Syrian Arab Republic: Middle East & North Africa: Civil Unrest – Emergency Appeal final report MDR82001
Country: Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Liberia, Syrian Arab Republic, Tunisia, Yemen
Period covered by this Final Report: 24 February 2011 to 30 September, 2012.
Appeal coverage: Up to 31 September 2012 the level of the appeal coverage has reached 74 per cent through cash and in-kind contributions
CHF150,000 was allocated on 24 January 2011, from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Tunisian Red Crescent (TRC) in its response to civil unrest in Tunisia.
On 12 February, a DREF allocation of CHF107,672 was provided to the Egyptian Red Crescent Society (ERCS) to help it deliver assistance to 10,000 beneficiaries as a result of civil unrest in the country. § On 25 February, a DREF allocation of CHF 59,374 was allocated to enable the IFRC Middle East-North Africa (MENA) Zone conduct an emergency field mission in Egypt and Tunisia to assess the impact of civil unrest in Libya.
A Preliminary Emergency Appeal was launched on 1 March for CHF 4,458,090 for six months to assist 100,000 beneficiaries.
The Emergency Appeal was revised on 24 March to an amount of CHF12,269,102 with the number of targeted beneficiaries increased to 150,000 and the timeframe extended to the end of December 2011.
The Revised Emergency Appeal was adjusted further as of 17 May seeking a new total of CHF14,840,345 due to growing unrest in Syria and Yemen, greater contingency planning efforts and an overall increase in beneficiary targeting to 280,000 people.
The Appeal was revised once again on 25 June seeking a total of CHF15,145,920 to support new activities in Libya and growing needs in southern Tunisia. Overall beneficiary numbers were increased to target 300,000 people while the timeframe remained to the end of December 2011.
The Appeal was extended on 29 December 2011 for six months (until the end of June 2012) and continuing to seek a total of CHF15,145,920.
The Appeal was revised on 26 March 2012 seeking a total of CHF18,673,301 for 435,000 beneficiaries until the end of June 2012.
As per the Operations Update of 4 July 2012, the Appeal was extended from the end of June to 30 September 2012.
The North Africa component of the Civil Unrest Appeal closed as of 30 September 2012 in reflection of the stabilisation of conditions in North Africa, the re-focusing of humanitarian efforts on Syria and the surrounding area and the launch of a new Emergency Appeal covering that situation.
Some under-spending is noted and mainly due to volatile security situation in the area and are clarified as follows:
Food distribution for Libyan families hosted in Tunisian families were taken in charge by UNHCR and WFP, hence the under spending.
Armed conflict also prevented the implementation of clothes distribution and disaster preparedness capacity building activities in Yemen
Warehouse construction in Harasta, Syria was not possible due to increasing insecurity in the area.
Remaining activities for Syria were moved and implemented under the “Syria crisis appeal”
The Civil Unrest Appeal for the Middle East and North Africa has undergone a number of revisions since its inception during February 2011 in reflection of volatile conditions, diverse and evolving humanitarian needs and the variety of emergency response efforts required across the region. Throughout the Appeal, the IFRC exhibited a high degree of operational readiness and involvement while ensuring significant cooperation and coordination among Host and other National Societies along with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) as well as numerous external agencies.
Bangladesh: Tropical storm Mahasen strikes Bangladesh coast
Source: Christian Aid
Tropical storm Mahasen struck the low lying coastal areas of southern Bangladesh on Thursday 16 May, causing 17 deaths, injuring 1,800 and affecting more than a million lives.
Heavy winds and hammering rains caused severe storm surges, damaging almost 120,000 homes in the worst affected districts of Bhola, Barguna and Patuakhali - around 20,000 of which were completely destroyed.
Our emergency response
Christian Aid immediately released £100,000 of emergency funds for longstanding partners - Shushilan and the Christian Commission for Development in Bangladesh (CCDB) - to provide urgent food supplies, water and shelter.
Having carried out emergency assessments, they are working alongside other organisations to make certain the needs of the most vulnerable are met.
Preparing for the worst
The UN warned that as many as 8.2 million people - in Bangladesh, Myanmar and northeast India - could be at risk from Cyclone Mahasen – later downgraded to a tropical storm.
As the country braced itself for Mahasen's onslaught, Christian Aid partners continually monitored the situation and supported the government in preparing for the worst possible outcome.
Partners were instrumental in warning communities of the danger and preparing them for evacuation to cyclone shelters.
In the district of Khulna, 250 people took refuge in a recently constructed cyclone shelter, built with the support of Christian Aid partner, Dushtha Shasthya Kendra (DSK).
Early warning systems
Ram Kishan, Christian Aid’s south Asia regional emergency manager said: ‘Bangladesh has a robust early warning system at both local and national level, with radio and TV channels relaying information and warning people of the threat.
‘However, it’s in the remote, hard to reach areas where Christian Aid partners have been helping most. The early warning systems – sirens, announcements via loudspeakers, hoisted flags indicating the extent of the danger – have all proved successful in helping communities evacuate to safer ground.
‘Planning and preparing for emergencies such as this is crucial and I am pleased to say that Christian Aid partners and volunteers have worked tirelessly to help communities shelter safely from this storm.’
World: Risk reduction education in schools – and beyond – helps to build resilience
By Linda Low, IFRC
On the final day of the Global Platform, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Socieites convened a panel of experts in a special side event focussed on the power of education in reducing risk and thus increasing community resilience. Walter Cotte, IFRC Undersecretary General for Programme Services said: “Schools are centres of energy, creativity, families, communities; this is where we can start to really build resilience.”
This theme resonated throughout the session. Marla Petal, Senior Advisor on Education and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) at Save the Children, said that children had a right to education and safety, and that teachers could play a vital role in passing on disaster preparation messages to their students. Petal also said training had to take context into account, for example, in an urban setting it would be appropriate to suggest people have access to a fire extinguisher in the home, whereas in a rural setting it might be a bucket of water or sand. She closed by drawing attention to two IFRC resources that she recommends for all teachers with an interest in the subject: Public awareness and public education for disaster risk reduction and Community early warning systems: guiding principles.
Mohammad Abdul Wazed, Director General of the Department of Disaster Management with the Bangladesh government, said the authorities were attempting to promote resilience over response, an ideo encompassed in the slogan ‘know risks, no risks’. Disaster risk reduction is promoted in homes, workplaces and schools nationwide. School safety drills, e-learning opportunities and an annual International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction have all been used to build a national culture of resilience.
From the Armenian Red Cross Society, head of disaster management Edmon Azaryan offered an example of how teaching disaster risk reduction in schools can improve lives in families and communities. Non-structural mitigation is a theme in communities where there are fewer resources to bolster existing structures. One day, a major storm struck a region shattering windows in many homes. The next day, a family approached a Red Cross delegate and told him they had recently moved their daughter’s bed away from the window based on Red Cross advice. They were so moved because daughter was safe because of this simple risk reduction act.
The panel closed by discussing the importance of teaching young people risk reduction skills beyond the schoolhouse, to reach those unable to access formal education.
Nigeria: Nigeria: Floods Revised Emergency Appeal MDRNG014
This Revised Emergency Appeal revises the budget upwards to CHF 3,923,663 (from CHF 3,453,527) and extends the operation timeframe for an additional 3 months to 31 December 2013 to support the Nigerian Red Cross Society to respond to the remaining needs of communities affected by the floods. This operation will be completed by the end of December 2013 and a final report made available by end March 2014.
Appeal target (current): CHF 3,923,663.
Appeal coverage: over 100% (against the former budget of CHF 3.4m) and 98% (against the now revised budget of 3.9m
· This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on a preliminary basis on 29 September 2012 for CHF 899,094 to assist 10,000 beneficiaries for 6 months.
· CHF 200,000 was initially allocated from the Federation’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Nigerian Red Cross Society (NRCS) to respond.
· The Emergency Appeal was launched on 22 November 2012 to expand the operation in terms of geographic scope, activities, budget and duration, with completion targeted for 25 September 2013.
· Operation Update no°1 was issued on 27 December 2012.
· Operation Update no°2 was issued on 28 January 2013.
· A Six- month summary update was issued on 25 April 2013.
Summary: This Emergency Appeal has currently received over 100 percent of the requested funding enabling the deployment of a full operational team to the field. This revision presents an updated strategy, based on an analysis of the appropriateness of previously planned activities in response to changes in the context. Following shelter and water and sanitation recovery assessments, the primary focus will move to early recovery.
Due to a range of contextual and environmental factors, there is a need to extend the timeframe of the flood operation of this appeal until 31 December 2013 in order to ensure that the remaining needs of communities affected by the floods can be addressed. The appeal extension also reflects the consequences of the operational challenges and constraints that have been experienced throughout the previous months.Furthermore,the Emergency Appeal, which was previously covering 11 affected states (Adamawa, Anambra, Bayelsa, Benue, Delta, Edo, Kogi, Niger, Plateau, Rivers and Taraba), will now include Lmo State.
In the revised Emergency Appeal, planned activities will continue to include relief distributions, hygiene and health promotion. Following assessments carried out; there will also be an increase to the emergency shelter kits distributed and the construction of 100 shelters in 3 vulnerable communities in Kogi state.
The displaced population did not stay in IDP camps or settlements for long but returned to their homes much earlier than anticipated. As a result of this, the contents of the emergency shelter package were revised at an early stage to accommodate the changed needs of repair materials for families returning to their homes. The number of tarpaulins was reduced to one per returnee family and the timber was excluded from the package. These changes are reflected in the revised shelter outcomes.
In terms of water and sanitation, a number of further revisions have become necessary due to a range of complexities experienced within the operation, including increasing prices materials. The number of beneficiaries receiving hygiene promotion items alongside relief has been reduced to 4,000 households in 12 states. Households receiving the health and hygiene sensitization will be maintained at 7,142 households (28,000 beneficiaries alongside relief, and an additional 22,000 in Edo, Delta and Kogi states). The latrines strategy has been changed from the construction of 200 emergency latrines (25 were built only at the emergency phase in Edo state) to the construction of 20 VIP latrines in Kogi state (3 institutional and 17 households).
An additional aspect to the Emergency Appeal revision will be increased emphasis on preparedness for emerging crises, which are predicted to result from the rainy season of 2013. A stock preposition strategy will be implemented over the coming weeks to increase response efficiencies.
The operation in Nigeria continues to function in a challenging security environment. In different areas of the country, operations are coordinated and planned considering security restraints and implemented accordingly.
On behalf of the NRCS, IFRC thanks all donors, partners and beneficiaries for their invaluable support for the operation.
Myanmar: Preliminary Appeal: Assistance to IDPs and other affected people in Rakhine State - MYR131
Source: ACT Alliance
Preliminary Appeal Target: US$675,445
Balance Requested: US$675,445
Geneva, May 24, 2013
The conflict in Rakhine State started in June 2012 and resurged in October 2012 resulting in significant displacement. As of the beginning of April 2013, the number of people displaced in Rakhine State is at least 139,107. Approximately 111,000 IDPs are residing in Government designated camps while the rest are living in tents or with host families.
The situation got aggravated for the IDPs during the threat of cyclone Mahasen. The already vulnerable displaced people living in makeshift shelters on low lands and in paddy fields in coastal areas had to be evacuated and some might be further relocated both because of the threats of cyclones and floods, but also due to the systematic ethnic segregation of Buddhists and Muslims. The most vulnerable are the Muslim groups known as Rohyinga that are effectively stateless despite the fact that some have lived in Myanmar for generations as they are not one of the 135 recognised ethnicities of Myanmar.
The living conditions of the IDPs remain far below international standards ten months after entering the camp. Basic services such as Shelter, NFIs, WASH, Food and Nutrition, health services and Education are insufficient; and access to, psychosocial support and fire protection services are almost non-existent. Access to livelihoods and basic services has been further complicated by prolonged displacement, restricted movements and uncertainty among the IDPs - who are living in isolated villages. Shelter for undocumented IDPs, many living in thatched straw huts and tents at the margins of official camps, is urgently needed, as the monsoon season has already started in May.
This appeal will address the acute relief and recovery needs of the IDPs through the components of Education, Psychosocial support, Fire safety and Relief Assistance. The appeal intends to cover 85,360 Muslim individuals.
Haiti: Communities in Haiti take the lead
Source: British Red Cross
“Mwen kontan we w” – a simple yet touching Haitian saying that marks the start of the working day for British Red Cross staff, volunteers and community members in Haiti. It means “I’m happy to see you”, and with the Haiti recovery in its third year, this is one working relationship that couldn’t be more important.
Following the devastating earthquake in 2010, the Red Cross is rebuilding homes, livelihoods and town infrastructures in the Delmas 19 area. A team of staff and volunteers, also known as community mobilisers, are working alongside locals to make sure that the work is being shaped by them.
Mor Goldberger, community mobilisation team manager for the British Red Cross says: “We are thinking long-term. The current regeneration needs engagement from community members – otherwise these structures will not last.”
Put simply, community mobilisers are champions for local people, relaying messages between them and Red Cross technical workers. This can take the form of regular meetings, surveys and even general conversation – where they can note any issues surfacing within an area.
And because mobilisers are recruited locally, they are able to walk through communities and speak directly to people. Over time, mobilisers are becoming better and better at advocating on behalf of those they represent.
It isn’t just the communities that are benefitting either. Mor explains: “Mobilisers have received extensive training, hugely increasing their ability to work with other institutions. The skills they learn mean that they will continue to work with local communities for years to come.”
And it works both ways. Mobilisers are making communities aware of the need for long-term preparedness. Given that Haiti is prone to natural disasters, in addition to chronic poverty affecting daily life, the Red Cross has recently encouraged over 2000 individuals to sign up for health insurance.
Mor says: “Getting community members to see the value of this is real challenge. The idea of paying for something that you may or may not use when there are so many other priorities can be difficult.
“But the fact is that Haiti suffers from natural disasters regularly – so building people’s ability to bounce back from crises is vital. Our community mobilisers set up local meetings with insurance specialists and were able to demonstrate the importance of preparing in this way.”
With the British Red Cross’ work in its final stages, this type of handover to Haitian communities is crucial. In Mor’s words: “Recovery must carry on when we leave, and this will only happen if communities are involved now.”
Read more about the British Red Cross Haiti earthquake recovery.
Namibia: Namibia Prepares to Manage Disaster Risk
Source: International Organization for Migration
IOM Namibia, in cooperation with the Office of the Prime Minister and with financial support from USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, this week completed a training of trainers in disaster risk management in Ongwediwa.
The training will enhance national capacity for disaster risk management by increasing the country's resilience to the multiple natural disaster hazards.
Thirty-two officials from key government ministries, regional and town councils, and the Namibian Red Cross Society took part. Next week, a second training is scheduled for the remaining seven regions of the country.
The training included key disaster risk management concepts and principles; the institutional framework for disaster risk management in Namibia; Namibia's hazard profile; and community participation in risk management, among others. The participants will become certified disaster risk management trainers qualified to teach others.
The training coincides with the recent drought disaster declaration by President Hifikepunye Pohamba, who underlined the severity of the situation and called for coordination among all stakeholders.
It forms part of a broader regional capacity building programme for sustainable and coherent disaster risk management, which includes the neighbouring countries of Botswana and Mozambique and is founded on the principles of national ownership, partnership, participation and a low-cost methodology.
The Namibian capacity-building model, formulated in 2011 in the aftermath of devastating floods which caused wide spread displacement, has been replicated and adapted by other countries, including Colombia, Pakistan and currently Botswana and Mozambique.
Namibia is a country prone to annual natural disasters including floods, droughts and fires. Last year the Namibian government passed a Disaster Risk Management Act in an effort to institutionalize the legal framework for disaster risk management.
For more information, please contact Ms Elham Pourazar at IOM Namibia, Tel+ 264 81 656 8189, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
World: Disaster Risk Reduction Must Keep Pace with Rapid Urbanization, Say Urban Planners
Source: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
GENEVA, 23 May (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction) — Building disaster resilience into urban planning will be increasingly crucial as cities continue to burgeon worldwide, said panellists this morning. There was currently more investment in urban areas than at any other time in history, and in some parts of the world cities were becoming more expensive and displacing persons to the peripheries. The result: congestion, inequality, unrest, and urbanization without urban planning. “The crisis of urbanization is occurring because we are still following the urbanization style of the 1930s,” said Joan Clos, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director, UN-Habitat. This did not serve the social and economic conditions of the twenty-first century, and a new approach to cities should embody preparedness for disaster risk reduction and prevention.
The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), which hosted the panel as part of this week’s Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction, was setting up a working group to find practical solutions for disaster risk resilience and develop guidelines for actors involved in urban planning.
Speakers said that new layers of protection were needed, with stronger building codes and new building designs, including flood-proof elevators. Energy resilience was also extremely important. Regulations and technical standards were required, in addition to plans, all of which had to take account of the physical and cultural diversity of cities and their national environments.
Building in high-risk areas should be avoided wherever possible, but where such buildings existed, the safety of their inhabitants should be guaranteed without necessarily moving them to safe areas. Building codes should ensure the sustainable development of ecologically endangered areas in parallel with cities. In some countries, such as India, attention should also be paid to emerging urban areas, and not just the capitals and other large cities.
One of the frequent challenges facing urban planners was the lack of political will, panellists noted. Planning systems needed to change, and urban planners should be empowered to influence decision-making. Large-scale disasters were forcing authorities in some developing countries, where urban planning might be limited or non-existent, to take disaster risk seriously, and that was an area where the United Nations could offer guidance and technical support.
It was incumbent upon everyone to engage deeply with those issues, said David Cadman, President, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, who moderated the session. “The future of communities will not rest on the politicians or the planners,” he said, “but on the way in which the private sector and the communities engage in the transformation of their locale, which will make them resilient into the future.”
For information media • not an official record
Pakistan: Mangroves plantation near Keti Bunder to check sea intrusion
Source: DAWN Group of Newspapers
THATTA, May 23: A large number of environmentalists, along with other civil society activists, representatives of growers’ organisations and people associated with the forest conservation and management took part in plantation of mangroves on Khedewari island, located along the Keti Bunder coastline in connection with the international day of biodiversity observed on Wednesday.
Several hundred plants of ‘rhizophora mucronata’ mangroves were planted during the daylong activity at the site, where 451,176 mangroves saplings were planted on July 15, 2009 to create a record and win the Guinness Book of World Records recognition. The forest department now plans to plant at least 650,000 saplings within a day to break the record credited to India.
The tree plantation drive was organised by the Sindh forest department in collaboration with the National Bank. Participants in the drive spent almost the entire day on the Khedewari island and also visited nearby islands.
Sindh chief forest conservator Riaz Ahmed Wagan told the participants that in view of the ecological significance of mangroves and in the context of the 2005 tsunami in South Asia, this particular area on the coastal island had been earmarked for mangrove plantation.
He said that the Sindh forest department had established a mangroves plantation on 15,000 hectares, including a nursery, in the city of Keti Bunder to attract eco-tourism and to benefit the local fishing community.
Briefing the participants, Agha Tahir Hussain of the Conservation, Development and Management of Indus Delta Mangroves said that mangroves were vital to check sea intrusion. Though the super floods of 2010 wreaked havoc upstream, he said, it expeditiously nourished the delta region. Riaz Nawab and Nafeesa Gill affiliated with an international welfare organisation and other participants stressed the need for promoting eco-tourism and launching of a ferry service between Keti Bunder and Karachi in this regard.
They said that establishing wildlife sanctuaries would also help generate revenues. They lamented that the islands which were earlier known for cultivating red rice were now bereft of any vegetation. However, they said, the region had tremendous potential for eco-tourism.
Developing basic infrastructure and releasing at least 35MAF (million acre feet) water from the Indus river was essential to attain the goal, they added.
World: Experts Plead for Standards and Accountability in Managing Disaster Risk
Source: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction
GENEVA, 23 May (United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction) — Auditing and regulatory experts today said that accountability is paramount for all actors in disaster risk reduction, from victims and taxpayers to national Governments, international organizations and civil society.
The experts were discussing disaster risk management standards and accountability for business and citizens as part of the Global Platform on Disaster Reduction, which opened here on 19 May and ended today.
Session moderator Kevin Knight, Chairman, International Standard Organization (ISO) Technical Committee 262, said that Australia now had policies in place to handle risk management, which was a great improvement over the previous practice of simply injecting funds into disaster-affected local authorities, with no apparent change in the status quo. The new regulations were aimed at developing more resilient facilities and buildings. The main legislative and regulatory challenge of disaster risk reduction was to strike the right balance between improved resilience and the available financial resources, allocating sufficient funds to the most crucial areas without overspending.
Gijs de Vries of the European Court of Auditors said that accountability was crucial for all concerned. Funds were sometimes not used effectively, or were used for purposes other than those for which they had been earmarked. In one country, a satellite-based communication system was still not operational six years after being approved, and the national steering committee had not met for at least five years. In another country, corruption and waste had been reported with respect to post-tsunami aid. Elsewhere, audits revealed a lack of flood preparedness, non-compliance with national standards, failure to establish early warning systems and so forth. International auditing groups had developed guidelines on auditing disaster risk reduction and preventing fraud and corruption, which were unfortunately still prevalent. It had taken time for the international community to become aware of the importance of accountability. Particularly in developing countries, auditors needed more assistance and training.
Arife Coşkun of the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) said that her organization had conducted disaster risk reduction studies involving all stakeholder groups and covering all stages of disasters. The studies showed that there was too much focus on emergencies and not enough on preparation; insufficient coordination among the institutions concerned; and a lack of consultative frameworks for civil society. In those countries which had recently adopted disaster-related laws, most had not yet been implemented. Problems of awareness and accountability could be addressed in part by creating an accountability framework at the national and international level and by conducting more public awareness campaigns.
Marc Schaedeli, Head of Nestlé Risk Management, described his company’s reliance on frameworks and standards to better prepare and manage risks in the face of natural hazards. Nestlé was present in 150 countries, with 468 factories and more than 100,000 suppliers, and it depended on millions of farmers to deliver raw material. Nonetheless, it could react very quickly in a disaster. The Nestlé experience showed that emergency and contingency plans should be prepared beforehand, but not in isolation, and that coordination and sound infrastructure were essential to ensuring supply and delivery at crucial times. “Plans are good, but testing them is more effective,” he said; all new products should pass quality tests before being sold, and the same principle applied to disaster risk reduction. Testing should be incorporated into the post-2015 framework for disaster risk reduction, which would also ensure harmonization among the different actors.
Mette Lindahl-Olsson, Head of the Natural Hazards and Critical Infrastructure Section of the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, stressed the importance of standards, including the ISO standards on disaster risk reduction and the European Union guidelines on risk assessment. Standardization helped make all stakeholders work towards the same goals, and international standards should be better used by businesses, institutions and local authorities. A common language was essential for understanding by all sectors of society.
Lorenza Jachia of the Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) said that her organization’s work on standards and regulations encompassed global best practices and had produced recommendations on risk management and crisis management in regulatory frameworks. Recognizing the dual nature of risks, which potentially posed both threats and opportunities, made it possible to envision new mechanisms and tools for managing risk.
For information media • not an official record