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World: Hidden in Plain Sight: a statistical analysis of violence against children

4 September 2014 - 9:03pm
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Belize, Bhutan, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Burkina Faso, China, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Egypt, India, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Jordan, Kazakhstan, Malawi, Mongolia, Montenegro, occupied Palestinian territory, Philippines, Serbia, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Swaziland, Turkey, United Republic of Tanzania, Uruguay, Viet Nam, World, Zimbabwe preview

Overview

The protection of children from all forms of violence is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Convention on the rights of the Child and other international human rights treaties and standards . yet violence remains an all-too-real part of life for children around the globe – regardless of their economic and social circumstances, culture, religion or ethnicity – with both immediate and long-term consequences .
Children who have been severely abused or neglected are often hampered in their development, experience learning difficulties and perform poorly at school . They may have low self-esteem and suffer from depression, which can lead, at worst, to risky behaviours and self-harm . Witnessing violence can cause similar distress . Children who grow up in a violent household or community tend to internalize that behaviour as a way of resolving disputes, repeating the pattern of violence and abuse against their own spouses and children . beyond the tragic effects on individuals and families, violence against children carries serious economic and social costs in both lost potential and reduced productivity.

Over the last decade, recognition of the pervasive nature and impact of violence against children has grown . Still, the phenomenon remains largely undocumented and underreported . This can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including the fact that some forms of violence against children are socially accepted, tacitly condoned or not perceived as being abusive . Many victims are too young or too vulnerable to disclose their experience or to protect themselves . And all too often when victims do denounce an abuse, the legal system fails to respond and child protection services are unavailable . The lack of adequate data on the issue is likely compounding the problem by fuelling the misconception that violence remains a marginal phenomenon, affecting only certain categories of children and perpetrated solely by offenders with biological predispositions to violent behaviour.

Philippines: Philippines: Typhoon Haiyan - Emergency appeal n° MDRPH014, operation update n°8

4 September 2014 - 2:33pm
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: Philippines preview

Appeal history:

  • 30 July 2014: A further revision of the emergency appeal was launched, seeking CHF 99.88 million to support 100,000 households (500,000 people)

  • 16 January 2014: A revision of this emergency appeal was launched for CHF 126.2 million to support 100,000 families (500,000 people) over 24 months.

  • 12 November 2013: An emergency appeal was launched on a preliminary basis for CHF 72.3 million to support 100,000 families (500,000 people) over 18 months.

  • 8 November 2013: CHF 475,495 was allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Philippine Red Cross in delivering assistance to those affected and undertake initial needs assessments in the affected areas.

Summary:
The establishment of the respective barangay recovery committees together with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) is now complete with the committees active in certifying beneficiary households through social mapping and community validation together with their respective community members. During this reporting period, over 13,000 households were identified for the first phase of household livelihood assistance (HLA) in Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Cebu and Leyte. These activities were successfully carried out by PRC volunteers and staff, supported by the Haiyan coordination team at the various levels and IFRC. Also, some 4,000 selected beneficiary households have claimed the first instalment of their livelihood grant.

In shelter, this reporting period showed the complete construction of 243 core houses of the current 5,645 beneficiary households already selected for core shelter. About 43 per cent of all validated shelter beneficiary households for shelter repair assistance have received their respective allocations of corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) sheets and almost 5,000 beneficiary households, the full package of CGI sheets and conditional cash grants. Together with the construction of core shelters, 243 household latrines have been built throughout Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Cebu and Leyte.
In support of rehabilitation of school facilities, PRC, with IFRC support, conducted assessments at schools which had been used as evacuation centres in Barugo. Up to 12 schools in Leyte and Cebu have now been identified for rebuilding of communal latrines, hand washing facilities, hand pump repair, water source rehabilitation and tank installation. Health facilities affected by Typhoon Haiyan are also undergoing identification and selection for rehabilitation and re-equipping. Up to 20 facilities have been identified and selected in Aklan, Capiz, Cebu and Leyte. Planning for the handover of medical supplies from PRC to these facilities is currently under discussion among PRC, IFRC and German Red Cross. Up to 19,535 school-going children also participated in PRC-led hygiene promotion activities Training and skill building of PRC staff and volunteers at the chapter level continue through training in warehouse management; livelihood intervention processes, monitoring methods and community engagement; community- based health and first aid (CBHFA), violence prevention and non-communicable diseases; core shelter monitoring, management and technical expertise; and the use of open data kit/smart mobile technology to facilitate clearer and more accurate data collection.
Together with the newly revised emergency appeal launched on 30 July 2014, a comprehensive revised plan of action heralds several alterations to the goals of the overall Haiyan operation. Sectorial targets have been altered to better accommodate available human, material and financial resources.
Contributions to the IFRC Typhoon Haiyan to date have brought coverage of the appeal up to 87 per cent against the revised appeal budget of CHF 99.88 million. Of this, 84 per cent constitutes hard pledges and the remaining 3 per cent, soft. Details of donor contributions can be seen here. For queries, please contact the resource mobilization and relationship management team at the Asia Pacific zone office.

On behalf of Philippine Red Cross, IFRC would like to thank all partners and donors for their invaluable support towards this operation.

Philippines: Philippines - Severe weather ( ECHO Daily Flash 4 September 2014)

4 September 2014 - 8:04am
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department Country: Philippines

Philippines - Severe weather (NDRRMC)

■Heavy rains affected parts of Mindanao (southern Philippines) in the last few days, causing flash floods and landslides.

■According to NDRRMC, there were: 688 families displaced in the municipality of Tulutan (Cotabato Province), 5 532 families affected (292 of them evacuated) in the municipality of Pikit (Cotabato Province), one dead in the municipality of South Upi (Maguindanao Province), three dead and 3 770 people affected in Cagayan de Oro City and in the two provinces of Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental.

Philippines: DOLE-X continues to restore livelihood of Typhoon Sendong survivors

4 September 2014 - 7:22am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Mildred E. Dablio

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Sept. 4 - The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region X carries on restoring lives of displaced workers due to Typhoon Sendong which hit Cagayan de Oro and Iligan Cities on December 17, 2011.

Some 103 beneficiaries were granted with DOLE Kabuhayan Starter Kits amounting to some P645,000.00, through its Accredited Co-Partner, Food Processors Association Mindanao, Inc. (FOPANORMIN) on August 27 at the DOLE-X Regional Office, Cagayan de Oro City.

Though two years have passed since the flooding, many of the relocates and vulnerable workers still find it hard to meet both ends. Loss of properties and sources of livelihood formerly accorded to them has been equated to death.

The beneficiaries are the relocates of the Calaanan Relocation Site of Cagayan de Oro and other vulnerable workers whose income is below the poverty threshold. They are members of four associations organized by the DOLE-Integrated Labor Organization partnership.

From the reports, DOLE Kabuhayan Starter Kits consist of butchery/meat vending with some 24 beneficiaries; rice trading, 20 beneficiaries; sari-sari store (convenience store), 20; food/snack preparation, 9; egg trading, 7; electronic loading, 9; dressed chicken selling, 7; and dried fish selling, 7. These kits are not new to these beneficiaries prior to Sendong mishap. They even have “suki” (patron.

“The amount given by DOLE-X will shoulder the purchase of materials within the city. FOPANORMIN will procure the items from the stores,” said regional director, Raymundo Agravante. “We in DOLE-X will also provide training on entrepreneurship development to sustain their individual livelihood,” he added.

Gina Josefa Obsina, FOPANORMIN President, expressed her gratitude to DOLE-X, being their partner for four years in bringing the government’s program for countryside development. “We will still conduct a meeting with the beneficiaries prior to its distribution explaining to them the system,” Obsina added.

The starter kits will eventually cushion the disastrous effects the typhoon brought. These will provide them self-employment and income to their families, as well as entrepreneurial capabilities and spur economic activity in the relocation site.

Meanwhile, FOPANORMIN, also received a check worth P955,500 for the DOLE Kabuhayan Starter Kits for its 98 employees and their family members who are receiving minimal income.

Livelihood proposed are sari-sari stores for 36 beneficiaries; hog fattening, 38 beneficiaries; rice trading, 15; and loading business, 9. (MED/DOLE-X)

Philippines: In Pangasinan, more than 30,000 children up for measles, polio vaccination

4 September 2014 - 7:10am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Venus H. Sarmiento

DAGUPAN CITY, Sept 4 (PIA) – The Pangasinan provincial health office targets to vaccinate some 33,000 children this month under the government's nationwide campaign to reduce the incidents of measles and polio through mass immunization.

Dr. Anna Theresa De Guzman, PHO chief, said some 230 cases of measles were listed from January to August this year, way above last year's incidents of only 44 cases.

No polio cases, however, was recorded.

The Department of Health (DOH) launched the nationwide measles-rubella and polio campaign earlier this month to immunize 11 million children five years old and below. The vaccination will run until the end of September.

Helen Posilero, DOH health advocacy officer in the Ilocos, said the campaign dubbed ‘Ligtas Pinas. Magkaisa. Magpabakuna.’ will be critical in bringing down measles and in keeping the Philippines polio-free.

“We encourage parents to bring their children to the nearest health center and have them immunized against measles, rubella and polio. Vaccination is free,“ Poserio told the Philippine Information Agency.

The oral polio vaccine will be given to babies 0-59 months while measles vaccines will be provided to nine-59 months old children.

The DOH said efforts to control measles worldwide have contributed to a measles mortality reduction of over 13 million children deaths from 2000-2012.

Unfortunately, measles is an extremely contagious disease and 95 percent immunization coverage in the entire population is needed to reach elimination, the DOH said. (MCA/VHS/PIA-Pangasinan)

Philippines: Philippines: Second phase of construction begins

3 September 2014 - 2:42pm
Source: Medair Country: Philippines

After building 600 houses for vulnerable families in Dulag, Philippines following the destructive typhoon in 2013, Medair has started the second phase of construction. During the second phase, we will build 1,080 more houses, distribute roof kits to 1,200 households to strengthen homes, and provide training to more than 1,800 people on how to lessen risks and be prepared for future typhoons.

Josita and Gregorio, both in their late 70s, are one of the 1,080 families receiving a new house in this next phase. No longer able to formally work because of their age, Josita and Gregorio still grow vegetables in their garden to sell at the local market. While earning them a small profit, it is only enough to get by. So when their home was destroyed by the typhoon, they didn’t have enough money to rebuild properly.

Josita and Gregorio rebuilt what was left of their house by using whatever damaged materials and scraps they could find. “We immediately rebuilt our house because we had nothing,” recalls Josita. “But we have trouble sleeping.” She points to the thin mats on the mud floor where they have been sleeping inside their flimsy structure since the typhoon.

“We’re very happy that you’ve given us this house,” continues Josita. And with construction nearly complete, Josita and Gregorio will move into their new home this week.

Our impact

Since Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines in November 2013, we have:

• Helped an estimated 60,000 people rebuild their lives
• Provided new, typhoon-resilient houses for more than 3,000 people
• Distributed nearly 5,000 hygiene kits to prevent the spread of disease
• Supplied more than 800 toolkits to help families rebuild, and
• Given out almost 4,100 tarpaulins to use as emergency roofs and walls

We have also distributed nearly 40 tarpaulins to several schools, which are being used as temporary roofing and walls while they rebuild. Consequently, more children are attending classes now that they have some protection from the weather.

Additionally, our teams have repaired local health centres in the region, supplying them with emergency health kits comprised of basic supplies such as antibiotics and syringes. Each of these kits can support 10,000 people for up to three months.

Hear the stories of those impacted

Philippines: Tunnel-Type Agriculture Arms Philippine Farmers Against Extreme Weather

3 September 2014 - 5:58am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Philippines

By Faizza Tanggol

Farmers from Sorsogon face the constant challenge of extreme weather conditions which damage their crops. Thanks to the US Government, Bicol University, and the World Food Programme, these farmers can now protect some of their crops through the tunnel-type agriculture.

Agricultural crops in the Philippines are frequently at risk due to extreme weather conditions that threaten crop production. The Philippines is the third most disaster-prone country in the world with vulnerabilities to typhoons, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes. Just recently, Typhoon Glenda (international name: Rammasun) battered the country leaving ten million pesos worth of damages to infrastructure, school facilities, and agriculture.

Farmers in the Philippines like Leonardo Bo, Sardito Polo, and Simeo Olivenza from Barangay Macawayan in Irosin, Sorsogon are affected by these weather conditions which have been exacerbated by climate change. This increases the risk of food insecurity in the country.

“We did not expect Typhoon Glenda to reach signal number four,” said Polo. “It damaged our crops.”

To help minimize crop damage and provide supplemental income to farmers, the World Food Programme, in partnership with Bicol University and funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), is enhancing family-based disaster preparedness by providing a small-scale climate smart technology called tunnel-type agriculture to some farmers in Sorsogon.

“It challenged us to partner with WFP and USAID because it was also an opportunity for us to be able to expand our horizon and accomplish more because in the university, we have very limited budget,” said Bicol University (BU) Extension Service Director Dr. Leilani D. Pavilando. “But we believe that it’s more important for universities to engage the communities because your presence and your impact would be felt if you do your projects in the communities.”

Bicol University provided tunnel-type agriculture technology and training to a total of 200 farmers in the Province of Sorsogon, in the municipalities of Irosin, Sta. Magdalena, Casiguran, and Juban.

The brain child of Dr. Pavilando and farmer-scientist Henry Rafael, the tunnel-type agriculture is a protective structure made from steel brace and fine mesh net used to shield crops from extreme weather conditions. It covers a 10 square meter area and meant to serve one family. They also introduced the use of coco coir production waste by-product called coco pit as a mulch or protective layer of the soil instead of the usual polyethylene plastic.

“The idea itself is not new,” explained Dr. Pavilando. “We developed a tunnel-type structure which is cheaper than what is usually bought from big companies and adapted it so it could fit the small plots that we were establishing in the middle of the different coconut trees.”

The tunnel-type structure can reportedly withstand typhoons of up to signal number three. For typhoons packing winds stronger than that, the structure can be collapsed and kept.

“It’s really different when the crops are inside the tunnel-type,” said Bo, who plants chili peppers in his plot. “First of all, my chili peppers are protected from animals like rats, chickens, and birds. Next, it’s protected from extreme heat and rain.”

“This is really a big help to us because if not for the tunnel-type, perhaps, there would have been nothing left of our crops because of the typhoon,” said Polo.

Aside from the protection from weather conditions which the tunnel-type structure provides, the farmers also get extra income from their small plot.

“We introduced to them producing high-value vegetables which is both nutritious and safe, and they could make use of it for additional income,” said Dr. Pavilando.

“I interchange the use of my tunnel-type – first I use it as a seedling nursery and then I also plant vegetables,” explained Olivenza. “I plant lettuce and I have also tried cauliflower and broccoli. I earn an income of around Php 2,000 from the lettuce.”

As the people of Sorsogon rebuild from the damage caused by Typhoon Glenda, the farmers have already planted new crops confident that some will be protected by the tunnel-type structure given to them.

“We are thankful to the donors, to the World Food Programme and BU for their tireless support,” said Bo. “I am also thankful to my companions who constantly fight despite the bad weather. We will not stop because if we stop, our family and the people will have nothing to eat. As I always say, we are fortunate that this is our work because without us farmers, people will go hungry.”

About the author
Faizza Tanggol is the communications focal point at the WFP Philippines' Manila country office.

Philippines: DSWD receives add’l donation for ‘Yolanda’ survivors

3 September 2014 - 1:33am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman receives the P432, 679. 22 check donation of the Association of Asian Election Authorities from Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Chairman Sixto Brillantes for Typhoon Yolanda survivors.

In accepting the donation, Sec. Soliman expressed her gratitude to the donors and said that this will be used in building additional transitional units for families displaced by ‘Yolanda’.

As of July 2014, a total of 4,393 families from ‘Yolanda’-hit areas are already residing in transitional shelter units.

DSWD has already received a total of US$23,766,111. 40 and P97, 879, 377.44 local donations for ‘Yolanda‘ survivors, as of September 1.

Philippines: Canada Announces Humanitarian Support to Improve the Health and Wellbeing of the Most Vulnerable in the Philippines

3 September 2014 - 12:45am
Source: Government of Canada Country: Canada, Philippines

Canada supporting efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of those in greatest need in the conflict-affected areas of the Philippine island of Mindanao

September 2, 2014 – Kamloops, BC - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Today, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Labour and Western Economic Diversification, Cathy McLeod announced, on behalf of the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, Canadian support to the International Committee of the Red Cross to help the most vulnerable in the Philippines.

The announcement was made prior to a roundtable with local stakeholders and members of the Filipino community to discuss the way forward to continue to improve the lives of mothers and their children in the developing world. This meeting was part of the consultations announced by Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit which took place in Toronto from May 28-30, 2014.

“Canada is making a difference in the lives of people around the world,” said PS McLeod. “The contribution announced today builds on this work by supporting efforts to improve the health and wellbeing of those in greatest need in the conflict-affected areas of the Philippine island of Mindanao.”

Today’s roundtable focused on how to ensure that global commitments deliver real results to those in need while remaining accountable to Canadian taxpayers. Canada is committed to scaling up interventions that will have the greatest impact focusing in the areas of strengthening health systems, improving nutrition, and reducing the burden of leading diseases.

“Canada is a global leader in improving maternal newborn and child health,” said Minister Paradis. “By working with partners such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, we are helping to build prosperous communities support vulnerable women and children can live healthy and productive lives.”

Thanks to Canadian leadership and subsequent global action, maternal mortality rates are declining and millions more children are celebrating their fifth birthday. Recognizing there is much more work to be done, Prime Minister Harper hosted the Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach Summit in Toronto in 2014. At the Summit, Canada committed an additional $3.5 billion to continue support through to 2020, and reaffirmed global consensus on a shared commitment to end the preventable deaths of mothers, newborns and children under the age of five within a generation.

Quick Facts

  • In 2014, Canada confirmed the Philippines as a new country of focus for the Government of Canada’s international development efforts.

  • On June 28, 2014, Canada announced funding for the International Organization of Migration (IOM) to provide humanitarian assistance to conflict-affected people in Mindanao.

  • On June 20, 2014, Canada announced funding for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees and vulnerable populations around the world, including funds allocated to conflict-affected people in Mindanao.

  • Solid international progress is being made to address maternal, newborn and child health. The number of women who die each year during pregnancy or childbirth has dropped substantially – from 523,000 deaths in 1990 to 289,000 in 2013.

  • The global number of deaths of children under the age of five has dropped significantly as well, from nearly 12 million in 1990 to 6.6 million in 2012.

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Associated Links

Contacts

Sandrine Périon
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie
343-203-6238
sandrine.perion@international.gc.ca

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
343-203-7700
media@international.gc.ca
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Philippines: Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Response - Appeal PHL131 Revision 2

2 September 2014 - 8:00pm
Source: ACT Alliance Country: Philippines preview

Appeal Target: US$25,114,557

Balance Requested: US$6,805,844

Revision 2 was originally issued on 18 August, 2014. It is corrected and re issued again today, 3rd September, 2014. The only changers made are on page 2, TABLE 3: SUMMARY OF APPEAL REQUIREMENTS. Here, the ICCO cooperation budget has been increased to $7.15 million. As a result, they are seeking a further $2.4 million from the alliance, to fully fund their requirement.

Corrected and reissued on 3rd September, 2014

Dear Colleagues,

In the early morning of 8 November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan (local name: Yolanda), made landfall in the eastern Visayas region of the Philippines. With winds up to 250 kph sweeping through the region, accompanied by a storm surge of up to 5m, the typhoon caused wide spread damage and losses. Its impact was felt from provinces of Batangas and Cavite in the north as far as Surigao del Sur Province,
Mindanao in the south.

Government data as of April 2014 reports estimate that 14.1 million people were affected, including 6,300 casualties and hundreds more missing, 4 million displaced and about 1 million houses destroyed or damaged across 600 municipalities and 44 provinces in 9 regions of the country.

The ACT Alliance members launched their Relief and Rehabilitation response through the ACT Appeal issued in November 2013. The next months’ focus remained on distribution of relief goods while also providing early recovery support through livelihoods restoration, WASH, unconditional cash transfer and provision of semi-permanent shelters alongside providing psychosocial care with optimal integration of quality & accountability measures.

As of April/May the ACT response has transitioned to early recovery and rehabilitation. Several consultation meetings were conducted in the target communities to identify the context and needs as well as possible gaps in the delivery of services of other humanitarian actors present in the area.

Revision 1, issued 28 May 2014, reflected changes based on the community consultation process and after taking stock of realities on the ground. The first revision reflected the amended response of Christian Aid, LWR, NCA and NCCP and focussed on the sectors of permanent shelter, albeit with significant downscaling, shelter repairing, semi-permanent shelter kits, DRR inclusive of capacity building and construction of cyclone shelters, WASH and livelihood restoration with strong mainstreaming of cross-cutting issues including quality & accountability, psychosocial care and LRRD.
Revision 2 reflects the revised ICCO response focussing on food security and nutrition, NFIs, shelter, livelihood, DDR and capacity building.

World: CrisisWatch N°133 - 1 September 2014

2 September 2014 - 12:44pm
Source: International Crisis Group Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Cyprus, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Georgia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mexico, Moldova, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Russian Federation, Rwanda, Serbia, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), Western Sahara, World, Yemen, South Sudan

The fight for control of Libya between the Misrata-led Islamist-leaning coalition and the Zintan-led forces is escalating by the day. Hundreds have been killed and thousands displaced in over six weeks of clashes and heavy artillery fire. The Misrata side emerged victorious in the battle over Tripoli’s international airport, taking control of the capital, and made advances around Benghazi, but the larger political divide remains unresolved. A newly formed parliament convened in Tobruk and has the backing of the Zintan-led anti-Islamists and the international community; but the previous legislature in Tripoli challenges its authority. Without a minimum of consensus, Libya is likely to have two ineffectual governments with militias exerting real control on the ground.

Yemen’s Huthis continued to challenge the government’s authority, potentially undermining the already-fragile transition. Throughout the month Huthis organised mass anti-government protests in the capital Sanaa while armed supporters gathered around the city. In late August, their leaders rejected a government offer to resign; ongoing negotiations are hung on the complicated issue of fuel subsidies. Counter rallies largely attended by rivals from the Sunni Islamist Islah party and supported by President Hadi only served to escalate tensions. (See our latest report on the Huthis.)

For the first time since 2011, the U.S. intervened militarily in Iraq in August. Although the operation was initially explained by the need to avert a potential “genocide” of the northern Yazidi community and protect U.S. personnel and assets from the jihadi Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL), its objectives were later expanded to include the protection of critical infrastructure such as Mosul dam. Meanwhile in Baghdad, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki finally agreed to step down after most of his domestic and international backers joined in supporting his nominated replacement, fellow Dawa party member Haider al-Abadi. (See our recent commentary on IS.)

Syria’s northern armed opposition faced an increasingly dire situation as regime forces continued advancing in Aleppo and jihadis from IS gained territory north of the city. IS also continued its push to extend and consolidate control in the east, where it executed hundreds of tribal members in response to a local uprising against its rule in Deir al-Zour province and captured the regime’s last remaining stronghold in Raqqah province.

In one of the most serious spillovers of the Syrian conflict into Lebanon, the border town of Arsal witnessed heavy clashes between Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and Syrian rebels that left as many as 100 dead. Militants attacked checkpoints and seized official buildings before a counteroffensive by the Lebanese army, aided by Syrian Air Force raids, reclaimed the city after a 5-day battle.

The death toll from Israeli-Palestinian fighting in the Gaza Strip continued to mount: by the time a ceasefire agreement was reached on 26 August, more than 2100 mostly civilian Palestinians, at least 66 Israeli soldiers and 6 civilians inside Israel had been killed since the start of hostilities in July. Initial reports on the details of the ceasefire agreement suggested terms were vague and discussions of core issues had been deferred to later talks. (See our latest briefing and commentary)

Mass anti-government protests in Pakistan are threatening to undermine the country’s fragile democratic transition and have raised fears of an impending military intervention (see our recent Conflict Alert). For weeks, protests leaders have called for Prime Minister Nawaz Shariff’s resignation, the dissolution of parliament and new elections. In mid-August they led supporters into Islamabad’s “Red Zone”, home to several key government buildings. The military later came directly into the fray, with army chief General Raheel Sharif reportedly intending to mediate and then act as guarantor of a negotiated settlement between government and protesters.

India-Pakistan relations deteriorated sharply as the two states again clashed over Kashmir. Deadly exchanges-of-fire along the Line of Control resumed, with each side claiming civilian casualties. India cancelled foreign secretary-level talks aimed at setting an agenda for resuming the countries’ dialogue process after Pakistan’s High Commissioner met Kashmiri separatist leaders in New Delhi.

Fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine escalated sharply. While the army attempted to encircle major cities Donetsk and Luhansk, Russia stepped up support for the rebels and reportedly deployed troops inside Ukraine. According to UN estimates, the total number of casualties more than doubled in the past month.

July’s ceasefire agreement between armed groups in the Central African Republic failed to translate into a truce on the ground. Scores, many civilians, were killed in deadly fighting fueled by internal divisions among Seleka, attacks on the Muslim community in Boda by anti-balaka militias, and ongoing attempts to consolidate territorial control. Violence between Seleka and international troops also rose, with over 60 Seleka and two peacekeepers killed in early August clashes.

Nigerian Islamist sect Boko Haram intensified attacks in Cameroon’s Far North, after high-profile political kidnappings in Kolofata in late July. Heavy clashes between militants and Cameroonian forces were reported in late August, days after Nigerian soldiers were seen crossing the border for safety.

Clashes between Degodia and Garre clans intensified in Kenya’s northeast, killing over 77 in late August according to reports from the Kenyan Red Cross. Meanwhile, recent Al-Shabaab attacks fuelled revenge ethnic killings and kidnappings in coastal Lamu County, prompting authorities to extend the curfew in the region.

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 27 August–2 September

2 September 2014 - 9:10am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, 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

Syria: Syrian refugee numbers have grown by a million in a year, and now exceed three million, while the journey out of Syria is getting tougher. 42 children were reported killed by government strikes over 29-31 August, while in IS-held areas there are reports of routine executions and amputations.

Sierra Leone: One million people are in need of aid as a consequence of the Ebola outbreak; between 20 and 26 August, 116 new cases and 30 deaths were reported, bringing the total to 1,602 cases, including 422 deaths, since the outbreak began. Staff at a treatment centre have called a strike over pay and conditions, and the Health Minister has been replaced.

Ukraine: IDP figures have grown by more than 80,000 in two weeks, to reach 230,000. 3.9 million people live in areas directly affected by violence, but access to humanitarian aid is near-impossible in conflict areas. Older people are particularly vulnerable.

Updated: 02/09/2014. Next update: 09/09/2014

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

Lebanon: Caritas Update 64 (Winter 2014)

2 September 2014 - 1:29am
Source: Caritas Country: Colombia, Jordan, Lebanon, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Syrian Arab Republic

(excerpt)

Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Since civil war broke out in Syria three years ago, 11.8 million people inside and outside of the country are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Over 2.5 million Syrians have fled to neighbouring countries. The majority of these refugees are in Jordan and Lebanon, the region’s two smallest countries. Their weak infrastructure and limited resources are nearing a breaking point under the strain of the refugees.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has partnered with Caritas Lebanon to help some of the 1.2 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon and provide support for host communities under stress.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has raised $305,000 for the crisis and is still accepting donations.

Philippines: Statement of Prof. Miriam Coronel-Ferrer‎, GPH peace panel chair in talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) on the observance of the 11th National Peace Consciousness Month

1 September 2014 - 9:45pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

The Government of the Philippines (GPH) panel joins all peace advocates this September in the observance of the 11th National Peace Consciousness Month.

We celebrate the fact that, this year, we reached a major milestone in our nation’s history with the signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) between the GPH and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

We know that implementing everything in the signed accord would not be easy. But we are not deterred by the many challenges that lie ahead. We remain steadfast in working toward our common goal of ending strife among our brethren, building unity instead of enmity, and putting in place the norms and institutions that shall serve as our instruments for good governance, prosperity, and security in Mindanao and the whole country.

It took trust and steadfastness on the part of Government and the MILF for us to have reached this far in our peace process.

Since the signing of the CAB, we have come closer to a well-developed vision of an autonomous Bangsamoro government that would work harmoniously and effectively with the Central Government and its constituent parts. The elements and modalities for this would be spelled out in the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law that the President will be transmitting to Congress.

We have instituted the various mechanisms on the ground that would undertake the socio-economic, security, transitional justice and reconciliation initiatives that we committed to jointly undertake in the Annex on Normalization of the CAB. Altogether, these programs would facilitate the transformation of erstwhile conflict-affected areas into demilitarized, productive communities of empowered men, women and children.

We enjoin everyone to keep the faith and accompany us in this journey, and thank those who have shown us goodwill and supported us in different ways, especially during the critical times.

Sustaining these efforts requires our unity and collective will. Peace is the way. Let us continue to choose peace.

Philippines: Abra River threatens Ilocos Sur with flooding

1 September 2014 - 9:03pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

By: Ben P. Pacris

VIGAN CITY, Sept 2 (PIA) – A heavy downpour will cause the Abra River to swell and cause flooding in low-lying areas of Ilocos Sur because denuded forest covers are unable to store excess floodwaters, a study said.

This was the scenario that acting provincial local government officer Federico Bitonio, Jr. presented during the joint meeting of the Provincial Peace and Order Council (PPOC) and Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (PDRRMC) last August 28.

Bitonio, also a member of the Ilocos Sur-Abra River Basin Management Council (ISARBMC), said massive flloding threatens the low lying municipalities of Caoayan, Bantay, Santa and Vigan City.

The council serves as advisory council to the provincial government on disaster preparedness.

The Abra River, with an estimated drainage area of 5,125 square kilometres and length of 178 kilometers, will also cause landslides or rockslides in the upland towns of San Emilio, Del Pilar, Quirino and the historic Cervantes, Bitonio said.

He said the council is now monitoring the implementation of strategic plan and mitigating measures of various Local Government Units (LGUs) along the Abra River basin.

The provincial government has allotted P150,000 as funding support to carry out the functions of the council composed of the provincial board, various LGUs and government agencies, academe and nongovernment organizations (NGOs). (MCA/BPP/PIA-1 Ilocos Sur)

Philippines: Philippines: Zamboanga Humanitarian Snapshot (as of 29 Aug 2014)

1 September 2014 - 10:23am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines preview

On 9 September 2013 in Zamboanga city in Western Mindanao, fighting broke out between a faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP). The fighting lasted three weeks leaving at least 140 people dead, over 10,000 houses completely destroyed and more than 120,000 people forcibly displaced during the height of the conflict.

One year later, over 24,000 people are still in evacuation centres and transitional sites, mainly from the minority Moro ethnic group.

Philippines: Philippines Nationwide Child Immunization Activity Begins

1 September 2014 - 9:08am
Source: World Health Organization Country: Philippines

This week health workers across the Philippines began the month-long mass immunization activity against measles, rubella and polio. The World Health Organization and the British Government are working with the Philippine Department of Health, UNICEF and a host of other partners to help deliver this campaign. His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales and the Serum Institute have contributed over five million doses of the MR vaccine with the support of International Health Partners.

It has taken months of preparation to organize a mass immunization activity of this size and scale and involves thousands of people across the country. The aim is to immunize 13 million children nationwide over the coming month. A determined effort will bring measles in the country down to very low levels and move towards measles elimination throughout the Philippines, reduce rubella rates and support efforts to keep the Philippines polio-free.

Dr Julie Hall of WHO said, “All three diseases are preventable if children are vaccinated correctly. The WHO is committed to a world in which nobody need worry about the threat of measles, rubella or polio. We are delighted to support the mass immunization activity this month.”

British Ambassador Asif Ahmad endorsed the UK’s commitment and said “Prince Charles who was visiting India when Typhoon Yolanda struck, immediately engaged his charities, International Health Partners and British Asian Trust, to deliver vaccines to children in the Philippines. Both directly and as a member of international institutions like the WHO, Britain is making a determined effort to improve the life chances of young Filipinos”.

Philippines: Philippines Humanitarian Bulletin Issue, Issue 27 | 01 – 31 August 2014

1 September 2014 - 7:54am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines preview

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Displaced people in Zamboanga continue to live in difficult conditions in overcrowded evacuation centres.

  • Emergency threshold on health breached six times in Zamboanga over the past 12 months.

  • Pacific Partnership 2014 rebuilding schools and hospital in Tacloban

  • World Humanitarian Day on 19 August.

FUNDING

Typhoon Haiyan
781 million requested (US$)
60% funded

Zamboanga Action Plan (revised)

12.8 million requested (US$)
45% funded
Source: Financial Tracking Service

Bangladesh: Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (26 August - 1 September 2014)

1 September 2014 - 5:39am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Sri Lanka preview

BANGLADESH

More than one million people in 17 districts are affected by floods. The Joint Needs Assessment reports that communities across nine of these districts identified the priority sectors as food, sanitation and livelihoods. Humanitarian organizations are complementing relief efforts of the Government. The Directorate general of Health Services deployed over 500 medical teams to tackle a variety of flood related health problems in the affected areas.

1 million people affected

17 flooded districts

SRI LANKA

In August, low rainfall had further aggravated the impact of drought conditions, which is affecting more than 1.8 million people in 16 districts. The Government allocated over US$680,000 to provide drought relief, while the UN Emergency Response Coordinator approved $2 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund for food, drinking water and health. International NGOs and the Red Cross are also responding.

1.8 million people affected

INDIA

Flooding continues in Uttar Pradesh state in northern India where 94 people have been killed. According to a recent report from the Relief Commissioner’s office, as many as 500,000 people in 653 villages in 11 districts are still seriously affected by the floods. Communities are struggling to cope with a lack of food, access to clean water and the destruction of their livelihoods.

500,000 people affected

94 dead

PHILIPPINES

Heavy rainfall on eastern parts of Mindanao, in particular Maguindanao, has resulted in flooding. Overall, nearly 79,000 people have been affected in 11 municipalities of Maguindanao since 25 Aug.
The latest field reports indicate that water levels in several affected municipalities have subsided. Three landslides were reported in North and South Upi on 27 Aug.

79,000 people affected

NEPAL

Heavy rain between 14 and 16 Aug, caused flooding and several landslides in 17 districts throughout the country, of which the four worst-affected districts were Bardiya, Banke, Surkhet and Dang. An assessment of these districts reveals that 29,000 families are affected, of whom 8,600 are displaced. At least 27,000 houses are damaged. Meanwhile, 123 people are confirmed dead, 126 people are still missing and 67 people are injured across the country.
The Government of Nepal is leading the response, including the distribution of food, non-food relief items, shelter and medicines with support from international organizations.

29,000 families affected

REPUBLIC OF KOREA

On 25 Aug, at least five people were killed and one person reported missing after severe flooding in the port city of Busan and nearby regions in South Korea.

PAPUA NEW GUINEA

Mt. Tavurvur in East New Britain Province erupted on 29 Aug. Heavy and thick ash fall was reported and about 500 people were evacuated. The volcanic activity has since returned to normal and those evacuated have returned home. Nevertheless, some damage to the nearby environment and water sources is reported.

Philippines: Super Typhoon Haiyan: Gender Snapshot (as of 18 Aug 2014)

1 September 2014 - 5:29am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Oxfam Country: Philippines preview