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World: El Nino - Early Warning Early Action report - Update #10

2 February 2017 - 3:25am
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Country: Angola, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Botswana, Cambodia, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Djibouti, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nicaragua, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe

The impact of the 2015‒2016 El Niño weather phenomenon has been one of the most intense and widespread in the past one hundred years. The agriculture, food security and nutritional status of 60 million people around the globe is affected by El Niño-related droughtsfloods and **extreme hot** and **cold weather**. While the El Niño itself has passed its peak and is now declining, its impact is still growing. Harvests in several parts of the world have already failed and are forecast to fail in other areas.

This report provides a **global analysis** of the current and expected evolution of El Niño-related disasters and their impact on agriculture, food security and nutrition.

Philippines: NDRRMC SitRep No.02 re Low Pressure Area (LPA) and Effects of Tail-End of a Cold Front in Visayas and Mindanao including Southern Luzon

1 February 2017 - 5:38pm
Source: Government of the Philippines Country: Philippines


II. EFFECTS: A. Pre-emptive Evacuation 1. A total of 196 families 1840 persons were pre-emptively evacuated in the following areas in Region X:

B. Affected Population (TAB A)

  1. A total of 54,010 families / 20,667 persons are affected in 177 Barangays in Regions X and CARAGA. Of which, a total of 12,833 families 162,938 persons are still inside 212 evacuation centers.

Note: The reported affected areas in CARAGA due to TECF and LPA on 13 - 27 January 2017 are the same areas affected by the LPA developed on 27 January 2017 and existing TECF. Thus, the affected population in the said region remains the same with minimal increase.

C. Flooded Areas 1, A total of 127 areas were reported flooded in the provinces of Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur:

World: The Market Monitor - Trends and impacts of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 34 - January 2017

1 February 2017 - 11:41am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Benin, Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Chad, Colombia, Congo, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Dominican Republic, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Lebanon, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Nicaragua, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Thailand, Togo, Turkey, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

This bulletin examines trends in staple food and fuel prices, the cost of the basic food basket and consumer price indices for 71 countries in the fourth quarter of 2016 (October to December).1 The maps on pages 6–7 disaggregate the impact analysis to sub-national level.

Global Highlights

• In Q4-2016, FAO’s global cereal price index fell a further 8 percent year-on-year as favourable growing conditions boosted global cereal production and global stocks. However, the FAO global food price index has risen 11 percent since 2015 because of large increases in international prices for sugar, dairy products and vegetable oils.

• The real price2 of wheat continued falling and was 26 percent below last year’s level. Global wheat production increased beyond projections for 2016 and endof-season inventories estimated record-level closing stocks in most producing areas.

• The real price of maize was down 11 percent from the same period in 2015 and is still at 2006 levels. Abundant and record global stocks have resulted from production outpacing consumption.

• In Q4-2016, the real price of rice fell by 11 percent from Q3 down to levels last seen at the end of 2015. This is thanks to improved crop supplies and reduced buying interest.

• The real price of crude oil increased by nearly 10 percent from the previous quarter and by 13 percent from 2015 in reaction to the forecast shrinking of global oil production and trade in 2017.

• The cost of the basic food basket increased severely (>10%) in Q4-2016 in seven countries: Algeria, Bangladesh, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Myanmar and Rwanda. High increases (5–10%) were seen in Bolivia, north Nigeria, Peru, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda and Yemen. In the other monitored countries, the change was moderate or low (<5%).

• Price spikes, as monitored by ALPS, were detected in 25 countries, particularly in Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania and Zambia (see the map below).3 These spikes indicate crisis levels for the two most important staples in each country, which could be beans, cassava, maize, milk, millet, oil, rice, sorghum, sweet potatoes, sugar or wheat.

Philippines: Philippines communist rebels end ceasefire but still support peace talks

1 February 2017 - 11:34am
Source: Reuters - Thomson Reuters Foundation Country: Philippines

Protracted guerrilla warfare has killed tens of thousands of people

  • New People's Army rebels terminate unilateral ceasefire

  • Government, communist rebels will not abandon peace talks

  • Defence Minister says government truce will hold

MANILA, Feb 1 (Reuters) - The Maoist-led rebel group in the Philippines said on Wednesday it was terminating a unilateral ceasefire it declared five months ago and resuming a protracted guerrilla warfare that has killed tens of thousands of people.

Read more on the Thomson Reuters Foundation

World: United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) Missions in 2016

1 February 2017 - 4:40am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Bahamas, Cabo Verde, Ecuador, Fiji, Guinea, Haiti, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Iraq, Namibia, Nepal, Paraguay, Philippines, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, World

The United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team is part of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the international emergency response system for sudden-onset emergencies. UNDAC was created in 1993. It is designed to help the United Nations and governments of disaster-affected countries during the first phase of a sudden-onset emergency. UNDAC, as a tool of OCHA, also assists in the coordination of incoming international relief at national level and/or at the site of the emergency.

Philippines: Philippines: 2016 Highlights of Displacement and Effects Snapshot

1 February 2017 - 1:25am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

Natural hazards and disaster events affected more than 10 million people in the Philippines in 2016. El Niño and tropical cyclones topped list of events with significant impact. For the first seven months of the year, El Niño contributed to several hundred million dollars in crop losses across the country, impacting the production of rice, vegetables and high-value crops. Thousands of farmers and their farmlands were affected. As the country entered typhoon season, drought gave way to tropical cyclones. Seven of the 14 tropical cyclones that entered or were formed in the Philippine Area of Responsibility made landfall. Typhoons Haima (Lawin) and Nock-Ten (Nina) in the last quarter of 2016 damaged over a half million homes and temporarily displaced nearly 5 million people. Natural disasters were not the only cause of displacement in the Philippines in 2016. Parts of Mindanao continue to be affected by military engagements with non-state armed groups and re-emerging clan feuds. People are often repeatedly displaced from the same area as encounters flare while others are forced to settle in ill-equipped evacuation camps. While seeking more durable solutions, Government entities and NGOs are assisting the affected people in relief and recovery efforts

Philippines: Dengue Situation Update 509, 31 January 2017

1 February 2017 - 12:55am
Source: World Health Organization Country: Australia, Cambodia, China, French Polynesia (France), Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, New Caledonia (France), Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Viet Nam

Northern Hemisphere

China (No update)

As of 31 December 2016, there were 2,076 cases of dengue reported in China in 2016. This number is lower than that reported during the same period in 2015 (Figure 1).


A total of 2,053 cases of dengue were reported during week 3, which is higher than the 1,876 cases reported in the previous week (an increase of 9.4 %) (Figure 2). The cumulative number of cases reported in 2017 (5,592 cases) is lower than the number of cases reported during the same period in 2016 (10,482 cases). As of week 3, there have been a total of 13 deaths related to dengue in 2017.

Philippines (No update)

As of 5 November 2016, there were 176,411 suspected cases of dengue reported in 2016, including 422 deaths. This is 0.8% lower than that reported during the same period in 2015 (n=177,767) (Figure 3).


In week 4, there were 79 dengue cases reported in Singapore. The cumulative number of cases in 2017 (n=296) is lower than the number of cases reported or the same period since 2013 (Figure 4).


As of 13 January, there were 117 cases of dengue with no deaths reported in Lao PDR in 2017. During week 2, 62 new dengue cases and no deaths were reported. The number of cases is higher than the same time period in 2014 and 2015, but has been decreasing since week 47 (Figure 5).

Viet Nam (No update)

As of 30 November 2016, there were 110,854 cases of dengue including 42 deaths reported in Viet Nam. In November 2016, there were 15,629 cases reported including 7 deaths. Compared to October 2016, the number of cases decreased by 2.4%. Compared to the same period in 2015, the cumulative number of cases increased by 37.8%. Compared to the median for 2011-2015, the cumulative number of cases increased by 79.9% (Figure 6).

Southern Hemisphere


As of 30 January, there were 74 laboratory-confirmed dengue cases reported in Australia in 2017. The number of cases reported is less than that reported during the same time period in the previous years (2012-2015) (Figure 7).

Pacific Islands Countries and Areas

French Polynesia (No update)

A total of 21 confirmed dengue cases were reported in French Polynesia between December 19, 2016 and January 1, 2017 (11 cases in week 51 and 10 cases in week 52) (Figure 8). Four (18%) of the 21 cases were confirmed as DENV-1 infection.

New Caledonia

As of 30 January 2017, 309 dengue cases were reported, indicating an increase in the number of cases since June 2016 (Figure 9).

Philippines: Philippines: Typhoon Nock-Ten (Nina) (31 January 2016)

31 January 2017 - 5:36am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Philippines

Philippines: Embracing and managing aid-intensity through diffusion of commercial services

30 January 2017 - 10:01pm
Source: HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Country: Philippines

Super Typhoon Haiyan, locally know as Yolanda, struck Eastern Samar and Leyte in November 2013, affecting more than 14 million people. Large volumes of aid poured into the area right after the disaster. Now the emergency phase is over. Yet a number of international aid agencies continue providing direct assistance to the typhoon-affected communities.

In this context, the Enhancing Sustainable Income in the Philippines (ESIP) project of Swiss Solidarity, implemented by HELVETAS, PIN and ACTED, has been facilitating the development and strengthening of a local service provision system, which offers a package of fee-based services and products to farmers. A recurrent question for the ESIP project’s team has been “how can businesses thrive in an aid-intensive context?’’ Promoting a new business model can be extremely challenging in a setting where direct, in-kind support is widespread among international organisations and government departments.

Against this backdrop, the service providers are experiencing a rapid diffusion of their services and products among farmers, generating better income both for themselves and for the farmers. Here, we share the reasons and strategies behind the challenge and the success. The challenge: working in an aid-intensive context

An aid-intensive context is one that is characterised by projects with direct delivery and others with an approach to engage and facilitate local players. The main challenge is the lack of coordination between the two. Often large-scale grants and free handouts swamp projects that engage actors to perform their functions in improved ways beyond the lifespan of projects.

Since the inception of the ESIP project, more than 25 international organisations have set up operations in Eastern Samar to contribute to restoring poor farmers’ livelihoods after Typhoon Haiyan. Some international NGOs and UN agencies are currently phasing out their operations. However, there is still delivery of direct support without a vision and strategy of how farmers can restore their livelihoods after the free handouts are over. The assistance is distribution of free provisions, such as seeds, tools and fertilizer, as well as cash and food for work. Similarly, local government departments, as part of national policy plans, are actively involved in the free delivery of inputs at both municipal and regional levels. This led to over-dependency of farmers on external assistance and less willingness to work with local market actors.

In contrast, the local service providers’ system, currently composed of 47 individuals spread over Eastern Samar, delivers a bundle of services to strengthen the agricultural system – from promotion of financial services, such as crop insurance and micro loans, to linking farmers to retailers and processors. The service providers offer technical guidance, sell agricultural inputs to farmers, and aggregate the products from farmers. They also create awareness and link farmers to opportunities from local government units such as the provision of challenge funds. The strategy: starting small and adapting to aid intensity

The service provision system has been operative for more than ten months. The project facilitated the selection and training of local traders, input sellers and active farmers in the different municipalities. The project staff initially offered the training, and gradually rolled over this function to other training providers. The service providers reached ten thousand farmers through their different services and, by further developing their ties with the communities, built a system of regular clients.

Despite the free in-kind distribution from other NGOs and government departments, the business model has adapted and responded successfully to direct delivery. Farmers were initially happy to get free seedlings and farming implements from other NGOs and government departments. Yet they could not sell what they produced – they were not linked to traders and other buyers, and the volume and quality did not meet the demands of buyers. This was an opportunity to fill the gap by promoting the local service provision model.

The service providers have a good understanding of the demands of individual farmers in their localities (barangays). International NGOs do not possess the same level of understanding of local needs and therefore direct assistance does not always meet the requirements of farmers in the long term. Government departments also have an acute shortage of extension workers and do not often respond to farmers’ demands.

Some local service providers decided to target different areas. Other providers started coordinating and partnering with government units like the department of agriculture. The partnership consists of service providers delivering free inputs on behalf of the local government units. This approach was seen by different providers as a strategic decision to get closer to farmers and build a long-lasting network of clients in the community. Furthermore, service providers throughout this operation marketed their other services, such as consolidation and promotion of financial services and technical support. Thus, by adapting to the aid-intensive context, the service providers have managed to transform challenges into opportunities and increased farmers’ awareness and incentives of their services. Not just supply and demand: working around the agricultural system

The ESIP project also understood from its assessment of the agriculture system that the success of the service provision model will depend on other interconnected functions around it. In other words, the model aimed at stimulating growth and expanding access of the services through improving or transforming the agricultural system.

In concrete terms, this meant working with financial institutions, inputs distributors, training providers and government agencies. In-kind support tends to substantially decline or end, and key actors including farmers understand and acknowledge this. Whilst farmers still accept in-kind support, they also consider it a first priority to start production after the disaster and bond with service providers and develop their own business networks. Similarly, financial institutions have entered into agreements with service providers to facilitate the diffusion of their financial products among farmers. In this context, there is a general perception that the service provision system will play a key role in bringing a positive contribution to livelihoods of the farmers once international NGOs have exited Eastern Samar. Such positive contribution includes better income from diversification/shifting of livelihoods (coconuts to vegetables, livestock), and better resilience to vulnerability (increased saving and insurance).

Lessons learnt

Identifying root causes and not just symptoms

Facilitating the development of a successful business model requires a good understanding of the demands of key market actors, including farmers. The initial assessment of the underperformance of the agricultural system was an essential step in the introduction of a tailored service provision system. Similarly, assessing the feasibility of the business model in such a context was also important. The project carefully followed these steps in order to make the business model better respond to shocks stemming from an unpredictable and dynamic environment.

Ensuring coordination

Different stages of coordination involving key stakeholders could avoid risking the market-based initiatives. Coordination was firstly among donors to avoid overcrowding of aid in a single area, as well as minimising the risk of clashing activities. The coordination also established exchange of information among international NGOs active in the field. The project was seen as a ‘trusted partner’, and it actively brought together different actors, such as local service providers, inputs retailers and local government departments.

Being flexible and adapting to changes

One of the factors for the success of the service provision system has been its flexibility and orientation towards grabbing opportunities. Entering the market as a small actor allowed the service provision system to be more nimble and reach scale quickly. Unlike larger businesses whose decision process is slower and more cautious, the service provider model has the capacity of changing its strategies and adapting accordingly to the demand of the market. This has been instrumental in increasing the likelihood of sustainability of the impacts, especially in a changing and fragile context.

Francesco Melara works for the ESIP project as Monitoring and Result Measurement (MRM) and Knowledge Management Officer based in Guiuan, the Philippines. He holds a master’s degree in International Development from the University of Bristol. His main areas of interest are monitoring and results measurement, and the application of market system approaches.

Jenifer Raloso works for the ESIP project as Project Officer for local service providers’ capacity development based in Guiuan, the Philippines. She has a BSc in Computer Engineering from Eastern Samar State University.

Adwyait K. Roy is the Chief Technical Advisor of the ESIP project based in the Philippines. He has extensive experience in managing and advising projects in market systems development. He was the International Advisor of the market development project in Nigeria, and before that served as Project Coordinator of the Samriddhi project of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation in Bangladesh.

Zenebe Uraguchi is the Programme Coordinator for Eastern Europe and Senior Advisor in market systems development of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation based in Bern, Switzerland.

Philippines: Women’s meaningful participation in peace: Lessons from the Bangsamoro (Mindanao, Philippines)

30 January 2017 - 4:41pm
Source: Conciliation Resources Country: Philippines


The importance of women’s meaningful participation and the consequent need to address the absence of women in peace processes has been widely acknowledged, notably after the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1325 (UNSCR1325) in 2000 on women’s protection and empowerment. Women’s participation is not only an issue of justice but also a fundamental condition towards ensuring a sustainable and transformative peace process.

However, implementation of this resolution has been slow and much is still to be learned about how to move forward in practical terms. Each peace process therefore offers the opportunity to innovate and thereby contribute to the global knowledge on how to improve the quality of a peace process.

This paper reflects on the achievements and the challenges of four civil society organisations in the Philippines who worked together on the Mindanao peace process between 2013 and 2016, with support from Conciliation Resources and the British Embassy in Manila.

The purpose of the paper is to share reflections and learning from this experience to inform decisions on planning and the funding of other initiatives that contribute to women’s meaningful participation in peace.

Philippines: Philippines - Severe weather (PAGASA, Local Media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 30 January 2017)

30 January 2017 - 11:52am
Source: European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Country: Philippines
  • Heavy rain has been affecting the country over the past days, especially the Northern Mindanao and Caraga regions, causing floods.

  • According to local media, as of 30 January at 7.00 UTC, at least 77 643 people have been affected, of which 52 147 in Northern Mindanao and 25 496 in Caraga, and at least 500 houses have been damaged in Caraga.

  • Over the next 24 hours, moderate to locally heavy rain may still affect the country, including the areas already affected.

Philippines: Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (24 - 30 January 2017)

30 January 2017 - 3:43am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines


As of 25 January and following a new round of verification, aid agencies in Cox's Bazar estimate that 13,000 families (69,000 people) from Myanmar have arrived since October 2016. New arrivals are residing in registered camps, makeshift settlements and in host communities. The rate of people crossing the border is understood to have decreased, and from 20 to 26 January partners reported only one new family arrived in Leda Makeshift Settlement (LMS). However, services are under strain; NGO partners have reported that the water supply in LMS is running out and sufficient for two more months. Family tracing services for unaccompanied children also need to be expanded.

69,000 new arrivals


As of 30 January, about 100,000 people are displaced by flooding in Caraga region (northeastern Mindanao) due to successive weather systems affecting the area. Over 80,000 displaced people are in Agusan del Sur province. Local governments and the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) have distributed food packs, dignity kits and emergency shelter.

100,000 people displaced

On 26 January, 5,700 people in Ampatuan municipality (Maguindanao province) were displaced by a joint law enforcement operation conducted by the military and police against non-state armed actors.
The affected people were evacuated to the town centre. The regional disaster management authority provided food and relief items.


In Maungdaw north (Rakhine State), more than 23,000 people are estimated to be internally displaced – this area is the most affected by the 9 October attacks and subsequent security operations. Since 13 January, emergency food distributions have reached almost 35,000 people in Maungdaw north. While distribution of food and other relief items by national staff is now permitted, protection activities remain suspended. Health services have resumed in some areas, but coverage of services is uneven and turn-out has been low, including for vaccination services. Most international staff remain confined to the township centres of Maungdaw and Buthidaung.

23,000 internally displaced people

As a result of intensified conflict between the Myanmar Military and ethnic armed groups over recent months, close to 11,000 people are newly-displaced across Kachin (7,000 people) and Shan (4,000 people) states. Three camps in areas beyond Government control in Kachin have been left empty as a result of fighting. A growing number of people have been displaced multiple times in recent months. The displacement across both states is being driven by escalation in hostilities close to camps and in civilian areas since November 2016.


Between 25 and 28 January, flooding in North and Central Sulawesi, Bangka Belitung, South Kalimantan, West Nusa Tenggara, East Java and Yogyakarta provinces directly affected at least 16,700 people. The flash floods caused two deaths in East Java and one death in Central Sulawesi.
Emergency responses were carried out by local provincial disaster management offices. The national weather bureau forecasts no extreme weather for the upcoming week.