organization with ties to the Integrated Mennonite Church of the Philippines and a ministry of Mennonite Church Canada Witness – to train pastors in each city in Samar and Leyte provinces.

PCBI’s four-day trainings and ongoing education build the pastors’ capacities in disaster preparedness and trauma healing and their skills in conflict transformation in a church context.

“The process includes a continuing dialogue in which each participant can identify their strengths and areas for improvement,” said PCBI’s Kriz Cruzado of Davao, Philippines, who is active in the project and also helps monitor MCC’s other typhoon response efforts.

“Capacity building should provide a space where participants can collectively design a mechanism to address their needs and provide understanding about how to strengthen their teams,” she said.

As part of trauma healing, pastors share stories of the challenges of ministering to typhoon-affected church families in the midst of rebuilding their own homes. The conflict transformation sessions promote peaceful methods of dealing with stress in the ravaged communities.

In addition, pastors are encouraged to create plans of how they will build disaster response networks in their own communities and how they will share plans for these with local officials.

Pastors also train in practical disaster response skills. PCBI encourages each pastor to purchase basic rescue items such as a 50-meter long nylon rope. Instead of life vests, they suggest using something more accessible and affordable such as empty bottles in a backpack.

And the training includes a simulation of a water rescue in case of flash flooding.

“The physical exercises built my confidence that I can share what I have learned with others,” said Lorenza Ecalde, pastor of God’s Glorious Church in Samar.

In reflecting on the trainings with Ann Campbell-Janz, an MCC staff member who traveled to the Philippines to monitor MCC projects in May, several pastors said they now see the importance of heeding typhoon warnings early, protecting a certain amount of water and food with plastic, preparing a survival kit and encouraging all their congregants to do likewise.

Each pastor who took part in the training is expected to form a disaster response network in her or his own community. Cruzado is working alongside pastors to help them plan and to ensure they have the support and confidence they need to pass on their learnings.

“These networks are learning how to encourage their local government unit to develop a disaster preparedness plan and to offer their volunteer services so that their churches and local government can work hand-in-hand when and if another disaster occurs,” Cruzado said. Mennonite Central Committee: Relief, development and peace in the name of Christ

  • END -

Laurie Oswald Robinson is a freelance writer from North Newton, Kan.

Philippines: Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan Emergency appeal n° MDRPH014, Revision

30 July 2014 - 8:51am
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: Philippines preview

This Revised Emergency Appeal seeks CHF 99.88 million to enable the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) in delivering humanitarian assistance to some 500,000 people (100,000 households) that were affected by Typhoon Haiyan. The overall budget includes CHF 8.19 million for the deployment of emergency response units (ERUs) during the emergency phase and CHF 2.29 million for the deployment of a Shelter Cluster coordination team. This revision aligns the plan with financial resources received or projected to be mobilized, agreed implementation approaches and what is practically achievable within the anticipated timeframe. The planned response supports around 28 per cent of the overall Philippine Red Cross Haiyan Recovery Plan. Details are available in the IFRC Recovery Plan of Action.

The situation

Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda) struck Central Philippines on Friday, 8 November 2013, with an unprecedented fury through a combination of cyclonic winds (winds of 235 kph and gusts of up to 275 kph), heavy rains which led to flooding and landslides, coupled with tsunami-like storm surges along the coast lines. Haiyan made landfall in Guiuan, Eastern Samar, then cut across Visayas, the islands of Leyte, Cebu, Bantayan, Panay, and northern Palawan, finally heading out to sea, west of the Philippines.

According to the Philippine National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) update issued on 17 April 2014, this combination of powerful forces caused a devastating humanitarian impact resulting in some 6,300 deaths, around 28,700 people injured, and more than 1,000 people unaccounted for.

In addition to human suffering, Haiyan caused extensive destruction and damage to housing, livelihoods and infrastructure, leading to a drastic reduction in living conditions, income, and access to basic services. More than 16 million people (some 3.4 million households) were affected, with 489,600 houses totally destroyed and 595,100 partially damaged. Affected areas include Tacloban City (which received the heaviest impact) in Leyte Province; Eastern Samar (area of first landfall); the northern tip of Cebu and Bantayan Island; Negros Occidental; Panay Island, and; Palawan.

World: Oxfam Annual Report & Accounts 2013/14

29 July 2014 - 8:01pm
Source: Oxfam Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Georgia, Ghana, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Nepal, Niger, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Syrian Arab Republic, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, South Sudan preview

Last year was highly challenging for Oxfam. We responded to 27 devastating emergencies, including a humanitarian crisis of staggering proportions in Syria, and supported the efforts of millions of hard-working people facing the injustice of poverty.

All that we do is only possible because of the contributions of our supporters, volunteers, activists, partners, staff, and the communities we work with around the world. Read our Annual Report to find out how we did it.

World: Global emergency overview snapshot 22 - 29 July

29 July 2014 - 9:08am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Guinea, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, World, Yemen, South Sudan preview

Snapshot 22-29 July 2014

oPt: 1,067 are reported killed in Gaza since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge. 215,000 people have been displaced, and shelter conditions are a major concern. Damage to critical infrastructure, including the only power station in Gaza and health facilities, is heavily restricting access to basic services. Insecurity is also impeding humanitarian access.

Syria: Islamic State launched multiple attacks on government positions across northern and northeastern Syria in its first large-scale coordinated assault. An increasing number of injuries – averaging 25,000 injuries each month - combined with the severe shortages in surgical supplies are rendering functioning hospitals unable to cope with the demand for surgical treatment.

Nigeria: The frequency and fatality of attacks are currently at their highest levels since the state of emergency (SoE) was imposed. Four attacks took place in Kano city, and two in Kaduna. Ebola was confirmed as the cause of death of a Liberian man in Lagos, the largest city in sub-Saharan Africa.

More on

Updated: 29/07/2014 Next Update: 05/08/2014

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

Philippines: Foco de desnutrición aguda en Mindanao

29 July 2014 - 7:44am
Source: Acción contra el Hambre Country: Philippines
  • El conflicto desatado en septiembre de 2013 entre el Ejército filipino y el Frente Moro de Liberación Nacional (FMLN) ha afectado a casi 120.000 civiles. 64.000 personas siguen desplazados a día de hoy, hacinadas en centros de evacuación sin las condiciones básicas de agua, saneamiento e higiene. Más de 1.000 niños menores de cinco años sufren desnutrición aguda en la ciudad de Zamboanga

  • Acción contra el Hambre, que trabaja desde hace nueve meses en esta emergencia, ha puesto en marcha una intervención integrada de lucha contra la desnutrición especialmente a niños menores de cinco años, mujeres embarazadas y madres en periodo de lactancia

Madrid, 29 de julio de 2014

Aunque la comunidad internacional ha reaccionado generosamente tras los últimos desastres naturales que han azotado Filipinas (p.ej, el tifón Haiyan de noviembre de 2013), estas grandes emergencias han eclipsado de alguna forma otras crisis latentes en el país, como el conflicto en la isla de Mindanao, la segunda más grande del archipiélago, donde viven medio millón de personas.

El conflicto, cuya última ola se desató en septiembre de 2013, ha provocado la destrucción de viviendas, infraestructuras, sistemas de agua, las instalaciones necesarias para agua potable y el saneamiento, y miles de personas perdieron sus medios de vida. Nueve meses después de iniciar los trabajos de recuperación y reconstrucción en la ciudad de Zamboanga, Acción contra el Hambre continúa brindando apoyo junto al Gobierno a 25.670 personas desplazadas.

"Seguimos muy preocupados por la suerte de las personas desplazadas, muchas de sus necesidades siguen sin resolverse. Estas condiciones plantean peligros para los sectores más vulnerables. Esto puede implicar muchas muertes, especialmente entre los niños menores de cinco años, por desnutrición aguda, y plantea riesgos para las mujeres embarazadas y en periodo de lactancia. Estamos colaborando con las partes interesadas en el apoyo a estos grupos vulnerables a hacer frente a su sufrimiento ", dice Javad Amoozegar, Director País de Acción contra el Hambre en Filipinas.

“El acceso a servicios de agua potable, saneamiento e higiene es insuficiente y esto tiene un impacto directo sobre el estado nutricional de los más vulnerables", subraya Amoozegar.

El Plan de Acción de Zamboanga, elaborado por las autoridades filipinas estima en 12,7 millones de dólares la respuesta necesaria, pero constata que solo se cuenta con 5,2 millones.

Desde que la crisis comenzó, Acción contra el Hambre, con financiación de la Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID), Unicef y el Departamento Ayuda Humanitaria y Protección Civil de la Comisión Europea (ECHO), ha proporcionado letrinas, tanques y tuberías, instalaciones sanitarias, grifos y sistemas de eliminación de residuos. También está organizando sesiones de sensibilización sobre higiene y preparando la intervención nutricional necesaria para hacer frente a los crecientes casos de diarrea y desnutrición entre los niños menores de cinco años.

Más información y entrevistas con portavoces: Acción contra el Hambre España Alicia García – Carlos Riaza: 91 771 16 63 - 608 78 83 20

Philippines: SSS announces list of areas with SSS calamity relief package fro Glenda-hit members

29 July 2014 - 12:51am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

All qualified members of the Social Security System (SSS) residing within the following areas declared under state of calamity due to Typhoon Glenda by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council may avail of loans and advanced pension payments under the SSS CALAMITY RELIEF PACKAGE:

  4. RIZAL
  16. ALBAY
  21. SAMAR

Applications will be accepted at any SSS branch starting August 01, 2014 (Friday).

The deadline of submission of applications is on October 31, 2014 except for the Direct House Repair and Improvement Loan, which is one year after the issuance of its corresponding SSS circular.

For details and inquiries, please contact the SSS Call Center at (02) 920-6446 to 55, or email

Philippines: Almost 100 beneficiaries from Pasay receive safer homes

29 July 2014 - 12:45am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Pasay City – After many years of living dangerously along the Tripa de Gallina creek in this city, Gildo Cajuntoy and his family will now have their own home, safe from floods and fires common in informal settlements.

The Cajuntoy Family is one of the 98 informal settler- families (ISFs) from Brgy. 156, Tripa de Gallina, Pasay who was awarded with a new housing unit on Friday, July 25, through the government’s Oplan Lumikas para Iwas Kalamidad At Sakit (LIKAS) project.

The Cajuntoys and the other families were relocated to safer homes in Trece Martires, Cavite.

Oplan LIKAS, spearheaded by the Department of the Interior and Local Government Unit (DILG), resettles ISFs residing on top of or within the three-meter easement of a waterway.

The goal is to relocate families in danger and high risk zones to safe and humane housing close to their sources of livelihood and also to lessen flooding in Metro Manila.

Called “Voluntary Pre-Emptive Evacuation” by DILG, the project is supported by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Department of Public Works and Highways ( DPWH), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Health (DOH), Department of Education (DepEd), National Housing Authority (NHA), Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Social Housing Finance Corporation (SHFC), and local government units (LGUs).

Brgy. 156, located along the 920-meter long Tripa de Gallina creek, was identified by the LGU as one of the city’s 42 danger zones. The soil in the area was becoming loose and houses were starting to lean.

DENR was in charge of the demarcation of the area while DPWH, MMDA, and Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission (PRRC) dismantled the structures.

The Relocation Action Center was bustling with activity as the 98 ISFs lined up to get their documents evaluated. They received an entry pass from NHA and Resettlement and Development Services Department, food assistance from the LGU, a medical kit from DOH, the P18,000 Interim Shelter Fund from DSWD. Their biometrics were also processed by MMDA and DSWD.

Present in the event were DILG Secretary Manuel Roxas III, NHA General Manager Chito Cruz, DSWD Assistant Secretary Javier Jimenez, Mayor Tony Calixto, Representative Emi Calixto-Rubiano, and barangay officials.

Mayor Calixto, Rep. Calixto-Rubiano, and Brgy 156 Chairman Serrano all expressed their gratitude for the project.

They emphasized that the participation of their constituents was crucial in making the project a success.

Rep. Calixto-Rubiano also mentioned that President Benigno S. Aquino expressed his concern for the safety of the residents of the city especially for those living along the city waterways who are always in danger during typhoons and storms.

Assec. Jimenez said that more than 1,000 families here have already received financial assistance from DSWD since the project began last year.

According to Sec. Roxas, this was clear proof that the Aquino administration was fulfilling its promises.

“Sa ilalim ng pamahalaan ni Pangulong Aquino, maari nang muling mangarap. Ngayong gabi, halos 100 pamilya ang makakatulog nang mahimbing, malayo sa kapahamakan (Under the administration of President Aquino, it is now possible to dream. Tonight, almost 100 families will be able to sleep soundly, far from danger),” Sec. Roxas said.

Headed by Sec. Roxas, the officials then proceeded to inspect the voluntary dismantling of houses by the ISFs.

Afterwards, the families bid goodbye as they travelled in vans to Cavite, carrying their belongings to a new way of life.

Cajuntoy said that after so many years of suffering in their homes – always fearful of fires, storms, and floods – they would now get to live in a place they can call their own.

“Ngayon, mayroon na kaming minimithing tirahan. May maipapamana na po kami sa aming mga anak (We now own our dream house. Finally, we have something to pass down to our children),” Cajuntoy stated

Philippines: NFA-Kalinga assures rice supply for lean & typhoon months

28 July 2014 - 5:55am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Larry Lopez

TABUK CITY, Kalinga, July 28 (PIA) - -The National Food Authority (NFA) provincial office has stocked sufficient rice in time for the lean and typhoon months this year.

Provincial Manager Antonio Macato reported that NFA-Kalinga has more than 19,000 bags buffer supply for its mandate to provide ready and cheap rice that includes other social commitments for disaster relief. According to Macato, NFA-Kalinga maintains about 80 “bigasan ng bayan” outlets in the different municipalities.

“Bigasan ng bayan” outlets are operated by accredited small private rice retailers established in strategic barangays throughout the province to assure access of quality cheap rice to low-income families.

Macato explained under the provincial office’s rice allocation program, not more than 6,000 bags of rice are distributed monthly to all the outlets at a weekly allocation of eight bags per outlet. To regulate its distribution, NFA releases only what has been sold during the week to sustain the eight-bag standard rice allocation per outlet.

NFA retailers sell rice at P28-32/kg but retailers in far barangays are allowed to charge add-on cost at a rate approved by the barangay or municipality, to defray transportation expense.

For its disaster allocation, Macato reported there is ready supply that could be withdrawn through the local social welfare and development institution any time during typhoons. (JDP/LL-PIA CAR,Kalinga)

Philippines: NDRRMC Update SitRep No. 1 Effects of Earthquake in Hinundayan, Southern Leyte

28 July 2014 - 2:56am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines preview

1. Situation Overview

  • An earthquake of tectonic origin with 5.4 magnitude (Ms) occurred in region VIII at about 7.57am

Philippines: Philippine militants kill 21 Muslims marking Eid: military

28 July 2014 - 2:50am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

07/28/2014 12:44 GMT

MANILA, July 28, 2014 (AFP) - Islamic militants on Monday massacred 21 people, including one child, who were travelling to a village feast in the southern Philippines to mark the end of Ramadan, the military said.

About 50 Abu Sayyaf gunmen opened fire on two vehicles in the remote town of Talipao on Jolo island, killing 21 people and wounding 11 others, regional military spokeswoman Marine Captain Rowena Muyuela told AFP.

"These were villagers who were travelling to a designated area to celebrate Hari Raya," she said, referring to the Muslim feast, also known as Eid al-Fitr, that ends Islam's holy fasting month of Ramadan.

A three-year-old boy and six policemen were among those killed in the attack, she said, while four other children were among the 11 wounded.

Muyuela said the militants appeared to have targeted the policemen, also local Muslims, who were aboard the convoy and travelling to the festivities in their personal capacities.

The shooting was the deadliest this year by the Al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf, which was founded in the 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network.

The group is blamed for the worst terrorist attacks in the Philippines' recent history.

These include the 2004 bombing of a ferry that left more than 100 dead, abductions of foreign missionaries and tourists, and beheadings mostly of local people.

Muyuela said a "military pursuit operation" was under way to catch the suspects, but soldiers had not caught up with them.

Jolo is one of the Abu Sayyaf's main strongholds, where militants are able to hide with relatives in the remote jungles of the mainly Muslim populated island.

The Abu Sayyaf is believed to be holding several hostages, including foreigners, on Jolo. Foreigners are warned not to travel to Jolo and nearby islands because of the threat of Abu Sayyaf kidnapping.

The Abu Sayyaf is just one of a number of guerrilla groups and warlords operating in the southern Philippines.

Fifty-eight people in the southern province of Maguindanao were killed in 2009 allegedly on the orders of a powerful political clan in what has been considered to be the worst case of election-related violence in the Philippines.

The attack was allegedly ordered by Andal Ampatuan Snr, a Muslim local political leader, and his sons to stop a rival from running against one of the family members for the governorship of the poor farming province.

More than a hundred suspects, including leaders of the Ampatuan clan, are already detained and many are on trial for the mass murder.

But dozens of suspects still remain at large while the slow pace of the trial has raised fears that witnesses could be intimidated or targeted by those who carried out the killings.


© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Philippines: Sixteen dead in Philippine militant ambush: military

28 July 2014 - 2:50am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

07/28/2014 06:41 GMT

MANILA, July 28, 2014 (AFP) - Sixteen people, including children, were killed when Islamic militants opened fire on two vehicles in a remote southern Philippine town on Monday, the military said.

Abu Sayyaf gunmen opened fire on the vehicles in Talipao town before dawn in what appeared to be an ambush related to a clan feud, said local marine commander Brigadier-General Martin Pinto.

"There were civilians as well as children among the 16 dead," he told reporters, without giving more details immediately about those who died.

A number of policemen were riding aboard the two vehicles, he added, although he did not say if they were among the dead.

The Abu Sayyaf was founded in the 1990s with seed money from Osama bin Laden's Al-Qaeda network, and is blamed for the worst terrorist attacks in the Philippines' recent history.

These include the 2004 bombing of a ferry that left more than 100 dead, abductions of foreign missionaries and tourists, and beheadings mostly of local people.

The Abu Sayyaf is believed to be holding several hostages, including foreigners, in the jungles of Jolo, one of its remote strongholds in the south of the Philippines with mostly Muslim populations.

Pinto said the attack in Talipao appeared to be an offshoot of a local feud between two Muslim clans, one of them related to Abu Sayyaf members.

The blood feuds, usually involving land disputes or previous unresolved murders, at times last decades.


© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Philippines: MGB-7 urges LGUs to undertake preemptive evacuation efforts

28 July 2014 - 12:33am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

CEBU CITY, July 25 (PIA) --- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB-7) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-7) called on local government officials to undertake the necessary preemptive evacuation efforts in low-lying, landslide and flood-prone areas that had been identified in the four provinces in Central Visayas. MGB 7 Regional Director Loreto B. Alburo said that these communities should be prepared always or even “overprepared” to ensure their safety since the province always experiences heavy rains due to the successive bad weather. Alburo made the appeal following a warning from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) that heavy rains areexpected as the typhoon has already entered the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR). “The high flooding susceptibility is due to proximity to perennial river creek system, poor drainage facility, inherently low lying area, proximity to coastal area, heavily silted river or creek, and encroachment along natural drainage channels,” he added. Flooding occurs when the level of a body of water rises until it overflows its natural or artificial confines and submerges land in the surrounding area due to intense and prolonged precipitation and other geologic factors. “It is very important that local chief executives should give more attention of areas that are found to be highly susceptible to flooding and landslides which have been known to them as indicated in the geohazards threat advisory issued to them,” Alburo stressed. He also urged local chief executives to get hold of the geohazard maps, and implement the necessary measures to reduce the impact of landslides and flooding within their areas of responsibility. He warned that the volume of water brought by Henry might aggravate soil conditions that have been either saturated by rains or loosened by trees uprooted by “Glenda”, thereby causing landslides. Meanwhile, in Cebu City, 19 barangays are highly susceptible landslides, namely, Lusaran, Binaliw, Guba, Budlaan, Malubog, Buot-Taup, Busay, Sirao, Taptap, Tagbao, Tabunan, Pung-ol Sibugay,Sudlon II, Sudlon I, Sinsin, Buhisan, Pamutan, Sapangdaku, and Adlaon. Barangays Tagjaguimit, Alpaco, Balirong, Mayana, Naalad, and Cogon in City of Naga.; 11 barangays in Balamban: Hingatmonan, Lamesa, Luca, Ginatilan, Cabasiangan, Matun-og, Cansomoroy, Gaas, Magsaysay, Cabagdalan, and Duangan. Five barangays in Toledo City: Tungkay, Pangamihan, Bagacay, Loay and Don Andres Soriano; Lamac in Pinamungahan; Five barangays in Asturias:Agbanga, Baye, Bairan, Kanluangan and Sak-sak. All mountain barangays in Talisay City; Brgy. Doldol, Purok 3 in Dumanjug; and Cansalonoy in Ronda. In Bohol, those portions of those areas which have been affected by the quake are advised to take the necessary precautions and to implement proactive evacuation are Tagbilaran City, Baclayon, Corella, Cortes, Alburquerque, Panglao, Dauis, Loon, Calape, Catigbian, Balilihan, Batuan, Sagbayan, and Carmen. Alburo said the assessment reveals that there are five barangays in Cebu City that are considered to be most hazardous to flooding and these are Kasambagan, Kinasang-an, Labangon, Mabolo, Bonbon, and Cebu City downtown areas and along the Guadalupe River; and seven barangays in Mandaue City to include Subangdaku, Mantuyong, Umapad, Opao, Alang-alang, Guizo, and Pakna-an. In Negros Oriental, five barangays in Guihulngan City, namely, Humayhumay, Imelda, Mabunga, Sandayao, and Tacpao have high susceptibility to landslides. There are 12 barangays with moderate to high susceptibility to landslide and these are Bakid, Banwaque, Calamba, Calupa-an, Linantuyan, Mabunga, Maniak, Plagatasanon, Planas, Trinidad, Binobohan, and Villegas. In La Libertad, nine barangays with high landslide susceptibility are Aniniaw, Aya, Biga-a, Guihob, Kansumandig, Mambutod, Managondong, Pangca, and Pitogo. Barangay Mandapaton has moderate to high susceptibility to landslide. Eleven barangays with moderate susceptibility to landslide are Manluminsag, Busilak, Cantopa, Elecia (Talostos), Eli, Manghulyawon, Martilo, Nasungon, San Jose, Solongon, and Tala-on. Around nine barangays in Bayawan City, namely Banga, Maninihon, Poblacion, Villareal, Nangka, Suba, Ubos, Pagatban and Kalumbuyan are flood-prone areas. Also in Siaton, barangays Poblacion II, Poblacion III, Poblacion IV, and San Jose were flood-prone areas; and barangays Calicugan, Maloh, Cabangahan, Giliga-on, Bonawan and Apoloy area landslides-prone areas. In Basay, the flood-prone areas are barangays near Tyabanan, Pagatban, and Basay rivers. A total of eight barangays in Dumaguete City are flood-prone areas, namely, Candau-ay, Cadawinonan, Tabuctubig, Batinguel, Poblacion, Junob, Poblacion 2, and Bagakay. In Siquijor, six barangays have been assessed to be highly susceptible to landslides and flooding and these are Libo in Enrique Villanueva; Bintangan, and Helen, in Larena; and Cang-isad, Luyang, and Sabang, in Siquijor. (mbcn/HFG/PIA7/ with reports from Eddie Llamedo/DENR-7)

Philippines: Trees for climate change mitigation

28 July 2014 - 12:28am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Leandria P. Pagunsan

DUMAGUETE CITY, July 25 (PIA) -- Trees are very important in sustainng ecological balance in order to mitigate the bad impacts of climate change. This was the statement of Professor Renee Paalan of the Biology Department, Silliman University during a Kapihan sa PIA forum on Renewable Energy vis-a-vis Climate Change held at Bethel Guest House recently. Paalan emphasized on the importance of trees in preventing floods and soil erosion as well as source of watershed in our forest areas. The professor explained that water stored in the barks and stems of trees are the source of watershed that supplies our water consumption. Citing the importance of trees, Paalan said that flood prone areas in Negros Oriental must be planted with trees that have well spreading roots such as the Acacia because it can absorb plenty of water. Paalan also said that fig trees like the Dalakit, Labnog, Mansinitas and the like are natural protectors that grow in river banks. “Let the trees live where they are grown because that is their natural habitat. They are there for a purpose, and that is to protect” said the biology professor.
Paalan said that portions of Negros Oriental's forest cover in Mt. Canlaon declared as critical area have been massively converted to vegetable production. Another protected area, the Cuernos de Negros with Balinsasayao Twin Lakes and geothermal reserved area have parts that are also converted to agriculture. Morever, Paalan said that Siaton, Sta. Catalina and Bayawan City have no more primary forest, what is left there now are only patches of the original forest. According to her the estimated forest cover left in the province now is only 1.2% from the original of 3 to 4%, and Cuernos de Negros area greatly contributes to the 1.2% forest cover left. The Biology professor also stressed that ecological importance of forest remnants should be sustained because these are habitat for natural vegetation of forest trees that can help prevent the occurence of extreme climatic conditions. Paalan in her closing statement urged everyone to contribute in caring for the environment by planting trees in our respective areas and most especially to put spirituality in the science of protecting the environment. (mbcn/lpp/PIA-7/Negros Oriental)