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Philippines: UNHCR lauds the Philippines, Indonesia, Thailand among ASEAN States to address statelessness

15 November 2016 - 3:27am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Country: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand

JAKARTA, Indonesia – The UN Refugee Agency has welcomed the progress made by the Governments of Indonesia and the Philippines to confirm the nationality of nearly 3,000 people of Indonesian descent living in the southern Philippines. This is one of a series of positive steps taken by ASEAN States since the launch of a global campaign to end statelessness by 2024.

Volker Türk, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection, made these comments at a Jakarta panel discussion on 14 November 2016 titled “The Right to Nationality and Ending Statelessness in ASEAN”.

“Since UNHCR launched the #IBelong campaign 2 years ago, ASEAN Member States have made real and quantifiable progress in addressing statelessness, with tens of thousands of stateless persons acquiring nationality and new policy commitments and initiatives made to further the goal of ending statelessness,” said Türk. “The cooperation between Indonesia and the Philippines is a good example of how States can work together to resolve this global problem.”

By definition, stateless people are not considered nationals by any State. As a result they often face problems accessing their basic rights and services and being fully integrated into society. Current statistics cover 3.7 million stateless people in 78 countries, while UNHCR estimates that at least 10 million people globally could be stateless.

According to reported statistics at the end of 2015, some 40 per cent of the world’s stateless people – more than 1.4 million – were living in South-East Asia. This included affected populations in Myanmar (an estimated 938,000, not counting those who are internally displaced), Thailand (443,862), Brunei (20,524), Malaysia (11,689), Viet Nam (an estimated 11,000) and the Philippines (7,138).

The causes of statelessness varies across countries. Gaps or conflicts in nationality laws is a key cause, often preventing children from realising their right to a nationality. In some States discrimination in nationality laws can cause statelessness, for example when women are unable to transmit their nationality to children. In other cases the lack of birth registration and resulting difficulties in acquiring identity documentation over generations prevents people and communities from being able to show that they are entitled to nationality under the law. However, as statelessness is a man-made problem, it can be solved.

In recent years, governments in the region have taken concrete steps to try and reduce and prevent statelessness. So far this year, a joint undertaking by Indonesia and the Philippines has confirmed the nationality of 2,957 people of Indonesian descent – including 1,226 children – living in Southern Mindanao. This means that they can finally enjoy the rights and benefits of having a nationality.

Thailand, which is part of the “Friends of the Campaign to end Statelessness” group of countries, has adopted the goal of attaining zero statelessness. Concerted efforts have helped more than 23,000 stateless people to acquire Thai nationality in the last four years.

In addition, the Royal Thai Government this year requested all districts in the country to identify and issue legal status to eligible stateless students in its database – a move that could benefit up to 65,000 students, alongside the clarification of procedures to facilitate processing of applications by stateless persons. In September the authorities also introduced a special regulation on the Immigration Act to extend stateless people’s freedom of movement from the district where they live to the entire province, which could improve their access to rights and services like health care and education, further facilitating their integration into Thai society.

UNHCR is supporting NGO Adventist Relief and Development Agency (ADRA) to open “service points” in different schools in northern Thailand’s Chiang Rai province where stateless students and their families can obtain nationality-related information and eventually lodge applications for birth registration, nationality, permanent residency and related civil status documentation.

The project helped Manee, 39, a single mother with two daughters from the Lahu “hill tribe”, to attain Thai nationality last month. “I have peace of mind and will keep my Thai nationality card with me from now on,” she said. “I can exercise more rights, and I will vote in every election I can. I can also move freely to see my cousins if I want to. And I can finally take advantage of the public services that will also be beneficial for my children.”

In Malaysia, civil society is playing a crucial role in engaging the affected community and resolving documentation issues. More than 700 stateless people have been granted Malaysian nationality so far this year with the help of UNHCR’s partner, the Development of Human Resources in Rural Areas (DHRRA). UNHCR is also working to raise awareness amongst children, teachers, students and lecturers through teaching toolkits and university workshops, and supporting NGO campaigns such as the “Journey to Belong” social media platform and the “Bring to Light/stateless children” campaign.

UNHCR welcomes the new partnerships that are being formed. Children will be the focus of the Coalition on Every Child’s Right to a Nationality, a joint UNHCR-UNICEF-civil society initiative to be launched on December 8 at the UNHCR High Commissioner’s Protection Dialogue on “Children on the Move” in Geneva.

“In our work across East Asia and the Pacific, we see that children who are denied a nationality are also denied their most basic rights,” said UNICEF Regional Child Protection Adviser Stephen Blight. “Statelessness pushes children into a lifetime of marginalization and vulnerability, which is perpetuated across generations. Birth registration is a vital tool to protect against this and close the equity gap – it is fundamental to address and challenge statelessness among children.”

The importance of preventing statelessness through birth registration was recognized in a Ministerial Declaration adopted by 44 States across the Asia Pacific in November 2014. States signed up to the goal of universal civil registration and vital statistics systems by 2024 and to address gaps in civil registration coverage for hard-to-reach and marginalized groups, including stateless persons. The Sustainable Development Goals, which provide the framework for global development, recognize the importance that no one is left behind, including in achieving legal identity for all, including birth registration by 2030.

At the regional level, the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC) agreed in October to include a project on the right to a nationality for women and children and the building of the ASEAN Community in its 2016-2020 Workplan. This will build on a series of regional workshops and consultations co-hosted by Viet Nam’s Representatives to the Commission and UNHCR which began in 2013.

“The ACWC project will provide a new platform for ASEAN countries to identify and share good practices, learn from their peers and strengthen national and regional capacity to further realise the right to a nationality for ASEAN’s women and children. These efforts can contribute to realizing the ASEAN Community Vision 2025,” said Her Excellency, Madame Lily Purba, Indonesia’s Representative for Women’s Rights and the Chair of the ACWC.

Philippines: Quirino to prioritize nutrition in emergencies

14 November 2016 - 10:24pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By Thelma C. Bicarme

CABARROGUIS, Quirino, Nov. 15 (PIA)—Gov. Junie E. Cua here has assured full support to the evacuees during emergencies as he urged the Nutrition In Emergencies (NiEm) team here to work hard for the nutrition and health needs of the residents who will be evacuated due to disasters.

Cua said nutrition is one of the concerns in disaster risk reduction management because if the evacuees especially the marginalized groups are not taken care properly, they will be prone to illnesses caused by malnutrition.

He also assured the provincial government’s full support to the needs of the vulnerable groups such as the infants, children, elderly, lactating & pregnant women, persons with disabilities and others.

For her part, Provincial Nutrition Officer Luningning Pacudan Rhodes said the role of the nutrition cluster is crucial in emergencies in order to prevent death and protect the right to nutrition.

“Affected populations during emergencies are more likely to experience malnutrition because of lack or inadequate food and water, poor access to health services, civil insecurity and inadequate delivery of assistance. Population groups who are already malnourished even before the emergency are more vulnerable to illness and death during emergencies,” Rhodes said.

Rhodes added that emergencies can also result to three nutritional concerns such as acute malnutrition marked by muscle wasting; chronic malnutrition manifested by stunting or being short or having low height-for-age and impaired physical and mental development in children.

The components of Nutrition in Emergencies generally include these five interventions -nutrition assessment; infant and young child feeding protection, support and promotion; management of acute malnutrition; micronutrient supplementation and other interventions which can be food or non-food-based interventions.

The NiEm team is composed of the Provincial Technical Assistants or PTANs of the DENR, DSWD, DOLE, TESDA, DILG, DTI, PSWDO, DAR, DA-QES, DPST, NFA, PDRRMO, PNREO, DPWH, Q-LIFE, PIA, Population Office, DepEd, OPag, PVET, SP Office and the Nutrition Office as secretariat. (ALM/TCB/PIA 2-Quirino)

World: Le climat mondial 2011–2015

14 November 2016 - 2:34pm
Source: World Meteorological Organization Country: India, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Africa, Thailand, World

Le climat mondial 2011-2015: chaud et fantasque

L’Organisation météorologique mondiale (OMM) vient de publier une analyse détaillée du climat mondial de 2011 à 2015 – période quinquennale la plus chaude jamais enregistrée – et de l’empreinte de plus en plus visible de l’être humain sur les phénomènes météorologiques et climatologiques extrêmes, dont les répercussions sont dangereuses et coûteuses.

Les températures record se sont accompagnées d’une élévation du niveau de la mer, du recul de la banquise de l’Arctique et des glaciers de haute montagne, et de la diminution du manteau neigeux de l’hémisphère Nord.

Tous ces indicateurs d’un changement climatique confirment la tendance au réchauffement sur le long terme due aux gaz à effet de serre. La teneur de l’atmosphère en dioxyde de carbone a atteint le seuil symbolique de 400 parties par million (ppm) pour la première fois en 2015, selon le rapport Climat mondial 2011-2015.

Le rapport aborde également la question des liens directs entre les changements climatiques d’origine humaine et des phénomènes extrêmes spécifiques. Sur les 79 études publiées de 2011 à 2014 dans le Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, plus de la moitié démontrent que les changements climatiques d’origine humaine (anthropiques) avaient contribué au phénomène extrême concerné. Certaines d’entre elles indiquent que la probabilité d’occurrence des vagues de chaleur a été multiplié par 10, voire plus.

«L’Accord de Paris vise à contenir l’élévation de la température de la planète nettement en dessous de 2 °C par rapport aux niveaux préindustriels et à poursuivre l’action menée pour limiter cette hausse à 1,5 °C. Le rapport de l’OMM confirme qu’en 2015, la température moyenne avait déjà atteint le seuil de 1 °C. La période de cinq ans qui vient de s’achever a été la plus chaude jamais enregistrée. De son côté, 2015 a été l’année la plus chaude jamais observée, or tout semble indiquer que ce record sera battu en 2016» a déclaré le Secrétaire général de l’OMM, Petteri Taalas.

«Les effets des changements climatiques n’ont cessé d’être visibles à l’échelle mondiale depuis les années 1980: hausse de la température au-dessus des terres émergées et de l’océan, élévation du niveau de la mer et fonte généralisée de la glace. Ils ont augmenté les risques de phénomènes extrêmes, comme les vagues de chaleur, la sécheresse, les précipitations record et les inondations dévastatrices» a souligné M. Taalas.

Le rapport souligne certains des phénomènes à fort impact, parmi lesquels: la sécheresse qui a sévi en Afrique de l’Est de 2010 à 2012 et qui a entraîné une surmortalité de 258 000 décès et la sécheresse de 2013-2015 en Afrique australe; les inondations qui ont fait 800 victimes et causé des pertes économiques de plus de 40 milliards de dollars des états-Unis dans le sud-est de l’Asie en 2011, les vagues de chaleur qui ont frappé l’Inde et le Pakistan en 2015 et qui se sont soldées par plus de 4 100 victimes; l’ouragan Sandy en 2012, qui a entraîné des pertes économiques de 67 milliards de dollars aux États-Unis d’Amérique, et le typhon Haiyan (Yolanda), qui a fait 7 800 victimes aux Philippines en 2013.

Le rapport Climat mondial 2011-2015 a été présenté à la Conférence des Parties à la Convention-cadre des Nations Unies sur les changements climatiques. L’échelle temporelle de cinq ans permet de mieux comprendre les tendances pluriannuelles du réchauffement et les phénomènes extrêmes, comme les sécheresses prolongées et les vagues de chaleur récurrentes, ce que ne permet pas un rapport annuel.

En vue d’étayer les négociations sur les changements climatiques qui se tiennent dans la ville marocaine de Marrakech, l’OMM publiera, le 14 novembre, une évaluation provisoire de l’état du climat en 2016.

Faits saillants

2011-2015 a été la période de cinq ans la plus chaude jamais enregistrée à l’échelle de la planète et pour tous les continents, à l’exception de l’Afrique (où elle figure au deuxième rang des cinq années les plus chaudes). La température était supérieure de 0,57 °C (1,03 °F) à la normale de la période de référence (1961–1990). Jusqu’à présent, l’année la plus chaude jamais observée est 2015, lors de laquelle la température a dépassé de 0,76 °C (1,37 °F) la normale de 1961–1990. 2014, quant à elle, figure au deuxième rang des années les plus chaudes. En outre, en 2015, pour la première fois, la température à l’échelle du globe a dépassé de plus de 1 °C la normale préindustrielle.

À l’échelle de la planète, la température de l’océan a également atteint des niveaux sans précédent. La température de surface de la mer, moyennée à l’échelle du globe sur une année, a été la plus élevée depuis le début des relevés en 2015, 2014 occupant la deuxième place. Cette température était supérieure à la normale dans la plupart des régions du monde, mais en dessous de la normale dans certains secteurs de l’océan Austral et de l’est du Pacifique Sud.

Des épisodes La Niña (2011) et El Niño (2015/2016), tous deux de forte intensité, ont eu une incidence sur la température de chaque année prise séparément, sans pour autant exercer d’influence sur la tendance au réchauffement sous-jacente.

Glace et neige

La banquise arctique a continué de reculer. Pendant la période 2011–2015, la superficie moyenne en septembre était de 4,70 millions de km2, soit 28 % de moins que la normale de la période 1981–2010. En 2012, l’étendue minimale de la glace de mer en été (3,39 millions de km2) a été la plus faible jamais observée.

En revanche, pendant une grande partie de ces cinq années, l’étendue de la banquise antarctique était supérieure à la normale de la période 1981–2010, en particulier pour ce qui est du maximum hivernal.

La fonte en surface estivale de l’inlandsis groenlandais a continué d’être au-dessus de la moyenne et la superficie touchée était, chacune des cinq années, supérieure à la moyenne de la période 1981–2010. Le recul des glaciers de montagne s’est également poursuivi.

L’étendue du manteau neigeux de l’hémisphère Nord était nettement inférieure à la normale pour chacune des cinq années considérées et pour chaque mois, de mai à août, ce qui s’inscrit dans la forte tendance à la baisse constatée.

Élévation du niveau de la mer

À mesure qu’il se réchauffe, l’océan se dilate, ce qui entraîne une élévation du niveau de la mer à l’échelle tant régionale que mondiale. L’augmentation du contenu thermique de l’océan est responsable d’environ 40 % de l’élévation observée à l’échelle mondiale ces 60 dernières années. Plusieurs études ont conclu que la contribution des nappes glaciaires continentales, en particulier du Groenland et de la partie occidentale de l’Antarctique, à l’élévation du niveau de la mer s’accélérait.

Pour l’ensemble des relevés par satellites de 1993 jusqu’à nos jours, l’élévation du niveau de la mer a été d’environ 3 mm par année. À titre de comparaison, la tendance moyenne de la période 1900–2010 (sur la base des marégraphes) est de 1,7 mm par an.

Changements climatiques et phénomènes extrêmes

Pendant la période 2011–2015, les changements climatiques anthropiques ont augmenté la probabilité d’occurrence de nombreux phénomènes météorologiques et climatiques extrêmes. Ils ont multiplié par 10, voire plus, celle des canicules.

On mentionnera dans ce contexte les températures annuelles et saisonnières record qu'ont connues les États-Unis en 2012 et l'Australie en 2013, l'été caniculaire de 2013 en Asie orientale et en Europe occidentale, les vagues de chaleur du printemps et de l'automne 2014 en Australie, la température annuelle record de 2014 en Europe et la vague de chaleur de décembre 2013 en Argentine.

Les signaux directs n’ont pas été aussi marqués pour les extrêmes pluviométriques (déficit et excès). Dans de nombreux cas, notamment les inondations de 2011 dans le sud-est de l’Asie, la sécheresse de 2013–2015 dans le sud du Brésil et l’hiver particulièrement pluvieux de 2013‑2014 au Royaume-Uni, la contribution des changements climatiques anthropiques n’a pu être déterminée avec certitude. En revanche, pour les précipitations extrêmes qui ont frappé le Royaume-Uni en décembre 2015, il a été déterminé qu’il y avait eu environ 40 % plus de risques que ce type de phénomène ait lieu en raison des changements climatiques.

Certaines incidences observées étaient liées à l’accentuation de la vulnérabilité. Une étude sur la sécheresse qui a sévi en 2014 dans le sud-est du Brésil a permis de montrer que des déficits pluviométriques de même ordre avaient été enregistrés à trois reprises depuis 1940, mais que les incidences de cette sécheresse avaient été exacerbées par une hausse nette de la demande en eau due à la croissance démographique.

Certains phénomènes observés sur de plus longues périodes, qui n'ont pas encore fait l'objet d'études officielles quant à leurs causes probables, concordent avec les projections à courte et longue échéance relatives au changement climatique. Il s’agit en particulier de la fréquence accrue de sécheresses pluriannuelles dans les régions subtropicales, comme on a pu le constater entre 2011 et 2015 dans le sud des États-Unis, dans certaines régions du sud de l'Australie et, en fin de période, en Afrique australe.

D’autres phénomènes, comme les saisons sèches inhabituellement longues et chaudes de 2014 et 2015 dans le bassin de l’Amazone au Brésil, sont préoccupants si l’on tient compte des «points de bascule» susceptibles d’être atteints par le système climatique.

Philippines: Stateless limbo ends as 3,000 'legal ghosts' in the Philippines get nationality

14 November 2016 - 9:45am
Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation Country: Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand

Around 40 percent of the world's estimated 10 million stateless people live in southeast Asia

By Beh Lih Yi

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 14 (Thomson Reuters Foundation)ind - After years of living in legal limbo, nearly 3,000 stateless people in the southern Philippines have been granted nationality by Manila and Jakarta this year, U.N. officials said on Monday.

The 2,957 people - including 1,226 children - are part of a group of some 9,000 people of Indonesian descent who have for generations lived in southern Mindanao in the Philippines.

Seafaring communities have crisscrossed the seas between the Indonesian part of Borneo island and the southern Philippines for centuries.

The group was given Philippine or Indonesian nationality this year in a move welcomed by the U.N. refugee agency UNHCR as a step toward an ambitious global goal to end statelessness by 2024.

"The cooperation between Indonesia and the Philippines is a good example of how states can work together to resolve this global problem," UNHCR's assistant high commissioner for protection Volker Türk said.

UNHCR estimates there are about 10 million stateless people worldwide, with large populations in Myanmar, Thailand, Zimbabwe and the Ivory Coast.

About 40 percent of them live in Southeast Asia, according to the U.N. agency.

Sometimes referred to as "legal ghosts", stateless people are not recognised as nationals by any country and as such, they are deprived of the basic rights most people take for granted.

Many of the stateless Indonesia descendants living in southern Mindanao interviewed in a 2014 UNHCR mapping study said they struggle with daily challenges including access to employment, livelihoods, education and clean water.

Under an old law, Indonesians would lose their citizenship if they lived abroad for over five years without registering with the Indonesian authorities.

Although the law was reformed later and Indonesians can reacquire their citizenship, many people do not formally apply for it and remain stateless, according to the UNHCR.

Meanwhile, in Thailand, which has one of the world's largest stateless populations, UNHCR said 23,000 people have been given Thai nationality over the last four years.

Many of Thailand's stateless are from hill tribes, with ancestral ties to their territory and are ethnically different from the Thai majority. Others are children of illegal migrants who fled to Thailand, particularly from Myanmar.

(Reporting by Beh Lih Yi @behlihyi, Editing by Ros Russell; Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers humanitarian news, women's rights, trafficking, property rights and climate change. Visit http://news.trust.org)

Philippines: Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (8 - 14 November 2016)

14 November 2016 - 4:15am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Indonesia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Philippines

NEW ZEALAND

On 14 November, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck northeast of Christchurch on South Island at a depth of 15 km. The media reported at least two people were killed. Following the earthquake, a two meter tsunami was recorded in Kaikoura. The Ministry of Civil Defence and Emergency Management (CDEM) immediately issued a tsunami land warning for the East Cape to Southland, including Wellington and the Chatham Islands but has since been cancelled. A state of emergency was declared in Kaikoura.

Evacuations were conducted along the coastal areas with local authorities leading the response. The National Crisis Management Centre is activated to provide support as required. To date, no international request for assistance has been made.

INDONESIA

Between 10 and 13 November, incessant rains across Java Island and in Aceh and Jambi provinces triggered floods and flash floods. It is estimated that tens of thousands people were affected, although some local governments were unable to provide data as the floods rapidly receded. In Jambi, one person was killed by flash floods. As the rainy season is expected to continue until March 2017, the National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB) warned that 41 million people across Indonesia are at moderate or high at risk of landslides.

41 Million people at risk of landslides

MYANMAR

From 8 to 10 November, WFP distributed 60 tons of food to about 7,200 people in four villages of northern Rakhine State which have been inaccessible since the 9 October armed attacks. While this limited access is welcome, thousands of people remain in need of humanitarian assistance with up to 15,000 people displaced in the area of security operations. In addition, 260 ethnic Rakhine IDPs remain displaced in Buthidaung and Maungdaw.

Humanitarian services, including food, cash and nutrition for more than 150,000 people, have now been suspended for more than a month. Advocacy continues for access to conduct assessments, deliver life-saving assistance and resume regular services. On 12 November, new clashes were reported in Rakhine State leading to an unconfirmed number of deaths arrests.

15,000 people displaced

PHILIPPINES

As of 10 November, about 31,000 people are displaced in Region III (Central Luzon) by Typhoon Haima, which hit the Philippines on 19 October. Of the total number of displaced people, 3,600 people remain inside evacuation centres in the provinces of Tarlac, Bulacan and Pampanga. Nearly 270,000 houses were destroyed, mostly in Cagayan and Isabela provinces. The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) continues to lead the government’s transition to recovery, providing emergency shelter funds and cash-for-work programming to affected families.

Philippines: Monitoring conflicts in the southern Philippines

12 November 2016 - 6:08pm
Source: International Alert Country: Philippines

We have launched a new monitoring system called Conflict Alert that allows conflicts to be analysed and compared in different regions in the southern Philippines.

Conflict Alert tracks violent conflict in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Davao and Caraga regions, which are all part of the Mindanao island group.

The system is the only regional conflict tracker that exists in the Philippines. It is an upgrade from the Bangsamoro Conflict Monitoring System (BCMS) that covered the ARMM and the cities of Cotabato and Isabela, and the Southern and Eastern Mindanao Conflict Database (SEMCD) that tracked the Davao and Caraga regions. These lie along Mindanao's southern and eastern corridor.

Although the BCMS was hailed as a pioneer of conflict monitoring in the Philippines, its geographic scope was limited. The SEMCD expanded the analysis of conflicts from one to three regions.

By combining these databases, Conflict Alert will improve our understanding of violence in the southern Philippines, which is a major site of rebellion, criminal violence, and shadow economy-based conflicts.

“With this new system, we can generate the evidence to check the incidence, causes and costs, and trends and directions of violent conflict. It will greatly help in policy making, development planning and peacebuilding for the areas covered”, said Francisco J. Lara Jr., our Country Manager in the Philippines.

The ARMM, Davao and Caraga regions comprise of 15 provinces and nearly half the population of Mindanao. They also occupy over half of Mindanao's total land area. The ARMM, the Philippines’ poorest region, hosts Moro rebels while the Davao and Caraga regions host communist insurgents. The government, led by new President Rodrigo Duterte, is currently in peace negotiations with both of these groups.

“Conflict Alert findings highlight the need to retire these rebellions. Political conflict, specifically rebellion, results in the highest number of conflict deaths among other causes of conflict. It also discourages investments and stunts development”, said Nikki Philline de la Rosa from our Philippines team.

The full findings have been published in our new Conflict Alert report, which can be downloaded here.

Nearly a hundred representatives from government agencies, non-government organisations, universities, donors, embassies, and businesses attended the launch of Conflict Alert. Among those present was the World Bank’s Country Director for the Philippines Mara K. Warwick, who said the organisation remained strongly committed to peace and development in conflict-affected areas of the country.

Hernani A. Braganza, a member of the government panel negotiating with the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, also attended. He said the data will help to push for a bilateral ceasefire with communist rebels.

Conflict Alert is funded by the Korea Trust Fund for Economic and Peace-Building Transitions, the World Bank, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Royal Norwegian Government.

World: Transitioning from the MDGs to the SDGs

10 November 2016 - 3:18pm
Source: World Bank, UN Development Programme Country: Bangladesh, Benin, Burkina Faso, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Ghana, Indonesia, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Nepal, Niger, Pakistan, Philippines, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen

New Report ‘Transitioning from the MDGs to the SDGs’ Calls for Collaboration to ‘Deliver as One’*

New York, November 10 — UNDP and the World Bank Group released its new report “Transitioning from the MDGs to the SDGs” today, coinciding with the UN System Chief Executives Board for Coordination's (CEB) Second Regular Session of 2016. The session brings together United Nations System Principals to enhance UN system-wide coherence and coordination on a broad range of issues of global concern. The launch of the report is timely as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has set the vision for the next 14 years of global action.

“The 2030 Agenda is recognized as a transformative, universal and integrated agenda. Implementation should not create 17 new silos around the Sustainable Development Goals,” recommends the new report.

The report pulls together the main lessons from the Millennium Development Goals Reviews by the UN System and World Bank Group for their engagement at the country level. These reviews took place at meetings of the UN CEB from 2013 to 2015.

According to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the CEB Reviews were “unprecedented – a truly integrated system-wide endeavour, championed jointly by World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim and United Nations Development Programme Administrator Helen Clark”.

The report concludes, “it is time to more systematically consider the ‘how’ of the integration at the country level and draw on the comparative advantages of the UN system’s diverse areas of expertise, how to work collaboratively and deliver together, and how to work on the continuum from the normative to the operational as a comprehensive and coherent UN effort.”

UNDP Administrator Helen Clark stated, “To leave no one behind, strong engagement with local communities and civil society is required. This should include investments in the empowerment of women and girls, sustainable energy for all, and the sustainable use and conservation of biodiversity.” She further added, “Achieving sustainable development is helped by having humanitarian and development actors working closely together.”

“The World Bank Group and the United Nations have a shared vision of a world free of extreme poverty by 2030,” said World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim. “To meet our ambitious goals, World Bank Group and UN staff must collaborate effectively with our country partners, use our comparative advantages, and remove bottlenecks that impede delivery. This report has shown that, together, we can achieve better results for people and the planet.”

“The MDG acceleration exercise not only delivered results on the MDG targets, it also provided lessons that are directly applicable to our work on the Sustainable Development Goals and the World Bank Group’s own twin goals to end poverty and boost shared prosperity. We know that to achieve those ambitious and interrelated targets at scale, World Bank Group and UN staff have to be flexible, share knowledge, and focus on measurable results,” stated Mahmoud Mohieldin, World Bank Group Senior Vice President for the 2030 Development Agenda, United Nations Relations, and Partnerships.

“The CEB reviews were the highest level of analysis the United Nation’s leadership devoted to advocating the need to work across silos, and work across the Millennium Development Goals to tackle off-track MDG targets, with an implicit aim to learn lessons for what was to come: a more integrated sustainable development horizon called the SDGs. There is a shared understanding that investing in solutions within a sector was often not sufficient to meet a particular MDG target,” said Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UN Assistant Secretary General and Director of UNDP’s Bureau for Policy and Programme Support.

Simona Petrova, Acting Secretary of the CEB and Director of the CEB Secretariat, United Nations recalled, “the MDG Reviews showed that significant development gains were possible when the UN system really came together in support of countries. A hallmark of the Reviews was the high level of coordination and cooperation between the UN Country Teams and the World Bank Group offices. To help meet the ambition of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, achieving this degree of collaboration ought to be the goal in all countries from the very beginning of the SDG implementation period.”

The new report draws attention to the three main conclusions that need to be applied to the transition to the 2030 Agenda, such as: a) Support cross-institutional collaboration between the UN and the World Bank Group; b) Advance better understanding of cross-sectoral work, and the interrelatedness of goals and targets; and c) Promote global and high-level advocacy.

The report discusses 16 countries and the Pacific Island sub-region— an exercise that brought together the UN and the World Bank Group, which systemically identified the country situation, the bottlenecks to attainment of the MDGs, and potential solutions to be implemented. Since many MDGs have been absorbed into the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), many of the observations and solutions provided are expected to prove useful to implementation of the SDGs.

MEDIA CONTACTS

In New York, UNDP
Sangita Khadka
Tel : +1 212-906-5043
sangita.khadka@undp.org

In Washington, WBG
Mike Kelleher
Tel : +1 202-473-4440
mkelleher1@worldbank.org

Philippines: Meta-Evaluation of the Typhoon Haiyan Recovery Operation Final Report

10 November 2016 - 11:24am
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: Philippines

INTRODUCTION

This Final Report presents the main concluding findings, as well as lessons learned and recommendations, emanating from the Typhoon Haiyan Meta-Evaluation, conducted in May/June 2016.|t is the final deliverable of the review process, and builds upon the common key findings and recommendations presented in the seven Red Cross Red Crescent (RCRC) Movement Partner evaluations through an authentication process consisting of a validation field mission to Haiyan affected areas, informant interviews and discussions with Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and other National Society staff at headquarters in Manila undertaken by the Consultant, and conclusions emanating from the Typhoon Haiyan Learning Conference held onJune 1,2016. This methodology will be described in greater detail below.

As noted above, the Final Report comments on whether the main findings from the RCRC evaluations were justified, as well as an overview, of the methodology employed in the validation process. Additionally and where appropriate, it will also add some commentary, on the various findings and validation process.

It will also provide the following Annexes:

Annex A: Tvphoon Haiyan Meta-Evaluation Terms of Reference

Annex B: List of Evaluations Reviewed

Annex C: Evaluation Score Card Assessment Results

Annex D: 'The Evaluation Matrix/Interview Protocol emploved for the validation exercise

Annex E: Outline of all Evaluation Recommendations

Annex F: Typhoon Haiyan Learning Conference Outcomes

It should be noted that this is a review document and not an evaluation exercise. The findings presented are taken from evaluations commissioned by various Movement Partners and have been available to the PRC and other Movement Partners since their submission. The purpose of the MetaEvaluation was to document and compile the most frequent findings over the evaluations, and as such, findings presented here are not the Consultant's, but findings from the evaluations themselves which have been organized and compiled in a more coherent manner.

All work undertaken over the course of this consultancy adhered to the highest ethical standards and Professional practice and in conformity with internationally accepted standards, most notably the IFRC Framework for Evaluation, which contains Movement-wide best practices and standards for both data collection and evaluation. The collection of primary data as part of the validation activity was conducted with appropriate sensitivity to both the needs of beneficiary groups as well as the RCRC Movement itself.

This document is meant to act as a learning tool for the PRC and other Movement partners.

World: Zika virus, Microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome Situation Report, 10 November 2016

10 November 2016 - 11:14am
Source: World Health Organization Country: American Samoa, Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba (The Netherlands), Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bonaire, Saint Eustatius and Saba (The Netherlands), Brazil, British Virgin Islands, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao (The Netherlands), Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Fiji, French Guiana (France), French Polynesia (France), Gabon, Grenada, Guadeloupe (France), Guatemala, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Martinique (France), Mexico, Micronesia (Federated States of), New Caledonia (France), Nicaragua, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico (The United States of America), Saint Barthélemy (France), Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Martin (France), Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, Singapore, Sint Maarten (The Netherlands), Solomon Islands, Suriname, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States of America, United States Virgin Islands, Vanuatu, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Viet Nam, World

KEY UPDATES

 Countries and territories reporting mosquito-borne Zika virus infections for the first time in the past week:

o Montserrat, Palau

 Countries and territories reporting microcephaly and other central nervous system (CNS) malformations potentially associated with Zika virus infection for the first time in the past week:

o None

 Countries and territories reporting Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) cases associated with Zika virus infection for the first time in the past week:

o None

 The fifth meeting of the Emergency Committee on Zika virus, microcephaly other neurological disorders will be convened on 18 November 2016.

Philippines: Philippines: PRC extends assistance to Typhoon Lawin affected areas in Tuguegarao City

10 November 2016 - 1:59am
Source: Philippine National Red Cross Country: Philippines

In the aftermath of Typhoon Lawin, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) rushed to Tuguegarao City, and other affected areas, in a convoy consisting of payloader, dump truck, 6x6 multipurpose truck, rescue truck, Humvee, Hot Meals on Wheels van, among others to carry out rescue, clearing and relief operations from October 25-30, 2016.

Tuguegarao City was one of the areas hardly hit by the typhoon which destroyed several houses and school buildings, rendered roads impassable, and broke down power and communication networks.

“I commend our staff and volunteers who cleared away debris brought by Typhoon Lawin in Tuguegarao, which is one of the areas badly hit by the typhoon. Our clearing operations paved the way for relief materials to easily reach the affected families and individuals, and helped prepare the schools for the resumption of classes in the schools that were affected,” said PRC chairman Richard Gordon.

PRC’s payloader and dump truck supported clearing operations in Tuguegarao’s Maharlika Highway, while the 6x6 multi-purpose truck, rescue truck and Humvee were used to clear areas at the Tuguegarao West Central School on October 25.

On October 26, the Red Cross team cleared debris and garbage at the St. Louis University in Likano St., Brgy. Ugac Sur and at the Tuguegarao West Central School. On the same day, the team distributed relief goods to 296 families at Brgy. Centro 11 and to 171 families at Brgy. Patagueleg, Peñablanca.

The following day, October 27, Red Cross cleared the areas of Centro 5, Brgy. Arellano and at the Tuguegarao West Central School. The team also assisted PRC Cagayan Chapter in the distribution of relief goods to 95 families at Brgy. Parabba, Penablanca and to 95 families at Brgy. Centro 9.

While on October 28, PRC payloader and dump truck were also used to clear the debris at Brgy. Likaro Centro 5 and at the campus of Cagayan National High School. On October 29, clearing operation was done in the areas of Ugac North, Brgy. Catagaman Nuevo and at the Tuguegarao North East Central School.

“We, from Tuguegarao North East Central School, admire the courage and strength that the Red Cross rescue team showed to us at our lowest point. They were the only humanitarian organization that gave their time to help us clear debris in our school, particularly the fallen acacia and narra trees on our school grounds. Without their help and effort to lift, cut and clear the debris and fallen branches, our school’s situation will be really hopeless. We are deeply grateful to receive such kind of selfless help from a humanitarian organization like the Red Cross,” said Gail Policarpio, the school’s principal.

The Red Cross continued their clearing operation at Tuguegarao North East Central School on October 30, as well as in the areas of Brgy. Caritan (Bagay Road), Fermine St, Caritan Sur, Pelesidad South Diversion Road, Tuluyan Sur Norte and San Gabriel Village. Also on that day, relief distribution and hot meals feeding were done at Roma Norte, Enrile.

Aside from clearing, hot meals and relief distribution, PRC also provided welfare services and first aid management for affected families and individuals in Tuguegarao, Peñablanca, and other affected areas in Cagayan.

With the clearing and emergency operations done in Tuguegarao City and the rest of Cagayan, the Red Cross is now ready to assist them towards recovery as people begin to get back on their feet and rebuild their lives.

Philippines: How women's silence secures the peace: analysing sexual and gender-based violence in a low-intensity conflict

10 November 2016 - 12:31am
Source: Oxfam Country: Philippines

Most studies of the gendered impact of conflict focus on sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) atrocities committed in high-intensity conflict environments. In contrast, this article focuses on the patterns of SGBV in Mindanao, Philippines – an environment of protracted low-intensity conflict within a fragile state. We examine the current Mindanao peace process to highlight the disempowerment of survivors of SGBV, due in large part to the reporting constraints that affect those most likely to be targeted for sexual violence by rival groups, some of whom are closely associated with the peace process. By making visible the significant social, political-economic, and institutional barriers affecting the recognition and reporting of SGBV, we discuss how and why conflict-related SGBV continues in fragile and low-intensity conflict environments.

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For the full table of contents for this and previous issues of this journal, please visit the Gender and Development website.

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World: Internal Displacement Update, 20 October - 2 November 2016

9 November 2016 - 11:48pm
Source: Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre Country: Afghanistan, China, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Italy, Mozambique, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, Syrian Arab Republic, World

This update presents key internal displacement developments and policy updates from 20 October to 2 November 2016.

Philippines: DSWD releases Status Report on ‘Yolanda’ Funds and Shelters for survivors

9 November 2016 - 8:46pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Today is the 3rd anniversary of the tragedies caused by Supertyphoon Yolanda and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is releasing this 3rd report on its investigations on its own ‘Yolanda’ efforts.

DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo, speaking today to ‘Yolanda’ survivors in Tacloban and addressing other survivors in other regions severely hit by ‘Yolanda’, said that they are releasing their initial findings in response to the clamor of Filipinos for an explanation as to where all the donations and government disaster funds went.

“We want to inform the Filipino people, the international community and most particularly the ‘Yolanda’ survivors regarding the ‘Yolanda’ funds and how they have been utilized. Most of the funds were allotted for Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA), but even now thousands of ‘Yolanda’ survivors and their families have yet to receive a single peso. In the meantime, a shocking 62% of all DSWD core shelters have yet to be built,” she said.

“I have already made all these findings known to President Rodrigo Duterte, as well as informed him of the demands of ‘Yolanda’ survivors for justice and accountability. He has declared his preparedness to address these issues, and said that he is not indifferent to the plight of the poor in Tacloban and the other provinces devastated by ‘Yolanda’,” the Secretary continued.

Philippines: DSWD expresses solidarity with ‘Yolanda’ survivors

9 November 2016 - 8:41pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo and other DSWD officials joined President Rodrigo Duterte in this afternoon’s ceremony on the commemoration of the third year anniversary of Typhoon Yolanda at the Holy Cross Memorial Park Mass Grave, Barangay Basper, Tacloban City.

‘Yolanda’ battered the Visayas Region on November 8, 2013.

In his message, Pres. Duterte announced that ‘Yolanda’ survivors who were qualified to receive Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) but were unable to receive such from the previous administration will be given P10,000 each. DSWD and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) will shell out P5,000 each to complete the full amount.

Sec. Taguiwalo explained that the amount is not an emergency shelter assistance but rather as a valid response to the clamor of families who were denied of their right to the assistance.

Solidarity

Since yesterday, Sec. Taguiwalo has been going around ‘Yolanda’- hit areas in Leyte province to express her solidarity with the survivors.

She addressed the survivors in Tacloban, “Una, ayaw na natin maulit ang ganoon na pinsala tulad ng ‘Yolanda’ na libu-libong nagbuwis ng buhay na marami sa kanila ang hindi na nakita ang bangkay. Pangalawa, meron pa ring hindi natutulungan ng pamahalaan kahit tatlong taon na ang nakakaraan (First, we don’t want a repeat of what happened during ‘Yolanda’ wherein thousands died. Second, there are still many survivors who have yet to receive assistance three years after the disaster).”

The Secretary added, “Nakiki-isa ako sa sa mga hinaing ng mamamayan (I am one with our countrymen’s woes),” as she discussed the issue on the implementation of the Emergency Shelter Assistance (ESA) program.

She explained that President Rodrigo Duterte committed to find ways for government to assists those who have been deprived of help.

Sec. Taguiwalo also said that in terms of the on-going shelter assistance, DSWD will ensure that the construction of core shelters will be finished. The Department will also assist in the provision of livelihood opportunities to the victims.

Moreover, the Secretary stressed that she is not looking for someone to blame as she shared the updates on the ESA implementation. She said that the information DSWD is sharing is merely in response to the many queries of victims regarding ESA.

Sec. Taguiwalo added that the data on ESA and core shelter program recently released are the results of the assessment made by the DSWD internal audit team on the ‘Yolanda’ disaster operations. The Secretary made special mention of farmers and fishermen who were affected by the super typhoon and recognized their role in society, as they are the main food suppliers in the community. She reminded them and the other victims to organize themselves so that together they can help one another seek assistance and achieve development.

Sec. Taguiwalo concluded her visit to the province by proceeding to the Regional Rehabilitation Center for the Youth (RRCY), a DSWD facility which was also hard-hit by ‘Yolanda’.

She also expressed her condolence to the center staff and clients who lost a social worker at the height of the super typhoon while going to work.

Addressing the center-residents, she said, “Ito ay panahon ng pagbabago. Mahaba pa ang kinabukasan ninyo. Paunlarin ang kakayahan ninyo para magkaroon ng katuparan ang inyong pangarap (This is the time for change. You have the future ahead of you. Develop and home your skills so that you can fulfill your dreams).”

In a related development in Region VI, DSWD Assistant Secretary Hope Hervilla also visited ‘Yolanda’-hit areas and conducted a dialogue with the survivors in partnership with civil society organizations like Rise-Up Aklan, Kusog Sang Pumuluyo, and Bayan Panay.

Asec. Hervilla emphasized the DSWD’s message to the more than 300 ‘Yolanda’ survivors who participated in the dialogue, “Nasa lakas ng tao ang pagbabago (the power to achieve change is within the people’s collective efforts).”

Asec. Hervilla, echoing the call of Sec. Taguiwalo, also urged the survivors to organize themselves and with one voice, express their needs for development.

“We want real change, and this means everyone has to work,” Asec. Hope added.

Responding to the inquiries of the victims on the ESA provision, Asec. Hervilla explained, “While the Department cannot assure payment to the remaining 83,000 families who did not receive their cash assistance, DSWD can provide them with other available services like livelihood assistance and other basic services.”

Philippines: Philippines: Populations at Risk Serious Concern (19 October 2016)

9 November 2016 - 2:47pm
Source: Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect Country: Philippines

Philippines

President Duterte's "war on drugs" leaves civilians at risk of extrajudicial killing and potential mass atrocity crimes.

BACKGROUND: 

Identifying the trafficking of illegal drugs as one of the Philippines' top social problems, President Rodrigo Duterte's 2016 election campaign promised to crush criminality, drugs and corruption within six months. During his campaign, President Duterte publicly advocated for the extrajudicial killing of suspected drug dealers and users. 

Since President Duterte took office on 30 June, an estimated 3,800 civilians have been killed. Approximately 2,200 of those have died in extrajudicial or vigilante-style killings, while more than 1,500 have been killed in police operations. President Duterte has admitted that innocent civilians may have been killed in the crackdown, referring to them as "collateral damage." Fearing execution, almost 700,000 alleged drug dealers have surrendered to police. An additional 15,000 people have been arrested. 

Unlawful violence against civilians shows no sign of abating. During October, the Philippines Senate Committee announced that investigations into extrajudicial killings would be abandoned. This came shortly after the former Chair of the Committee, Senator Leila De Lima, was removed from her post after publicly criticizing the President's campaign of state-led violence. In addition to police violence, unidentified gunmen continue to carry out targeted killings of alleged drug users and traffickers, as President Duterte has publicly encouraged vigilante groups to join his campaign. 

ANALYSIS:

Under the current government, Filipinos are at growing risk of grave violations that may amount to crimes against humanity. The Senate and the House of Representatives are now dominated by President Duterte's allies, allowing extrajudicial killings to continue without the prospect of due process or accountability under the formal justice system. While the government of the Philippines has sovereign authority to maintain law and order within their borders, including punishing those who traffic illegal drugs, they must do so with respect to international humanitarian and human rights law. 

The government of the Philippines must uphold its Responsibility to Protect populations and uphold the rule of law. 

INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE:

The international community has expressed strong concern about the increase of state violence in the Philippines. President Duterte has responded to international criticism of his policies with derision.

On 15 September the European Parliament condemned the spate of extrajudicial killings and urged the government to immediately stop the violence. Members of the European Parliament called upon the European Union to carefully monitor the deteriorating human rights situation in the Philippines.

On 30 September, after President Duterte compared the war on drugs with the Holocaust, UN Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, Adama Dieng, called upon the President to "exercise restraint in the use of language that could exacerbate discrimination, hostility and violence and encourage the commission of crimes which, if widespread of systematic, may amount to crimes against humanity." He urged President Duterte to support credible investigations of extrajudicial killings.

On 13 October the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, declared that her office will be closely monitoring the situation, considering a possible preliminary examination into the ongoing violence. 

NECESSARY ACTION:

National authorities in the Philippines must take all necessary measures to restore respect for rule of law and immediately halt widespread extrajudicial killings.

The United Nations and the International Criminal Court should continue to closely monitor the situation in the Philippines. States with strong economic and political ties to the Philippines, like the United States, must increase public and private diplomacy aimed at ending systematic extrajudicial executions.

Last Updated: 19 October 2016

Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan: Three years later

9 November 2016 - 7:48am
Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development Country: Philippines

On November 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, the strongest storm ever to make landfall, swept through 9 regions of the Philippines, including the city of Tacloban, which is home to 242,000 inhabitants, and Leyte. Up to 11.3 million people were affected by the typhoon, damaging nearly 1.1 million homes and structures across the country.

ACTED’s response was rapid. ACTED was reactive on the ground, only 2 days post-typhoon, with 3 bases in northern Leyte and Eastern Samar. ACTED was one of the first NGOs in Guiuan, where the typhoon first made landfall, meeting the immediate basic needs of those affected by the disaster.

ACTED teams were fully mobilised from the outset to support those households most affected by the disaster. At this stage, three years on, ACTED has moved from the emergency stage to a longer-term development strategy, to promote inclusive and sustainable growth, with a focus on community led recovery and development.

ACTED’s response overview

November 8th 2013: Typhoon Haiyan hits the Philippines.

November 9th 2013: Evaluation of the needs and emergency response begins.

Activities of 2013/2014 to support communities in need:

• Distribution of emergency food rations to 323,366 people;

• Distribution of 43,880 hygiene kits and 82,530 water kits;

• Distribution of non-food items, such as blankets, to over 25,500 households;

• Distribution of 17,167 shelter repair kits and 9,901 tarpaulins;

• 7,000 Metric Tonnes of debris and medical waste cleared from 12 hospitals;

• Construction of 300 temporary shelters in North Leyte;

• Cash for assets activities benefiting 9,553 households.

In 2015: ACTED transitioned from early recovery activities to longer-term development programs, through the implementation of a comprehensive program to improve the WASH status in 64 barangays (over 50,000 people), a program to reinforce sustainable livelihoods of 6,000 farming households affected by the typhoon and create linkages with local markets, and another program to support 126 families living in unsafe areas with a new house in a safe location.

In 2016: ACTED continues to focus its activities on longer-term development by supporting and strengthening local communities, in order to promote sustainability and resilience against future natural disasters.

Sustainable solutions for the future

Three years after Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines, significant achievements have been made in eastern Visayas. Eastern Visayas is one of the poorest regions in the Philippines and also is the most disaster-prone area of the country. Families that live in the hardest hit areas are particularly vulnerable and in need of sustainable solutions, which adequately reflect their protection, livelihoods, shelter and water, sanitation and hygiene needs while building their resilience.

ACTED’s work adopts a resilience approach using the disaster risk management cycle to guide its programming and provide the crucial link between emergency response, early recovery, and longer term development. ACTED aims to build the resilience of communities to support a sustainable reduction in vulnerability to disaster impact. Moving forward, ACTED is focusing on supporting shelter reconstruction that incorporates ‘build back safer’ techniques to increase communities’ resilience to future disasters; improve community water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) access working closely with both the local government and the community; and support the restoration of livelihoods by training farmers and facilitating linkages to markets to boost farmer households incomes.

Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan memory spurs ARISE commitment

9 November 2016 - 7:07am
Source: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Country: Philippines

By Andy McElroy

MANILA, 9 November 2016 – Exactly three years after the country was lashed by the deadly Typhoon Haiyan, UNISDR’s Private Sector Alliance for Disaster Resilient Societies (ARISE) network in the Philippines yesterday committed to strengthen partnerships with national and local authorities, academia and civil society as part of its ambition to reduce disaster risk in the hazard-prone country.

The six-point commitment statement included pledges to: prioritise risk-sensitive investment and action through the adoption of new standards for infrastructure, buildings and industrial and business practices; mobilize more trans-disciplinary research and collaboration on disaster risk reduction to harness the power of applied science; and mainstream science into local risk governance.

Three years on from Typhoon Haiyan, a disaster known locally as Yolanda that claimed more than 6,000 lives, more than 400 government officials, business executives, and various representatives convened for ARISE’s 5th Top Leaders Forum. The theme was ‘Investing in Resilience: Leveraging Science for Sustainable Development’.

Mr. Hans Sy, the Executive Committee Chairman of Asian mall giant SM Prime, who is also an international ARISE board member, opened the forum by saying an evolution in national and international level cooperation had resulted in many changes “and the creation of ARISE Philippines is one of them”.

“Through this initiative, we have fostered deeper connections with other private sector companies and assisted in strengthening the relationship between the public and private sector for DRR,” Mr. Sy told participants at the SMX Convention Centre, in Manila.

“SM Prime’s own commitment is to build disaster-resilient malls, taking the community into consideration, and ensuring sustainability for its partners and stakeholders. Simply, we recognise the responsibility that is put upon us as an integrated property developer, a nation builder and an influencer within the private sector.”

Ms. Sandra Wu, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Japan-based Kokusai Kogyo, who is likewise an international ARISE board member as well as the network’s focal point for Japan and Asia, said: “ARISE is unique because we are a group of companies that approach disasters from a developmental, not just humanitarian, angle. We identify where we can invest towards a safer society, and at the same time grow our business, instead of focusing on assisting in the aftermath of disaster events.”

Philippines Senator Loren Legarda, who is also a long-term UNISDR Champion for disaster risk reduction, said science that translated into useful and usable knowledge presented a huge opportunity for the private sector.

“This forum should focus less on understanding the role of science and technology in building more resilient communities and businesses. We all know that by now. The bigger question should be: ‘What is stopping us from using science and technology in our bid to build more resilient communities and businesses?” she said.

“With high reliability of disaster data, the private sector will also be better equipped to carry out its role in disaster risk planning, preparedness and response, and will be more confident to enter into risk financing schemes without fear of massive losses.”

“Governments and businesses cannot just be enablers of research. They cannot just be facilitators for knowledge creation. They need to be users of the knowledge that science and technology creates.”

In a video address to the forum, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction, Mr. Robert Glasser, praised the Philippines’ ARISE network as a global example of business collaborating to provide a significant contribution to strengthening disaster resilience.

“The ARISE network in the Philippines deserves huge commendation for its remarkable role in raising awareness of the importance of the role of the private sector in disaster resilience and reducing disaster risk,” Mr. Glasser said.

UNISDR’s ARISE was established a year ago to energise the private sector in collaboration with the public sector and other stakeholders to achieve the aims of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction, a 15-year agreement adopted by the international community in 2015. It is world’s most ambitious plan yet to reduce disaster risk and losses.

ARISE has seven themes, namely: disaster risk management strategies; insurance; investment metrics; benchmarking and standards; education and training; legal and regulatory; and urban risk and resilience.

There are currently two national networks in Asia: Philippines and Japan. There are moves to establish similar groups in Mongolia and India.

Philippines: Philippines: Facts and Figures January to May 2016

9 November 2016 - 3:31am
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross Country: Philippines

In central Mindanao and in the Sulu archipelago, fighting between government security forces and armed opposition groups led to temporary displacement of thousands of civilians. Meanwhile, sporadic hostilities continued between government security forces and the New People’s Army in eastern Mindanao, leading to the protracted displacement of civilians; while pockets of clashes also occurred in parts of southern Luzon and Visayas regions.

“Families who flee from their homes again and again will not have stability in their lives. This remains a constant concern for us, as are the substantial number of people who are wounded by the fighting or by explosions in civilian areas,” said Pascal Porchet, head of the ICRC delegation to the Philippines.

Another humanitarian concern for the ICRC is the alarmingly high national jail congestion rate that is adversely affecting the life and dignity of thousands of people awaiting or undergoing their trials. “Despite the multisectoral efforts we’ve seen to decongest the jails, the impact to the overall jail situation remains limited,” Porchet stressed.

Philippines: DSWD extends aid to families displaced by flooding in Sultan Kudarat town

8 November 2016 - 11:17pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), through its Field Office XII, continues to provide resource augmentation to the local government of Kalamansig, Sultan Kudarat to meet the needs of families affected by flooding due to heavy rains in the town that started on November 6.

The DSWD has already provided P1,260,600 worth of relief assistance, while the Kalamansig Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office (MSWDO) extended a total of P421,600 worth of aid. However, additional relief supplies are still needed since 37 houses have been partially and totally damaged by the floods.

As of 6pm yesterday, report from the DSWD- Disaster Response Operations Monitoring and Information Center (DROMIC), the number of affected families in need of assistance reached to 4,214 or 21,070 persons in seven barangays in Kalamansig.

DSWD Secretary Judy M. Taguiwalo already directed the FO-XII to maintain its coordination with the local government of Kalamansig for additional assistance.

“Our communication with the LGU of Kalamansig remains tight for request for technical assistance and resource augmentation. We will also assure that social workers and disasters teams will continue to assess the damages brought by the heavy rains for distribution of appropriate aid to displaced families,” she said.

World: The Global Climate in 2011–2015

8 November 2016 - 6:15pm
Source: World Meteorological Organization Country: India, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Africa, Thailand, World

Extreme weather increasingly linked to global warming

The World Meteorological Organization has published a detailed analysis of the global climate 2011-2015 – the hottest five-year period on record  - and the increasingly visible human footprint on extreme weather and climate events with dangerous and costly impacts.

The record temperatures were accompanied by rising sea levels and declines in Arctic sea-ice extent, continental glaciers and northern hemisphere snow cover.

All these climate change indicators confirmed the long-term warming trend caused by greenhouse gases. Carbon dioxide reached the significant milestone of 400 parts per million in the atmosphere for the first time in 2015, according to the WMO report which was submitted to U.N. climate change conference.

The Global Climate 2011-2015 also examines whether human-induced climate change was directly linked to individual extreme events. Of 79 studies published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society between 2011 and 2014, more than half found that human-induced climate change contributed to the extreme event in question. Some studies found that the probability of extreme heat increased by 10 times or more.

“The Paris Agreement aims at limiting the global temperature increase to well below 2 ° Celsius and pursuing efforts towards 1.5 ° Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This report confirms that the average temperature in 2015 had already reached the 1°C mark. We just had the hottest five-year period on record, with 2015 claiming the title of hottest individual year. Even that record is likely to be beaten in 2016,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

“The effects of climate change have been consistently visible on the global scale since the 1980s: rising global temperature, both over land and in the ocean; sea-level rise; and the widespread melting of ice. It has increased the risks of extreme events such as heatwaves, drought, record rainfall and damaging floods,” said Mr Taalas.

The report highlighted some of the high-impact events. These included the East African drought in 2010-2012 which caused an estimated 258,000 excess deaths and the 2013-2015 southern African drought; flooding in South-East Asia in 2011 which killed 800 people and caused more than US$40 billion in economic losses, 2015 heatwaves in India and Pakistan in 2015, which claimed more than 4,100 lives; Hurricane Sandy in 2012 which caused US$67 billion in economic losses in the United States of America, and Typhoon Haiyan which killed 7,800 people in the Philippines in 2013.

The report was submitted to the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The five-year timescale allows a better understanding of multi-year warming trends and extreme events such as prolonged droughts and recurrent heatwaves than an annual report.

WMO will release its provisional assessment of the state of the climate in 2016  on 14 November to inform the climate change negotiations in Marrakech, Morrocco.

Highlights

2011-2015 was the warmest five-year period on record globally and for all continents apart from Africa (second warmest). Temperatures for the period were 0.57 °C (1.03 °F) above the average for the standard 1961–1990 reference period. The warmest year on record to date was 2015, during which temperatures were 0.76 °C (1.37 °F) above the 1961–1990 average, followed by 2014. The year 2015 was also the first year in which global temperatures were more than 1 °C above the pre-industrial era.

Global ocean temperatures were also at unprecedented levels. Globally averaged sea-surface temperatures for 2015 were the highest on record, with 2014 in second place. Sea-surface temperatures for the period were above average in most of the world, although they were below average in parts of the Southern Ocean and the eastern South Pacific.

A strong La Niña event (2011) and powerful El Niño (2015/2016) influenced the temperatures of individual years without changing the underlying warming trend.

Ice and snow

Arctic sea ice continued its decline. Averaged over 2011-2015, the mean Arctic sea-ice extent in September was 4.70 million km2, 28% below the 1981–2010 average. The minimum summer sea-ice extent of 3.39 million km2 in 2012 was the lowest on record.

By contrast, for much of the period 2011– 2015, the Antarctic sea-ice extent was above the 1981–2010 mean value, particularly for the winter maximum.

Summer surface melting of the Greenland ice sheet continued at above-average levels, with the summer melt extent exceeding the 1981–2010 average in all five years from 2011 to 2015. Mountain glaciers also continued their decline.

Northern hemisphere snow cover extent was well below average in all five years and in all months from May to August, continuing a strong downward trend.

Sea level rise

As the oceans warm, they expand, resulting in both global and regional sea-level rise. Increased ocean heat content accounts for about 40% of the observed global sea-level increase over the past 60 years. A number of studies have concluded that the contribution of continental ice sheets, particularly Greenland and west Antarctica, to sea-level rise is accelerating.

During the satellite record from 1993 to present, sea levels have risen approximately 3 mm per year, compared to the average 1900–2010 trend (based on tide gauges) of 1.7 mm per year.

Climate change and extreme weather

Many individual extreme weather and climate events recorded during 2011–2015 were made more likely as a result of human-induced (anthropogenic) climate change.  In the case of some extreme high temperatures, the probability increased by a factor of ten or more.

Examples include the record high seasonal and annual temperatures in the United States in 2012 and in Australia in 2013, hot summers in eastern Asia and western Europe in 2013, heatwaves in spring and autumn 2014 in Australia, record annual warmth in Europe in 2014, and a heatwave in Argentina in December 2013.

The direct signals were not as strong for precipitation extremes (both high and low). In numerous cases, including the 2011 flooding in South-East Asia, the 2013–2015 drought in southern Brazil, and the very wet winter of 2013-2014 in the United Kingdom, no clear evidence was found of an influence from anthropogenic climate change. However, in the case of the extreme rainfall in the United Kingdom in December 2015, it was found that climate change had made such an event about 40% more likely.

Some impacts were linked to increased vulnerability. A study of the 2014 drought in south-east Brazil found that similar rainfall deficits had occurred on three other occasions since 1940, but that the impacts were exacerbated by a substantial increase in the demand for water, due to population growth.

Some longer-term events, which have not yet been the subject of formal attribution studies, are consistent with projections of near- and long-term climate change.  These include increased incidence of multi-year drought in the subtropics, as manifested in the 2011-2015 period in the southern United States, parts of southern Australia and, towards the end of the period, southern Africa.

There have also been events, such as the unusually prolonged, intense and hot dry seasons in the Amazon basin of Brazil in both 2014 and 2015, which are of concern as potential “tipping points” in the climate system.

Results of studies on attribution of extreme events to anthropogenic climate change (Sources: Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society and various other publications)

The World Meteorological Organization is the United Nations System’s authoritative voice on Weather, Climate and Water

For further information contact: WMO Media Officer Clare Nullis cnullis@wmo.int. Tel + 41 79 709 13 97.