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One week after earthquake, thousands remain homeless as aftershocks continue
by Reliefweb, CARE Indonesia
19 Aug. 2018
Over 400 die, over a million displaced by record Indian floods. (AFP, agencies)
Rescuers searched submerged villages in southwest India on Sunday in a desperate hunt for survivors after floods killed at least 370 people and drove more than 700,000 from their homes.
Entire villages in Kerala have been swept away in the state''s worst floods for a century, and emergency responders fear the death toll will rise as they reach areas almost entirely underwater.
Thousands remain trapped in towns and villages cut off by the floods, and heavy rain forecast in coming days threatens to compound the disaster.
Survivors massing at evacuation centres have described desperate scenes after days without food or water.
"They were the scariest hours of our life," 20-year-old Inderjeet Kumar told AFP at a church doubling as a relief shelter in the hard-hit Thrissur district. "There was no power, no food and no water - even though it was all around us."
Local officials said the overall death toll in the state since the start of the monsoon on May 29 had reached 357, with 33 of them found dead in just the last 24 hours.
In Thrissur, rescuers searching inundated houses discovered the bodies of those unable to escape as the floodwaters quickly rose.
"They didn''t think that it would rise this high - 10 to 15 feet at some places - when the initial warnings were issued," said Ashraf Ali K.M, who is leading the search in the small town of Mala.
Thousands of army, navy and air force personnel have fanned out across Kerala. The army said Sunday that 250 people were evacuated from Pathanamthitta district, many of them sick after days in the pounding monsoon rain. Food, medicine and water has been dropped from helicopters to isolated areas.
A train from Pune in Maharashtra state headed south on Saturday for Kerala laden with more than one million litres of drinking water. But roads and 134 bridges have been damaged, cutting off remote areas in the hilly districts of Kerala which are worst affected.
Rising torrents of murky brown water swallowed the only remaining road into the town of Mannar, where 10,000 residents are estimated to be trapped, The Times of India newspaper reported.
The state''s Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan vowed Sunday "to save even the last person stranded".
Fishermen have sailed inland from Kerala''s coast to join the search, as volunteers erected soup kitchens and appeals went out worldwide for donations.
Landslides triggered by the torrential downpours have wiped out entire villages. Some 350,000 people have been left homeless and taken shelter in relief camps.
The floods have caused an estimated $3 billion in damage but the bill is likely to rise as the scale of devastation becomes clearer.
Vijayan, the chief minister, has requested extra funding as well as 20 more helicopters and 600 motorised boats to step up the rescue efforts. http://bit.ly/2Bt5wHA
13 August 2018
One week after earthquake, thousands remain homeless as aftershocks continue, reports CARE Indonesia.
One week after a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Lombok, thousands remain homeless and in fear as aftershocks continue. CARE Indonesia is channelling assistance through its local partner Kopernik, who operate in Lombok and provides support to survivors.
In the evening on Sunday, Aug. 5, the 7.0 earthquake struck the northern end of Lombok Island, in West Nusa Tenggara province of Indonesia. This was not the only earthquake to affect islands residents recently. The area faced a 6.4 earthquake July 29 and another powerful 6.2 aftershock on Aug. 9, as well as hundreds of other aftershocks, which continue to leave the local population under serious strain.
According to government authorities, more than 300 people have been killed, over one thousand injured and 270,000 people have been displaced. Overall, 3.5 million people have been affected on Lombok Island. More than 67,000 homes have also been destroyed along with bridges, schools, hospitals and office buildings.
The Government of Indonesia has led relief and recovery efforts and is working hard to assist affected populations.
Given the extent of the damage, CARE is working through local partners to deliver clean water, hygiene and sanitation supplies, shelter kits and other basic items. As experience shows women and girls are particularly vulnerable following a natural disaster.
Helen Vanwel, country director for CARE International Indonesia:
“It’s hard to imagine the panic people are facing right now. Imagine already seeing your home collapse and the earth continues to rumble. While parents try to protect and comfort their children, there is increasing urgency and need for clean water, food and shelter.”
Ibu Wingkan, 40, a mother of two young girls and a resident of Sembalun Bumbung, a village of a 6,400. Her home was totally destroyed on August 5 and she and her family as well as nine other households share one crowded tent where they sleep each night.
“Since the first earthquake, my husband and I have not been able to go to our rice farm, we have lost our income, our home and the children’s school is destroyed. I am so afraid and don’t know how we will manage. Almost all the people of Sembalun Bumbung sleep outside at night, even those whose homes have not been destroyed, fearing another earthquake at any time.”
Dewi Hanifah who is in Lombok with one of CARE’s local partners Kopernik:
“We are supporting about 3,500 people, but the need is so much greater and I feel so sad that we cannot help everyone. Sembalun Bumbung is a mountain village and it is very cold at night, the people are suffering and now the rains are coming. There is a real need for food, blankets, temporary shelter, sanitation hygiene materials and other items for health and safety.”
* In 2004, CARE Indonesia was one of the primary emergency responders after the South Asian tsunami. For the latest updates on the recovery efforts visit the link below.
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11 million people need urgent aid in Lake Chad region
by Action against Hunger, Save the Children, agencies
30 Aug. 2018
11 million people need urgent aid in Lake Chad region
Eleven international organisations call for increased protection and support to civilians bearing the brunt of the conflict in the Lake Chad region.
On 3 and 4 September, ministers from the affected countries as well as Governors of the Lake Chad region, alongside donor countries, UN organisations, international and regional organisations, and civil society representatives will meet in Berlin, Germany, for a two-day high-level conference on the Lake Chad region, including parts of Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger.
The nine-year long conflict in the Lake Chad Basin has dramatically affected the lives of about 11 million people who rely on humanitarian assistance to survive. The insurgency as well as military operations across the four countries have displaced 2.4 million people and left 5 million people food insecure, while significantly reducing economic activity.
The conflict has taken a heavy toll on the local economies and people''s livelihoods, and has also led to a high number of civilian casualties and grave abuses, such as the recruitment of children by armed groups, sexual violence and abductions. The security situation further impedes the humanitarian actors’ access to people in need of life-saving support. For instance, in northeast Nigeria, over 800,000 people still live in hard to reach areas with no access to humanitarian assistance, while military operations in the Lake Chad Islands currently prohibit organisations from providing assistance to the population.
“Last year’s conference helped avert a famine in the region. This year’s conference must not only continue this lifesaving operation, but must make protection of vulnerable children, women and men a top priority. Conflict-affected families depend on the international community to put the lives of civilians over and beyond competing political agendas, such as their war on terror,” said Secretary General for the Norwegian Refugee Council, Jan Egeland.
The humanitarian community scaled up the response significantly in 2017, but humanitarian needs remain massive and will continue well into 2018 and beyond. Yet, eight months into the year, only 26 per cent of the appeal for funding to Cameroon has been raised and the humanitarian appeal to support people affected by the crisis in Nigeria is less than half funded. The United Nations estimates that USD 1.6 billion is required this year to help the 10.7 million in need of humanitarian assistance in the region.
“The crisis in north-east Nigeria is far from being resolved. Thousands of desperate people continue to arrive into congested areas on a weekly basis both from ‘inaccessible’ areas or across borders, some of them in a state of severe malnutrition. While development efforts to rebuild need to be stepped up, it is crucial that we maintain the necessary assistance to continue saving lives, particularly in remote field locations across Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states,” said Jennifer Jalovec, Director of the Nigeria INGO Forum, which consists of 40 organisations working in Nigeria.
“As the protection crisis in the Lake Chad region rages on for another year, children make up over half of those displaced. Women and girls face gender-based violence daily, are abducted, sexually exploited and abused, and struggling to survive early and forced marriage and intimate partner violence,” says Hannah Gibbin, Country Director for the International Rescue Committee in Cameroon. She emphasises the need for participants at the conference to face the facts head-on and join forces to provide lives of dignity and security.
Hussaini Abdu, Plan International’s Country Director in Nigeria, urges “all humanitarian actors, including donors, to urgently increase prioritisation, funding and coordination of efforts to prevent and respond to ongoing gender-based violence and child protection needs and to fulfil adolescent girls’ sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR).”
The conference in Berlin will constitute another opportunity to shed light on a crisis that not only requires financial attention, but first and foremost, a political will from governmental actors at all levels to address the root causes of this conflict and ensure the lives and livelihoods of millions of women, men and children living in the Lake Chad Basin are protected.
* Report from Norwegian Refugee Council, Lutheran World Federation, CARE, Mercy Corps, Action Contre la Faim France, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Save the Children, Plan International, International Emergency and Development Aid: http://bit.ly/2LGE5tE
Somalia: Severe nutrition emergency persists despite end of Drought, Action Against Hunger Warns.
The international humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger warns that one in five young displaced children living in settlements in Somalia is suffering from acute malnutrition. Recent rains and an increase in humanitarian assistance have improved food security in areas hardest hit by crippling drought and the threat of famine. Despite that, new evidence shows that the prevalence of acute malnutrition among vulnerable displaced children exceeds the internationally recognized emergency threshold in many areas.
“We are encouraged by recent reports that food security is getting better,” said East Africa Regional Director for Action Against Hunger, Hajir Maalim, “However, true recovery will take years, and our data shows that Somalia is still facing a severe nutrition emergency. We are deeply concerned that 20 percent of displaced children under five are suffering from malnutrition in areas across the country, without access to health services.”
Rigorous assessments conducted by Action Against Hunger and Save the Children in 10 districts of Somalia reveal that displaced children living in camps are the worst-affected, particularly in Mataban, Dollow, Garowe, Galkayo and Mogadishu.
Prevalence of Global Acute Malnutrition in all the settlement camps for displaced people surveyed by the two humanitarian agencies exceeds the ‘emergency’ threshold of 15 percent. The prevalence of malnutrition in the city of Mataban in Hiraan region, which was recently devastated by floods, was 20.5 percent, indicating a critical emergency, and was the highest among all 10 districts.
Malnourished children are particularly vulnerable to preventable diseases. The new data indicates that deaths among children have increased in settlements for displaced people in Mogadishu and Mataban. Half of child deaths were caused by malaria in Mataban, and in Mogadishu, respiratory illnesses such as pneumonia remain the leading cause of death among young children.
Without sustained, adequate funding for humanitarian assistance, progress in reducing malnutrition in areas where famine was narrowly averted last year could be at risk. For example, the new data found that:
Prevalence of acute malnutrition in Beletweyne, in the Hiraan region, of South Central Somalia, is 15.9 percent, signalling a nutrition emergency. Half a million people in the region were affected by the recent floods, which destroyed latrines, contaminated water supplies and contributed to a cholera outbreak, putting children’s lives in further danger. Ongoing heavy rains in the area are increasing the risk of waterborne disease among vulnerable displaced people.
Acute malnutrition has recently spiked from 6.8 per cent to 13.7 per cent in Burao, in the Togdheer region of northwest Somalia, where the threat of famine was successfully averted last year after a massive humanitarian response.
Across Somalia, an estimated 2.6 million have been uprooted from their homes by climate shocks and conflict. Severe, extended drought devastated crops, killed livestock, and destroyed livelihoods, forcing one million people in 2017 to abandon their homes in search of food and water. In 2018, an average of 2,777 people have been displaced every day.
“Somalia has experienced better rainfall that what was predicted for this season, but people are still caught in a deadly cycle of climate shocks, conflict and hunger,” said Dr. Patrick Mweki, Country Director for Action Against Hunger’s operations in Somalia. “In 10 districts of Somalia, 90,000 children are malnourished and 45,000 children are severely malnourished and at risk of death. They need treatment today. We call on the international community to release immediate funding to scale up nutrition programs to save lives and alleviate suffering.”
http://bit.ly/2Ay7t4V http://www.actionagainsthunger.org/stories http://reliefweb.int/topics/fighting-famine-nigeria-somalia-south-sudan-and-yemen
Chad health centres overwhelmed with spike in malnourished children. (MSF, Agencies)
Children in feeding centres in Chad are sleeping two or three to a bed as hospitals struggle to cope with a spike in near-death malnutrition following drought, charities said on Thursday.
The Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA) said the number of children it has treated for severe malnutrition this year is 60 percent higher than in the same period in 2017, while the number of children hospitalised is up by 45 percent.
The charity has already nearly doubled its capacity to 150 beds at the main therapeutic feeding centre in the capital N''Djamena, while the medical agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) opened a second site with 50 beds on Thursday.
Malnutrition peaks in Chad every year between July and October, the lean season before the harvest begins. But this year, countries across West Africa''s Sahel began to run out of food in March after a bad dry spell.
ALIMA''s head of mission Hassan Issa said in five years of work he has never seen so many starving children in N''Djamena.
"The situation is becoming overwhelming," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. "Despite the increase in capacity ... we are certain that in August and September, if nothing else is done, we will still be very overstretched."
Most of the children hospitalised are under five, the agencies said. If they receive therapeutic foods for four to five days, they can usually recover.
But malnourished children should be getting help before they reach that stage, said Natalie Roberts, an emergency doctor with MSF, which is increasing outpatient services to assist more children with moderate malnutrition. "We must not wait until children are on the verge of death to meet their basic needs," she said.
The United Nations has estimated that almost a million people in Chad will need food assistance by the end of August.
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