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World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 20-26 August

26 August 2014 - 9:07am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Malaysia, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen, South Sudan preview

Syria: Only 41% of Syria’s public hospitals are fully operational. The latest in a number of local truces around Damascus has been agreed between state forces and opposition in Qadam. 191,369 people were reported killed March 2011–April 2014, mainly in Rural Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Idleb, Dar’a and Hama, according to new UN figures.

Sudan: Conflict between Maaliya and Rizeigat has killed at least 300 people over five days in the Karinka locality of East Darfur. Police were deployed to stop the fighting. 256,000 people across 12 states are now affected by flooding, an increase of 80,000 in a week; 70,000 are affected in Blue Nile state alone.

DRC: An Ebola epidemic, unrelated to the outbreak in West Africa, has been declared in Equateur province, with 16 cases reported, including five deaths. 577 cases of febrile bloody diarrhoea have also been reported in Equateur. Clashes between FARDC and Raiya Mutomboki displaced 12,400 in South Kivu, while in Katanga violence between pygmies and Luba is worsening.

Iraq: Heavy fighting continues in the north. As more IDPs head south, there are concerns that central governorates are reaching saturation point. 20,000 Syrian refugees have returned to Syria.

Updated: 26/08/2014. Next update: 02/09/2014

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

Philippines: Philippines Construction Partnership to Provide Thousands of Temporary Homes for Haiyan Displaced

26 August 2014 - 5:28am
Source: International Organization for Migration Country: Philippines

IOM and the Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) today signed a partnership agreement to construct additional transitional shelters for Typhoon Haiyan survivors in the Eastern Visayas region of the Philippines.

Nearly ten months after the massive storm, more than 24,000 people remain displaced and are still living in 64 sites across the affected areas. Many of these are tent cities and makeshift shelters located in coastal flood-prone areas.

The new transitional sites will provide safer, more robust temporary shelter for these most vulnerable typhoon-affected communities. The process of finding permanent resettlement sites, complicated by a complex process of land negotiations, continues.

Under the partnership, some 3,200 families will be provided with transitional shelters, including bunkhouses and single detached units, to be constructed by IOM. DSWD will fund the construction of 2,700 units worth nearly USD 4 million, while IOM will provide counterpart funds amounting to nearly USD 800,000 for the remaining 500 units.

The agreement, signed by DSWD Secretary Corazon ‘Dinky’ Soliman and IOM’s Chief of Mission in the Philippines, Marco Boasso, is significant because it is the first time that IOM has been able to call directly on the funds of the Philippines national government to support a project.

IOM’s Chief of Mission in the Philippines, Marco Boasso, commented at the signing: “This is a great moment, showing the mutual trust between our host government and our intergovernmental, humanitarian organization.”

Secretary Soliman noted: “IOM is a long-time partner of the DSWD in camp coordination and camp management, as well as in the implementation of temporary and transitional shelters for displaced families in areas affected by man-made and natural disasters.”

As co-lead with DSWD in camp coordination and management, IOM is committed to mitigating the effects of disasters on internal displacement in the Philippines and has so far transferred nearly 18,000 typhoon Haiyan survivors from tent cities and other evacuation centres to safer transitional sites, as well as providing crucial humanitarian aid since the first days of the calamity.

For more information please contact Marco Boasso at IOM Manila, Email:

World: Communications with Communities Asia-Pacific Newsletter August 2014

25 August 2014 - 9:43pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, World preview

This update seeks to support growth in innovative policy, practice and partnerships in humanitarian action to better communicate with disaster-affected communities. Readers are encouraged to forward this email through their own networks.


Recruitment - Communications with Communities Consultant –3 months based in Sittwe, Rakhine State - The post will have primary responsibility for developing an overarching CwC (Communications with Communities) Strategy for the 'Save the Children-led Consortium' for the implementation of Humanitarian WASH and Nutrition Programme.

News - Myanmar Will Be the First Smartphone Only Country - Today, Myanmar has the same mobile phone usage as North Korea, Eritrea, and Cuba – less than 10% – with only the urban elite owning smartphones, and mobile networks limited in scope and functionality. Yet technology restrictions are ending, and three mobile operators are racing to roll out services to 60 million across the country.

News - Myanmar’s new mobile internet users embrace Android smartphones, pick Viber over Facebook – An ‘On Device Research’ survey found that Viber has scored an early win in Myanmar in the heated messaging app battle. Viber scores 79 percent of users versus 27 percent on Facebook Messenger. Clearly people are using multiple messaging apps.

Summary Report – ICT and Disaster Response Workshop, hosted by OCHA and FHI 360 on 6 August 2014. The Workshop was attended by 35 people from humanitarian agencies (UN, INGO and NGO), private sector, telecoms companies, media development agencies and Myanmar TV. The Workshop Report provides a summary of the day where there was agreement on the importance of technology, awareness that there are several different initiatives going on with little opportunity to share information and conflict sensitivity and the need for ethnic minority languages to be addressed.


News – “Moving forward after Haiyan – The Story of Radyo Abante”, by Leoniza O. Morales, World Vision.

Response Update - The OCHA Communications with Communities team are working as part of the Preparedness unit in supporting the first Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) Emergency Preparedness Plan.

In Zamboanga, a SMS blast system (which now sends to IDPs) was set up by the Communications Working Group (CWG) as part of its two-way communication strategy.

In Tacloban, OCHA, IOM and the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) conducted the first regional Right to Information (RTI) workshop for sub-national information and communication officers of various government agencies. The workshop further enhances the coordinated communications system and feedback platform for affected communities.


Common Messaging - After several months of committed and engaged work with the Government of Nepal, UN, Red Cross Movement, International and local NGOs, theNepal Risk Reduction Consortium (NRRC) Communications Group has finalized the first edition of a Common Messages Guideline for Disaster Risk Reduction.

These guidelines outline the need for coordinated and coherent messaging and how organizations can use common messages to strengthen collective efforts in awareness and behavior change. The guidelines outline 10 key messages for DRR, earthquakes, floods, landslides and fires that organizations are encouraged to use and customize for their communications purposes.

Moving forward, the NRRC Communications Group will be finalizing a common messages platform to strengthen access to messages and showcase communications products that have been developed using the messages. In addition, the NRRC Communications Group is in the process of finalizing 10 key messages for thunderstorms.


News – Many of the world's most talented young computer programmers are now based in cities like Nairobi, Hyderabad or Rio de Janeiro. They are driven by a powerful belief that communications technology can deliver social change.

Al Jazeera’s Life Apps programme follows young applications developers from around the world as they visit remote communities to experience the everyday hardships of the poor and marginalized - and then create app solutions for a better, more sustainable world.

Tech – “Crowdsourcing the fight for human rights” - In closed societies around the world, brave human rights defenders face enormous hurdles to advance human is a new platform that allows people everywhere to help protect basic freedoms.

Tech - Who is distributing solar lights that recharge mobile phones in Iraq?

Philippines: Top PRC, ICRC officials inspect progress of recovery efforts in Samar

25 August 2014 - 10:49am
Source: Philippine National Red Cross Country: Philippines

Basey, Samar – Philippine Red Cross officials together with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross assessed recovery efforts during a visit on Monday in Samar almost ten months after typhoon Yolanda devastated Eastern Visayas.

Philippine Red Cross Chairman Richard Gordon accompanied ICRC President Peter Maurer during the visit to inspect the steady and rapid progress of recovery in Samar.

Gordon said that “ what’s great about the Red Cross movement is that we can respond to a calamity like typhoon Yolanda as a single unit, collaborating and cooperating with each other, to alleviate human suffering. Because Samar is an area where there is a presence of armed conflict, ICRC stepped in with us to do the necessary work of helping the people here to get back on their feet."

Gordon explained that the ICRC together with the International Federation of the Red Cross(IFRC), and various National Societies of the Red Cross from different parts of the world, were hard at work in all the provinces, cities, and municipalities devastated by typhoon Yolanda. "Here in Samar, we’re working hand in hand with the ICRC to extend support to the most vulnerable communities."

He said that the IFRC and the other national societies were undertaking humanitarian work in Tacloban city, which bore the brunt of typhoon Yolanda, and in all the other areas hit by the storm across the Visayas.

Maurer, who is in the country for three days, will also meet with high-level authorities in Manila on Tuesday to discuss humanitarian issues as part of the visit that will end on 27 August 2014.

Among the places where Maurer and PRC officials visited were the Basey District Hospital, which was jointly repaired by the ICRC and the PRC.

Maurer spent time talking to staff and patients in the Basey hospital, and proceeded to Santa Cruz, Giporlos, where storm-resilient shelters have been built.

So far, the ICRC in partnership with the PRC has built 2,100 shelters in Samar, and aims to finish 4,500 shelters by the end of 2014.

In the immediate aftermath of typhoon Yolanda, the ICRC and PRC prioritized livelihood projects, employing thousands of people by giving them jobs clearing debris on roads, farmlands and backyards, digging trenches, and cutting and producing lumber.

Water network systems benefiting many villages were also implemented , and the Red Cross restored the water supply system in Guiuan. Healthcare facilities across Samar were also constructed to benefit residents in the area.

Philippine Red Cross Secretary General Gwendolyn Pang said that the "Red Cross movement is focused on providing shelter and livelihood to the survivors of typhoon Yolanda. We were here when it hit, and we will be here until every community has completely recovered."

Pang added that the PRC is on track to constructing about 90,000 shelter units for the families devastated by typhoon Yolanda and that "we are also providing families with livelihood opportunities so that they can rebound and become self-reliant as soon as possible."

She added that President Maurer’s visit "is a welcome boost and an inspiration to Red Cross staff, volunteers, and officers who have labored to turn things around in Samar."

Cambodia: Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (19 - 25 August 2014)

25 August 2014 - 4:46am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Japan, Nepal, Philippines preview


As of 20 Aug, heavy seasonal rain causing flooding along the major river systems has killed at least 45 people and affected over 16,000 families. International NGOs and the Cambodian Red Cross have distributed relief items to the affected families. Water levels are already receding.


Seasonal flooding has raised the water level along major rivers in Bangladesh, as of 25 Aug. Six districts in the northern part of the country have been affected. The Government has provided immediate relief to 27,000 households. WFP has distributed 21 MT of high energy biscuits


Heavy seasonal rain between 14 and 16 Aug caused widespread flooding and landslides in 17 districts throughout the country. The total number of people killed during this period was 123, however an additional 126 are still missing. Another 67 people have been injured. A total of 25,000 houses have been damaged, an estimated 31,600 families are affected and over 4,600 families remain displaced. The Government is leading the response with support from the Humanitarian Country Team for Nepal.


On 20 Aug, torrential rain triggered a landslide in Hiroshima killing 49 people, with 41 still missing. Another 44 people were injured. A number of buildings, along with water and power infrastructure, are damaged. Nearly 1,700 people have been evacuated to 27 centers.


As of 24 Aug, six states in northern India were affected by heavy flooding. The most seriously affected include Uttar Pradesh where 41 people have been killed, Uttarakhand where over 50 people have died, Bihar where 38,000 people were affected and Assam where 35,000 were displaced.

Conflict erupted on 12 Aug between villagers in Nagaland and Assam States in India’s northeast. The violence resulted in 15 deaths and at least 10,000 people displaced from their homes. Curfew restrictions have been eased given the recent lull in fighting. Nevertheless those displaced have not yet returned home.


On 15 Aug, the alert level for Mt. Mayon volcano was raised from 1 to 2 at which stage the public is “strongly advised” not to approach within 6 kilometres of the volcano as a precautionary measure. A new 30-50m lava dome has been detected.