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World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 24–30 September

30 September 2014 - 8:48am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen, South Sudan preview

Iraq:Up to 13% of IDPs are located in areas that are currently not considered accessible by humanitarian actors. The overall number and geographical spread of IDPs pose a major challenge for provision of assistance. Approximately 1.5 million individuals are in need of emergency food assistance. An estimated 580,000 people are in urgent need of emergency shelter assistance.

Libya:New figures indicate 227,000 people are displaced within Libya, 166,000 of whom have become IDPs since May. Fighting continues; the new Government has asked for international assistance to fight Islamist militias.

Sudan: Fighting between the Maaliya and Rizeigat tribes has reportedly displaced 55,000 people (11,000 families) in Adila locality in East Darfur. Many people are taking shelter with host families in the area.

Updated: 30/09/2014. Next update: 07/10/2014

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

Philippines: NDDRMC Update Sitrep No. 13 re Monitoring Activities on the Alert Status of Mayon Volcano

30 September 2014 - 1:08am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines preview

Alert Level 3 is still in effect as of 8:00 AM, 29 September 2014, which means that magma is at the crater and that hazardous eruption is possible within weeks. Mayon Volcano’s seismic network recorded two (2) volcanic earthquakes and four (4) rockfall events during the past 24-hour observation period.

Philippines: Shelter Sector Response Monitoring - Typhoon Haiyan, Philippines 2013: Final Report: Monitoring Assessment 2, September 2014

29 September 2014 - 8:00pm
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, REACH, Shelter Cluster Country: Philippines preview

REACH Releases Philippines Shelter Sector Response Monitoring Report

Following the massive destruction wrought by Typhoon Haiyan in early November 2013, humanitarian efforts continue to support thousands of affected people in the Philippines to rebuild their homes and livelihoods.

The latest assessment carried out by REACH aimed to understand remaining needs of the affected population, the differing needs of vulnerable groups and outcomes of the shelter sector response in the Philippines. The information gathered in this assessment is critical for the humanitarian community and particularly for the shelter sector, to understand gaps in current assistance, progress in reference to the Strategic Response Plan (SRP) and the extent to which the affected population is ready to move into the recovery phase.

The assessment was conducted by REACH as part of its partnership with the Global Shelter Cluster. It builds on a baseline Shelter and WASH Needs Assessment in December 2013, and a Shelter and WASH Sector Response Monitoring Assessment in March 2014.

Philippines: Philippines Receives Different Kind of Humanitarian Assistance in Japan

29 September 2014 - 6:38am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Japan, Philippines

29 September 2014 – Philippine Ambassador to Japan Manuel M. Lopez expressed his sincere appreciation for an unusual donation to the Philippines at a ceremony held at the former Philippine Embassy Building in Nampeidai, Shibuya on September 17. Nine tons of emergency provisions were donated by the Chiyoda City Government in Tokyo for distribution by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in the Philippines in October 2014. The donation also included 70 disaster preparedness kits called White Boxes for the use of Philippine Embassy personnel in Tokyo during times of emergency. If unused, the White Boxes will be sent to DSWD a year prior to their expiration in 2017 and replaced by another set of White Boxes.

The donation assembled by persons with disability were sourced from disaster preparedness supplies scheduled for disposal. Japanese companies, government offices and schools are required to store food and supplies in preparation for times of disaster. The Japan Emergency Food Organization (JEFO) headed by Representative Director Kenji Kotani, assists in the assembly of emergency supplies for city governments, schools and companies. To ensure the quality of the supplies, inventories are updated and these emergency stockpiles are replaced every few years though many of these provisions are set to expire in another three to four years.

JEFO founded the White Box Activity (WBA) so that the disaster preparedness supplies scheduled for disposal are rerouted to countries in immediate need of humanitarian assistance. When typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda struck in 2013, the Philippines became the first recipient of the WBA. JEFO together with WBA are currently in discussion with IOM-Japan on the provision of emergency supplies to Iraq.

The ceremony in Shibuya was witnessed by officials led by Mr. William Barriga, head of the International Organization for Migration-Japan (IOM-Japan) and included members of the Mie Prefecture Assembly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA), the Chiyoda City and Minato City Governments and the companies, Sougoh-Service Co., Ltd and Hirose Shokai Co., Ltd. END

Philippines: Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda: Implementation for Results

29 September 2014 - 6:11am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines preview

Since typhoon Yolanda struck the Visayas region in November 2013, national government agencies, local government units, communities, the private sector, and the international community have been working together to meet immediate post-disaster needs. Without a concerted, well-coordinated, and adequately resourced set of programs and projects to rehabilitate the economic and social conditions, the effects of Yolanda are likely to have a significantly negative impact on achieving the growth, poverty reduction, and employment creation objectives of the Philippine Development Plan (PDP) 2011-2016.

The National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) has, so far, released two planning documents for the Reconstruction Assistance on Yolanda (RAY). “Build Back Better,” first published on December 16, 2013, provided initial estimates of the overall damage and loss caused by Yolanda, and adopted a three-phased approach to address immediate critical needs, recovery and full reconstruction.

The latest report, “Implementation for Results,” provides a framework to ensure close alignment between the objectives of the Yolanda rehabilitation program and the PDP. It emphasizes seizing opportunities for disaster risk reduction and community improvement consistent with the overall goals of the PDP. The framework focuses on priority recovery themes including sustainable land use, housing repair and reconstruction, business resumption and economic redevelopment, social sector response, and infrastructure restoration and mitigation.

Philippines: Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (23 - 29 Sep 2014)

29 September 2014 - 6:03am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Bangladesh, India, Japan, Philippines preview

JAPAN

Mount Ontake erupted on 27 Sep, spewing large plumes of ash and gas high into the sky and blanketing the surrounding area in ash. More than 500 rescue workers have been mobilised including the local police, fire department and the Japanese Self-Defense Force.

As of 29 Sep there are four confirmed deaths with a further 27 feared to be dead and 37 injured. According to authorities, similar small scale explosions may occur in future. However, there are no indications of a large scale eruption.

4 dead

27 missing

As of 29 Sep, Tropical Storm Kammuri continues to track off the coast of Honshu bringing high winds to the Izu and Ogasawara islands. The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued high sea advisories for the Pacific sea board of Honshu.
Kammuri is expected to have no humanitarian impact as it continues to track north east over the next 48 hours.

PHILIPPINES

Mount Mayon remains at alert level three, on a five-level alert system. As of 26 Sep, over 55,200 people have been evacuated to 50 evacuation centres. On 21 Sep the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, together with representatives from the Humanitarian Country Team, conducted a field visit to further assess the immediate needs and the support requirements of local authorities.

On 24 Sep, the Government held a debrief on the field visit where humanitarian organizations highlighted camp coordination and camp management, water sanitation and hygiene and education concerns. Humanitarian partners will provide bi-lateral support to local authorities as required.

55,200 people evacuated

50 evacuation centres

INDIA

Since 20 Sep, flash floods and landslides in Meghalaya State in India's north-east has killed up to 74 people. The Army and Border Security Force have been deployed to rescue thousands of people who remain stranded by the floodwaters. The area is prone to flooding during the June-to-September monsoon season. In June, at least 11 people were killed in heavy flooding.

74 dead

On 22 Sep, the Indian Armed Forces and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) scaled down rescue operations as water began to recede and commenced activities to clear stagnant water and drainage systems in Indian-admnistered Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian Armed Forces and NDRF are continuing relief operations, in particular, providing healthcare. According to a joint rapid needs assessment conducted by Sphere India the immediate humanitarian needs are food, drinking water, hygiene kits, temporary toilets and temporary shelter materials.

BANGLADESH

On 24 Sep flash floods affected 70,000 people in the district of Netrokona.
Humanitarian partners have provided food and non-food items (kitchen sets) to 9,000 families.

70,000 people affected

Japan: Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (23 - 29 Sep 2014)

29 September 2014 - 6:03am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Bangladesh, India, Japan, Philippines preview

JAPAN

Mount Ontake erupted on 27 Sep, spewing large plumes of ash and gas high into the sky and blanketing the surrounding area in ash. More than 500 rescue workers have been mobilised including the local police, fire department and the Japanese Self-Defense Force.

As of 29 Sep there are four confirmed deaths with a further 27 feared to be dead and 37 injured. According to authorities, similar small scale explosions may occur in future. However, there are no indications of a large scale eruption.

4 dead

27 missing

As of 29 Sep, Tropical Storm Kammuri continues to track off the coast of Honshu bringing high winds to the Izu and Ogasawara islands. The Japan Meteorological Agency has issued high sea advisories for the Pacific sea board of Honshu.
Kammuri is expected to have no humanitarian impact as it continues to track north east over the next 48 hours.

PHILIPPINES

Mount Mayon remains at alert level three, on a five-level alert system. As of 26 Sep, over 55,200 people have been evacuated to 50 evacuation centres. On 21 Sep the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, together with representatives from the Humanitarian Country Team, conducted a field visit to further assess the immediate needs and the support requirements of local authorities.

On 24 Sep, the Government held a debrief on the field visit where humanitarian organizations highlighted camp coordination and camp management, water sanitation and hygiene and education concerns. Humanitarian partners will provide bi-lateral support to local authorities as required.

55,200 people evacuated

50 evacuation centres

INDIA

Since 20 Sep, flash floods and landslides in Meghalaya State in India's north-east has killed up to 74 people. The Army and Border Security Force have been deployed to rescue thousands of people who remain stranded by the floodwaters. The area is prone to flooding during the June-to-September monsoon season. In June, at least 11 people were killed in heavy flooding.

74 dead

On 22 Sep, the Indian Armed Forces and the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) scaled down rescue operations as water began to recede and commenced activities to clear stagnant water and drainage systems in Indian-admnistered Jammu and Kashmir.

The Indian Armed Forces and NDRF are continuing relief operations, in particular, providing healthcare. According to a joint rapid needs assessment conducted by Sphere India the immediate humanitarian needs are food, drinking water, hygiene kits, temporary toilets and temporary shelter materials.

BANGLADESH

On 24 Sep flash floods affected 70,000 people in the district of Netrokona.
Humanitarian partners have provided food and non-food items (kitchen sets) to 9,000 families.

70,000 people affected

Philippines: NDRRMC Update SitRep No. 15 re Effects of Tropical Storm MARIO (Fung-Wong)

29 September 2014 - 1:46am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines preview

I. SITUATION OVERVIEW

The Low Pressure Area (LPA) east of Visayas has developed into a Tropical Depression and was named "Mario" on 17 September 2014 and exited the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on 22 September 2014.

Philippines: NDDRMC Update Sitrep No. 12 re Monitoring Activities on the Alert Status of Mayon Volcano

29 September 2014 - 1:40am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines preview

Alert Level 3 is still in effect as of 8:00 AM, 27 September 2014, which means that magma is at the crater and that hazardous eruption is possible within weeks. Mayon Volcano’s seismic network recorded two (2) volcanic earthquakes and four (4) rockfall events during the past 24-hour observation period.

Philippines: Help continues to pour in for storm victims in Ilocos Norte

29 September 2014 - 1:14am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Freddie G. Lazaro

LAOAG CITY, September 28 - The Department of Social Welfare and Development said typhoon victims in the province will continue receiving relief packs as more affected families continue to trickle in.

Marcelo Nicomedes Castillo, DSWD director for Ilocos, at least P 4.6 million worth of assistance equivalent to 13,630 family food packs have been dispatched to Region 1.

He said the Disaster Risk Reduction and Response Office (DRRRO) continues to receive and consolidate reports of typhoon-affected families which serve as a basis in providing relief goods.

Initial report from the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Council (PDRRMC) in Ilocos Norte showed that at least 354 barangays were hardly hit by Typhoon Mario with 13,815 families affected composed of 65,128 perons.

The PDRRMC-Ilocos Norte reported some P629.2 million in damages, P470.3 million of which were in agriculture and fishery and P158.9 million in damaged infrastructures.

Castillo assured the giving of assistance for the repair of the damaged houses in the province.

Earlier, at least 3,000 family food packs and 2,350 boxes of bottled distilled water had been released and prepositioned in the five cluster centers in Ilocos Norte. (MCA/FGL,PIA-1 Ilocos Norte)

Philippines: Rotarians donate rice for typhoon victims in Dagupan

29 September 2014 - 1:11am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Venus H. Sarmiento

DAGUPAN CITY, Sept 28 (PIA) - The city government here received 15 sacks of rice donated by the six Rotary Clubs in Cluster 2B in Dagupan for distribution to storm victims.

Dr. Edwin Aguirre, the city district calamity and disaster chair for Area 2, said the sacks of rice will be distributed to almost 250 families in Dagupan who were severely affected by typhoons “Luis” and “Mario.”

The distribution of donations was also conducted in the storm-affectyed towns of Calasiao and Sta. Barbara.

Research Planning Officer Carol Ann Español of CDRRMC said that the barangays affected by the typhoon are almost the same victims every year.

The villages of Malued, Lasip Grande, Lasip Chico, Bacayao Norte and Sur, and Pogo Grande are some of the potentially at risk barangays, she added.

Monitoring of families in the evacuation centers continue including livelihood source and assistance for calamity victims, Español added. (MCA/VHS/JJB OJT/PIA-1, Pangasinan)

Philippines: Phivolcs enhances monitoring network for Philippine’s active volcanoes

29 September 2014 - 1:08am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

SORSOGON CITY, Sept. 29 (PIA) – The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) in its bid to enhance the monitoring network of Mt. Bulusan, will be holding a three-day series of seminar-workshops in the direct impact and highly susceptible municipalities to volcanic eruption in Sorsogon.

Phivolcs Director Dr. Renato U. Solidum, Jr. in his communication to PIA Sorsogon Information Center said that their office is currently enhancing the monitoring network of Bulusan Volcano, one of the six most active volcanoes in the country, where new volcano monitoring stations has been set-up and being set-up.

The mission of Phivolcs is to ensure safe communities through establishment of effective monitoring network, development and application of technologies for accurate prediction of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunami occurrences, and other related hazards; mapping and delineation of areas prone to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes; and enhanced capacity for comprehensive disaster preparedness and risk mitigation. The activity is one among the Phivolcs’ strategies to carry out its mission.

Phivolcs slated the seminar-workshop on September 30, October 1 and 2, 2014 for the municipalities of Bulusan, Irosin and Juban. There will be three separate venues for the 3-day activities as follows: Sept. 30 (Tuesday) to be held at the Villa Luisa Celeste Resort, Dancalan, Bulusan, Sorsogon; Oct. 1 (Wednesday) at Lilia's Garden, Irosin, Sorsogon; and Oct. 2 (Thursday) at the Cayetano Hall, Juban, Sorsogon.

Expected participants are the members of the Provincial, Municipal and Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Councils/Committees, some members of the media and other stakeholders.

“The seminar-workshop aims to provide information on the hazards and monitoring updates regarding Mt. Bulusan and likewise come up with with an action plan that will promote safety of communities susceptible to volcano hazards,” said Dr. Solidum who will also be present during the activity to give his message.

Highlights of discussion will be the Bulusan Volcano Hazards to be discussed by Ms. Ma. Antonia V. Bornas, Phivolcs Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division (VMEPD) chief; and the Current Status of Mt. Bulusan to be presented by Mr. Eduardo Laguerta, Phivolc supervising specialist and resident volcanologist. A planning workshop to be facilitated by Ms. Ma. Mylene M. Villegas, Geologic Disaster Awareness & Preparedness Division (GDAPD), will also be conducted.

Based on the 2007 Bulusan Volcano Hazard Map, susceptible barangays to Bulusan Volcano hazards are Salvacion, San Bernardo, San Franciso, San Isidro, San Rafael, San Roque and San Jose in Bulusan town; Bacolod, Bagsangan, Bolos, Cogon, Gulang-gulang, Macawayan, Mapaso, Mombon, Patag, San Agustin, San Juan, San pedro, San Julian, Sto. Domingo, Tabon-tabon and Tinampo in Irosin town; and the Barangays of Anog, Bacolod, Aroroy, Bura-buran, Calateo, Catanusan, Puting Sapa, Rangas and Sipaya in the municipality of Juban. (MAL/BAR-PIA5/Sorsogon)

Philippines: DepEd assures continued delivery of basic ed in Albay

29 September 2014 - 1:02am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, Sept. 29 -- The Department of Education (DepEd) will be downloading over P23 Million in funds to procure 15,000 chairs and immediately construct 300 temporary learning spaces (TLS) for schools used as evacuation centers (ECs) to ensure continued delivery of basic education services to around 52,800 affected learners in Albay.

DepEd in a statement said that as of Sept 26, 77 schools are affected by the declaration of Alert Level 3 for Mt. Mayon. 38 of the schools in the Permanent Danger Zone have been closed and the remaining 39 are being used as evacuation centers.

DepEd field offices are finalizing arrangements for procurement and distribution of chairs and TLS for the 39 schools functioning as ECs. Initial support was provided through the assistance of UNICEF which committed to provide 175 tents and 400 tarps to serve as temporary learning spaces. These interventions are expected to alleviate congestion faced by schools functioning as evacuation centers.

The four DepEd divisions of Albay, Ligao, Tabaco and Legaspi have a total of 724 public schools, of which 648 schools did not suspend classes following the declaration of Alert Level 3. 711 of the 724 schools resumed classes as of September 25.

The Department's division officials and school personnel are working closely with local government officials and education cluster partners to monitor and supervise both the operation of evacuation centers as well as the delivery of education services to Albay learners.

The Department has also issued a call for donations for additional tents, tarps, chairs, and learner’s kits for the affected learners in Albay. To date, DepEd received more than 10,000 learner’s kits and has been arranging its transport and deployment.

Classes for the learners of the remaining 13 schools are expected to resume as soon as infrastructural and non-infrastructural interventions appropriate to their respective challenges are in place.(DepEd)

Philippines: ERC to build 10 schools in Philippine Typhoon-ravaged areas

28 September 2014 - 12:26pm
Source: Government of the United Arab Emirates Country: Philippines, United Arab Emirates

MANILA: Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, has signed three memorandums of understanding with the Philippine government whereby the U.A.E.'s humanitarian major will build ten schools destroyed by typhoon Haiyan in two provinces of the Philippines in November last year.

ERC says the new agreements represent the first stage of ERC's development efforts in the Philippine areas ravaged by the tropical cyclone, and follow its 2013 emergency relief operation to help the affected population.

The ERC team is supervising the construction of the ten schools which will serve some 7738 students of the two Philippine provinces in coordination with the Philippine government.

Secretary-General of ERC, Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, signed the three MoUs with Governor of Western Samar, Sharee Ann Tan, and representatives of the provincial government of Eastern Samar, in presence of U.A.E. Ambassador to the Philippines, Musa Abdulwahed Al Khaja, and members of ERC delegation and Philippine officials.

Al Falahi emphasised that ERC is making efforts to assist the victims of the destructive typhoon in response to the wise U.A.E. leadership's directives followed up by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and President of ERC. The Red Crescent, he added, has plans in place to implement its healthcare and educational projects in the affected areas.

Catbalogan City, the capital of Samar Province, bore the brunt of Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, leaving several thousands killed and hundreds of thousands homeless. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

Philippines: ERC to build 10 schools in Philippine Typhoon-ravaged areas

28 September 2014 - 12:25pm
Source: Government of the United Arab Emirates Country: Philippines, United Arab Emirates

MANILA: Emirates Red Crescent, ERC, has signed three memorandums of understanding with the Philippine government whereby the U.A.E.'s humanitarian major will build ten schools destroyed by typhoon Haiyan in two provinces of the Philippines in November last year.

ERC says the new agreements represent the first stage of ERC's development efforts in the Philippine areas ravaged by the tropical cyclone, and follow its 2013 emergency relief operation to help the affected population.

The ERC team is supervising the construction of the ten schools which will serve some 7738 students of the two Philippine provinces in coordination with the Philippine government.

Secretary-General of ERC, Mohammed Ateeq Al Falahi, signed the three MoUs with Governor of Western Samar, Sharee Ann Tan, and representatives of the provincial government of Eastern Samar, in presence of U.A.E. Ambassador to the Philippines, Musa Abdulwahed Al Khaja, and members of ERC delegation and Philippine officials.

Al Falahi emphasised that ERC is making efforts to assist the victims of the destructive typhoon in response to the wise U.A.E. leadership's directives followed up by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Ruler's Representative in the Western Region and President of ERC. The Red Crescent, he added, has plans in place to implement its healthcare and educational projects in the affected areas.

Catbalogan City, the capital of Samar Province, bore the brunt of Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines, leaving several thousands killed and hundreds of thousands homeless. – Emirates News Agency, WAM –

Philippines: Philippine Muslim rebels start difficult disarming process

28 September 2014 - 9:54am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

09/28/2014 06:59 GMT -

KUALA LUMPUR, September 28, 2014 (AFP) - The difficult process of disarming Philippine Muslim rebels after a decades-long insurgency has started, negotiators said Sunday, with the decommissioning of a first batch of firearms expected before year-end.

Philippine government and Muslim rebel negotiators started meeting in Malaysia on Saturday to discuss the disarmament process, key to ending the insurgency in the country's south and sealing a peace deal.

The two sides have appointed three foreign experts -- from Brunei, Turkey and Norway -- to join an independent body that will oversee the decommissioning process, together with four local experts who are yet to be nominated.

"Decommissioning is a delicate and difficult component of any peace settlement. It must be done effectively and sensitively," chief Philippine government negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said in a statement.

The meeting will continue until Monday.

Chief rebel negotiator Mohagher Iqbal had said earlier that 75 assorted firearms, including high-powered rifles, would be stored and padlocked in a warehouse as part of the "normalisation" process that will see the rebels trade their weapons for a chance to join mainstream society.

"Decommissioning firearms is really very difficult, but you have to undertake the ultimate sacrifice just to have the Bangsamoro," Iqbal said.

Bangsamoro is the southern region on Mindanao island where the country's Muslim minority will have self-rule under a pact they signed with President Benigno Aquino's government in March.

The peace deal seeks to end four decades of fighting that left tens of thousands killed and stunted development in the mineral-rich area.

Ferrer had said that "the first order of business" for the meeting would be for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) to submit a list of weapons and combatants.

Military estimates place the strength of the MILF at 10,000. The group has not disclosed the size of its force or the number of weapons in its arsenal.

Decommissioning will be phased, depending on the delivery of government commitments under the peace deal, Iqbal said.

Ferrer said there was enough "goodwill" to push through with normalisation after a bill that will grant the country's Muslim minority self-rule was submitted to Congress earlier this month.

Legislators said the Bangsamoro bill had bipartisan support and would be passed early next year, giving Aquino time to set up an autonomous government before his term ends in mid-2016.

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© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse

Philippines: GPH, MILF formalize normalization bodies

28 September 2014 - 3:45am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

KUALA LUMPUR – As Congress tackles the Bangsamoro bill for swift passage into law, the Government of the Philippines (GPH) and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) peace panels met Saturday in the Malaysian capital to discuss and formalize the bodies and mechanisms that will roll out the normalization process.

"The normalization process will be implemented simultaneously with the political process," GPH chief negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer said at the start of the three-day special meeting that is expected to end on Monday, Sept. 29.

According to the chief negotiator, the Parties welcomed the three foreign experts who will sit in the International Decommissioning Body (IDB) which shall oversee the process of decommissioning of MILF forces and weapons. These are Major Muhammad Aiman Syazwi Bin Haji Abdul Rahim from Brunei, Ambassador Haydar Berk from Turkey, and Jan Erik Wilhemsen from Norway. The Panels are expected to jointly nominate four local experts to complete the seven-member body.

"‎We thank the governments of Brunei, Turkey and Norway for providing us with the valuable services of their respective experts. Decommissioning is a delicate and difficult component of any peace settlement. It must be done effectively and sensitively. It is an affirmative support to the normalization process and will contribute to advancing collective security in the future Bangsamoro region and the country as a whole,”‎ Coronel-Ferrer said.‎

The IDB shall perform functions that include the conduct of inventory, verification and validation of Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces (BIAF) members, arms and weapons; develop and implement a schedule of decommissioning of BIAF forces; plan, design, and implement techniques and technologies for weapons collection or retrieval, transport, and storage and putting weapons beyond use in accordance with the ‎agreement of the Parties; and report on the progress of its work and submit its report to the GPH and MILF Panels.

‎Aside from the IDB, the two other bodies integral to the normalization process include the Joint Normalization Committee which will coordinate the different normalization processes and mechanisms; and the Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission (TJRC) which will undertake a study and recommend to the panels the appropriate mechanisms for transitional justice and reconciliation. ‎The JNC is co-chaired by Undersecretary Zenonida F. Brosas for the GPH and Muhammad Nassif for the MILF.
GPH members include MGen. Ariel B. Bernardo (Ret) and MGen. Leo Cresente M. Ferrer (Ret) while MILF members include ‎Atty. Naguib Sinarimbo and Atty. Blo Adiong.‎ Dir Susan Guadalupe Marcaida and Toks Ebrahim will co-head the Secretariat of the JNC.

Meanwhile, the TJRC was officially convened on the first day of the meeting. The Swiss Government upon request of the Panels provided the international expert, Madame Mo Bleeker, who will serve as chair of the TJRC. For the GPH, the TJRC representative is Atty Cecilia Jimenez, while for the MILF, the TJRC representative is Atty Ishak Mastura.

The TJRC is preparing to hold two events in early October in Cotabato City and in Manila to introduce the TJRC to the public and begin the process of consultations. The TJRC is tasked to study and recommend to the Panels the appropriate mechanisms to address legitimate grievances of the Bangsamoro people, historical injustices, and human rights violations and marginalization towards healing and reconciliation. - See more at: http://www.opapp.gov.ph/milf/news/gph-milf-formalize-normalization-bodie...

Philippines: Governance at Work: Empowering Communities in North Cotabato

27 September 2014 - 3:10pm
Source: Action Contre la Faim, Acción contra el Hambre Country: Philippines

Cotabato, Philippines –“How is good governance related to achieving a world without hunger?" the recurring question of the population in North Cotabato province.

Recognizing the important role of the people's organizations and civil society organizations as development partners, ACF is implementing the project “Empowered Participatory Governance towards Progress in North Cotabato Communities” funded and supported by the European Union in partnership with Mindanao Land Foundation, Jesse Robredo Institute of Governance of De La Salle University and the Department of Interior and Local Government, in the municipalities of Antipas, Arakan, President Roxas, Magpet and Matalam, with the municipal and barangay officials and local CSOs as the main project beneficiaries.

The project aims to help reduce rural poverty, promote effective and responsive governance and strong participation of the communities by strengthening the capacities of local government units and civil society organizations to effectively collaborate in development planning, project implementation and policy making.

"ACF promotes sustainable access to food and water for all, including the promotion of nutrition-sensitive food security and livelihood policies and practices and better access to clean water and good sanitation by ensuring that the local government units are able to respond to these issues and concerns," says Faramarz Hashtarkhani, head of base and program coordinator in Cotabato. "The partnership fosters collaboration with LGUs to embrace the principles of transparency, accountability, participatory, responsiveness, inclusiveness, and rule of law, effectiveness and efficiency, as the crucial ingredients in reducing poverty," Hashtarkhani says.

MINLAND, a non-government organization founded in 1989 in Davao, is implementing various urban and rural development programs and projects in Mindanao. For the EPG-Progress project, MINLAND will take the lead in organizing, mobilization and coordination with target beneficiaries and stakeholders in the implementation of activities in the project areas. "This projects hopes to institutionalize good governance and for CSOs to strengthen their working relations with LGUs towards reaching a common goal of stronger and progressive communities, " says Dam Vertido, Executive Director of MINLAND.

Named after the late DILG secretary Jesse Robredo, JMRIG, leads and manages the implementation of the project's capacity-building activities for the beneficiaries, and the installation and roll-out among local CSOs of the monitoring system on the performance of LGUs. Dr. Francisco Magno, JRIG director welcomes the opportunity to partner with ACF and Minland in facilitating the process of building participatory, transparent and accountable local governance systems in the five municipalities of North Cotabato. “With its investment in capacity development efforts, the project will enable both local government units and civil society to enhance their skills in participatory planning, budgeting and monitoring that will promote the effective delivery of services to the poor,” says Magno.

The project will be running over the period of three years from September 2013 until January 2017.

ACF international (Action Against Hunger) is a global humanitarian organization committed to ending world hunger. ACF responds to help vulnerable populations around the world through programs that empower communities to overcome the barriers standing their way. In the Philippines, ACF tackles the root causes of hunger, prevents outbreaks of life-threatening acute malnutrition, and helps the most vulnerable communities regain self- sufficiency through integrated programs in Health & Nutrition, Care Practices & Psychosocial Support, Food Security & Livelihoods, Water, Sanitation & Hygiene, Disaster Risk Management, Good Governance & Advocacy while incorporating crosscutting issues such as gender, care for environment, climate change adaptation and cultural sensitivity. Our programs save lives and provide communities with long-term solutions to hunger and its underlying causes. We work in more than 45 countries and reach approximately 7 million people annually.

For interviews with our spokespersons, please contact Rosa May de Guzman - Maitem at 09989985461 or rmaitem@ph.acfspain.org

Philippines: Haiyan-hit areas declared as first ‘Zero Open Defecation’ in Leyte

26 September 2014 - 10:22pm
Source: Save the Children Country: Philippines

Western Leyte, Philippines (27 September 2014) – Today 7 Haiyan-hit villages across 3 municipalities around Ormoc, Philippines have been declared as first in the entire Leyte province to eradicate defecation in public– a practice known to cause contamination of water sources and diarrheal diseases.

The declaration came after an authorized government body, including hygiene specialists and international organizations, certified the remote villages of Bulak, Masaba, and San Dionesio in Matag-ob town; Payao in Villaba town; and San Ignacio, Santa Domingo and Libertad in Kananga town as the first Zero Open Defecation (ZOD) barangays in the province of Leyte. To achieve ZOD status, each household in a barangay should have access to toilet and water supply. The recognition was a big feat given that 70% of people in these communities did not have access to toilets immediately after the super typhoon.

Western Leyte has areas with some of the highest rates of open defecation in the country even before ‘Haiyan’. In the immediate aftermath, the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) cluster estimated that around 65% of areas in the region did not have access to toilets.

Save the Children has been providing remote and vulnerable areas, including the ZOD-certified barangays, with construction materials and trainings to build and repair toilets as part of its comprehensive ‘Haiyan’ response. To date, Save the Children has provided construction materials for over 6,525 toilets in 32 barangays and plans to help build 3,475 more across 47 barangays in 2014.

“Save the Children knows that the practice of open defecation poses great health risks to the disaster-affected communities, especially children. By providing communities with toilets and clean water supply, especially those in remote and vulnerable areas, we can help protect children and adults from infectious diseases.” said Tom Howells, Save the Children’s Field Manager in Western Leyte Office.

According to WHO, diarrheal disease is the second leading cause of death in children under five years old, and is responsible for killing around 760,000 children every year. WHO added that the disease can last several days, and eventually dehydrates the body. The disease is common particularly among children and elderly.

Save the Children recognizes, however, that building toilets and repairing water lines alone may not fully address water and sanitation problems in Western Leyte. In response, the organization launched a province-wide campaign to educate people on the health risks of poor hygiene and sanitation. At the household level, Save the Children consulted with and fully involved communities and local officials in the design and construction of toilets and water facilities.

“It is not enough that we provide communities with construction materials. The communities that achieved zero open defecation were successful because they now see the importance of proper hygiene and sanitation. Without proper consultation with and full involvement of the community and the local government, these projects may not succeed in the long-term”, says Reggie Aquino, Save the Children’s Program Development and Quality Manager in Western Leyte Office.

Save the Children continues to work closely with the local government, the Department of Health and humanitarian organizations in restoring water supply systems to provide clean water; engaging schools in hygiene promotion sessions and training communities in reconstructing their toilets. Save the Children’s comprehensive response in the region includes providing communities with cash transfers, community grants for food, security and livelihoods and shelter assistance. The children’s organization is also undertaking repairs of schools, district health stations, provision of medicines and establishment of Child Friendly Spaces.

-ENDS-

Note to Editors:

Save the Children is the leading independent organization for children working in 120 countries. In the Philippines, Save the Children has been implementing programs for over 30 years in the areas of education, child protection, health and nutrition and child rights governance in both development and humanitarian settings.

Save the Children was one of the first organizations to pre-deploy its team during the Typhoon Haiyan to immediately assess and respond to the needs of children and their families. We are now one of the biggest responders to Typhoon Haiyan in Eastern Leyte, Western Leyte and Panay Island with field offices in Tacloban, Ormoc and Estancia, Iloilo.

In any emergency situation, Save the Children aims to respond to the critical needs of children and families inside and outside of evacuation centres, addressing concerns related to relief, child protection, education, health and nutrition including clean water supplies, sanitation, food security, and shelter.

For interviews with our spokespersons, please contact April May Sumaylo at 09173011240 orapril.sumaylo@savethechildren

Philippines: NDDRMC Update Sitrep No. 11 re Monitoring Activities on the Alert Status of Mayon Volcano

26 September 2014 - 8:00pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines preview

Alert Level 3 is in effect as of 8:00 AM, 27 September 2014, which means that magma is at the crater and that hazardous eruption is possible within weeks. Mayon Volcano’s seismic network recorded eleven (11) volcanic earthquakes and four (4) rockfall events during the past 24-hour observation period.