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Philippines: NDRRMC Update: SitRep No. 3 Preparedness Measures for Typhoon "Hanna" (Soudelor)

6 August 2015 - 2:59pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Philippines: NDRRMC Update: SitRep No. 2 Preparedness Measures for Typhoon "Hanna" (Soudelor)

6 August 2015 - 2:58pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Philippines: UNICEF Philippines Humanitarian Situation Report Mid-year Review (6 August 2015

6 August 2015 - 9:31am
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Philippines

Situation Overview

The Philippines remains prone to natural hazards including typhoons, earthquake and volcanoes. 2015 is currently experiencing an El Niño event and 16-20 typhoons of category 3 or higher, that may impact the Philippines, are predicted during the current typhoon season (June – November).
In addition to natural hazards, the long running armed conflict in Mindanao continues and a law enforcement operation launched by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) in Central Mindanao in February 2015 displaced over 125,000 people. The situation in the Sulu Archipelago in South Western Mindanao continued to be highly insecure, with children affected by fighting between lawless armed groups, family feuding and high levels of criminality. The ongoing conflict continues to exclude children in Mindanao from the benefits of economic growth experienced in other regions of the Philippines, and the region has the lowest rates for completion of elementary school and access to sanitation, and has the highest rates of malnutrition. Following fighting in late 2013 in Zamboanga there remains a total of 17,023 people displaced and elevated rates of malnutrition have been identified amongst Internally Displaced Populations (IDPs). The peace process remains intact, however there has been growing uncertainty over the passage of the ‘Bangsamoro Basic Law’ – which is a key part of the peace process. If the peace process fails there would be an increased risk of large-scale displacement.

World: Drones and Satellites for Good - How Satellite Imagery Can Protect Human Rights

6 August 2015 - 2:23am
Source: RESET Country: Philippines, South Sudan, Sudan, World

Written by Marius, 06-08-2015

When it comes to human rights violations, it is often the weakest members of our society who are hardest hit. This is especially true for those who have no one representing their rights on their side. Using the latest technology, satellites can now be used to detect crimes. For our RESET special 'Drones and Satellites for Good', we show how two projects are working towards protecting human rights by using satellites images.

The question is simple and logical but nonetheless surprising: if we constantly have up to 1000 satellites orbiting the earth, how can it be possible that human rights violations initially go unnoticed? The possible poor quality of the images is one explanation. To be more exact, the sticking point is the question of who evaluates this information. The UN's Operational Satellite Applications Programme (UNOSAT) is taking a closer look for us. It uses satellite information to track and make note of humanitarian disasters, violence and human rights violations in a timely manner.

The Philippines in the year 2013: conflict is going on between the separatists of the Moro National Liberation Front and government forces. Already 131,000 people have been forced to flee, 10,000 houses have been destroyed and at least 130 people have lost their lives. Aid organisations no longer dare to act on site and the information on the situation is contradictory. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) finally used satellite images to identify the extent of damage to buildings from which the intensity of the conflict could be deduced.

Human rights also means having a fundamental guarantee of safety. Satellites can help in cases where human rights are at risk. They can assist aid organisations in gathering information about regions that are no longer safe to enter without the police or army. Last but not least, there are also situations in which the army, as in the Philippines in 2013, is not entirely impartial. In addition to use in dangerous war zones, the analysis of satellite data has also proven to be of use in complex civil war situations.

Sudan is one such case whereby the analysis of satellite data from 2011 saved lives, both indirectly and directly. This was made possible by the Satellite Sentinel Project which analyses satellite images derived from the border between Sudan and South Sudan. A partnership between John Prendergast (co-founder of the Enough Project) and the Project Not On Our Watch, the Satellite Sentinel Project was also co-founded by actor George Clooney, whose popularity surely played no small role in raising funds. However, Clooney is in this case more than just a celebrity face. He has travelled incognito several times to the region and pointed out shocking photos to the public about the extent of the crisis. He was even arrested at a later stage for taking part in a demonstration in front of the Sudanese Embassy against the (North) Sudanese President, Omar al-Bashir in Washington DC.

So What's the Point of all This Observation?

First and foremost, satellite data can be used as evidence during the trials of war crimes. On the other hand the images are often so accurate that massacres or the existence of mass graves are detectable. In some cases, distant observers can play pivotal roles that affect the outcome of conflict. For example, in September 2011, when an employee of the Satellite Sentinel Project spotted thousands of soldiers and helicopters at Kurmuk, they were able to warn residents in that location and save numerous people.

In the video below, John Prendergast explains how he and George Clooney got involved with this project and how they go about their work with satellite imagery:

Video

From the bottom of the ocean to the outer reaches of the galaxy – the possibilities offered by drones and satellites are practically unlimited. Unmanned aerial vehicles are no longer only used in war zones. Equipped with cutting-edge technology, they are also valuable aids in the fight against pollution and social injustice. They can expose polluters and even locate people buried under rubble. In our RESET Special 'Drones and Satellites for Good', we will introduce projects that use satellites and drones towards sustainable development.

Philippines: Building more resilient farming communities after Typhoon Haiyan

5 August 2015 - 2:54pm
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization Country: Philippines

To help build the resilience of small-scale rice-, corn- and coconut-based farming communities severely affected by Typhoon Haiyan, some 40,000 households have received recovery support in the form of water- and pest-resistant storage containers, along with training that will help farmers protect their seeds and reduce post-harvest losses.

One of the most important post-harvest activities is the storage of grains and seeds. However, according to a recent FAO Post-Harvest Haiyan Report, many farming households lose an average of almost 60 kg during the storage period.

“Appropriate storage facilities can play a crucial role in reducing seed and grain losses when natural disasters like floods or typhoons occur,” said Jackie Pinat, FAO Area Coordinator for Region VIII.

The report revealed that the majority of households were storing part of their rice seeds in rice sacks, which were not protected from extreme weather conditions.

“We know that other typhoons will come, so these air-tight storage containers, being pest and water-resistant will help farmers to minimize their losses and will enable them to store up to 80 kg of seeds, which equates to being able plant two hectares of rice paddy,” said Ms Pinat.

“There are also economic benefits to proper seed storage. Farmers will not be put under pressure to sell their produce straight away in order to meet their immediate needs, so this increases farmers’ bargaining power, as they have the option to delay selling while negotiating a better price.”

In addition, Ms Pinat explained that the storage drums can keep seeds for up to four months, allowing the farmers to save good seeds from the previous harvest for the next cropping season.

One of the recipients was Edgarde Montoya, who has been farming rice in Palo, Leyte for more than 20 years. His coastal community was first hit by the Typhoon, and then by the resulting tidal surge. “When Yolanda came, all the crops were washed out. Even the houses were destroyed,” he recalls.

Edgarde has since built back his livelihood through receiving training on better farming practices, along with a household farming kit and farm inputs, including the seed storage container.

“The assistance really helped us get through the crisis so that we could get back to farming. Now I can grow and sell crops again. The money that I earn from selling my crops, I can use to buy my families daily needs,” he says.

The inputs and trainings that have been provided to small-scale farmers like Edgarde enables them to implement the practices they’ve learned and ensure safer grain and seed storage to reduce losses, thereby increasing their resilience to natural disasters and their ability to recover.

Edgarde is well aware that more typhoons will surely come, but his outlook is optimistic: “I think I am now better prepared, because I am now more experienced, and more trained. I have readily available seedlings and I can use the grain storage container if another typhoon like Yolanda comes again. But I pray that it won’t happen.”

The Rice and Corn Recovery programme and Coconut-Based Farming Systems programme are part of FAO’s USD 39.7 million Typhoon Haiyan Strategic Response Plan, which aims to address the recovery needs of affected farming families. The programmes are funded by the Governments of Canada, Finland, Ireland, Japan, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom.

See the full photogallery

Philippines: Five dead, three missing in southern Philippines floods

5 August 2015 - 6:53am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

Manila, Philippines | AFP | Wednesday 8/5/2015 - 10:26 GMT

Five people have died and three more are missing as floods hit two southern Philippine cities, forcing about 400 residents to flee their submerged homes, officials said Wednesday.

Swollen rivers burst their banks and unleashed waist-deep floods on shanty towns in the cities of Malaybalay and Valencia on Mindanao island this week, provincial civil defence chief Ana Caneda told AFP.

Heavy rains have swamped the region since late last month and the government warned residents of vulnerable areas, including riverbank shanties, to evacuate, but some refused, she said.

"They may not have relatives to go to and don't want to go to the evacuation centres so they... (chose) to sit it out," Caneda said, adding that some had refused to leave their properties unguarded.

Rescuers recovered the corpses of five shantytown residents Wednesday when monsoon rains let up for the day, but three other residents remain missing, she added.

Caneda said the floods were brought on by a seasonal monsoon and were not related to Super Typhoon Soudelor, which is threatening Taiwan and China.

Hundreds of people are killed in natural disasters each year in the Philippines, which is battered by an average of 20 typhoons and tropical storms annually.

mm/cgm/tm

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

Philippines: Decommissioning does not have to be in BBL, legal team reiterates

5 August 2015 - 2:20am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MANILA, Aug. 5 – Decommissioning need not be included in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law, a lawyer of the government peace panel said today.

“We have explained many times before that decommissioning as well as the broader normalization process need not be in the BBL,” Atty. Sittie Amirah Pendatun explained in response to Senator Ferdinand Marcos Jr.’s statement that one reason for the delay in the submission of his committee report on the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) is the difficulty in incorporating provisions on the decommissioning of Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) weapons and combatants.

According to Pendatun, the primary reason why decommissioning and the normalization process are not in the proposed BBL is because the Constitution prohibits the creation of a bill with more than one subject, citing Art. VI, Sec. 26(1) of the 1987 Constitution which says “every bill passed by the Congress shall embrace only one subject which shall be expressed in the title thereof.”

“The BBL is really about the establishment of an autonomous region. It’s about the creation of a political entity which seeks to establish an inclusive system of governance for a multicultural segment of the Philippine population, and not about the MILF per se,” Pendatun said.

“For this reason, the normalization program is not a pertinent subject of the proposed BBL,” she explained. “In fact, if we include two subjects, there’s a possibility that this will be challenged in court for non-compliance with the constitutional requirement.”

In addition, Pendatun said that decommissioning does not need new legislation as it is within the power of the president to conduct peace talks and ensure the wellbeing of the country.

“We believe that the current legal framework empowers the President to enter into and implement the peace agreement, including decommissioning,” she said. “Thus there is no need for a new law.”

“The Supreme Court decided in a case that the President is the one in power to conduct peace negotiations. That is implicitly included in his powers as Chief Executive and as Commander-in-Chief,” Pendatun explained. Pendatun reiterated that the President as Chief Executive “has general responsibility to promote public peace,” and as Commander-in-Chief has the “specific duty to prevent and suppress rebellion and lawless violence," while noting that "normalization, which includes decommissioning, is a measure to promote public peace and to prevent or suppress rebellion."

Citing jurisprudence, Pendatun also noted that “the President must be given leeway to explore solutions for the implementation and to end hostilities, because the President is in a singular best position to know the grievances and also know the measures to address these grievances.

Finally, according to Pendatun, the Constitution already provides a guideline for the content of an organic act such as the proposed BBL.

“The Constitution itself provides the guidelines for it. We have two sections: Article X, Sec. 18 and Article X, Sec. 20,” Pendatun explained. “According to the Constitution, an organic act should contain the basic structure of government, [both] executive and legislative, the creation of special courts, provisions on the conduct of a plebiscite, and the legislative powers of the proposed entity. And all of these matters are already included in the proposed BBL"

The decommissioning process has already formally begun on June 16, 2015 with the ceremonial turnover and decommissioning of MILF weapons and combatants, despite delays in the passage of the BBL in Congress. Further developments in the decommissioning process are expected with progress in the implementation of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, which includes the passage of the BBL, conduct of a plebiscite in the envisioned core territory and the establishment of the Bangsamoro region. (OPAPP)

Philippines: ARMM to construct 900 classroom buildings

5 August 2015 - 2:07am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur, Aug. 5 -- Close to 900 new classrooms worth over P500 million will be built all over the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) starting this year.

Dr. John Magno, the region’s Department of Education (DepEd) secretary, said P191 million was also earmarked for water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities in ARMM’s schools.

“Bangsamoro children deserve quality teachers and school facilities,” he said.

The support of the Australian government through its Basic Education Assistance for Muslim Mindanao (BEAM-ARMM) program, he said, helps a lot to deliver quality education in the region.

The BEAM-ARMM is a comprehensive education and youth development program designed to contribute to the alleviation of poverty and to promote peace in the region.

It delivers accessible and healthy learning facilities, quality teachers, learning materials, and a protective environment for children in need, through effective, transparent, and accountable management systems.

To date, 123 classrooms were already rehabilitated and 50 new classrooms were constructed by BEAM-ARMM across the region benefitting more than 8,000 student-beneficiaries each school year.

A series of supplemental training to over 9,000 teachers on Enhanced Basic Education Curriculum under the K to 12 program were also conducted. This initiative also provides skills training to out-of-school youth and senior high school students.

“My son is one of the lucky students who will occupy the newly rehabilitated classrooms at Portholland Elementary School,” said Hja. Thandzmahal Idan, 35 years old and mother of Al Jake Idan, Grade 3 student in the town of Maluso in Basilan. Maluso is one of the recipients of projects under DepEd-ARMM and BEAM-ARMM program.

Amella Jalani, Portholland school head, said the school has 28 classrooms but only 16 are being used. “Last school year, 1,900 students merged to only 16 classrooms, which resulted in a classroom-student ratio of over 1:100,” said Jalani. She underscored that this problem results in students skipping class and leads to severe absenteeism.

Based on data from the DepEd’s Enhanced Basic Education Information System, ARMM has 989 schools classified as “black and red” in 2012. The black schools are without existing instructional classrooms while red schools need either classroom repairs, or new classrooms.

Five of Portholland’s old classroom buildings were renovated while two new classrooms were constructed by the BEAM-ARMM. (BPI/PIA-10)

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 29 July – 4 August 2015

4 August 2015 - 1:46pm
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Snapshot 29 July–4 August 2015

Pakistan: Flooding has killed 118 people and affected more than 800,000 people in Pakistan. Hundreds of villages have been inundated. Most casualties were recorded in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab, and Azad Jammu & Kashmir.

Myanmar : 46 people have been killed and 156,000–216,000 people are affected by flooding. Sagaing region and Kachin and Shan states have been particularly impacted. Another 350,000 people are estimated affected in Bangladesh and India.

DRC: 32,000 IDPs in Rutshuru and Masisi, North Kivu, are in need of WASH, health, NFI and shelter assistance. They fled clashes between the FARDC and a coalition of FDLR, Nyatura, and FPC. In Katanga, 17,800 former IDPs in Nyunzu territory are in urgent need of assistance: most of the population lacks shelter as 43 of 50 villages have been burned.

Cameroon: Cameroonian authorities have deported more than 2,000 undocumented Nigerians as part of new security measures introduced after a series of suicide attacks in July. They have also increased the number of troops deployed in the Far North.

Updated: 04/08/2015. Next update 11/08/2015.

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

Philippines: WFP Philippines | Brief Reporting period: 01 April – 30 June 2015

4 August 2015 - 8:42am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Philippines

COUNTRY STRATEGY

WFP activities in the Philippines focus on assisting poor, vulnerable and displaced populations affected by armed conflict and natural disasters in Visayas and Mindanao through general food distributions, food assistance for assets and training, school meals, and supplementary feeding. The recently concluded Relief and Recovery Operation provided assistance to over 1.5 million people affected by protracted conflict in Central Mindanao as well as disaster affected communities in Central Visayas and Eastern Mindanao. The new operation, which started in April, provides food and in-kind assistance to the conflict torn areas in Central Mindanao and typhoon hit sections of Visayas and Mindanao. As the Philippines is one of the world’s most disaster prone countries, WFP is also helping the Government strengthen its disaster preparedness and response capacities. WFP re-established its presence in the Philippines in 2006 to support the ongoing Mindanao peace process and to help build community resilience to armed conflict, which undermines food security

Philippines: Philippines Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 7 | 1 – 31 July 2015

4 August 2015 - 5:00am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Conflict and flooding trigger recurrent displacement in Maguindanao, eroding resources of the poorest and hampering their recovery.

  • UN Special Rapporteur on IDP rights calls for enhanced assistance to conflict-induced IDPs including indigenous peoples in Mindanao.

  • Intensifying El Niño may cause drought and water shortages in parts of the country and trigger erratic behaviour of tropical storms.

  • Philippine government with local communities and humanitarian partners conducts the first Metro Manila earthquake drill.

FIGURES

Zamboanga Crisis

Number of IDPs remaining in Grandstand evacuation centre: 0

Number of IDPS LupaLupa and Mariki ES: 1200

Number of IDPs in all other transitional sites: 15,900

Number of IDPs hosted by relatives and friends or renting temporary homes: 11,300*

Number of IDPs awarded permanent shelters: 2,900**

Number of IDPs received home material assistance: 8,300**

Source: CCCM Cluster (as of 31 July 2015), *Protection Cluster (as of December 2014) **National Housing Authority (June 2015)

Philippines: Philippines: Community Engagement Mediums in Natural Disaster Preparedness and Response (1 Aug 2015)

4 August 2015 - 4:25am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

The Community of Practice (CoP) on Community Engagement comprises of 40 organizations coming from UN agencies, International Non-Government Organizations (INGOs), Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), Faith-Based Groups (FBGs), Media Development and Humanitarian Agencies (MDHA), Telecommunications Companies, Private Sector and the Philippine Government through Philippine Information Agency (PIA).

Philippines: Philippines: Floods and Conflict: A farmer’s story from Sultan Sa Barongis, Maguindanao (as of 3 August 2015)

4 August 2015 - 3:08am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

“Everyone is armed here and law and order is difficult to come by, and without peace, we will continue to live in fear and frequent displacement from our homes,” says Sumilalau Talambo, a 65-year-old farmer in Maguindanao province of Mindanao. A father of seven, he grows rice and corn for living in one of the poorest and most crisis-prone communities of the Philippines.

“Every time I return home, I have to start from scratch. Our meager resources get eroded each time we are displaced and our resilience weakens year after year.”

With a long history of conflict and natural disasters, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) is the poorest region in the Philippines. Maguindanao, the province where Sumilalau is from, has a poverty incidence of 63.7%. The national average is 25%.

Sumilalau lives in Sultan Sa Barongis (SSB), one of the poorest municipalities in Maguindanao with a population of 22,000.

SSB is located next to Liguasan Marsh, the drainage basin of the Mindanao river. The marsh is a suspected hideout of the Bangsomoro Islamic Freedon Fighters (BIFF) group, from where it launches attacks on government forces.

SSB is flooded annually by rain and excess water flow from the Ala and Kapingkong rivers, which meet in the adjacent Lambayong municipality before draining into Liguasan Marsh.

Sumilalau lives in Barangay Kulambog, one of the five barangays inundated by flooding in late June.

Philippines: Over 17,000 ‘Pablo’ family-survivors now have new homes

4 August 2015 - 2:40am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Around 17,420 permanent housing units have already been turned over to families from Boston, Cateel, and Banganga in Davao Oriental, who were rendered homeless by Typhoon Pablo in 2012. This number includes the 1,010 units which were turned over on Monday, July 27.

The houses were constructed under the Modified Shelter Assistance Program (MSAP) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), which provided the needed funds and the Provincial Government of Davao Oriental, which handled the site development of the resettlement sites and the management of the program.

With the latest turnover of units, only about 2,000 houses more are needed to reach the total target of 19,880 units in all the four affected towns.

DSWD and the provincial government assured that they will complete and turn over the remaining houses before the year ends.

DSWD Secretary Corazon Juliano-Soliman said that the completion of the housing project indicates that government resources have redound to the benefit of vulnerable families.

She also recognized the agency’s strong partnership with the provincial government saying that without its support, DSWD would have a difficult time realizing this huge task.

“Typhoon survivors may have lost their houses but they claim that they remain hopeful and resilient, especially because they see the government, particularly the provincial government’s efforts and commitment to rebuild their lives,” Sec. Soliman added.

During Monday’s ceremonial turnover, Governor Corazon N. Malanyaon underscored the provincial government’s efforts in pushing for the housing program to become the national government’s first priority among all the lined up rehabilitation programs for ‘Pablo’ survivors.

“For as long as typhoon victims are not settled in the security of their own homes, all other efforts in rehabilitation will become futile,” she said, adding that the survivors could not give their full attention to their work and livelihood while worrying for a place where their family can stay.

She further said that these new homes symbolize security and help motivate typhoon-affected families to improve their lives by focusing on their work even more.

“Masaya po kami ng aking pamilya at medyo excited nang lumipat sa aming bagong tirahan (I am very happy and my family is excited to move to our new house),” said couple Wilhelmino and Wehil Pesalson from Cateel.

While these houses are built for free by the government, Gov. Malanyaon emphasized that beneficiaries also have their fair share of responsibilities to complement efforts of the government.

She pointed out that beneficiaries should take good care of these new homes as these will be handed down to their children and grandchildren. ###

World: CrisisWatch N°144, 1 August 2015

3 August 2015 - 11:46am
Source: International Crisis Group Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

July 2015 – Trends

  • Deteriorated situations
    Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Kashmir, Turkey, Yemen

  • Improved situations
    Colombia

August 2015 – Watchlist

  • Conflict risk alerts
    Turkey, Yemen

-Conflict resolution opportunities
Iran, South Sudan

World: Crisis Watch N°144, 1 August 2015

3 August 2015 - 11:46am
Source: International Crisis Group Country: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

July 2015 – Trends

  • Deteriorated situations
    Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Kashmir, Turkey, Yemen

  • Improved situations
    Colombia

August 2015 – Watchlist

  • Conflict risk alerts
    Turkey, Yemen

-Conflict resolution opportunities
Iran, South Sudan

Philippines: The Philippines: UN expert urges no let-up in attention to internally displaced persons

3 August 2015 - 9:53am
Source: UN Human Rights Council Country: Philippines

GENEVA (3 August 2015) – The United Nations Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, has urged the Government of the Philippines to follow-through with its commitments and devote much needed attention and resources to internally displaced persons “until durable solutions are attained and their futures are secured.”

Mr. Beyani’s call comes at the end of his official ten-day visit to the Philippines, where he assessed the impact of all forms of internal displacement, including those caused by disasters, armed conflict, and development projects on the ancestral lands of indigenous peoples.

The UN expert praised the Government for its responses to the massive internal displacement caused by Typhoon Haiyan. However, he expressed concern that “attention and resources appear to be waning before durable solutions are achieved and some IDPs remain in dire situations.”

He travelled to Tacloban in the Visayas which had been affected by Haiyan (known locally as ‘Yolanda’) which made landfall in November 2013 killing some 6,300 in the Philippines and displacing hundreds of thousands from their homes.

The Special Rapporteur welcomed significant progress in providing transitional and permanent homes to those affected and restoring livelihood opportunities, as well as policies such as ‘Build-Back-Better’ aimed at mitigating against the effects of future disasters.

Nevertheless the expert expressed surprise that, despite huge resources spent or earmarked for infrastructure projects, for many displaced communities basic service provision, including water, sanitation and electricity are lacking almost two years after Haiyan. Some families “seem to have become stuck in substandard ‘bunkhouse’ accommodation or fallen entirely through the protection net,” he commented.

Mr. Beyani urged the Government to rapidly take concrete steps to resolve problems affecting IDPs, including to adopt what would be a landmark law on the rights of internally displaced persons following more than a decade of deliberation.

“An ‘almost law’ is as good as no law at all,” the UN expert stated. “For a country prone to disasters and the displacement effects of long-standing conflicts it is essential to enshrine the rights and protection of IDPs into law. Not to do so after a decade of debate sends a wrong signal about the Government’s commitment to ensuring respect for their rights and withholds essential legal protection from IDPs.”

Mr Beyani visited other regions of the country affected by displacement caused by the long-standing conflicts with non-State armed groups in various regions of Mindanao. He urged intensified efforts to achieve inclusive and lasting peace as an essential means of ending the conflicts which have displaced millions over the last four decades.

“Conflict, militarization and displacement have become the common pattern in some localities and responses to conflict driven displacement crisis need to be more effective in some areas where they have gone from poor to almost non-existent,” Mr. Beyani said.

“Armed conflict or intrusive development projects not only displace indigenous peoples and subject them to conditions that may bring about their destruction as peoples, they also destroy their homes and livelihoods,” noted the rights expert, who also visited Tampakan, where a proposed open-pit gold and copper mine will potentially displace over 5000 people, the majority of whom are indigenous peoples.

“They have an incalculable impact on their cultures and ways of life that are part of the rich and diverse heritage of the Philippines that must be protected or otherwise lost, perhaps forever,” he stressed. “Indigenous peoples struggle to survive away from their ancestral lands and require special protection including through the full implementation of the Indigenous Peoples’ Rights Act.”

The Special Rapporteur thanked the Government for its cooperation with his mandate and is committed to continuing his constructive engagement with national authorities. He will produce a full report and recommendations based on his visit to be presented to the Government of the Philippines and the UN Human Rights Council in 2016.

(*) Check the Special Rapporteur’s full end-of-mission statement: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=16280&LangID=E

Mr. Chaloka Beyani, professor of international law at the London School of Economics, was appointed Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons by the Human Rights Council in September 2010. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IDPersons/Pages/IDPersonsIndex.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of what is known as the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and serve in their individual capacity.

Check the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IDPersons/Pages/Standards.aspx

UN Human Rights, country page – the Philippines: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/PHIndex.aspx

For further information and media inquiries, please contact Graham Fox (+41 22 917 9640 / gfox@ohchr.org) or write to idp@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)

Philippines: Philippines: Zamboanga City Transitional sites (as of 31 July 2015)

3 August 2015 - 5:18am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

Malaysia: Dengue Situation Update 470, 29 July 2015

3 August 2015 - 2:07am
Source: World Health Organization Country: American Samoa, Australia, Cambodia, China, French Polynesia (France), Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, Philippines, Samoa, Singapore, Viet Nam

Northern Hemisphere

China (no update)

As of 30 June, there were 43 cases of dengue reported in China for 2015. Compared with the same period of the previous of 2012 to 2014, the number of dengue cases reported in China has increased slightly in 2015(Figure 1).

Malaysia

As of 25 July 2015, there were 67,944 cases of dengue with 185 deaths reported in Malaysia for 2015. This is 30.7% higher compared with the same reporting period of 2014 (n=48,845) (Figure 2). From 19 to 25 July 2015, there were 2,549 cases of dengue reported, 7.2% lower than the cases reported in the previous week (n=2,747).

Philippines

From 1 January to 18 July 2015, there were 40,593 cases of dengue, including 134 deaths, reported in Philippines. This is 0.67% lower compared with the same reporting period in 2014 (n=40,866) (Figure 3).

Singapore

As of 25 July 2015, there were 5,180 cases of dengue reported in Singapore for 2015. From 19-25 July 2015, 294 dengue cases reported, 31 case more than the previous week, and lower than the same reporting period in 2014(n=744) (Figure 4).

Cambodia (No Update)

As of 23 June 2015, there were 1,900 cases of dengue, including seven deaths, reported in Cambodia. To date for 2015, Cambodia has experienced a relatively stable number of new cases reported each week, following the average seasonal pattern during 2009-2014 excluding 2012 (Figure 5).

Lao PDR

As of 17 July, there were 589 cases of dengue and no deaths reported in Lao PDR for 2015. From 11 to 17 July 2015, 55 cases of dengue were reported, which is 31% more than that of the previous week (n=42) (Figure 6). There is no alert for country level for the week ending 17 July 2015.

Viet Nam

As of 19 July 2015, there were 18,4329 cases of dengue including 12 deaths reported in 2015. Compared to same reporting period in 2014, number of cases increased by 38.8% and number of deaths increased by 4 cases. From 12 to 19 July 2015, there were 961 cases of dengue reported with no deaths from 37 out of 63 provinces. Compared with previous week (n=886 cases), number of cases increased by 8.5%. However, compared to the data for period from 2010-2014, the average cumulative number of cases in 2015 is still lower.

Southern Hemisphere

Australia (No Update)

As of 30 June, 1,089 laboratory-confirmed dengue cases have been reported in Australia for 2015.
Compared with the same reporting period of last year (n=1,180), the number of reported cases is lower, but is consistent with previous seasonal trends (Figure 8).

Pacific Islands

French Polynesia

From 6 to 12 July 2015, 10 confirmed dengue cases were reported in French Polynesia (Figure 9). There were 9 hospitalizations and one severe dengue case in June 2015.

Samoa

On 9 July 2015, Samoa confirmed a dengue fever outbreak due to dengue virus serotype 3. As of 13 July 215, a total of 63 Dengue-Like Illness (DLI) cases with no death have been reported (Figure 10).

American Samoa

As of 23 July 2015, 140 confirmed cases, 50 hospitalizations and 4 deaths have been reported. The outbreak enters its eighth week.

Philippines: Philippines vows action on Haiyan rebuilding after UN criticism

2 August 2015 - 2:23am
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Philippines

Manila, Philippines | AFP | Sunday 8/2/2015 - 05:55 GMT

The Philippines on Sunday vowed to take further action to aid those displaced by deadly Super Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, following UN criticism that the government's response so far had been "inadequate".

President Benigno Aquino's spokesman Herminio Coloma said the government was not merely trying to find new housing for those displaced by the storm, which was the most powerful ever recorded to have hit land, but was also trying to ensure they would be relocated to safer ground.

"This is our committment: the government will continue its effort to help these internally displaced persons, particularly regarding setting up permanent, safe and decent housing," he told reporters.

"Additionally, we hope to help them find suitable livelihood and jobs so they can further recover from the calamity," Coloma added.

His remarks came after UN special rapporteur Chaloka Beyani said that the government had not done enough for those left homeless by Haiyan, which flattened whole towns and left about 7,350 dead or missing when it swept through the central Philippines in November 2013.

Roughly 2,000 families have been forced to relocate to evacuation camps with many living in shanties, often without power or water, the report and social welfare officials have said.

Coloma said that in the 2016 budget, the government had allocated more money to setting up new communities for those affected by Haiyan as well as those displaced by fighting with Muslim rebels in the south.

He did not specify how much money was going to victims of Haiyan.

President Benigno Aquino has budgeted 160 billion pesos ($3.6 billion) to rebuild after Haiyan, considered as one of the major tests of his six-year term that will end in June next year.

The Philippines is one of the world's most disaster-prone countries, at risk from earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and an average 20 typhoons yearly.

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