ReliefWeb - Updates

ReliefWeb - Updates

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ReliefWeb - Updates

Cameroon: COVID-19 Situation Report #11 (May 15 – May 28)

Wed, 03 Jun 2020 04:45:54 +0000

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Country: Cameroon
Source: UN Children's Fund

Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs

As of 28 May 2020, there have been over 5,356 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), with 177 deaths (fatality rate: 3,3%). Cases have been reported in all ten regions of the country though the majority remain in Central and Littoral regions.

UNICEF continues to assist the Government response as the co-lead for Risk Communications and Community Engagement (RCCE) sector. In view of the active cycle of transmissions increasingly impacting regions with humanitarian needs, UNICEF has adjusted its 2020 humanitarian funding requirements, ref lected in the updated interagency Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), launched on 7 May. The revised HRP includes COVID-19 response requirements in addition to those for conflict-affected and displaced children and communities. Specific UNICEF COVID-19 activities are also included in UNICEF’s global COVID-19 HAC appeal, launched on 11 May. UNICEF continues its advocacy for the prevention of children detention while supporting COVID-19 sensitisation for children and their caregivers in situations of detention.

In urban hubs, UNICEF has developed responses for street children and ensuring safe sanitary and protection environments in childcare facilities for separated and isolated children.

Following the President Paul Biya’s national address on 19 May, the Government held a national response strategy review on 28 May.

UNICEF is supporting the Ministries of education to establish conditions for safety and protection of children from infection before schools reopen on 1 June for 1,200,000 exam goers. UNICEF finalised a partnership with Cameroon Red Cross (CRC) to disinfect weekly 320 urban schools considered to be at most risk of COVID-19 transmissions in all 10 regions.

To support the national response efforts, UNICEF handed over to the Ministry of Public Health a consignment of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) comprising 5,680 coverall protection, 6,950 non-sterile gowns, 2,450 N95 masks, 7,850 surgical masks.

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Honduras : Informe Ejecutivo Situacional - Informe No 13 (Del 29 de Mayo al 02 de Junio del 2020)

Wed, 03 Jun 2020 01:48:21 +0000

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Country: Honduras
Sources: Government of Honduras, Comisión Permanente de Contingencias

Situación:

Se extiende Alerta amarilla por 24 Hrs más para los departamentos de Copán, Ocotepeque, Lempira,Intibuca, La Paz, Comayagua, Francisco Morazán, El Paraíso, Choluteca y Valle a partir de las 15:00 Hrs de latarde de este lunes 01 junio.

Alerta verde para los departamentos de Islas de la Bahía, Atlántida, Colón, Gracias a Dios, Santa Bárbara,Yoro, Cortés y Olancho por el mismo periodo de tiempo.

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El Salvador: MÉXICO & CENTROAMÉRICA: Tormenta Tropical Amanda (Pacífico) y Cristóbal (Atlántico) - Flash Update No. 02 (Al 2 de junio 2020)

Wed, 03 Jun 2020 01:43:26 +0000

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Countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

MENSAJES CLAVES

• Al 2 de junio de 2020, El Salvador reporta que la tormenta tropical Amanda dejó a más de 24.800 familias afectadas, mientras que Guatemala informa de más de 123.700 personas afectadas. Honduras reportó unas 249 familias afectadas en diez departamentos.

• Las autoridades en El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras siguen respondiendo a las afectaciones y anticipan que las lluvias continúen durante la semana - al momento, no ha habido solicitudes de ayuda internacional.

• Según el Sistema Meteorológico Nacional de México (SMN), los remanentes de Amanda ganaron fuerzas en la Bahía de Campeche, convirtiéndose en la tormenta tropical Cristóbal en el Atlántico.

• La SMN pronostica fuertes lluvias para los próximos días en los estados de Chiapas, Oaxaca, Tabasco y Veracruz, así como tormentas intensas en Campeche, Quintana Roo y Yucatán con vientos entre 65-85 km/h.

• El Equipo Técnico de Emergencias de la ONU en México (UNETE) están en contacto con las autoridades federales y locales de la Protección Civil.

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India: Landslides kill 21 in Assam’s Barak Valley

Wed, 03 Jun 2020 01:42:04 +0000

Country: India
Source: Times of India

B B Goswami

SILCHAR: At least 21 people were killed on Tuesday in a series of landslides triggered by incessant pre-monsoon rains across Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi districts in Assam’s Barak Valley. Of the total deaths, seven were reported in Lakhipur area of Cachar, eight in Hailakandi and six in Karimganj.

Additional deputy commissioner-cum-CEO, DDMA-Hailakandi, RK Dam said, “Eight people, including two children, died when landslides triggered by heavy showers hit two areas under Hailakandi and Algapur revenue circles. Several others were injured. The bodies have been recovered and sent to the civil hospital for autopsy.”

Upon receiving information, a team of State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and local police reached the spots at Mohonpur reserved area under Hailakandi and Bowarthal under Algapur revenue circles.

Seven people, including one woman and three children of a family, were killed at Tolapur village in Lakhipur subdivision of Cachar district when debris from the nearby hills came down on their house. Police, SDRF and Assam Rifles personnel, along with locals, launched a rescue operation and retrieved the bodies of the seven deceased.

DC (Cachar) Keerthi Jalli said an ex-gratia of Rs 28 lakh has been distributed among the family members of the deceased and those injured.

In another incident, five persons, including one woman and three children, were killed at Karimpur village in Karimganj district when mud and slush from nearby hills fell on their house. Another person died in a neighbouring area when his house was washed away by a mudslide. Police have sent the bodies to Silchar Medical College and Hospital and other government hospitals for autopsy.

Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has expressed his “deep anguish” over the loss of lives due to the landslides. “I have directed Cachar, Hailakandi & Karimganj district administrations and the SDRF to step up rescue and relief operations and to also facilitate all possible help to those affected,” he tweeted.

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India: Sub: Cyclonic Storm ‘NISARGA’ over Eastcentral Arabian Sea: Cyclone Warning for north Maharashtra and adjoining south Gujarat coasts: Orange message (Time of issue: 1530 hours IST Dated: 02-06-2020)

Wed, 03 Jun 2020 01:22:59 +0000

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Country: India
Source: Government of India

Yesterday’s depression over eastcentral & adjoining southeast Arabian Sea moved nearly northwards and intensified into deep depression over eastcentral Arabian Sea in the early morning (0530 hrs IST) of today, the 2nd June 2020. It further intensified into cyclonic storm “NISARGA” in the noon (1130 hrs IST) of 2nd June and lay centered over eastcentral Arabian Sea near latitude 15.6°N and longitude 71.2°E, about 280 km west-northwest of Panjim (Goa), 430 km south-southwest of Mumbai (Maharashtra) and 640 km south-southwest of Surat (Gujarat).

It is very likely to intensify into a severe syclonic storm during next 12 hours. It is very likely to move north-northeastwards and cross north Maharashtra and adjoining south Gujarat coast between Harihareshwar and Daman, close to Alibag (Raigad District, Maharashtra) during the afternoon of 03rd June as a Severe Cyclonic Storm with a maximum sustained wind speed of 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph.

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Mozambique: Cabo Ligado Weekly: 25-31 May 2020

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 23:43:56 +0000

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Country: Mozambique
Source: Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project

Cabo Ligado — or ‘connected cape’ — is a new conflict observatory monitoring political violence in Mozambique, launched in partnership with Zitamar News and Mediafax with the support of the International Crisis Group.

Situation Summary: 25-31 May

The insurgency in Cabo Delgado came roaring back to life last week after a short lull, with insurgents forcing government forces from the district capital of Macomia on 28 May. That attack, which killed at least 17 civilians and five members of the Mozambican police Rapid Intervention Unit and potentially many more, marks the fourth district capital insurgents have taken in the last three months. Government forces are back in control in Macomia, but the attack has sparked another mass exodus of civilians in search of safety from the conflict. The government has portrayed the battle as a victory and claimed to have killed two insurgent leaders, but government spokesmen have offered no proof for the claim and their victory narratives ring hollow. The fundamental dynamics of the conflict remain unchanged — insurgents continue to demonstrate the ability to strike at will within the established conflict zone, government forces remain stretched and unable to provide effective security within the province, and civilian confidence in the government’s ability to protect them continues to drop.

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Understanding and building resilience to early life trauma in Belarus and Ukraine

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 23:37:36 +0000

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Countries: Belarus, Ukraine
Source: World Health Organization

International Children’s Day: new WHO report tells the stories of child trauma

On 1 June 2020, International Children’s Day, WHO released a new report on early life trauma (also referred to as adverse childhood events) with a focus on Belarus and Ukraine.

While children are not the face of COVID-19, they are at risk of being among its hidden victims. The global rise in interpersonal violence is a distressing indicator that many children have experienced some form of early life trauma during the ongoing pandemic. International Children’s Day serves as a reminder of our common duty to protect the rights and well-being of children across the globe.

High levels of early life trauma have been a challenge in central and eastern European countries since long before the current pandemic. These have been linked to social, political, economic and environmental upheavals experienced in the past.

Early life trauma is a key determinant of health and well-being throughout the life course. For example, people who have experienced such trauma are at higher risk of suicide and substance abuse later in life. Yet little detailed analysis currently exists of the sociocultural contexts in which this trauma is experienced, understood and responded to.

Supplementing important quantitative research, such as the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children survey, the new report expands the evidence base by bringing in the perspectives of those most intensely involved in and personally impacted by early life trauma. It includes first-person perspectives from key stakeholders, including psychiatrists, paediatricians, teachers, lawyers and religious leaders. In so doing, the report seeks to break down silos, facilitate the identification of common goals and unique approaches, and build solidarity.

The report analyses these stakeholder contributions and provides clear, action-oriented considerations for policy-makers, organizations and communities. It identifies 3 priority areas of work:

  • evidence-based education and training on preventing, detecting and responding to early life trauma;
  • clear roles, protocols and communication pathways across sectors to activate and guide the response process; and
  • intersectoral partnerships and networks to leverage resources, mitigate burnout among practitioners, and build a continuum of support and care within communities.

The report was developed as part of WHO/Europe’s cultural contexts of health and well-being (CCH) project. The CCH project seeks to enhance public health policy-making through a more nuanced understanding of how cultural factors affect perceptions of health and well-being. The following partners collaborated in the production of this report:

  • the WHO Collaborating Centre on Culture and Health, University of Exeter, United Kingdom;
  • the Minsk Regional Centre for Psychiatry and Addiction, Belarus;
  • the Institute of Mental Health, Ukrainian Catholic University, Ukraine;
  • WHO/Europe’s mental health programme;
  • the WHO Country Office in Ukraine; and
  • the WHO Country Office in Belarus.

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Active USG Programs for the Democratic Republic of the Congo Response (Last Updated 06/02/20)

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 22:55:33 +0000

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Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Source: US Agency for International Development

Democratic Republic of the Congo - Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #3, Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 (June 2, 2020)

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Democratic Republic of the Congo - Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #3, Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 (June 2, 2020)

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 22:51:47 +0000

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Countries: Burundi, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan, United States of America
Source: US Agency for International Development

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Escalating insecurity in Ituri displaces more than 205,000 people, restricts humanitarian access

  • Renewed clashes exacerbate food insecurity in Djugu

  • Floods generate displacement, adversely affect 90,500 people in South Kivu

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

  • Insecurity continues to exacerbate humanitarian needs across eastern DRC, with intensified conflict displacing more than 205,000 people in Ituri Province between January and May, according to relief actors. The violence—coupled with the impact of restrictions imposed to control the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic—is also threatening food security and livelihoods and has severely restricted humanitarian access in some affected areas since early April.

  • Heavy rains and subsequent flooding have destroyed homes and agricultural fields, and generated widespread displacement in South Kivu Province’s Fizi and Uvira territories, adversely affecting at least 90,500 people as of mid-May. In response, U.S. Ambassador Michael A. Hammer declared a disaster for flood-affected areas of Uvira on April 23.

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DR Congo: Nouvelle flambée de maladie à virus Ebola dans le nord-ouest de la République démocratique du ‎Congo : l’équipe de renfort de l’OMS contribue à la riposte

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 22:31:28 +0000

Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Source: World Health Organization

1 juin 2020 | Communiqué de presse | Genève/Brazzaville/Kinshasa

Le Gouvernement de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) a annoncé aujourd’hui qu’une nouvelle flambée de maladie à virus Ebola s’était déclarée dans la zone de santé de Wangata, à Mbandaka, dans la province de l’Équateur. Cette annonce survient alors qu’une flambée longue, éprouvante et complexe de maladie à virus Ebola touche à sa fin dans l’est de la RDC et que le pays lutte aussi contre la COVID-19 et la plus grande épidémie de rougeole dans le monde.

D’après les premières informations communiquées par le Ministère de la santé, six cas de maladie à virus Ebola ont été décelés jusqu’à présent à Wangata. Quatre sont décédés et deux sont actuellement en soins. Trois de ces six cas ont été confirmés par des analyses de laboratoire. Il est probable que d’autres cas seront dépistés suite au renforcement des activités de surveillance.

« Cette nouvelle vient nous rappeler que la COVID-19 n’est pas la seule menace sanitaire », a déclaré le Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Directeur général de l’OMS. « Même si nous accordons beaucoup d’attention à la pandémie, l’OMS continue à suivre de près nombre d’autres urgences sanitaires et à y faire face. »

C’est la onzième flambée de maladie à virus Ebola qui survient en RDC depuis la découverte du virus dans le pays en 1976. La ville de Mbandaka et sa périphérie ont été le siège de la neuvième flambée de maladie à virus Ebola, qui a eu lieu de mai à juillet 2018.

« L’épidémie survient à un moment difficile, mais ces deux dernières années l’OMS a collaboré avec les autorités sanitaires, les CDC d’Afrique et d’autres partenaires pour renforcer les moyens nationaux de riposte aux flambées », a indiqué la Dre Matshidiso Moeti, Directrice régionale de l’OMS pour l’Afrique. « Pour renforcer le leadership local, l’OMS prévoit d’envoyer une équipe d’aide à l’intensification de la riposte. Comme cette nouvelle flambée a lieu à proximité de voies de communication très fréquentées et d’autres pays vulnérables, il faut agir rapidement. »

L’OMS est déjà présente sur le terrain à Mbandaka pour aider à faire face à la flambée, dans le cadre des moyens de renfort mis en place lors de l’épidémie de 2018. L’équipe a contribué au recueil et à l’analyse d’échantillons, ainsi qu’à l’envoi au laboratoire national pour confirmation. La recherche des contacts est en cours. Des mesures sont prises pour envoyer du matériel supplémentaire depuis le Nord-Kivu et depuis Kinshasa en renfort des moyens mis en œuvre par le gouvernement. Vingt-cinq autres personnes devraient arriver à Mbandaka demain. L’OMS s’emploie également à faire en sorte que les services de santé essentiels continuent d’être fournis aux communautés malgré la situation d’urgence.

La dixième flambée de maladie à virus Ebola en RDC, qui a touché les provinces du Nord-Kivu, du Sud-Kivu et de l’Ituri, est dans sa phase finale. Le 14 mai 2020, le Ministère de la santé a entamé le compte à rebours de 42 jours requis pour déclarer la fin de cette flambée.

De nouvelles flambées de maladie à virus Ebola devraient de produire en RDC car le virus est présent dans un réservoir animal dans de nombreuses parties du pays.

Note à l’intention des rédacteurs – principaux chiffres

La COVID-19 en RDC

  • Au 31 mai 2020 : 3195 cas ont été signalés, dont 72 cas mortels.

La rougeole en RDC

  • Depuis 2019 : 369 520 cas de rougeole et 6779 décès ont été signalés.

Récentes flambées de maladie à virus Ebola en RDC

Onzième flambée : Mbandaka, province de l’Équateur

  • En cours. Déclarée le 1er juin 2020.
  • 6 cas (3 confirmés, 3 probables). Sur ce nombre, 4 personnes sont mortes, 2 sont en vie.

Dixième flambée : provinces du Nord-Kivu, du Sud-Kivu et de l’Ituri

  • En cours. Déclarée le 1er ao슩t 2018.
  • 3463 cas (3317 confirmés et 146 probables). Sur ce nombre, 2280 personnes sont mortes et 1171 ont survécu.

Neuvième flambée : Mbandaka, province de l’Équateur

  • Déclarée le 8 mai 2018 et terminée le 24 juillet 2018.
  • 54 cas (38 confirmés et 16 probables). Sur ce nombre, 33 personnes sont mortes et 21 ont survécu.

Contacts pour les médias

Margaret Harris
Porte-parole
Portable: +41 792906688
Email: harrism@who.int

Collins Boakye-Agyemang
Communication Advisor
Téléphone: +4724139420
Portable: +242065206565
Email: boakyeagyemangc@who.int

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Haiti: Une mère cherche à protéger sa fille du nouveau coronavirus

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 22:20:47 +0000

Country: Haiti
Source: UN Children's Fund

Dès la survenue de la pandémie COVID-19, l’UNICEF a déployé une réponse forte et multisectorielle en Haïti

Ndiaga Seck

Dès la survenue de la pandémie COVID-19, l’UNICEF a déployé une réponse forte et multisectorielle en Haïti. En collaboration avec le Ministère de la sante publique et de la population et avec l’appui de multiples donateurs, l’UNICEF a mobilisé 15 ONG nationales et internationales pour mener des activités de sensibilisation et de prévention dans les 10 départements du pays. Aujourd’hui, les agents sensibilisateurs vont de plus en plus loin pour atteindre les plus vulnérables.

Tiburon, Haïti, 25 mai 2020 - Quand elle a entendu parler des ravages que fait le nouveau coronavirus à travers le monde, Raymone Notus, 39 ans, a dompté sa peur pour trouver les moyens de protéger ses trois enfants. La résidente du petit village de Sevré dans le sud d’Haïti a appris à la radio comment attraper le virus et comment se protéger, et elle s’est mise aussitôt à chercher un outil de prévention : un seau à robinet. « Nous voudrions mettre un seau au milieu du village mais nous ne pouvions pas en trouver. Nous avions même cherché au marché hebdomadaire, sans succès, » a-t-elle expliqué.

Haïti a connu ses deux premiers cas de COVID-19 le 19 mars 2020. A la date du 25 mai, 1063 cas ont été enregistrés, avec 31 décès. Bien qu’elle n’e슩t encore vu de cas dans sa commune, Raymone ne voulait pas prendre le risque de voir sa petite fille de 7 ans, Ismanite, attraper le virus. Son vœu fut exaucé quand les agents sensibilisateurs arrivèrent dans le village pour les sensibiliser. « Il y’a quelques jours, la Croix-Rouge nous a fait don de ce seau. Nous y avons mis de l’eau et nous lavons les mains très souvent », a-t-elle relaté.

Le seau à robinet communément appelé « bokit » trône sur une vieille chaise sans dossier au milieu de la concession. Ismanite Mercier ne va plus à son école à Cahouane, à cause de la pandémie. Elle a eu vent des gestes barrières qui peuvent freiner la propagation du virus et les applique à la lettre, même à son âge. « Nous devons éviter de nous toucher la bouche, le nez et les yeux. Nous devons nous laver les mains régulièrement avec de l’eau propre et du savon », a récité la petite fille, joignant le geste à la parole. Le lavage des mains est recommandé comme une pratique efficace contre la propagation du virus, mais seul 26% des haïtiens le pratiquent convenablement.

Le village de Sevré n’est pas très accessible. Il est séparé de Tiburon, la ville la plus proche, par une rivière. Mais les agents de la Croix Rouge vont de plus en plus loin chaque jour, pour atteindre les populations les plus vulnérables. L’ONG, partenaire de l’UNICEF, a aussi installé des stations de lavage des mains dans les lieux publics tels les marchés, les stations de bus et les points d’eau, pour atteindre le plus grand nombre de personnes.

Fort de 20 ans d’expérience de terrain, Jameson Téranfort, chef de projet à la Croix Rouge néerlandaise se donne à cœur-joie à décrire la stratégie appliquée pour protéger les communautés. « Aujourd’hui, nous sensibilisons les personnes qui fréquentent le marché hebdomadaire de Tiburon. Nous leur montrons comment se laver les mains avec de l’eau, du chlore ou du savon », a-t-il expliqué. « Les volontaires de la Croix Rouge haïtienne érigent des points fixes dans des zones stratégiques tels les bars, les places publiques, là où il y’a beaucoup plus de monde. Ils sensibilisent les gens dans leurs communautés en utilisant les messages de prévention élaborés par le MSPP ».

L’UNICEF a appuyé le Ministère de la santé et de la population (MSPP) dans l’élaboration d’une stratégie de communication, la conception de messages clé et la production de 500.000 dépliants, 250.000 feuillets informatifs et 100.000 affiches de prévention de la COVID-19. Depuis le début de la crise, les partenaires ont informé plus 1,8 million de personnes, engagé 8100 leaders communautaires et installé plus de 2.100 stations de lavage des mains. Grâce à une coordination incluant les divisions gouvernementales et les ONG, l’UNICEF oriente ses partenaires vers les communautés qui ont le plus besoin d’assistance.

« Là, spécifiquement sur la côte Sud, une zone qui a été complètement ravagée en 2016 par l’ouragan Mathew, on se focalise d’abord sur comment protéger au maximum les enfants et les femmes, pour protéger toute la population de ces communautés de ce virus de la COVID-19 », a clarifié Jean Stenio Pierre, Chef du sous- bureau de l’UNICEF dans le Sud. « En fait, c’est le niveau de vulnérabilité qui détermine l’approche utilisée », a-t-il ajouté.

Sachant ce qu’il faut faire pour se protéger, les familles de la commune de Tiburon n’ont pas toujours tout le nécessaire pour faire face à la pandémie. Raymone vend des haricots au marché et le peu qu’elle gagne, suffit à peine pour nourrir sa famille. « Nous avons besoin du savon et du chlore pour nous laver les mains. Nous avons aussi besoin de cache-nez », a-t-elle souligné. Depuis quelques semaines, le MSPP impose le port du masque pour se prémunir d’une infection à coronavirus.

Haïti n’a pas enregistré autant de cas de COVID-19 que de nombreux pays, mais le nombre de cas ne cesse d’augmenter. Tout le mois d’avril, le pays a enregistré 65 cas confirmés. Pour la journée du 25 mai seulement, 111 cas confirmés ont été enregistrés. La prévention servira à réduire la propagation du virus et sauver la vie de milliers de familles et d’enfants.

La réponse de l’UNICEF à la pandémie de la COVID-19 en Haïti est financé par l'Agence américaine pour le développement international (USAID), la Banque interaméricaine de développement (BID), la Banque Mondiale, le Gouvernement du Canada, les comités nationaux français et espagnol de l’UNICEF, le Fonds central d'intervention d'urgence des Nations Unies (CERF), le Gouvernement du Japon et le Service d'Aide Humanitaire de la Commission européenne (ECHO).

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Floods, locusts and COVID-19: UN agencies warn Somalia’s gains at risk from ‘triple threat’

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 22:09:32 +0000

Country: Somalia
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Mogadishu, 2 June 2020 – The political and security gains made by Somalia over recent years could be at risk of reversal if swift action is not taken by the international community to help local authorities avert a major humanitarian crisis due to the combined effect of devastating floods, desert locusts and the widespread impact of COVID-19.

“Somalia’s coping mechanisms are significantly less than those of the neighbouring countries. Therefore, the impact [of floods, locusts and COVID-19] is not simply humanitarian but has the potential to reverse some of the political and security gains that the international community has invested in over the past decade,” said Justin Brady of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Somalia.

Read more on UNOCHA

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Yemen: Responding to coronavirus in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 22:00:02 +0000

Country: Yemen
Source: World Food Programme

While recorded infections are low, the pandemic is believed to be sweeping across the country undetected. In a country beset by conflict and climate shocks, funding is required fast

Annabel Symington

With five years of conflict having decimated the country’s health system and left millions acutely food-insecure, Yemen is now facing a new threat: the Covid19 pandemic that is threatening to push millions of vulnerable people across the world into severe hunger. In Yemen, the World Food Programme (WFP) urgently needs US$878 million to continue providing life-saving assistance — our best line of defence against coronavirus.

Over two-thirds of the country’s population of more than 30 million are food-insecure — 10 million suffer chronic hunger. WFP provides food assistance to more than 12 million people, while over a million children and mothers receive nutrition supplements to treat and prevent malnutrition.

While officially recorded cases are relatively low in Yemen, the United Nations has warned that coronavirus is likely to be spreading undetected. Over the past few weeks, media, medical professionals, affected families, aid workers and other eyewitnesses have sounded the alarm that the country could see a surge in infections.

Already vulnerable families are more than aware that the desperate situation they find themselves in could spiral of control. People face grim choices. “Stay at home and we will die from hunger,” says Habiba, in Sana’a, as she comes to collect her WFP food voucher. “And if we go out we will die from the disease.”

Women and children are, as ever, bearing the brunt of this latest crisis: 2 million children and 1 million women are currently acutely malnourished in Yemen, figures WFP expects to rise as coronavirus infections soar.

Ashjan, a health worker at a nutrition clinic supported by WFP in the southern city of Aden, worries about the impact coronavirus will have on the women and children that she looks after every day.

“Among the many prevalent diseases in Aden, the coronavirus remains the greatest and most dangerous threat to the children and pregnant women who already suffer from malnutrition,” says Ashjan. “As health workers, we try every day to talk to the patients about the danger of COVID-19, but very few understand it or are able to take the precautions.”

Making matters worse, the war-torn country regularly suffers climate shocks such as April’s flash floods — for people like Saeed in Sana’a, “stay home” is not an easy message to abide by. “I lost my house in the floods,” he says.

Ongoing conflict, shifting frontlines, access challenges, and having to balance available resources with the unprecedented level of need, make it extremely difficult for WFP to deliver assistance to almost half the country — especially given the pressure on the supply chain from coronavirus restrictions.

Resilience-building projects supporting people’s livelihoods are constantly interrupted — by war, climate shocks and COVID-19 restrictions.

“This has been a nightmare for my entire family,” says Azab, a participant in a WFP-backed resilience project in Abyan that has now ended. “My family totally relies on my income and nothing else. Since I have no alternative income, I have been working on a farm carrying crops to the market. I get US$5 per day. But still, this work is not stable — I am working today but tomorrow… no one knows.”

Like Azab, Lutfi has worked in construction as part of a resilience-building project in Aden. But since the project ended, he too is now struggling to earn enough each day to feed his family. Lutfi has received the training and kit he needs to be able to catch fish. It’s hard, he says. He doesn’t catch enough to sell at the market. “I’ve got to stay in the sea for the whole day and that’s quite difficult fasting [during Ramadan] and in the heat”.

What he does catch, however, helps his family pull through.

So far, despite multiple challenges, WFP has managed to get food to the families who rely on our assistance for survival.

Together with partners, WFP has introduced measures at ports, warehouses, distribution points to make sure assistance can be delivered in a safe way, protecting our staff and the families we support. The situation is constantly evolving, and we are continually adapting the way we operate.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the USA, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and Germany have been stalwarts in supporting Yemen during its hunger crisis. Now WFP hopes that efforts will be redoubled as it seeks US$878 million dollars to continue its operation to save lives, and change lives in what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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Cook Islands 2019-2020 Dengue Outbreak DENV-1, DENV-2 Situation Report (Latest Updated Data: 31 May 2020)

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 21:41:19 +0000

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Country: Cook Islands
Source: Government of the Cook Islands

Please refer to the attached infographic.

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World: Key Questions and Answers on a Political Declaration on the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 21:29:45 +0000

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Countries: Libya, Syrian Arab Republic, World, Yemen
Sources: Harvard University, Human Rights Watch

Protect Civilians from Explosive Weapons

Strong Political Declaration Will Save Lives

(Washington, DC) – Countries should heed the United Nations secretary-general’s call for a new political declaration to protect civilians from the bombing and shelling of cities and towns, Human Rights Watch said today, releasing a report on the subject with Harvard Law School’s International Human Rights Clinic.

The 11-page document addresses the importance of a political commitment and elaborates on what it should contain. The use of explosive weapons in populated areas has inflicted immediate and long-term suffering on civilians in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and other areas of recent conflict.

“Countries should agree to a political declaration to prevent the foreseeable human suffering caused by the use of explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas,” said Bonnie Docherty, senior arms researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The declaration should establish that this method of war is unacceptable. Civilian lives are at stake.”

In his annual report on the “Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict,” which he presented to the UN Security Council last week, Secretary-General António Guterres highlighted the “fundamental need” for a new political declaration. It should commit countries to avoid using explosive weapons with wide-area effects in populated areas, he wrote.

Countries began the process to create a political declaration on the use of explosive weapons in populated areas in 2019, but the negotiations have been postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. While not legally binding, political declarations shape state behavior by outlining standards for national policies and practices and clarifying existing international law.

A minority of countries, including the United States, have sought to water down the declaration, recommending weaker commitments on the broader topic of urban warfare.

“A political declaration will have the greatest impact if it lays out a specific solution for a specific problem,” said Docherty, who is also the Harvard Clinic’s associate director of armed conflict and civilian protection. “Negotiators should stay focused on the humanitarian imperative to address the well-documented civilian harm inflicted by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

The political declaration should address the direct, indirect, and reverberating effects of the use of explosive weapons in populated areas, Human Rights Watch and the Clinic said. Explosive weapons, such as aircraft bombs, rockets, and missiles, not only kill and injure civilians at the time of attack but also have serious ripple effects. Destruction of power stations, water treatment plants, hospitals, schools, and other infrastructure interferes with the provision of basic services, such as health care and education. The damage also causes forced displacement, and lingering explosive remnants of war make it difficult to return safely.

The wide-area effects of some explosive weapons – which result from a broad blast and fragmentation radius, inaccuracy, and/or the delivery of multiple munitions at once – greatly exacerbate the humanitarian consequences.

To prevent such harm, the declaration should commit counties to avoid using these weapons in populated areas. They should also consider the foreseeable harm caused by the practice when assessing the proportionality of a proposed attack.

The declaration should, in addition, incorporate a robust commitment to assist affected individuals, families, and communities. It should include provisions to collect and share data, which is essential to document the problem and inform a response.

Finally, the declaration should commit countries to meet annually to review the implementation and effectiveness of the declaration. Such meetings should include international and nongovernmental organizations.

In October, Austria initiated the process to develop a political commitment to reduce the harm caused by the use of explosive weapons in populated areas. At two meetings hosted by Ireland at the UN in Geneva, more than 70 countries discussed the elements of the declaration and started to consider specific language. Despite the inability to hold in-person negotiations at this point, Ireland has sought comment on a draft text and plans to resume the process as soon as it is safe to do so.

Human Rights Watch is a co-founder of the International Network on Explosive Weapons, a coalition established by humanitarian, legal, and other civil society groups in 2011 to push for immediate action to prevent human suffering from the use of explosive weapons in populated areas.

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Emergency Tracking: COVID19 Pandemic Migrant Receiving Stations (MRS) Situation Report #8, 15-21 May 2020, Panama

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 21:29:15 +0000

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Countries: Angola, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Haiti, India, Pakistan, Panama, Yemen
Source: International Organization for Migration

CONTEXT OF THE SITUATION

The Darién region has been characterized as one of the most important points of transit for extra-regional migrants for the past eleven years. However, the Darién region is characterized as one of the most challenging for Panama's socio-economic development; a situation that increases the complexity of dealing with massive and irregular migration flows.

Since 2009, significant extra-regional migration flows have been identified, that is, migrants from other continents, such as Africa, Asia and the Caribbean region, specifically Haitians and Cubans.

In 2016, the first significant extra-regional migration crisis occurred, that is, migrants from other continents such as Africa, Asia and the Caribbean region, specifically Haitians and Cubans.

In 2016, the first migration crisis by extra-regionals occurred in the province of Darién, influenced by the closing of borders in Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Faced with this situation, the governments of Panama and Costa Rica established an agreement known as 'Operation Controlled Flow', that would guarantee the orderly, regular and safe transit of these migrants through the territory.

The World Health Organization declared a state of pandemic for the COVID-19 virus on 11 March 2020, which is why global sanitary measures were established in order to mitigate the contagion. Central America, responded by shutting its borders or by modifying its border management policies, as well as launching massive hygiene campaigns. The application of these measures implied changes in the mobility of migrants transiting through Panama. In addition, organizations such as SICA have drawn up regional work plans for the contingency of the pandemic.

Since 12 March 2020, Panama has been under a state of emergency, with closed borders, as a result of the measures imposed to contain the virus. Due to the closing of the Costa Rican borders on 16 March, Operation Controlled Flow has been severely affected. Currently, there are 2,525 migrants stranded in the national territory, distributed as follows: 1,984 in the province of Darién (1,684 in MRS La Peñita, 125 in Bajo Chiquito, and 176 in MRS Lajas Blancas), and 541 migrants in the province of Chiriquí at MRS Los Planes. Borders continue to be closed until 22 May according to provisions from the Government of Panama.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, different media outlets have been covering the news regarding the issue with migrants stranded at the Darién border; the most recent being on May 21, when migrants held demonstrations. Migrants asked for compliance with the agreements reached at the meeting held with government officials and other institutions, as well as regarding the border crossing with Costa Rica so that they could continue on with their journey.

As of 21 May, Panama has 10,116 confirmed cases and a total of 291 deaths from COVID-19. In terms of border provinces, Darién reports a total of 204 cases, and Chiriquí a total of 293 positive. In this context, the National Migration Service (NMS) has decided to extend the validity of residence permits until 31 May, and ordered the suspension of procedural terms, including procedures for residence permits (pending and professional), non-resident visas, judicial residence cards, migration regulation cards and tourist residence card.

Since the beginning of community transmission of COVID-19 in Darién at MRS La Peñita, no serious cases have been reported; patients with moderate disease due to the virus have been managed under a stay-at-hotel/hospital protocol in Panama City. At the time of writing this report, 25 positive COVID-19 cases have been reported: 7 moderate cases, 52 recovered cases, and 102 remain at MRS Lajas Blancas because of possible contacts. So far, 9 swab tests have been performed at the MRS.

At MRS Los Planes de Gualaca in Chiriquí, the health situation has not changed much; the newborn is still hospitalized since birth was premature (7 months). Regarding the cases of leishmaniasis, the child is still under observation and medical treatment at the migration station, and under the care of the parents. On 20 May, a young woman was transferred due to a hypertension crisis that led to a momentary loss of vision and is currently hospitalized. So far, zero cases of COVID-19 have been reported at MRS Los Planes.

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Burundi: Matrice de suivi des déplacements DTM / Tableau de bord des déplacements internes - Avril 2020

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 21:07:09 +0000

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Country: Burundi
Source: International Organization for Migration

Please refer to the attached infographic.

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Burundi : Tableau de bord de suivi des flux (Avril 2020)

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 21:01:40 +0000

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Countries: Burundi, United Republic of Tanzania
Source: International Organization for Migration

VUE D’ENSEMBLE ET TENDANCES

En raison des restrictions de mouvements liées au COVID-19, ce Tableau de Bord offre une analyse des tendances de mobilité des populations observées au niveau de cinq (5) points de suivi des flux qui sont actifs sur les huit (8) établis à la frontière entre le Burundi et la République Unie de Tanzanie. Ces points de suivi des flux actifs sont: Rusumo, Kwa Rutuku, Mbundi, Kabuyenge et Mukambati. Pendant la période considérée, un total de 15 287 mouvements ont été observés par les enquêteurs à ces points. Cela représente une diminution de 63 pour cent par rapport à la moyenne quotidienne des mouvements observés en mars 2020. Cette diminution pourrait s’expliquer par la restriction des mouvements de population sur certains points d’entrée à la frontière avec la République Unie de Tanzanie y compris les points de traversée de Nashaza, Kwa Ntunaguzi et Kwa Elidadi pour prévenir les flambées du COVID-19 au Burundi.

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US: Investigate ‘Remain in Mexico’ Program 

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 21:00:27 +0000

Countries: Mexico, United States of America
Source: Human Rights Watch

Homeland Security Knowingly Returning Asylum Seekers to Harm

(Washington, DC) – The United States government should initiate an internal investigation into the Trump administration’s “Remain in Mexico” program, Human Rights Watch said today after submitting a formal complaint to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The department should be held accountable for its failure to protect asylum seekers under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) program from routine targeting in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas.

The complaint was submitted to the DHS Office of the Inspector General and the Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, both of which are responsible for ensuring that the department complies with the law and its own policies.

“Under the ‘Remain in Mexico’ program, the Department of Homeland Security has knowingly sent tens of thousands of vulnerable asylum seekers across the border where criminal organizations have long preyed on migrants,” said Ariana Sawyer, US border researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The DHS inspector general should investigate and act since Homeland Security has run roughshod over federal and international law by returning asylum seekers to harm.”

Under the MPP program – known as “Remain in Mexico” – non-Mexican asylum seekers in the United States are sent to cities in Mexico while awaiting asylum hearings in US immigration court. The program has had serious rights consequences for returned asylum seekers. Human Rights Watch has repeatedly urged the US government to immediately end the program, stop returning asylum seekers to Mexico, and instead ensure them access to humanitarian support, safety, and due process in immigration court proceedings.

Criminal organizations that routinely kidnap migrants operate on the assumption that most asylum seekers in the MPP program have US relatives who can be extorted for thousands of dollars. The program has created an exploitation boom, turning asylum seekers with US-based family members into commodities and adding to cartel profits. A kidnapped asylum seeker reported that one of his captors told him the cartel had been hiring. “Since the United States is deporting so many through here, we are capturing them and that has meant more work,” his captor told him. “We’re saturated.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has increased the dangers for these asylum seekers, as they are compelled to wait for delayed hearings in crowded camps and shelters with limited and rudimentary sanitation facilities and where social distancing is impossible.

Asylum seekers expelled to the Mexican state of Tamaulipas under the program are routinely targeted for life-threatening violence including kidnapping, extortion, and sexual assault, Human Rights Watch said. This was predictable given the well-documented history of persecution of migrants in that region by both criminal organizations and Mexican law enforcement, as well as longstanding US State Department warnings against travel to the state due to “crime and kidnapping” carried out with near total impunity.

In Tamaulipas alone, Human Rights Watch identified:

  • At least 32 instances of kidnapping or attempted kidnapping of asylum seekers in the MPP program – mostly by criminal organizations – between November 2019 and January 2020.
  • Those instances involved at least 80 asylum seekers kidnapped; another 19 described kidnapping attempts.
  • Among those, at least 38 children were kidnapped or subjected to kidnapping attempts.
  • Reports by 4 women of sexual assault during kidnapping incidents.
  • Five brief abductions and extortion by Mexican police, a practice known as “express kidnapping.”

One woman said she was sexually assaulted in front of her child after being kidnapped for the second time and another woman reported that she had a miscarriage after being punched in the stomach during a robbery. In multiple incidents, victims said Mexican police either ignored reports of violence or were themselves implicated in the crimes.

Asylum seekers in the MPP program can be easily identifiable in Mexico. They often appear foreign, speak with noticeable accents, or do not speak Spanish at all. Customs and Border Protection agents routinely send them to Mexico without shoelaces – initially taken to keep them from harming themselves in detention – and with plastic folders containing their notice to appear in court, making them easier for criminal elements to identify.

Asylum seekers gave Human Rights Watch consistent accounts of being kidnapped from bus terminals, taxis, and even outside or within Mexican immigration offices near US ports of entry. They said that kidnappers made knowing reference to the fact that they were “migrants,” “refugees,” or “foreigners” and referred to them by their country of origin or asked where they were from.

The armed operatives quickly confiscated cellphones and transported them to “stash houses” where they frequently saw other kidnapped asylum seekers. They described an apparently standardized intake process: their abductors photographed them, inspected identity and court documents, and logged identifying information into a notebook. Criminal organizations then set an extortion amount – ranging from $2,000 to more than $20,000 per person – and then searched through asylum seekers’ phone contacts for US-based numbers to call.

One asylum seeker from El Salvador traveling with his wife and young son told a DHS agent that he had been punched “several times” while being kidnapped for ransom. “Two times whenever I was on the phone [with] my mother-in-law asking about the money. They would hit me to make me scream and convince her to send the money,” based on an attorney’s interview notes.

“Migrants fleeing persecution have a right to safely pursue their US asylum cases from within the United States,” Sawyer said. “Homeland Security should immediately stop returning asylum seekers to Tamaulipas State and end the abusive ‘Remain in Mexico’ program.”

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IOM Burundi Internal Displacement Dashboard - April 2020

Tue, 02 Jun 2020 20:58:12 +0000

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Country: Burundi
Source: International Organization for Migration

Please refer to the attached infographic.

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