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World: World Events - ECHO Daily Map | 3/7/2015

3 July 2015 - 11:43pm
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid department Country: China, Guam, Iraq, Nepal, Northern Mariana Islands (The United States of America), Philippines, World, Yemen

Iraq - Conflict

• Lack of access to safety remains a grave concern as internally displaced persons (IDPs) from AlAnbar governorate are being prevented from leaving insecure areas.

• Threats of forced evictions, displacement and return movements in central Iraq are multiplying.

• Residents of Al Riyadh sub-district, in southwest Kirkuk, were requested by ISF to leave their village on 2 July.

• ECHO calls on all parties to the conflict, reminding that under no circumstances, IDPs should be encouraged or compelled to return or relocate to areas where they would be at risk.

• Sources: ECHO, NGOs, UN

Nepal – Severe Weather

• Heavy rain affected several areas of Nepal over the last week, causing floods and landslides.

• As of 2 July at least four people have died (two in Kailali, one in Doti and one in Kanchapur), one has gone missing and over 2 000 homes have been damaged in western Nepal. Floods and landslides killed two people also in eastern Nepal (Ilam and Morang districts), destroyed hundreds of houses and caused evacuations.

• Sources: WMO, DHM-MFD, Media (1,2)

China - Earthquake

• An earthquake of magnitude 6.4M at a depth of 20km hit Xinjian region on 3 July at 1.07 UTC. The epicenter was located about 20km south-west of Pishan and 164km west-northwest of Hotan.

• As of 3 July three people have died and 42 have been injured, 10 000 homes have been damaged and an airport has closed.

• Sources: GDACS, USGS, Chinese Gov., Media (1,2,3)

Guam, Northern Mariana Islands – Tropical Cyclone CHAN-HOM

• CHAN-HOM is moving north-west towards Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. On 3 July at 6.00 UTC its centre was located approx. 490km south-east of Guam and it had max. sustained winds of 83 km/h.

• Over the next 24h it is forecast to continue moving northwest strengthening and its centre may reach Saipan on 5 July as a Typhoon.

• As of 3 July a Typhoon Watch is in effect for Guam and the Northern Mariana islands of Rotan, Tinian and Saipan.

• Sources: GDACS, JTWC, NOAA, JMA, Media

Yemen - Conflict

• On 1 July, the Emergency Directors of the InterAgency Standing Committee raised the humanitarian situation in Yemen to the highest level L3. According to the UN an estimated 80% of the population is in need of humanitarian aid.

• Fighting in densely populated cities like Aden and Taiz has led to large numbers of civial casualties and displacement over the last few months.

• According to WHO the healthcare system is on the verge of collapse. So far in Aden a total of 8 000 cases of dengue fever have been reported with 590 deaths.

• Since the start of the conflict a total of 4.4 million people have received humanitarian asssistance • Sources: ECHO, U

Philippines – Ferry disaster

A ferry with 173 passengers on board was reportedly hit by large waves and capsized on 2 July near the island of Leyte.

• As of 3 July 41 people have been reported dead and five people are still missing.

• Sources: NDRRMC, Media (1,2,3,4,5)

Philippines – Tropical Cyclone LINFA

LINFA (“EGAY”) formed over the Philippine Sea on 1 July and started moving north-west strengthening. On 3 July 6.00 UTC its centre was located approx. 415 km south-west of Cagayan province.

• Over the next 24h, it is forecast to continue moving north-west towards north-eastern Luzon intensifying. It may reach Cagayan province on 4 July as a Tropical Storm.

• As of 3 July morning a Public Storm Warning Signal #1 is in effect for Northern Aurora,
Quirino, Isabella and Cayagan provinces (Luzon)

• Sources: GDACS, JTWC, NDRRMC, PAGASA, JMA, Media

Philippines: Oil firms assure continuous fuel supply during disaster

3 July 2015 - 7:31pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MAKATI, July 3 – Shortage in fuel supply will not be a problem in case a disaster strikes with the oil companies committing to ensure fuel is available during critical period.

The Philippine Institute of Petroleum (PIP), composed of the country’s leading oil companies, signed yesterday the implementing guidelines of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with key government agencies, to ensure stable fuel supply in Metro Manila in cases of disaster, arising from earthquakes, typhoons, floods, fire, and spills.

“We institutionalize our commitment, cooperation, communication, and coordination because much of the responsibility in responding to disasters lie on our government, specifically to our disaster management agencies,” said K. Sukanya Seriyothin, PIP President.

The MOA and its implementing guidelines, signed with the Department of Energy (DOE), National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), and the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC), is the first of its kind in the country.

DOE Undersecretary Raul Aguilos, NDRRMC Executive Director Alexander Pama, and MMDA General Manager Corazon Jimenez lauded and welcomed this initiative by the PIP.

“DOE fully supports and commit the entire DOE machinery in order for this program to be very successful. There’s no substitute for preparedness. DOE welcomes this opportunity to be of help,” said Aguilos.

Looking at the risk and its totality, Pama urged PIP member companies to look deeper and improve their respective business continuity plans so they will not address the disaster response aspect only but also in an all-encompassing manner.

“We have seen shortcomings and never again shall it happen. This activity we are doing right now is a manifestation that we are going toward that direction,” Pama added.

The guidelines detail the roles of each signatory, and the framework and areas of cooperation.

The DOE is the primary contact point between government and the petroleum industry and will take the lead in the development of a Disaster Management Plan.

The MMDRRMC and the NDRRMC will provide a list of staging areas; coordinate with DOE on fuel supply affecting key government agencies under their authority; and coordinate with concerned agencies on the exemption of fuel trucks from the truck ban in Metro Manila and in the location of fuel sources to facilitate swift delivery.

The PIP member companies include Chevron Philippines, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Petron Corporation, PTT Philippines Corporation, Total (Philippines) Corporation, and Isla Gas Corporation.

The PIP will provide the DOE, MMDRRMC and NDRRMC with a list of gas stations where government vehicles load up fuel during disasters. These stations should be located near the Incident Command Posts (ICPs).

The DILG and its attached agencies, the AFP, DPWH, and DOTC are also part of the agreement. Their responsibilities include providing status reports on the affected localities and their fuel requirements for clearing operations in affected roads and bridges; including the safety and security of fuel tankers, marine vessels, fuel depots, and stations, among others. (Kristine Agustin/MnB-Opcen)

Philippines: Oil firms assures continuous fuel supply during disaster

3 July 2015 - 7:31pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

MAKATI, July 3 – Shortage in fuel supply will not be a problem in case a disaster strikes with the oil companies committing to ensure fuel is available during critical period.

The Philippine Institute of Petroleum (PIP), composed of the country’s leading oil companies, signed yesterday the implementing guidelines of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with key government agencies, to ensure stable fuel supply in Metro Manila in cases of disaster, arising from earthquakes, typhoons, floods, fire, and spills.

“We institutionalize our commitment, cooperation, communication, and coordination because much of the responsibility in responding to disasters lie on our government, specifically to our disaster management agencies,” said K. Sukanya Seriyothin, PIP President.

The MOA and its implementing guidelines, signed with the Department of Energy (DOE), National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), and the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (MMDRRMC), is the first of its kind in the country.

DOE Undersecretary Raul Aguilos, NDRRMC Executive Director Alexander Pama, and MMDA General Manager Corazon Jimenez lauded and welcomed this initiative by the PIP.

“DOE fully supports and commit the entire DOE machinery in order for this program to be very successful. There’s no substitute for preparedness. DOE welcomes this opportunity to be of help,” said Aguilos.

Looking at the risk and its totality, Pama urged PIP member companies to look deeper and improve their respective business continuity plans so they will not address the disaster response aspect only but also in an all-encompassing manner.

“We have seen shortcomings and never again shall it happen. This activity we are doing right now is a manifestation that we are going toward that direction,” Pama added.

The guidelines detail the roles of each signatory, and the framework and areas of cooperation.

The DOE is the primary contact point between government and the petroleum industry and will take the lead in the development of a Disaster Management Plan.

The MMDRRMC and the NDRRMC will provide a list of staging areas; coordinate with DOE on fuel supply affecting key government agencies under their authority; and coordinate with concerned agencies on the exemption of fuel trucks from the truck ban in Metro Manila and in the location of fuel sources to facilitate swift delivery.

The PIP member companies include Chevron Philippines, Pilipinas Shell Petroleum Corporation, Petron Corporation, PTT Philippines Corporation, Total (Philippines) Corporation, and Isla Gas Corporation.

The PIP will provide the DOE, MMDRRMC and NDRRMC with a list of gas stations where government vehicles load up fuel during disasters. These stations should be located near the Incident Command Posts (ICPs).

The DILG and its attached agencies, the AFP, DPWH, and DOTC are also part of the agreement. Their responsibilities include providing status reports on the affected localities and their fuel requirements for clearing operations in affected roads and bridges; including the safety and security of fuel tankers, marine vessels, fuel depots, and stations, among others. (Kristine Agustin/MnB-Opcen)

Philippines: Ferry sinking highlights safety gaps in storm-battered Philippines

3 July 2015 - 8:02am
Source: IRIN Country: Philippines

MANILIA, 3 July 2015 (IRIN) - This week’s sinking of a ferry in the Philippines, at a cost of at least 40 lives, has given added urgency to calls for a probe of the maritime sector in an archipelago beset by similar disasters.

The Kim Nirvana had just left the port of Ormoc in the central Visayas region on Thursday when it turned on one side. Within hours, only the boat’s red hull was visible, with passengers trapped inside, the Coast Guard said.

Of the 173 passengers, 40 were confirmed dead and another 21 were unaccounted for.

Ferries are the backbone of transportation in the Philippines, which comprises more than 7,100 islands. Modern and large ferries interconnect the major ports, although smaller and often rickety boats serve secondary routes. The Kim Nirvana was the 14th major ferry accident in the country since 2000.

Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino, a cousin of the president, last month filed a resolution to address the spate of tragedies that have hit the sector, warning that the onset of the rainy season has raised the threat of further disasters in a country that is battered by storms each year.

“I reiterate my call to investigate whether our maritime vessels are seaworthy. Let us not wait that the sea tragedy in Ormoc will be repeated before reforms are made,” Aquino said in a statement Friday.

The “sweeping investigation” would determine the sea worthiness of maritime vessels, and is currently being studied for tabling by the senate committees on maritime accidents.

“The issues on the navigational experience of the concerned government agencies in handling the vessels as well as the training of the maritime officers at times of distress, and the seaworthiness of the vessel remained unanswered through the years,” said the resolution.

President Benigno Aquino’s spokeswoman, Abigail Valte, said that investigators have been ordered to speed up their work, even as search and rescue operations were continuing.

“The PCG (Philippines Coast Guard) has deployed a maritime casualty investigation team that is currently pursuing various avenues of inquiry, including possible overloading, capability of captain and its officers, load capacity of the vessel and others,” she said.

A senior government official told IRIN that the vessel was apparently modified, with an upper deck that would have made it harder to manoeuvre.

An initial check with the manifest showed that the number of passengers on the boat was below its legal limit, although it appeared overloaded with cargo, said the official on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak to media.

Corruption in provincial ports has been cited as a problem in previous disasters, with inspectors turning a blind eye to ferries that exceed their passenger and cargo capacities.

The Coast Guard has a system for monitoring vessels, but it is often ineffective, because skippers fail to call and check in, said Commander Arman Balilo, a spokesman in the capital Manila.

“The problem that we have now is that sometimes when these boats stop in the middle of sea they don’t call us,” he said. “The passengers become our main line of communication.”

Ricky Hora, spokesman for the Maritime Industry Authority, told IRIN that the agency has suspended operations of Kim Nirvana’s sister vessel pending results of the inquiry.

The Philippines was the site of the world’s worst peacetime naval disaster when, in 1987, the passenger ferry Dona Paz and an oil tanker collided, killing over 4,000 people.

A year later, Dona Marilyn, a sister ship of Dona Paz, sank after setting sail during a typhoon, leaving 389 passengers dead. In 2013, at least 114 passengers drowned when the Thomas Aquinas sank off the central island of Cebu.

jg/jf

Philippines: DepEd promotes family preparedness for earthquake through school activities

2 July 2015 - 8:06pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

QUEZON CITY, July 3 -- The Department of Education (DepEd) has required all elementary and secondary schools to promote family preparedness for earthquakes As part of the observance of the National Disaster Consciousness Month.

This is outlined in the DepEd Order 27, series of 2015 through school activities.

DepEd in a statement said that disaster preparedness should be anchored in family readiness, not just in individual preparedness.

Among the activities involve are: (a) learners answering a series of questions highlighting family preparedness in the form of a homework to be done with their families; (b) all advisory teachers are expected to discuss the results and cull out the learnings appropriate for their respective communities; and (c) principals are required to discuss the summary of their findings with the parents-teachers associations and barangay officials for consideration in the school and community preparedness planning.

These activities support previous DepEd orders on school-based preparedness measures such as the conduct of drills, identification of risks, among others.

Aside from ensuring the structural integrity of classroom buildings, DepEd underscores the importance of the preparedness through proper information and proactive practices of its field offices and schools in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM). DepEd requires every school to form a DRRM team to ensure that proper DRR school policies and intervention measures are appropriate in their locality.

DepEd has been working closely together with Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology in relation to dissemination of proper information and preparedness measures for earthquake. DepEd continues to participate in the efforts of the government, led by the Metro Manila Development Authority and the Office of Civil Defense, in preparing for the Valley Fault System earthquake scenario. (DepEd)

Philippines: Post Haiyan shelter project wraps with 660 families getting resilient houses and households strengthened against disaster

2 July 2015 - 12:04pm
Source: UN Human Settlements Program Country: Philippines

Barangay Pawa, Philippines 2 July 2015— Rising from the wreckage of Super Typhoon Haiyan, 660 families finally completed the building of their houses and 54 community infrastructure projects in 28 communities in Capiz and Iloilo as the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements project implemented by UN-Habitat came to a close last month.

Consequently, a handing over ceremony was held at Barangay Pawa, Municipality of Panay, Province of Capiz, Philippines. The project sought to facilitate shelter recovery and rehabilitation in Yolanda-affected communities in Capiz and Iloilo.

Launched in July 2014, it had a startup fund of USD 2.5 million from the Government of Japan, later augmented with USD 946,000 from the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The primary goal of the project was to capacitate Yolanda-affected communities in the two provinces as well as local government units (LGUs) through a community-driven approach called People’s Process, hinged on enabling a community to champion its own recovery.

Set targets and what was achieved

As the project comes to a head, we revisit targets that were set and how the project fared. The project initially targeted the accelerated recovery for 20 communities, but damage assessment showed a need to extend the reach of the project. Including more communities under an existing national government programme that gives underprivileged communities access to affordable land was done to accommodate as many Yolanda-affected communities as possible.

From the initial target of 20 communities, 28 signed on for the project and the number of resilient core houses to be built was raised from 610 to 660 due to augmentation funds from DSWD. The project was also able to find additional resources from both local government and private entities, enough to raise the number of infrastructure projects from 20 to 54.

The infrastructure component was carried out with the homeowners associations hiring private builders, who eventually built close relationships with the communities. This close relationship saw several of them voluntarily delivering more than the agreed specifications as their donation to the community. This allowed the project to have an impact on the whole community to include families who were unable to receive the new houses.

Initially, 250 carpenters were supposed to be trained on disaster resilient house construction. But with budget savings, the increase in number of houses to be built and strengthened interest among communities, UN-Habitat was able to train 323 semi-skilled artisans and 31 foremen. Of those trained, over 100 carpenters and over 20 foremen were tapped to construct the houses.

Others have now been able to get construction jobs outside the project, with their DRR and construction skills training certificates and solid experience as handy passports to new jobs. Over 170 household self-assessors and guiders (HAGs) were trained to conduct disaster risk reduction trainings and house assessments for 4,000 households in their respective communities. The HAGs eventually also trained families outside their own assigned communities, reaching over 4,500 households.

The impact goes beyond numbers and targets

But the impact of the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements goes well beyond numbers and targets. Communities have come together in working towards common goals – be it lowering construction costs by ordering materials in bulk, or evolving from dormant neighborhoods into active ones through organized activities that promote well-being, dignity, and solidarity.

The financial transparency mechanisms set by the project helped instill trust of community members in their leaders, and developed financial literacy that enabled the communities’ finance and auditing committee members to manage millions in project funds―a skill that may serve them well outside the project.

People also discovered their voice and can now ask government and even the private sector for assistance in improving their communities. They realize that they can be more than recipients – they can be collaborators. Many of them are now able to articulate the principles of DRR in shelter recovery and the People’ Process to other communities and have welcomed visits from various entities to discuss their experiences and learning’s in great detail.

Targets have been exceeded with 28 communities served, 660 houses built, 54 community improvements done, and over 4,500 households equipped with DRR know-how. But the major takeaway from the project, which can be carried over in future initiatives, is the full demonstration of how recovery and building resilience thrive best as a shared endeavour—with the communities and families themselves driving the process.

Philippines: Post Haiyan shelter projects wraps with 660 families getting resilient houses and households strengthened against disaster

2 July 2015 - 12:04pm
Source: UN Human Settlements Program Country: Philippines

Barangay Pawa, Philippines 2 July 2015— Rising from the wreckage of Super Typhoon Haiyan, 660 families finally completed the building of their houses and 54 community infrastructure projects in 28 communities in Capiz and Iloilo as the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements project implemented by UN-Habitat came to a close last month.

Consequently, a handing over ceremony was held at Barangay Pawa, Municipality of Panay, Province of Capiz, Philippines. The project sought to facilitate shelter recovery and rehabilitation in Yolanda-affected communities in Capiz and Iloilo.

Launched in July 2014, it had a startup fund of USD 2.5 million from the Government of Japan, later augmented with USD 946,000 from the Philippines’ Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The primary goal of the project was to capacitate Yolanda-affected communities in the two provinces as well as local government units (LGUs) through a community-driven approach called People’s Process, hinged on enabling a community to champion its own recovery.

Set targets and what was achieved

As the project comes to a head, we revisit targets that were set and how the project fared. The project initially targeted the accelerated recovery for 20 communities, but damage assessment showed a need to extend the reach of the project. Including more communities under an existing national government programme that gives underprivileged communities access to affordable land was done to accommodate as many Yolanda-affected communities as possible.

From the initial target of 20 communities, 28 signed on for the project and the number of resilient core houses to be built was raised from 610 to 660 due to augmentation funds from DSWD. The project was also able to find additional resources from both local government and private entities, enough to raise the number of infrastructure projects from 20 to 54.

The infrastructure component was carried out with the homeowners associations hiring private builders, who eventually built close relationships with the communities. This close relationship saw several of them voluntarily delivering more than the agreed specifications as their donation to the community. This allowed the project to have an impact on the whole community to include families who were unable to receive the new houses.

Initially, 250 carpenters were supposed to be trained on disaster resilient house construction. But with budget savings, the increase in number of houses to be built and strengthened interest among communities, UN-Habitat was able to train 323 semi-skilled artisans and 31 foremen. Of those trained, over 100 carpenters and over 20 foremen were tapped to construct the houses.

Others have now been able to get construction jobs outside the project, with their DRR and construction skills training certificates and solid experience as handy passports to new jobs. Over 170 household self-assessors and guiders (HAGs) were trained to conduct disaster risk reduction trainings and house assessments for 4,000 households in their respective communities. The HAGs eventually also trained families outside their own assigned communities, reaching over 4,500 households.

The impact goes beyond numbers and targets

But the impact of the Post-Yolanda Support for Safer Homes and Settlements goes well beyond numbers and targets. Communities have come together in working towards common goals – be it lowering construction costs by ordering materials in bulk, or evolving from dormant neighborhoods into active ones through organized activities that promote well-being, dignity, and solidarity.

The financial transparency mechanisms set by the project helped instill trust of community members in their leaders, and developed financial literacy that enabled the communities’ finance and auditing committee members to manage millions in project funds―a skill that may serve them well outside the project.

People also discovered their voice and can now ask government and even the private sector for assistance in improving their communities. They realize that they can be more than recipients – they can be collaborators. Many of them are now able to articulate the principles of DRR in shelter recovery and the People’ Process to other communities and have welcomed visits from various entities to discuss their experiences and learning’s in great detail.

Targets have been exceeded with 28 communities served, 660 houses built, 54 community improvements done, and over 4,500 households equipped with DRR know-how. But the major takeaway from the project, which can be carried over in future initiatives, is the full demonstration of how recovery and building resilience thrive best as a shared endeavour—with the communities and families themselves driving the process.

Philippines: Philippines: Mindanao Conflict Displacement Involving Non-State Armed Groups (MILF, BIFF, MNLF - 2012 to mid-2015)

2 July 2015 - 10:27am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

From 2012 to 2014, over 370,000 people have been displaced by armed conflict involving non-state armed groups. In February and March 2015, a-month-long joint law and order operations led by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) against the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) left over 125,000 people displaced in 15 municipalities of the province of Maguindanao in Central Mindanao.

Philippines: Philippines: Zamboanga Crisis Timeline (as of 30 June 2015)

2 July 2015 - 8:40am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

Philippines: Scaling-up HIV testing is critical to end the AIDS epidemic in Asia-Pacific

2 July 2015 - 8:13am
Source: World Health Organization, UNAIDS Country: Philippines, World

HIV/AIDS programme managers and community groups join hands to strengthen and expand HIV testing

Joint news release of WHO and UNAIDS

MANILA, 02 JULY 2015 - Ten national HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infection (STI) programmes, civil society and development partners in the Western Pacific Region have joined forces to ensure that everyone living with HIV knows their status and is able to access HIV treatment. This push for expanded HIV testing coverage came during a recent two-day meeting organized by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Regional Office for the Western Pacific and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) in Manila, the Philippines.

Research has long shown that antiretroviral medicines reduce AIDS-related deaths and prevent HIV transmission. However, these benefits are only likely to occur if individuals know their HIV status and start treatment early. "Early HIV diagnosis through different HIV testing approaches has become an important strategy for HIV prevention and control in the 21st century," said Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific. "Moreover, people diagnosed with HIV should be linked to care and start treatment as early as possible to harness the benefits of antiretroviral treatment.”

Across the Region, knowledge about HIV testing and counselling among key populations is low. Key populations are at higher risk for HIV. They include men who have sex with men, transgender people, sex workers and people who use drugs. Only one-third of the risk groups knew their HIV status in 2013. The United Nations and partners have embarked on a fast- track strategy to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. To reach this goal it is vital to use the next five years as a window of opportunity to ensure that 90% of people living with HIV know their status, 90% of people who know their status have access to treatment, and 90% of people on treatment have suppressed viral loads.

“HIV testing lies at the foundation of the region’s response to HIV,” said Mr Steve Kraus, UNAIDS Director for the Regional Support Team for Asia and the Pacific. ”Only if people know their status can we reach our global goal of ending the AIDS epidemic as a public health threat in the region.”

To expand HIV testing, national HIV/AIDS and STI managers from priority Asian and Pacific island countries and partners agreed on diversified approaches to encourage testing at both formal and community-based services. Hospitals, clinics and other health facilities need to offer more voluntary HIV testing and counselling during routine check-ups, including antenatal visits. Voluntary testing of intimate partners of people living with HIV should also be included.

Many key populations are shying away from undergoing an initial HIV test at health facilities, but would agree to community-based testing which they find less stigmatizing. Community-based testing models include having one rapid HIV screening test done by a peer supporter in a familiar environment. If the initial test result is positive, a follow up confirmatory test in a health facility is indicated. This approach has been pioneered in Cambodia, where entertainment workers and other key populations are offered tests at work or in other easy-access settings.

"We are promoting community peer testing. Bringing the facility close to the people is always the best", said Dr. Ly Penh Sun, Director of National Center for HIV/AIDS, Dermatology and STD, Cambodia.

HIV/AIDS programme managers are committed to working with community groups to ensure community-based testing becomes a key component of HIV/AIDS and STI programmes.

WHO will soon launch new guidelines on HIV testing services and has started a global social media campaign called #Test4HIV. The campaign will be promoted at the upcoming launch.

WHO is encouraging everyone to include #Test4HIV on their Twitter and Facebook accounts to raise awareness of the importance and ease of availability of HIV testing services.

For more information, please contact: Ms Saya Oka Regional Communications Advisor UNAIDS, Thailand Tel. +66 2680 4128 E-mail: okas@unaids.org

Mr David Koch Public Information Officer WHO, Regional Office for the Western Pacific Tel: +63 2 528 9992 E-mail: kochd@wpro.who.int or pio@wpro.who.int

World: Crisis Watch N°143, 1 July 2015

1 July 2015 - 12:40pm
Source: International Crisis Group Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

June 2015 – Trends

  • Deteriorated situations
    Afghanistan, Chad, Kuwait, Myanmar, Tunisia

  • Improved situations
    Nepal

July 2015 – Watchlist

  • Conflict risk alerts
    Burundi

    Conflict resolution opportunities

Philippines: Army units, CSOs complete construction of school building in typhoon-hit barangay in NE

1 July 2015 - 2:41am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga, July 1 (PIA) -- The Army 7th Infantry Division and 703rd Brigade, through the help of civil society organizations, were able to complete the construction of a single classroom building in barangay Ariendo in Bongabon, Nueva Ecija.

The village was among the severely battered during the onslaught of twin typhoons “Winnie” and “Yoyong” in 2004 where it was isolated for days.

“Thomasian Youth Builders of the College of Accountancy of the University of Santo Tomas and Samahang Kamanlalakbay provided construction materials with us, 522nd Engineer Construction Battalion, 56th Infantry Battalion, and volunteers from the barangay providing manpower and equipment,” 703rd Brigade Commander Col. Felimon Santos Jr. said.

“In the truest tradition of Internal Peace Security Plan Bayanihan, all hands moved as a single body leading to its completion on the target date,” Santos added.

A medical and dental mission was likewise held to address the needs of the residents. (CLJD-PIA 3)

Philippines: DIY Bamboo Shelter helps ease up the burden of Yolanda survivors' lack of shelters

1 July 2015 - 2:37am
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines

CONSUELO B. ALARCON

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, July 1 (PIA) –As part of the government’s intervention to help ease up the burden of Yolanda survivors' lack of shelters, the Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI) in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Regional Office 8 and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Acquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) inaugurated Monday the “Do it Yourself” (DIY) Bamboo Shelter at DOST grounds, Government Center, Palo, Leyte.

The DIY Bamboo Shelter is a typhoon-resilient yet easy, economical and aesthetically beautiful bamboo house.

DOST-8 regional director Edgardo Esperancilla said the project which is funded by PCAARRD is an offshoot of typhoon Yolanda. It is a low-cost, semi-permanent shelter intended to make housing more accessible to the public particularly the poor.

RD Esperancilla also pointed out the benefits derived from the DIY bamboo shelter. “The other benefits that this house will bring is that, it will help develop and even improve the bamboo industry since many bamboo plantations can be found in Northwest part of Samar and in some parts of Leyte,” Esperancilla said.

Initially, the DIY bamboo shelter was conceptualized as immediate action to help the victims of typhoon Yolanda as temporary shelter. However, this underwent several revisions.

Aside from providing shelter, Feliciano Calora of the Forest and Research Division of PCAARRD said, they want to make sure that these would be a semi-permanent or possibly permanent shelters.

On the other hand, Leyte Leopoldo Dominico L. Petilla, Chairman of the Regional Development Council (RDC) who attended the blessing, looks forward for more positive approach on this project as he explained the usefulness of bamboo plant to the environment.

“Bamboo not only captures around 28% of carbon dioxide from the air than any other plant but it also produces ten percent more of oxygen than any other plant, “the governor said.

The Do It Yourself Bamboo Shelter has a measurement of 24 sq. meters consisting of living room, kitchen, bedroom and can fit in a six-wheeler truck when packed, can be assembled and disassembled within three to four days by four medium built workers; 90 percent of the materials come from renewable sources, cost-effective, environment-friendly and it has readied electrical and water connection.

As the country hurdles environmental issues like climate change and natural disasters and economic problems like the increasing cost of building shelters and limited supply of raw materials, bamboo can be an answer to such challenges.(aen/cba/PIA-8)

Philippines: Yolanda affected communities continue to receive Red Cross assistance

30 June 2015 - 11:00pm
Source: Philippine National Red Cross Country: Philippines

Five months to go before the second year commemoration of super typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan), the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and its partners continue to provide recovery assistance to Yolanda affected communities and individuals. The Red Cross Movement’s overall response to Yolanda has been collective and massive in terms of the number of areas covered, the variety of services provided, and the amount of assistance given to families and individuals.

Red Cross has been present in Yolanda affected areas since the emergency phase and up to now where recovery operations are ongoing in 10 areas. Recovery assistance provided by the Red Cross include shelter, livelihood, water and sanitation, health facilities construction and rehabilitation, classrooms rehabilitation and repair, and training for capacity building, livelihood support, and disaster risk reduction.

“We have built one of the biggest, if not the biggest, number of houses in Yolanda affected areas. We’re way ahead compared with everybody else, and we’re still building more,” said PRC chairman Richard J. Gordon. As of last week of June, Red Cross’ Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) Recovery Operations has reached 71 percent of its shelter commitment target, having built 59,143 houses from the 83,127 target houses to be built, amounting to more than 5.6 billion pesos. This is the largest ever shelter assistance that the Red Cross has provided in any post-disaster operations locally and globally in terms of number of houses built and amount of shelter assistance provided.

The Red Cross is also big in numbers in its livelihood assistance to affected families, having already reached more than 100 percent of its target. “We have already accomplished our target number of beneficiaries for livelihood assistance and we are continuously adding beneficiaries to give more people a fresh start in life,” said Gordon. Out of the 50,000 target livelihood beneficiaries, there are now 58,574 households that have so far benefitted from Red Cross’ livelihood assistance, amounting to almost 586 million pesos. During the emergency phase, almost 91,000 families were given cash relief assistance that amounted to more than 290 million pesos.

Livelihood assistance were given in the form of conditional and unconditional cash grants which the beneficiaries used to bring back sources of income lost from the super typhoon or to start a new livelihood. The livelihood assistance is also supported with skills trainings and enterprise development to further enhance the beneficiaries’ capacity to maintain and improve their sources of livelihood.

Hygiene promotion activities were conducted in communities, participated by more than 30,000 households, who now have increased knowledge on health and hygiene. There are also 25 schools with improved access to water and sanitation facilities, the construction of which amounted to a total of 11.2 million pesos.

Health has also been a major priority effort of the Red Cross with more than 19.2 million pesos used for the repair and reconstruction of 24 health facilities. To help improve people’s health awareness and to equip them with first aid knowledge, community based health and first aid sessions were conducted in 121 communities. In these trainings, 983 community health volunteers were trained which can now attend to health emergencies in their own communities.

There are more than 42,000 individuals who were assisted with medical consultations, health promotion, health care referral, and supplemental feeding. The capabilities of 77 health facilities will be further enhanced with medical equipment that will be provided by the Red Cross supported by the Asian Development Bank.

Education is a top priority as well as schools repaired and rehabilitated by the Red Cross started to open as early as two months after the typhoon. To date, 222 classrooms of the total 400 targeted classrooms have been rehabilitated and constructed, amounting to 27.6 million pesos. A total of 4,681 school kits have already been distributed, and more school kits are to be distributed this school year.

To strengthen the communities’ capacity to handle future disasters, Red Cross 143 teams with 44 members in each community were organized in 192 communities, with a total of 10.057 individual members. These 143 volunteers can provide critical information to the Red Cross in times of disasters that would be the basis for the organization’s response and interventions.

“The work never stops. You’re talking about a cathartic event that traumatised an awful lot of people. So you want the community to be resilient by making sure they know what the hazards are, teach them to prepare early, be prepared to evacuate if they have to, and make sure the cycle of disaster and poverty is at least mitigated by having good systems and policies in place and making sure we have good volunteers,” said Gordon.

Trainings on disaster risk reduction management, first aid, and basic life support were also conducted, further enhancing the communities’ capabilities to handle disasters.

Summing up the whole Red Cross assistance to Yolanda affected areas, PRC secretary general Gwendolyn Pang said that the three-year Yolanda (Haiyan) recovery operation is on track. “We have achieved our targets because of the cooperation and collaboration that we have with our local chapters, volunteers, local government units, our partners, and the beneficiaries themselves,” she said.

The Red Cross and its partners estimate that assistance to Yolanda affected areas will continue into 2016 and beyond, with allocations already set for the continuous repair and construction of shelter and community infrastructure, provision of livelihood assistance, and disaster preparedness and risk reduction programs.

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 24–30 June 2015

30 June 2015 - 9:15am
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, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen

Snapshot 24–30 June 2015

Burundi: Turnout at the parliamentary elections was low. Voting stations were targeted and there was a spate of grenade attacks in the capital: several people were injured. Around 1,000 Burundians are leaving the country every day: 62,000 refugees are now in Tanzania, 45,000 in Rwanda, and 10,600 in DRC.

South Sudan: Households in some areas of Unity and Upper Nile states are suspected to be facing Catastrophe (IPC Phase 5) food security outcomes. 5–8% of the country’s population are suffering severe acute malnutrition.

Nigeria: 3.5 million people are expected to be in need of food assistance in the northeast between July and September. Eastern Yobe, central and eastern Borno, northern Adamawa and IDP settlements are worst affected. More than 250 people have been killed in violence in the northeast since 29 May, with at least 77 killed between 22 and 29 June. Displacement continues.

Updated: 30/06/2015. Next update 07/07/2015.

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

World: Asia Pacific Food Price and Policy Monitor, June 2015 - Issue 22

30 June 2015 - 8:06am
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, Myanmar, New Zealand, Pakistan, Philippines, Samoa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Viet Nam, World

Highlights

  • The pace of general and food inflation in the region slowed in May increasing 2.7 and 2.5 percent, respectively.

  • In Afghanistan, greater internal displacements of food insecure populations are expected in the coming winter because of insufficient food availability and barriers to food access.

  • Stabilization policy efforts in India continue to mitigate the price volatility of vegetables, in particular for onion and potato.

  • Thailand is clearing state rice stocks and expects to release 1 million tonnes by mid-June, and 2.6 million tonnes by August.

  • El Niño may affect rain-fed paddy production across South and Southeast Asia, with a more pronounced impact for secondary season crops, such as Kharif in India.