Philippines - ReliefWeb News
Manila (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) expresses its concern for thousands of people from Butig, Lanao del Sur, who remain displaced following clashes between government forces and an armed group in late May to early June.
"Thousands of civilians in Butig were forced to flee their homes in February, when the first clashes began. Some were able to return in April, and just when they started planting a new crop, they were forced to flee their homes again in May, when hostilities resumed," said Dominic Earnshaw, head of the ICRC office in Cotabato.
"Now many of the displaced are living with relatives and depend heavily on their kin and the authorities, as they are still too afraid to go back home. Civilian houses were also destroyed in the fighting. We ask all sides in the conflict to exercise utmost precaution to protect civilians and their property," he added.
Between June 8 and July 2, the ICRC, together with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), provided food and household items to around 12,500 people displaced from Butig. The distributions took place in Butig and neighboring Lumbayanague municipalities as well as in Marawi City. The ICRC-PRC assistance augmented the aid provided by the government and helped families meet their basic needs.
Each displaced family received 25 kilograms of rice, 12 tins of sardines, 2 liters of cooking oil, 2 liters of soy sauce, 2 kilograms of sugar, 500 grams of salt, and essential household items including two blankets, two mosquito nets, one sleeping mat, and one hygiene kit.
Prior to its relief operation in Butig, the ICRC conducted its own assessments and coordinated closely with community leaders, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, and nongovernment organizations.
The ICRC is a neutral, impartial, and independent humanitarian organization whose mandate is to protect and assist people affected by armed conflict and other situations of violence. It has had an established presence in the Philippines for more than 70 years and a permanent presence in Mindanao since 1982.
Torrential rainfall over the middle and lower Yangtze River during the past week exacerbated flooding in the surrounding areas. The most recent rainfall affected nearly 2.8 million people in 11 provinces (Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian, Jiangxi, Hubei, Hunan, Chongqing, Sichuan, Guizhou, and Yunnan). At least 14 deaths have been recorded and some 20 people are reported missing, with 120,000 people temporarily relocated due to the recent flooding.
With 40,000 people in need of immediate assistance, the Government of China launched a Level IV (national) emergency response, with emergency supplies delivered to the affected areas.
More rainstorms are forecasted to hit China's southern regions over the next ten days. Tropical Storm Nepartak, currently in the Pacific, is also expected to bring gales and downpours to eastern coastal areas in the coming week.
120,000 people temporarily relocated
Since 21 June, an Intertropical Convergence Zone has been affecting the southern Philippines causing heavy rain, floods and flash floods across several provinces. As of 30 June, 9,200 families across five municipalities in Maguindanao province were affected by floods. In Bukidnon province, flooding on 25 June, forced 37 families to evacuate. Flash floods in Cotabato province also affected 655 families. Local authorities have distributed relief to the affected families.
9,200 families affected in Maguindanao
Heavy monsoon rains on 1 July triggered flash floods and landslides in Uttarakhand state, with Chamoli and Pithoragarh the most affected districts. As of 3 July, state authorities had confirmed 18 deaths and thousands have been stranded as the landslides blocked hundreds of roads.
State authorities requested people in low-lying areas to evacuate as a precautionary measure, and 160 disaster-affected families have reportedly been sheltering in temporary relief camps.
Despite incessant rains over the weekend, Government-led relief operations continued with teams from the National Disaster Response Force and various security forces. Restoration of electricity and water supply is ongoing.
18 people killed
On 3 July, 288 hotspots were detected in Sumatra and Kalimantan by satellite imagery analysis, and the national disaster management agency and local authorities continue to implement measures to quickly put out the fires. Initial data indicates that above average rainfall may be contributing to a lower haze level compared to 2015.
On 30 June, torrential rains triggered flooding in Pasuruan district, East Java province which affected more than 50,000 people. Two people were injured. Local authorities supported by the provincial and national governments provided assistance to the affected communities.
50,000 people affected by flood
LEGAZPI CITY, July 4 (PIA) -- The team of medical professionals from the USNS Mercy Hospital ship teamed up with local health officials and organizations to provide health education and services to Ligao City and its neighboring towns as part of the two-week humanitarian mission in Albay under the Pacific Partnership 2016.
Ligao City health officials led the cooperative health engagement (CHE) at the open courtyard of Ligao West Central Elementary School June 28-29 with an array of colorful booths promoting education on topics such as maternal and child health, infectious disease control, rabies awareness, HIV education, and nutrition.
"We're doing education side by side with the Philippine dietician. So, I'm learning from her, how they teach nutrition education here and I'm teaching her what we do back in America," said Lt. j.g. Shelby Naughton, registered dietician assigned to hospital ship USNS Mercy (T-AH 19).
Kids presentation, such as puppet show, was used for the anti-smoking education campaign to interact with young students.
"I think the children are enjoying this and I hope that they're learning and getting something from the presentation. It's good, it's interactive; after the presentation there is a question and answer session for the kids using the puppets," said Jairus C. Perez, welfare project manager for Latter-Day Saint Charities.
This charity also donated hygiene kits and offered translators for those seeking medical screenings.
"The services we are providing are optometry, dental and family medicine. So within family medicine, we're doing adult medicine as well as pediatrics," said Lt. Leland Comer.
The engagement also included veterinary and physical therapy services.
"We'll be here to help out the entire family for anything they need; whether it be their children, their animals, themselves, or their grandparents, we can help them out," said Comer.
Student nurses from the Bicol University College of Nursing assisted potential patients where they met with specialized doctors and nurses after completing the needed paperwork.
Comer discussed how partner nations work together to accomplish a common goal.
"We have the Philippines, and we have our partner nations, which today I've physically seen not only the U.S., but Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia are out working today. We've got all of us working together to provide health care for the population of Ligao City."
After spending the day working closely with members of the Philippines Medical Corps, Lt. Emily Croom, a Navy doctor assigned to Mercy, said she thought the methods she used when providing medical care are very similar to the Filipinos she worked with in Ligao City.
"I think it's interesting to see the different cultures. And to see that it's the same complaints I see in my clinic back in the United States, and we manage them similarly. We also knew what services the Philippine doctors could offer and we could refer them to those locations if they needed further care," Croom said.
Capt. Jenna Marie S. Bonayao, Philippine Nurse Corps, said she had previously participated in events similar to the CHE, however this was her first time working with foreign military.
"I have done this several times, but for people who have come from the different countries this is my first time. It's very fun to be working with them," said Bonayao.
After the Philippines, Pacific Partnership 2016 will proceed to Vietnam where partner nations will continue to focus on enhancing regional responsiveness in crisis.