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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Afghanistan - Philippines - Syria

08 Sep 2021

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Internally displaced people in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan (file photo). © IOM

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 8 September 2021

Afghanistan

On 30 August 2021, heavy rains and floods were reported in several districts in Kunar Province, which resulted in damaged roads, bridges, livestock and farmlands. In addition, 105 people reportedly were affected by flash floods in Behsud District in Jalalabad city in Nangarhar Province. 

Inter-agency assessment teams have been deployed to affected area to assess humanitarian needs in Nangarhar this week. UNICEF and local organizations have responded to needs in flood-affected areas of Kunar. 

This year, more than 28,000 people have been affected by disasters across the country, the majority of them by floods.  

Conflict, poverty and repeated natural disasters have left an acutely vulnerable population with eroded financial capacities and increased protection risks.

The Flash Appeal that was launched yesterday for Afghanistan includes life-saving response to support vulnerable people with shelter, relief items and winterization aid. This includes people who are affected by natural disasters. 

The Philippines

The OCHA offices in Manila and Bangkok are monitoring the development of two typhoons – Conson and Chanthu – currently in the Philippine Area of Responsibility – an area of the Earth’s surface enclosing the Philippines, Palau, Taiwan and the northern tip of Borneo.

Typhoon Conson – local name Jolina – weakened slightly to a tropical storm as it made its eighth landfall in Batangas Province in the Philippines this morning, but the weather bureau PAGASA has warned that heavy-to-intense rainfall is expected in areas along its path in the next 24 hours, including in Metro Manila, which is home to more than 14 million people. 

Rescue teams from the Coast Guard, police and Philippine Red Cross have evacuated more than 10,000 residents in low-lying communities to safer grounds in the regions of Eastern Visayas, Bicol, Calabarzon and Mimaropa, and numbers are likely to increase. Rivers were inundated and many houses constructed of light materials were destroyed due to strong winds. 

No casualties have been reported so far, but authorities have said that 12 fishermen who ventured to sea in Samar Province are missing. Initial reports show power outages, road blockages and 25 damaged shelters. Local governments are conducting assessments and are responding to the needs of affected people.

Meanwhile, the rapidly intensifying Typhoon Chanthu – local name Kiko – is being monitored as it heads towards the northern-most part of the country. The typhoon strengthened from a Category 1 to a strong Category 4 in less than 12 hours, and authorities are monitoring the possibility of a landfall over Batanes Province. 

Syria

The UN is deeply concerned about ongoing hostilities and their impact on civilians. Since June, hostilities in north-west Syria have intensified, despite the March 2020 ceasefire.

In recent days, attacks in southern rural Idleb have reportedly impacted residential areas and an internal displacement camp, resulting in civilian casualties. 

Three incidents between 6 and 7 September reportedly resulted in the deaths of four civilians, including a woman and a child, and left at least seven civilians injured, including a woman and six children. 

On 8 September, one woman was reportedly killed and her son injured following a strike impacting a building in southern rural Idleb. The building was being used for residential purposes and also hosted a private medical centre. 

The UN reminds all parties to the conflict to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and to ensure the protection of civilians and civilian infrastructure.