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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Philippines - Syria - Yemen

04 Aug 2020


Credit: World Vision/Joy Maluyo

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: 4 August 2020

The Philippines: COVID-19 Humanitarian Response Plan

The UN and humanitarian partners have launched a revised COVID-19 Response Plan in the Philippines to provide critical health interventions and humanitarian assistance to 5.4 million of the most marginalized people living in epidemic hotspots, particularly those in poor, densely populated urban settings, and especially focusing on the safety and well-being of women and girls. 

The Plan focuses on supporting the Government in addressing the most immediate challenges relating to health, food security, water and sanitation, protection, as well as risk communication until the end of the year.

With financial requirements of US$122 million, this is the largest international humanitarian response plan by the humanitarian community in the Philippines since Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda in 2013.

More than 30 million people have been targeted with messages on COVID-19 prevention and given access to services. More than 4 million people received health-care services, while more than 620,000 people were reached with water, sanitation and hygiene supplies.

As of 3 August, more than 106,000 cases of COVID-19 and 2,104 deaths have been confirmed in the Philippines.


Syria: Violence in the north-west

There have been recent reports of renewed violence in north-west Syria. There remain concerns about the safety and protection of more than 4 million civilians in the north-west – 2.7 million of whom are internally displaced – following reports of air strikes and shelling in the past few days. 

Shelling incidents reportedly affected northern Hama and Lattakia governorates, as well as 19 communities in Idleb governorate.

Yesterday, local sources reported air strikes impacting three communities in Idleb governorate as well as one community in northern Lattakia governorate. As a result of air strikes, three people were reportedly killed and seven injured in Bennsh, in Idleb governorate.

The UN calls on all parties to heed the calls by the Secretary-General for a full ceasefire, as an essential measure to enable communities to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UN also continues to remind all parties, and those with influence over them, of their obligation to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure as required by international humanitarian law and international human rights law.


Yemen: Impact of floods

Heavy rains have caused severe flooding in several parts of Yemen. The worst-affected areas are in Abyan, Marib, Amran, Sa’ada, Al Jawf, Ibb and Al Dhale’e governorates.

More than 10,000 displaced people who had been living in temporary shelters were again displaced by the floods, which also destroyed homes, relief supplies and other property. Casualty estimates are not yet available.

The UN and humanitarian organizations are currently working to assess the situation and mobilize emergency assistance, including relief items for displaced families.

Yemen has experienced heavier than usual rains this year, which is exacerbating an already catastrophic humanitarian situation that includes the growing risk of famine, the devastating impact of COVID-19 and other challenges. More rain is expected in the coming days.

To date, the Yemen response plan is only 21 per cent funded. Donors are urged to pay all outstanding pledges immediately and to consider increasing their support. Cuts to donor funding are forcing core programmes to close or reduce support across sectors, including food, water, health and nutrition.