ReliefWeb - Updates

ReliefWeb - Updates

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ReliefWeb - Updates

Thailand: Novel Coronavirus 2019 Pneumonia Situation: Thailand situation update on 7 February 2020

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 05:39:46 +0000

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Source: Government of Thailand
Country: China, Thailand

3. The Disease Situation in Thailand

3.1 Surveillance protocol among passengers at airports

From 3-23 January 2020, the Department of Disease Control has been implementing its surveillance protocol by fever screening of travelers from all direct flights from Wuhan, China to the Suvarnabhumi, Don Mueang, Chiang Mai, Phuket and Krabi airports. On 24 January, the screening protocol began to be implemented at Chiang Rai Airport. There were 1,275 flights travelling from China that were screened for the disease.

3.2 Situation of patients with suspected symptoms of novel coronavirus 2019 in Thailand.

On 7 February, 2020 at 19.00, 39 additional people met the criteria of patients under investigation (PUI), raising the total number of PUI to 654 people as shown in Table 2.

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Philippines: TFBM launches ‘Talakayan’ with Marawi IDPs

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 05:38:15 +0000

Source: Government of the Philippines
Country: Philippines

By Lou Ellen L. Antonio

MARAWI CITY, Feb. 7 (PIA) -- The Task Force Bangon Marawi (TFBM) through its Information Management and Strategic Communication Support Group (IMSCSG) headed by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) and Philippine Information Agency (PIA) launched here the Talakayan sa TFBM to provide a venue for the internally displaced persons (IDPs) to share their issues and concerns to TFBM member-agencies.

Through key person approach, IDP leaders from each transitory shelter site were able to air their issues and concerns to the TFBM.

“I hope through this, we can convey to all IDPs all the updates and interventions being conducted by TFBM in coordination with the local government units,” said TFBM chair and Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development Secretary Eduardo del Rosario during his opening statement.

Marawi City Mayor Majul Gandamra also emphasized the importance of the Talakayan to inform the IDPs on the various services that they can receive from the TFBM member-agencies.

Norjana Serad from Bahay Pag-asa Phase 2 in Mipaga said that she is happy that she was able to air their needs to the TFBM chairman and Marawi City mayor.

“Nagustuhan ko ang Talakayan dahil nakaharap ko sina Secretary del Rosario at Mayor Gandamra at nasabi namin ang mga pangangailangan namin sa Bahay Pag-asa,” said Serad.

(I like this “Talakayan” because I met Secretary del Rosario and Mayor Gandamra and I was able to present our needs at Bahay Pag-asa.)

Meanwhile, Asliya Abas from the Rorogagus Transitory Shelter Site affirms that the event paved an opportunity to air their concerns to TFBM.

“Ito ay maganda na pagtitipon dahil nailalabas ng mga tao kung ano yung mga pangangailangan nila, mga gusto nila,” said Abas.

(This is a good avenue for people to present their needs and what they want to have.)

In partnership with the Radyo Pilipinas Marawi, a member-agency of IMSCSG, the Talakayan is also being aired on various local radio stations in the city.

Other agencies invited for the first Talakayan include key persons from the National Housing Authority, Department of Trade and Industry and Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The monthly Talakayan aims to create an opportunity for exchanging information and perspectives, clarifying viewpoints, and provide answers to concerns and issues of interest to the community. (LEA |PIA ICCC)

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Nepal: Victims of natural disasters to get relief from local units

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 05:36:03 +0000

Source: The Kathmandu Post
Country: Nepal

Disaster victims in Makwanpur will no longer have to travel to the district headquarters to receive the relief amount.

Pratap Bista

The victims of natural disasters in Makwanpur district will no longer have to frequent the district headquarters to receive relief amount. A meeting of the District Natural Disaster Management Committee held in Hetauda on Sunday decided to distribute the relief amount from the local units themselves.

Until now, the affected families had to visit the District Administration Office in the district headquarters with necessary documents verified by the local government to get the amount. The committee provides Rs 10,000 as a relief for victims of natural disasters like flood, landslide, lightning and fire.

“Most beneficiaries of the relief have to spend a lot of money and time on travelling to the district headquarters. So we decided to distribute the relief from the local body itself,” said Chief District Officer Narayan Prasad Bhatta, who is also the chief of the District Natural Disaster Management Committee. According to him, the local units will send the necessary documents to the District Administration Office and the latter will issue the relief amount through the local bodies. The decision will be implemented with immediate effect, he added.

A disaster management committee has been formed in each local unit. As per Sunday’s decision, the District Natural Disaster Management Committee, after verifying the documents, will deposit the relief amount in the bank account of the local unit’s disaster management committee.

The meeting on Sunday was attended by the chief and deputy chief of the District Coordination Committee, chief and deputy chief of all local units, and administrative officers and chiefs of other government offices.

“Affected families from remote villages will benefit from the decision,” said Tanka Bahadur Moktan, chairman of Kailash Rural Municipality.

The District Natural Disaster Management Committee in Makwanpur provided Rs 120,000 to fire victims and Rs 420,000 to flood-affected people in the current fiscal year. Similarly, the committee distributed Rs 100,000 each to the families of 10 people who died in floods, landslides and lightning strike.

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American Samoa: Another confirmed measles case in American Samoa

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 05:33:34 +0000

Source: Radio New Zealand International
Country: American Samoa

Health officials in American Samoa have confirmed another measles case after a sample tested positive at a Hawaii laboratory.

Read more on Radio New Zealand International

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Australia: The implementation of OPCAT in Australia

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 05:26:18 +0000

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Source: Refugee Council of Australia
Country: Australia, Nauru, Papua New Guinea

Concerns about systemic cruelty and arbitrariness in Australia’s immigration detention system raised with two United Nations bodies ahead of their visits to Australia

Key issues noted about Australia’s immigration detention system:

  • The increasing systemic cruelty of Australia’s immigration detention facilities
  • The design, staffing and procedures of immigration detention follow a prison or correctional facility model even though the Australian Government claims that immigration detention is not punitive
  • The lack of independent scrutiny and transparency, even as Australia continues to detain children, refugees with serious medical needs, and other vulnerable people

The Australia OPCAT Network is a group of organisations, academics and individuals with an interest in the implementation of the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (OPCAT), a treaty that Australia ratified in December 2017. The OPCAT requires the member states to introduce a system of regular inspection visits to all places where people are deprived of their liberty, in order to prevent torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

At the end of January 2020, the Australia OPCAT network published a comprehensive report focusing on key issues related to Australia’s implementation of its obligations under the OPCAT.

The Refugee Council of Australia worked with the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture and a number of academic professionals to draft the section on Australia’s immigration detention policy (onshore, offshore and at sea). Feedback provided by detention advocates, detention visitors and a number of other groups and organisations assisted greatly in presenting a more comprehensive picture of the conditions and challenges in detention facilities onshore and offshore.

The report has been submitted to the UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture and the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, ahead of their visits to Australia in early 2020. In addition to immigration detention policies, the report also covers the detention of people with disabilities, issues related to prisons, youth justice, police custody and aged care. It also focuses on the perspective of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their treatment in custodial settings in Australia.

This report provides an opportunity to raise the main issues of concern with the UN bodies and flag the issues they need to investigate and the facilities they should consider visiting. By referencing publications, case studies and testimonies from civil society, the immigration detention section details concerns about:

  • the increasing systemic cruelty and arbitrariness in Australia’s immigration detention system, including the indefinite detention of certain categories of people, with some spending more than 10 years in detention,
  • increased securitisation of the facilities, including use of restraints and seclusion, lack of outside excursions and the challenges the detention visitors experience on a daily basis,
  • inadequate provision of healthcare, including to those offshore and to the people who have been transferred to Australia for the purpose of medical treatment,
  • the absence of effective scrutiny and transparency of immigration detention,
  • lack of access to legal advice,
  • the detention of children,
  • the irreparable harm caused by Australia’s offshore policies, and
  • the lack of transparency and accountability about push-back policies and detention at sea.

As the report reiterates, it aims to show that “*while immigration detention has been defined by the Australian Government as being ‘administrative’ rather than punitive, the design, staffing and procedures of many places where non-citizens are deprived of their liberty follow a ‘correctional services’ [prison] model. Detainees persistently describe the experience of detention as akin to being punished*”.

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Philippines: Insecurity in Mindanao: Conflict and state-sponsored violence

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 05:20:06 +0000

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Source: The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime
Country: Philippines

This brief provides an overview of the challenges facing the various autonomous government authorities of Mindanao, in the southern Philippines, in transitioning the region from conflict to peacebuilding, and to assess the response of the Philippine state to these challenges. Mindanao has long been fractured by a toxic mixture of political violence, identity-based armed conflict, and ethnic and clan divisions, and has been beset by sustained rebel and terrorist violence. These divisive factors have militated against regional political unity and social coherence, exacerbated by the area’s socio-economic and development challenges.

This context has also provided fertile ground for non-state armed groups involved in criminal enterprises to develop. When strongman Rodrigo Duterte was elected mayor of Davao, the capital of Mindanao, before he became president of the country, his approach to regional insecurity took the form of a highly securitized crackdown involving state-sanctioned and extrajudicial violence meted out by death squads. The methodology is qualitative and presents a narrative grounded in both primary and secondary data sets. These are supplemented by publicly available resources from news, research and civil-society organizations.

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Nepal: School built with Govt of India assistance inaugurated in Nepal

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 05:10:34 +0000

Source: Government of India
Country: India, Nepal

Nepal’s former Prime Minister and Chairman of ruling Nepal Communist Party, Puspa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ inaugurated a school built with the Government of India assistance in Nuwkot district today. Nepal’s Minister for Energy, Water Resources and Irrigation, Barsaman Pun was also present on the occasion.

The new building of Aiselu Bhume Secondary School in Kispang Rural Municipality of Nuwakot district is part of India’s post-earthquake reconstruction support in Nepal. It has been constructed with the Government of India’s grant assistance of 39.57 million Nepali rupees. The new infrastructure consists three blocks including ten classrooms, furniture and separate sanitation facilities for boys and girls. The school is providing quality education to nearly 637 students.

The newly built infrastructure is expected to boost learning environment of students. Government of India remains committed to continue collaborating with Government and people of Nepal for completion of post-earthquake reconstruction projects in Nepal.

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Philippines: Copernicus' eye in the sky brings disaster management to a whole new level

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 05:05:31 +0000

Source: Government of the Philippines
Country: Philippines

By Jerome Carlo R. Paunan

How much can a single picture tell us about ourselves?

This is a composite before and after image of Tacloban City's downtown and airport areas before (L) and after (R) Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) hit the Philippines. The maps were released by the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMS) on Nov. 11, 2013.

The color-coded gradings indicate destroyed (red), highly affected (orange), moderately affected (yellow-orange), and possibly affected (yellow) structures or areas. Images courtesy of the European Union.

Images such as this can help us better understand the current effects of natural events underway, immediately after, or even comparing two different periods of time.

“It’s a bit like instead of giving you the finished product via the value chain, we’re giving you the raw material in order to create for yourself your own value chain. Copernicus was designed to make product, which were not commercially viable,” said Philippe Brunet, European Commission Directorate for Cooperation and Development during national conference Copernicus—a strategic partner for Earth Observation and Sustainable Development held recently in Makati City.

As it turned out, satellites provide the Philippines huge amounts of information on how to deal with disasters. What’s even better, is that these information are given free of charge by the Copernicus Programme to governments around the world to be readily used by their respective disaster planners and civil defense authorities.

“Science and technology innovations are at the forefront of our advocacy and we must make sure that these results are applied so that people can benefit. We also need to make sure that what we learned can be shared to others,” according to Department of Science and Technology Undersecretary for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation Renato Solidum.

“There are many, many opportunities. From scientific organizations to local governments, to private corporations to businesses, this could be used for science; this can be used for planning purposes. To [the] local level, we require the local government to have a comprehensive land use and development plan. But the use of land, changes in time, so the rapid access to this information will give them the almost real-time monitoring, what’s happening on the ground that they might not be able to see by just going around walking or driving. So there are many, many opportunities and we cannot really enumerate all of them, the opportunity is quite great,” Solidum added.

Variety of satellites and instruments measure a magnitude of parameters from space—parameters for flooding, for forest fires, for volcanic eruptions, or damages after earthquakes, but also oil spills. They are also capable of measuring ocean parameters such as sea surface height, sea surface temperatures; climate parameters such as air quality, ice coverage, and so on, really almost everything, which they can measure from their orbit.

“You cannot monitor what you cannot measure,” Brunet said.

“Copernicus is also a collaborative project. We send data processed elsewhere and could be used by you. You just need to have the data mining instruments to go and to fetch the data where they are and to help translate them. In terms of climate change, we need to have collaboration between research centers and sometimes to arrive into very practical part, for instance assessing the vulnerability of some cities in the Philippines it depends on events running near the equator that is thousands and thousands of kilometers, so its important to have this kind of network and the key enabler for both cloud technology and to have this kind of networking between research centers is interconnectivity,” Brunet explained, saying the first issue to address is to have a functioning network of all stakeholders.

“So, if we look back at the onsets in history of the Philippines, in fact in the 1980’s there was a national remote sensing center in NAMRIA or DENR,” Solidum recalled, adding that, “But were still there but the capacity has died down a little bit because the plight for technology advancement is so fast. Yes, there can be some processing capabilities at the various organizations, especially at the Department of Science and Technology, but with recent technologies we need to do capacity building that is why the recent project we’re working on with EU (European Union), capacity building is very important.“

For his part, Stephen Coulson of the European Space Agency said, “Another important component is what we refer to is skills transfer so that’s taking advantage of the previous investments and developments that were carried out in Europe and actually trying to get those exported here to the Philippines, integrate it and putting the Philippines in the position to produce and deliver specialized information from Copernicus for a long term sustainable basis.”

Copernicus‘ Emergency Management Service and Satellite Mapping

As detailed in its website with link here, the Copernicus Emergency Management Service is one of the six main services that the Copernicus Programme, the European Union’s Earth Observation programme, provides on a global scale. It has been fully operational since April 2012. The service supports crisis managers, civil defense authorities and humanitarian aid actors dealing with natural disasters, man-made emergency situations, and humanitarian crises, as well as those involved in disaster risk reduction and recovery activities. The EMS was designed as one of the instruments available to the European Union’s Civil Protection Mechanism, but its services extend their reach beyond Europe since any country in the world can benefit from the Copernicus EMS and many already do, including the Philippines.

The service provides early warning and monitoring information for forest fires through EFFIS, the European Forest Fire Information System and GWIS its global counterpart. EFAS, the European Flood Awareness System, and GloFAS, the Global Flood Awareness System provide tools for early warnings about floods in Europe and globally. The service also provides geospatial information that is based on high-resolution satellite imagery and available in situ (on-site) or open source information. The geospatial information can be provided in two temporal modes – through Rapid Mapping component, to respond to an emergency during or right after the event, and through Risk & Recovery Mapping component, that assists in disaster preparedness or recovery and can be provided to decision-makers on a tailor-made basis within weeks or months.

There are many advantages that satellite imagery can provide:

  • It allows to acquire information about difficult to access locations (e.g. remote, disaster and conflict-stricken areas);
  • Radar satellites (such as Copernicus Sentinel-1) can acquire imagery at night and irrespective of weather conditions (e.g. even when clouds are present over the Area of Interest);
  • Large areas can quickly be assessed for damages to transport and building infrastructure – this can be particularly valuable in dense urban areas with large populations; and
  • It is possible to monitor an area over a period of time to observe changing phenomena such as the expansion of urban areas or settlements, the movements of displaced populations, and the progress of construction activities.

However, there are some limitations of satellites that have to be considered. These include:

  • Optical satellites can only acquire images during daytime, and image quality can be affected by the presence of clouds, haze or smoke. In many of such cases, radar satellites can be used, however not all mapping products can be produced using radar imagery; and
  • The accuracy and quality of the mapping results can vary depending on the nature and scale of the phenomena observed. For example, in case of floods, the satellite overfly can be too late to capture the maximum extension of a flooding event.

“But there are many opportunities and the fact that government has approved the [establishment of a] Philippine Space Agency, would really tell the whole world that we are seekers in using space [technology] and apply it in so many fields, and so the rapacity in terms of doing things and sharing it with our partners is also adherent. We have doing partnerships with so many space agencies and some of these would be lead by DOST agencies, and this is the same thing that we want to achieve with the Copernicus Programme,” Solidum said.

For more information:

Copernicus EMS portal: http://emergency.copernicus.eu/

Mapping portal: http://emergency.copernicus.eu/mapping

EFFIS portal: http://effis.jrc.ec.europa.eu

GWIS portal: http://gwis.jrc.ec.europa.eu/

EFAS portal: https://www.efas.eu

GloFAS portal: http://globalfloods.jrc.ec.europa.eu/

User Request Form for Rapid Mapping and Risk & Recovery Mapping: http://emergency.copernicus.eu/mapping/ems/how-use-service

EDO Project http://edo.jrc.ec.europa.eu/edov2/php/index.php?id=1000

Follow @CopernicusEMS on Twitter

(PIA NCR)

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Philippines: Davao de Oro to form TF on emerging, reemerging infectious diseases

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 05:03:20 +0000

Source: Government of the Philippines
Country: Philippines

By Rudolph Ian Alama

NABUNTURAN, Davao de Oro, Feb. 10 (PIA) - The provincial government of Davao de Oro will institutionalize through an executive order a task force for the emerging and reemerging infectious diseases.

During the Provincial Inter-Agency and Stakeholders Forum on 2019 novel Coronavirus - Acute Respiratory Disease (NCOV-ARD), Provincial Health Officer Dr. Antonio Ybiernas, Jr. emphasized that the task force will manage the existing structure of preparation, prevention, detection, and administration of emerging infectious diseases like NCOV, and reemerging infectious diseases like polio.

Dr. Ybiernas stressed that the activation of the task force will be this week as the Philippines is already hit by NCOV.

The forum was held at the Conference Room of the New Sangguniang Panlalawigan Building on Friday, February 7.

As of now, the Philippines has three confirmed cases on NCOV; while in Davao de Oro, there are two persons under investigation.

Ybiernas said that the two patients are now in isolation at the Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) in Tagum City, Davao del Norte.

He said that they are progressing well but they cannot yet be discharged as they are still awaiting the confirmatory results from Australia.

Ybiernas also said that the four provincial hospitals in Davao de Oro will serve as holding areas for persons suspected with NCOV to be moved to hospitals like DRMC or the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City.

He added that the doctors in the province are capable of assessing possible NCOV infected patients. (PIA11, Michael Uy)

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Thailand: Weekly Dry Season Situation Report for the Mekong River Basin - Prepared on: 11/02/2020, covering the week from 04 to 10 Feb 2020

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 05:00:00 +0000

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Source: Mekong River Commission
Country: Cambodia, China, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Thailand, Viet Nam

Weather Patterns, General Behaviors of the Mekong River and Outlook Situation

General weather patterns:

From 04 to 10 Feb 2020, there was no rainfall in the LMB. Based on the weather outlook bulletins and maps issued by the Thailand Meteorology Department (TMD) were used to verify the weather condition in the LMB. They stated that for the next 3 months from Jan to Mar 2020, the cold appears because the influentially high-pressure air mass areas prevail over Thailand for the whole month.
However, at some periods, coldly high-pressure air masses from China will meet hot air masses already prevailing over LMB. They also stated that the cool weather throughout the week is covered at mountainous areas and mountain tops. Figures 1 presented the weather map for 05 and 10 Feb 2020.

General behavior of the Mekong River:

This week from 04 to 10 Feb 2020, water levels from Chiang Sean were slightly decreased, varied from -0.02 m to -0.04m since finishing the test of equipment of hydropower station at Jinghong, China at 4 Jan 2020. Water levels at this station were fluctuated above its Long-Term -Average (LTA). However, water level at Luang Prabang and Chiang Khan are likely impacted by hydropower dam at Xayaburi and upstream hydropower dams in which water level at this station were raised up close to it Maximum levels and varied from 0.04 m to 0.15 m. Water levels at Chaining (downstream of Xayaburi) were stay below their LTAs. And water levels at stations in the middle part of LMB from Vientiane to Pakse were slightly decreased based on the trend inflows from upstream, but their water levels are still staying below their LTAs and even below to their Minimum Levels (Nong Khai). The station at Nong Khai is considered critical condition). Follow the same trend of water levels from upstream, stations at Stung Treng, Kratie, Chaktomuk on the Bassac, Phnom Penh Port and Neak Luong were very low and stay closely to their minimum levels (these stations were considered critical condition). For the 2 tidal stations at Tan Chau and Chau Doc, water levels increased and reached to their Maximum Levels. The actual water levels at most of the key station are staying below their LTAs and even Min Levels (see its hydrograph in Annex B).

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Philippines: Taguig donates 50 liters of breast milk for babies affected by Taal volcano eruption

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 04:58:25 +0000

Source: Government of the Philippines
Country: Philippines

By Alehia Therese V. Abuan

QUEZON CITY, Feb. 10 (PIA)--The office of Senator Pia S. Cayetano and the Taguig city government formally turned over some 50 liters of breast milk to the Batangas Medical Center (BATMC) for the benefit of babies affected by the Taal volcano eruption.

The milk donation was received by officials of BATC, which houses a human milk bank that stores breast milk for babies in need, including those staying in different evacuation centers across the province.

All 50.1 liters of breast milk donations were gathered and collected from nursing mothers who participated in “Breast Milk Ko, Alay Ko,” a breast milk letting event organized last January 23 by the senator’s office in partnership with Taguig City.

The donated milk underwent tests and pasteurization at the Taguig City Human Milk Bank of the Taguig-Pateros District Hospital before being delivered to Batangas.

“Nobody can dispute that breast milk is best for babies. But what do you do when, for some reason, a mother cannot provide this for her child? During a state of stress, a mother’s ability to produce milk could be affected,” Senator Cayetano said.

“That’s why we organized the breast milk letting event, because during this time of calamity, we don’t want our babies to stop receiving breast milk. And we thank all the moms who made this possible through their donations. Maraming salamat po sa inyo at huwag po tayong magsawang tumulong,” the senator added.

Cayetano urged more nursing mothers to continue helping fellow moms in need by donating their milk through the TPDH Human Milk Bank.

A breastfeeding advocate, the senator authored the Expanded Breastfeeding Act (Republic Act 10028), which encourages health institutions to establish human milk banks. Cayetano also authored the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act (RA 10821), which requires breastfeeding areas to be set up in evacuation centers to enable mothers to feed their babies in private. (Office of Sen. Pia Cayetano/PIA-NCR)

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Philippines: NDRRMC Update: Situational Report No. 72 re Taal Volcano Eruption, 11 February 2020, 6:00 AM

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 04:29:15 +0000

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Source: Government of the Philippines
Country: Philippines

I. SITUATION OVERVIEW

A. Volcanic Earthquake

The Taal Volcano Network (TVN) plotted a total of 2,385 volcanic earthquakes as of 10 February 2020, 1:24 PM.

Source: DOST-PHIVOLCS

ll. EFFECTSA. Affected Population (TAB A)

  • A total 134,340 families / 505,087 persons (previous report: 134,520 families / 004,709 persons) were affected in the Provinces of Batangas, Quezon, Laguna, and Cavite.

  • Of which, a total of 4,778 families / 17,088 persons (previous report: 6,857 families / 24,153 persons) are taking temporary shelter in 110 evacuation centers (previous report: 135 evacuation centers) while 57,063 families / 211,729 persons (previous report: 56,625 families / 211,045 persons) are served outside ECs.

  • The IDPs are hosted in the following areas: Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon

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China: Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV): Situation Report - 21 (10 February 2020)

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 03:08:10 +0000

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Source: World Health Organization
Country: Australia, Belgium, Cambodia, Canada, China, China - Hong Kong (Special Administrative Region), China - Macau (Special Administrative Region), China - Taiwan Province, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russian Federation, Singapore, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, Viet Nam

HIGHLIGHTS

  • No new countries reported cases of 2019-nCoV in the past 24 hours.

  • The WHO R&D Blueprint is a global strategy and preparedness plan that allows the rapid activation of R&D activities during epidemics. On 11-12 February, WHO is convening a global research and innovation forum to mobilize international action and enable identification of key knowledge gaps and research priorities to contribute to the control of 2019-nCoV. The forum will include members of the scientific community, researchers from Member States’ public health agencies, regulatory experts, bioethicists with expertise in research in emergencies, and major funder of research related to 2019-nCoV.

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Afghanistan: Situation of human rights in Afghanistan, and technical assistance achievements in the field of human rights: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (A/HRC/43/74)

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 02:39:53 +0000

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Source: UN Human Rights Council
Country: Afghanistan

Summary

In the present report, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights describes the situation of human rights in Afghanistan from 1 January to 30 November 2019, and provides an overview of the work, including technical assistance, conducted by the Human Rights Service of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The report focuses on the five principal areas of work of the Human Rights Service: the protection of civilians in armed conflict; children and armed conflict; the elimination of violence against women and the promotion of women’s rights; the prevention of torture and respect for procedural safeguards; and civic space and the integration of human rights into peace and reconciliation processes. The High Commissioner highlights the technical assistance provided by the Human Rights Service and the achievements under these areas.

The High Commissioner concludes the report with concrete recommendations for the Government, anti-government elements and the international community.

I. Introduction

  1. The present report, prepared in cooperation with the United Nations AssistanceMission in Afghanistan (UNAMA and submitted to the Human Rights Council pursuant toits decision 2/113 and resolution 14/15, covers the period between 1 January and 30November 2019.

  2. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights focuses on the five priorityareas of work of the UNAMA Human Rights Service, namely the protection of civilians inarmed conflict; children and armed conflict; the elimination of violence against women andthe promotion of women’s rights; the prevention of torture and respect for proceduralsafeguards; and civic space and the integration of human rights into peace and reconciliationprocesses.

  3. During the period under review, the Office of the United Nations High Commissionerfor Human Rights (OHCHR) continued to provide technical and financial support to theUNAMA Human Rights Service.

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Guatemala: Situación de los derechos humanos en Guatemala: Informe de la Alta Comisionada de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos sobre la situación de los derechos humanos en Guatemala (A/HRC/43/3/Add.1)

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 02:33:29 +0000

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Source: UN General Assembly, UN Human Rights Council
Country: Guatemala

Resumen

En el presente informe, la Alta Comisionada de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos describe la situación de los derechos humanos y las actividades realizadas por su Oficina en Guatemala del 1 de enero al 31 de diciembre de 2019. Destaca los avances realizados y los desafíos persistentes en la promoción y protección de derechos humanos, centrándose en las cuestiones relacionadas con el espacio democrático, la justicia y la lucha contra la impunidad, y la igualdad y la no discriminación. Concluye con recomendaciones a diversas instituciones estatales y a otros interesados.

I. Introducción

  1. El presente informe se ha preparado de conformidad con el acuerdo entre la Oficina del Alto Comisionado de las Naciones Unidas para los Derechos Humanos (ACNUDH) y el Gobierno de Guatemala, firmado en enero de 2005 y renovado en septiembre de 2017 por tres años adicionales. El informe abarca el año 2019 y se basa en la información recopilada y analizada por el ACNUDH en Guatemala, así como en información proporcionada por las instituciones estatales y otros interesados. Las actividades específicas del ACNUDH se detallan a lo largo del informe.

  2. En 2019, el ACNUDH llevó a cabo 83 misiones de monitoreo e investigación y 193 talleres de fortalecimiento de capacidades con instituciones del Estado y la sociedad civil, y dio seguimiento a 104 casos urgentes relacionados con presuntas violaciones de los derechos humanos. De manera regular, formuló declaraciones públicas y produjo dos informes escritos y varios folletos informativos, que se pueden consultar en su sitio web (oacnudh.org.gt). Organizó 7 foros sobre diversos temas, como las empresas y los derechos humanos, la libertad de expresión, los derechos al agua y el saneamiento y la justicia de transición. Brindó asistencia en litigio estratégico y apoyo técnico para la implementación de sentencias o medidas de reparación ordenadas, especialmente en casos relacionados con los derechos de los pueblos indígenas.

  3. La Oficina brindó asistencia técnica continua a las instituciones estatales en el ámbito nacional y local, en particular a la Procuraduría de los Derechos Humanos, el Ministerio Público, el Organismo Judicial, el Ministerio de Trabajo, el Ministerio de Salud, el Ministerio de Educación, la Policía Nacional Civil, la Comisión Presidencial Coordinadora de la Política del Ejecutivo en materia de Derechos Humanos (COPREDEH), la Secretaría Presidencial de la Mujer y el Tribunal Supremo Electoral, entre otros. A través de su trabajo, colaboró con los mecanismos regionales e internacionales de monitoreo de los derechos humanos.

  4. La labor del ACNUDH en 2019 abarcó las cuestiones planteadas en el presente informe, en especial con respecto a la situación de las personas defensoras de los derechos humanos, la independencia del sistema de justicia, la justicia de transición, la lucha contra la impunidad, la seguridad, el desarrollo humano inclusivo y sostenible y la no discriminación y la igualdad. El ACNUDH priorizó la situación de los sectores más marginados de la población, en particular los pueblos indígenas, las mujeres y las niñas, las personas en situación de movilidad, las personas lesbianas, gais, bisexuales y transgénero y las personas con discapacidad.

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Ghana: Factors Influencing Misconduct Reporting in Sawla and Tarkwa, Ghana

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 01:48:33 +0000

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Source: Oxfam
Country: Ghana

The purpose of this document is to provide a summary of the critical factors that influence decision-making behaviour related to misconduct reporting in Ghana, based on a human-centred approach.

The intended primary audience includes the accountability, safeguarding and technology teams from Oxfam Great Britain (Oxfam GB) and members of the Oxfam in Ghana country offices. This document is also intended for other humanitarian audiences interested in understanding the critical factors that influence misconduct reporting in Ghana.

There are four sections to this document. The first section provides some background information on this initiative and the approach guiding this work. The second section provides specific details on the research process, ethical considerations and limitations. The third section presents a summary of the key findings and themes. The fourth and final section offers some high-level recommendations for moving forward.

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Uganda: Locusts swarm into northern Uganda as Oxfam looks toward a $5m humanitarian response across region

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 01:38:45 +0000

Source: Oxfam
Country: Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania

Locust infestations have just hit two new districts in northern Uganda as they continue to plague Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia, and threaten Sudan and South Sudan. There are also reports of the swarms now in Tanzania.

“Everyone is in panic and trying to make noise to drive the locusts away, says Oxfam’s Ethiopia Country Director Gezahegn Gebrehana.

This is the worst locust crisis in 70 years for Kenya alone. Locust breeding is continuing with more juvenile insects developing now, so the swarms could still get bigger, more widespread and last until June if not brought more quickly under control. There are already 22.8m people living in acute to severe food insecurity in those six countries following consecutive failed rainy seasons, unusual floods and storms.

The fast-moving locust swarms have been made worse by climate change because they have been encouraged to feed on newly “greened” vegetation, the result of unusual weather patterns. They are devastating pastures and grasslands and could ruin new food crops from the March-to-July growing season.

“We depend on livestock and if there is no fodder for our livestock, life will be difficult for us, we ask for help urgently,” said Mohammed Hassan Abdille, a farmer from Bura Dhima in Tana River, Kenya.

Oxfam is working closely with our local partners and communities to help the most affected people across the four countries with the outbreak, aiming to reach over 190,000 of the most vulnerable people with cash assistance, livestock feed, seeds, and health services.

In Somalia, together with our partners, we aim to reach 11,670 households of the most vulnerable people. In Kenya, Oxfam is working with members of the Arid and Semi-Arid Land (ASAL) Humanitarian Platform that has members in seven of the 13 affected counties and aims to assist 3000 households in the first phase of its operations, and another 5,000 in the second. In Ethiopia, Oxfam aims to reach another 5,000 households with similar aid.

Oxfam is ramping up its region-wide humanitarian response with $650,000 and will need to secure more than $5m to reach the most vulnerable people it has targeted. Oxfam teams in South Sudan and Sudan are also preparing against the likelihood of new infestations there.

Oxfam says that lessons from the last local plague in the Sahel in 2003-5 showed that a two-pronged attack was vital, to control the pests as well as work to do everything possible to protect local people’s livelihoods and restore them as quickly as possible.

Oxfam continues to urge international donors to fully fund the FAO’s $76m appeal as soon as possible. The current total stands at around $18m. “This is the time for decisive action,” said Gebrehana.

Notes to editors

  • Nearly 22.8 million people are severely food insecure (IPC 3 and above) as follows : in Ethiopia (6.7 million people), Kenya (3.1 million), Somalia (2.1 million), South Sudan (4.5 million), Sudan (5.8 million) and Uganda (600,000).
  • Given the scale of the current swarms, aerial control is the only effective means to reduce the locust numbers. In Ethiopia, ground teams and four aircraft are conducting control operations against swarms – nearly 8 000 hectares were treated in the first two weeks of January 2020. In Kenya, four aircraft are currently spraying, but operations have been limited due to available capacity or collective experience – Kenya last faced a Desert Locust invasion in 2007”
  • The outbreak, which has primarily been driven by the recent climatic shocks in the region, comes after Oxfam warned of a potential outbreak in Uganda end of last month.
  • The swarms which could grow 500 times bigger by June are devastating pasture and food supplies across parts of Ethiopia and Kenya and could also put South Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti at risk, making it the worst of such situation in 25 years.
  • The locust swarms have increased significantly over the past month in across 13 Kenyan counties including Isiolo, Samburu, Wajir, Garissa, Tana River, Marsabit, Laikipia, Mandera, Kitui, Baringo, Meru, Embu and Turkana

Contact information

Spokespersons are available. To arrange for interviews contact:

Oxfam in Uganda

Winnie Kyamulabi Mukalazi

Communications Assistant

Oxfam in Uganda

Mobile: +256-701032238 | +256-773457946

Email: winnie.kyamulabi.mukalazi@oxfam.org

Oxfam in Ethiopia

Tigist Gebru

Media and Communications Coordinator

Oxfam in Ethiopia

Mobile: +251-909 79 10 88

Email: TGebru@oxfam.org.uk

Oxfam in Kenya

Caroline Mochoge

Communications Assistant

Oxfam in Kenya

Mobile: +254 (0) 708 712888

Email: cmochoge@oxfamorg.uk

Oxfam in Somalia

Abdiaziz Adani

Senior Advocacy & Communications Officer

Mobile: +252 63 4411020

Email: Abdiaziz.Adani@oxfam.org

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Sri Lanka: Epidemiology Unit, Ministry of Health: Dengue Update, 10 February 2020

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 01:31:51 +0000

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Source: Government of Sri Lanka
Country: Sri Lanka

For the year 2018, 51659 and in the month of January, 2020, 11352 suspected dengue cases were reported to the Epidemiology Unit from all over the island. Latest Disease Trends,

Approximately 26.1% of dengue cases were reported from the Western province. The highest numbers of dengue cases were reported during the 29th week of 2017.

The outbreak situation in 2017 warranted extensive and regular removal of possible mosquito breeding sites from the environment, along with strengthened patient education on management of fever which resulted in a relatively low mortality.

It is very important to seek medical attention in the event of fever and to do relevant laboratory investigations at least by day three of the illness.

Last Updated on Monday, 10 February 2020 10:38

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Sri Lanka: Situation Report - Sri Lanka 10th February 2020 at 1800hrs

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 01:27:06 +0000

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Source: Disaster Management Centre of Sri Lanka
Country: Sri Lanka

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Kazakhstan: Victims of Kazakhstan pillaging scrabble for sense in the whirlwind of violence

Tue, 11 Feb 2020 01:14:23 +0000

Source: EurasiaNet
Country: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan

The local hospital provided first aid, but before long, groups of aggressive men turned up, looking for Dungans. Thousands fled over the nearby border to Kyrgyzstan.

Nurjamal Djanibekova

When the rioting, pillaging and killing began in the heavily ethnic Dungan-populated villages of Kazakhstan’s Kordai district on the night of February 7, thoughts quickly turned to escape.

The border with Kyrgyzstan is just a few kilometers from where the violence flared, in the village of Masanchi. Thousands fled. Dozens arrived at Tokmok hospital, just across the border, in need of urgent medical treatment for their injuries.

Within 48 hours, groups of Dungan women, children and elderly people were already hurrying back across the Tokmok border crossing to attend funerals for fellow villagers and to survey the damage wrought upon their homes and businesses by mobs of Kazakh men. At least 10 fatalities have been confirmed.

Madjit Abdukarim, 18, said his village, Sortobe, around 10 kilometers south of Masanchi, has sustained relatively little damage.

“Our village is entirely Dungan. We are lucky that we live a little further away,” Abdukarim said. “From day to day, I got on well with the Kazakhs. I have many Kazakh friends from the North Kazakhstan Region, where I study. They have sent me messages of support.”

With those words, he threw a backpack over his shoulder and ran to catch up with his sister, to try and cross into Kazakhstan as early as possible.

Zeynep Mahayu, 50, left her home in Aukatty, another border-straddling village along the same road as Sortobe, after a gang began pelting it with rocks. She was met in Kyrgyzstan by her daughter, who moved to marry a Dungan man from there.

“My sons still live with me. They stayed behind to defend the house, so I am taking them food and supplies,” Mahayu said, pointing with her eyes to her four carrier bags.

As Mahayu recalled, their assailants, whom she described as a group of young Kazakh men, arrived at their home, which lies along the main thoroughfare, in several cars. Everybody was at home when the men began shouting, whistling and throwing rocks.

“We had no idea anything like this could ever happen. I will remember this night all of my life – it was so long and terrifying,” she said.

By February 9, she had received a message from home to say things had returned more or less to normal.

Victims of this frenzy of violence have been highly circumspect about retelling the events and have tried to downplay the ethnic angle. Talking openly about such social undercurrents is discouraged by Kazakhstan’s authorities. When pressed, Dungans that had crossed into Kyrgyzstan would tell Eurasianet that the attackers were Kazakhs, while insisting that “they were not locals.”

Dungan communities in Kyrgyzstan have sprung into action raising funds to assist the victims. Arriving refugees have been given food, some of which has also been handed out to police officers helping maintain order at the border crossing.

“I have nobody [relatives] on that side. Well, not nobody, there is an entire people of course. They are our brothers,” said 50-year-old volunteer Wan Jebo Usanov. “We are here running around, rustling up plov and feeding the hungry. Government workers manning the border crossing, they had to come from Bishkek, we are feeding them plov and bread too.”

When Eurasianet visited the Tokmok central hospital on February 9, there were a dozen or so ambulances lined up outside. They had arrived from Kazakhstan to take away patients so that they could continue receiving treatment in their home country.

All those being treated in Tokmok were ethnic Dungan. The deputy head of the hospital, Ulan Dyikanaliyev, said 34 patients in all had been admitted. Around half of them had sustained some kind of gunshot wound.

“All 34 are in medium-to-serious condition,” Dyikanaliyev said. “Today, we took in two people who had been attacked with rocks, and a woman with a small child who had burns from when their house was on fire."

A few patients, mostly young men, paced the hospital courtyard. A boy called Islam had still not had the buckshot removed from his finger, which was wrapped in a blood-caked bandage.

One man, Tahir Fulin, was hit right between the eyes from a hunting rifle, his father, Alidzhir, told Eurasianet. Tahir had joined other Dungans in defending Sortobe from a crowd of Kazakhs coming from the direction of Aukatty.

“My son was home when they summoned him, so he went. Our guys were armed just with sticks, but the arriving crowd had rifles,” Alidzhir Fulin said, adding that he did not think the attackers were local.

“In our village there are Kazakhs. I have friends with whom I went to school and we hang out together. They are normal people,” he said. “The attackers came from outside, that’s what people are saying. They came in minibuses. There just aren’t the numbers to pull off something like this around here.”

Fulin learned in a 3 a.m. phone call on February 8 that his son had been wounded.

“It is just as well it was birdshot, not buckshot. They fired from 50 meters away. He got first aid in the local hospital to stop the bleeding, and then they brought him here,” he said.

Another older man from Masanchi, who spoke to Eurasianet on condition of anonymity, had an even more dramatic account.

When the unrest began, he was at home with his family. He was in a state of disbelief that anything was happening. He only acted when a mob began smashing his neighbor’s car and windows.

“My wife said: ‘Let’s get the car running and get out of here.’ They got into one car and I got into the other, and we left. They saw that we were leaving and gave chase in three cars,” he said.

His assailants eventually caught up with him.

“When I got out of my car, they began to scream: ‘Where are the others?’ I said: ‘Guys, I really don’t know. I’m an old man.’ But that did not stop them. They got out some sticks and began hitting and kicking me. They went through my pockets – I cannot even remember how much money I took from the house – and took my telephone, they took everything,” he said.

The gang even stole the car, the man said.

When he recovered from the assault, the man made his way to the village of Aukatty. On the road, he stopped a passing car and appealed for help. But the men who emerged from the vehicle beat him up once more.

“When I regained consciousness, some guys turned up and said: ‘We are local Kazakhs, let’s take you to hospital.’ I did not trust them. I thought they were just going to beat me up again. I said to them: ‘I’m covered in dirt. I’ll only mess up your car.’ They said: ‘Don’t worry about that.” And then they really did take me to hospital,” he said.

The local hospital provided first aid, but before long, groups of aggressive men turned up, looking for Dungans. That was the man’s cue to move.

“[In Aukatty], one guy was looking for his son who had been taken to [the town of] Kordai in an ambulance in a grave condition. He took me home. It had not been burned down, but the gates were smashed open and the windows broken,” he said.

After that, a relative helped him make his way across the border to get medical treatment in Tokmok. He has no idea what he will do now.

“Everybody is terrified. The first thing to do is to return home as soon as possible, if everything returns to normality,” he said.

Nurjamal Djanibekova is a journalist based in Bishkek.

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