Cholera vaccination campaign in Haiti set for November 3
Source: Pan American Health Organization
Country: Cuba, Haiti
There is an urgent need to repair non-functional essential health facilities and satellite warehouses housing medical supplies, but actions have been delayed due to lack of funding and materials.
Food distributions have started in selected rural areas in Grand’ Anse, Sud, and Nippes Departments, it is pertinent to maintain this effort.
Cholera vaccination campaign has been set for November 3rd in Sud and Grand’ Anse and is expected to last 10 days.
Due to a review of the official information from the Cholera Epidemiological Surveillance, the revised number of suspected cholera cases is 2271
Urgent need to repair non-functional essential health facilities and satellite warehouses housing medical supplies, however these actions have been delayed due to lack of funding and materials.
Next health group meeting will be held on Friday 21 October at 10:00 am at PAHO/WHO.
UN reports reveal clear use of excessive force, rife impunity for rights violations in DR Congo
Source: UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Country: Democratic Republic of the Congo
Excessive, including lethal force was used during demonstrations in Kinshasa last month, when at least 53 were killed over two days, 143 injured and more than 299 unlawfully arrested, a preliminary investigation shows.
KINSHASA/GENEVA (21 October 2016) – Congolese police, armed forces and the Republican Guard used excessive – including lethal – force during demonstrations in Kinshasa last month, when at least 53 people were killed over two days, 143 injured and more than 299 unlawfully arrested, according to a UN preliminary investigation report released today.
The preliminary investigation by the UN Joint Human Rights Office of MONUSCO* documented 422 victims of human rights violations, including violations of the right to life, to physical integrity, to the liberty and security of the person, peaceful assembly and expression. The figures do not reflect the full extent of the violations, as the UN teams were denied access to official records of some morgues and public hospitals as well as various detention facilities, including two key facilities where many of those arrested and many dead bodies were reportedly taken. Investigations are ongoing.
Of the 53 people documented killed, including seven women and two children, at least 48 were killed by State agents, including the Police Nationale Congolaise (PNC) and soldiers of the Garde Républicaine (GR)and the Forces armées de la République démocratique du Congo (FARDC). Perpetrators were not identified in the killing of four police officers and one woman.
The vast majority of the victims – 38 of them – were shot dead. Many of them were shot in the head, chest and back, including a five-year-old girl who was shot in the back, the report states. Others died after being burned, stabbed, beaten or attacked with machetes. Of the 143 documented as injured, 75 were victims of the excessive use of force by State agents while 68 were injured by unknown perpetrators.
The report documents the harassment, arbitrary arrest and detention of local and international journalists, as well as the destruction and looting of the premises of eight political parties. The report also documents reports of violence by demonstrators. Of the four police officers killed, three were beaten to death and one burned alive.
The Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations for the DRC Maman Sidikou urged Congolese authorities to conduct prompt, thorough, independent, credible and impartial investigations into the very serious human rights violations documented in the report. Sidikou raised deep concerns about the widespread impunity that prevails in the country, highlighting the findings of another UN report ** released today which reveals that a very low number of State agents, especially senior officers, and leaders and combatants of armed groups, are prosecuted and convicted in the DRC for human rights violations.
“While there has been progress, and some 447 FARDC soldiers and 155 PNC officers have been convicted in relation to human rights violations committed between January 2014 and March 2016, widespread impunity continues,” Sidikou said.
“Strong political will is needed to ensure justice and reparation to all victims of serious violations. This is particularly crucial in this volatile pre-electoral context,” Sidikou said. “Effective justice is a major deterrent for future violations of human rights and it is the cornerstone for peace and stability.”
The report on impunity cites the fragile legal framework and the lack of judicial independence and resources as major challenges to the prosecution of perpetrators. In light of the growing number of human rights violations committed by police officers, particularly in the pre-electoral context, the report calls on the Congolese authorities to urgently develop and implement a strategy to prosecute the perpetrators, and to send a clear “zero tolerance” message to end human rights violations by State agents.
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein expressed deep concern at the mounting number of very serious human rights violations by State security officers in recent months. He urged the authorities to prioritise justice and accountability for serious human rights violations and remedy for the victims.
“Impunity for serious human rights violations – including the shooting, hacking and mass arrests of protestors – has been a chronic problem in the DRC for decades now. This is clearly outrageous and serves to fuel an already explosive situation in the country. While the rate of prosecutions appears to be rising, new violations continue to be perpetrated with alarming frequency,” High Commissioner Zeid said.
“A clear message needs to be relayed from the highest levels of Government that security forces must operate in line with international human rights laws and standards, must refrain from the excessive use of force and that those who breach these laws and standards will be held to account regardless of the affiliations and rank of the perpetrator. As I emphasized during my visit to the DRC in July 2016, the Government urgently needs to take measures to defuse the tensions in the country, particularly by freeing all those detained for exercising their rights to peaceful assembly, association and expression.”
The preliminary investigation report into the September 2016 events is available here:
*_The UN Joint Human Rights Office, which was established in February 2008, comprises the Human Rights Division of the UN Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in the DRC (OHCHR-DRC). English | French
_** The report on Accountability for Human Rights Violations and Abuses in the DRC, covering the period between 1 January 2014 and 31 March 2016 is available here: English | French
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Mosul: ISIL use of ‘human shields’ underscores need to protect civilians – UN human rights chief
Source: UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
The UN human rights chief called for the protection of civilians in the military offensive to retake Mosul amid reports that ISIL fighters are using civilians as human shields.
GENEVA (21 October 2016) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein called for the protection of civilians to be at the forefront of military planning as the Iraqi Government and associated forces attempt to re-take Mosul, amid reports that fighters from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL, are using civilians as human shields.
“We are gravely worried by reports that ISIL is using civilians in and around Mosul as human shields as the Iraqi forces advance, keeping civilians close to their offices or places where fighters are located, which may result in civilian casualties,” said Zeid. “We therefore welcome the public statements by Iraq’s leaders that the utmost efforts will be made to protect civilians, as required by international humanitarian law.”
The High Commissioner voiced particular concern regarding the women, children and men held captive by ISIL, especially those from ethnic or religious communities who are at extreme risk. “There is a grave danger that ISIL fighters will not only use such vulnerable people as human shields but may opt to kill them rather than see them liberated,” he said.
“The killings and abuses committed by ISIL fighters when they captured Mosul in 2014, and the horrors they have subjected its inhabitants to ever since, should leave us in no doubt as to the risk civilians face as the fighting for control of Mosul and surrounding areas continues,” said Zeid.
“My Office has verified information regarding several incidents since 17 October where ISIL has forced people to leave their homes in outlying villages to head to Mosul. We also have reports that ISIL fighters have shot dead civilians who have tried to rise up against them or who they suspect are disloyal,” he said.
Among the reports received by the UN Human Rights Office is that ISIL forced some 200 families out of Samalia village to walk to Mosul on 17 October. Also on 17 October, 350 families fled Najafia village in Nimroud Sub-district, towards Mosul, highlighting ISIL’s apparent policy of preventing civilians from escaping to areas controlled by the Iraqi security forces. The Office is also examining reports that at least 40 civilians were shot dead by ISIL in one of the villages outside Mosul.
“We know ISIL has no regard for human life, which is why it is incumbent upon the Iraqi Government to do its utmost to protect civilians,” Zeid stressed.
“All parties to the conflict are bound by international law to observe in particular the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution in attack. All feasible precautions must be taken to avoid and minimize the loss of civilian life, injury to civilians and damage to civilian objects, including vital infrastructure,” the High Commissioner said. He urged that, “ISIL fighters who have been be captured or have surrendered should be held accountable in accordance with the law for any crimes they have committed.”
Zeid stressed that the security screening of civilians leaving areas controlled by ISIL to ensure they are not ISIL fighters should be carried out only by lawful authorities such as the Iraqi Security Forces and the Iraqi police.
“Screening should be conducted in safe areas and all civilians who have been cleared must be transferred as soon as possible to civilian-run and securely located camps for internally displaced people,” Zeid said. “We are urging the Iraqi authorities to take all possible steps to prevent armed groups operating alongside the Iraqi Security Forces from any form of revenge attack on civilians fleeing ISIL. This issue remains a serious concern as these groups have reportedly subjected people fleeing conflict zones, particularly men and boys above 15 years of age, to threats, intimidation, physical violence, and even abduction and killing,” said Zeid. At the same time, the High Commissioner noted that no person should be the target of any form of revenge because of their presumed link with ISIL or associated groups.
“There need to be real checks to identify vulnerable people and to ensure that they can access the humanitarian aid and care that they need,” the High Commissioner said. "This includes children who, by living in ISIL-controlled areas, may have been indoctrinated and may be exploited to carry out attacks. It is vital to remember that they are not ISIL fighters but children,” he said.
“We are also concerned at reports that some civilians have no choice but to flee west – that is further into ISIL-controlled territory – where Shi’a militia are also believed to be operating,” said Zeid.
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Eight dead as Typhoon Haima hits the Philippines
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
According to the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the typhoon has affected more than 100,000 people with over 40,000 people in evacuation centers.
Eight confirmed deaths so far from landslides. Two people are missing.
Over 53,000 people are displaced in Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) and Regions I, II, III in northern Luzon, and Regions IV-A and V in southern Luzon.
Power remains out in all of CAR and in 60 municipalities across Regions I and VI-A.
Cellular, internet and landline services are intermittent in Regions I, II and CAR. The slow restoration of communications and electricity has been an operational constraint for coordination and communicating updates.
There are currently 42 roads and 4 bridges, mostly in CAR, closed to traffic due to flooding, debris damage or soil collapses.
Eight deaths, all males, including two minors and an infant, have so far been attributed to this storm. These deaths all occurred from landslides in CAR. Additionally, there are two people reported missing. A total of 53,433 people were displaced in CAR and Regions I, II, III, IV-A and V, according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Of those, 40,515 people are currently staying in 331 evacuation centres, while nearly 11,000 more are staying with friends or relatives.
While damage assessments continue across the affected regions, so far, 113 houses were reported damaged or destroyed in CAR by the regional Office of Civil Defense (OCD). Flooding up to 3 feet above ground level has also been reported in parts of Pangasinan and Pampanga provinces. Partner organizations have also reported temporary flooding in the provinces of Cagayan, Isabela, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Tarlac and Bataan.
There are currently 42 roads and 4 bridges, mostly in CAR, closed to traffic due to flooding, damage from debris or soil collapses, according to the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH). DPWH has released equipment and deployed maintenance crews for debris clearing operations and is monitoring road conditions across the affected areas. In Regions IV-A and V, 98 passengers remain stranded in 3 seaports.
Power remains out in all of CAR and in 60 municipalities across Regions I and VI-A. Cellular communications have been restored in Region I, but internet and landline services remain down. Communication in CAR and Region II remains intermittent. The slow restoration of communications and electricity has been an operational constraint for coordination and communicating updates.
In CAR, over PhP26 million (US$557,000) in damages was reported by the regional OCD. Rice crops were hardest hit, followed by corn and other high-value crops. Partners are also reporting missing livestock.
Children in war-torn Syria risk their lives to go to school
Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Syrian Arab Republic
With the start of the school year in Syria, over 1.7 million children remain out of school and another 1.3 million are at a risk of dropping out, according to new education data.
DAMASCUS/ GENEVA, 21 October 2016 - With the start of the school year in Syria, over 1.7 million children remain out of school and another 1.3 million are at a risk of dropping out, according to new education data[i].
Escalating violence, displacement, increased poverty, and an overstretched and under-resourced education system continue to force children out of school, denying them of their right to education.
Across the war-torn country, one in three schools cannot be used because they are either damaged, destroyed, sheltering the internally displaced or are being used for military purposes. Since the war began in 2011, there have been over 4,000 attacks on schools.
“In Syria children are risking death to go to school. In the past two weeks, nine school-children, aged as young as five, lost their lives in two separate attacks on or near schools,” says Hanaa Singer UNICEF’s Representative in Syria. “School should not be a death trap. It should a place where children are protected and able to learn, grow, and develop their skills.”
In September this year, UNICEF and partners launched a back-to-learning campaign to reach 2.5 million children with school supplies and text books, including 200,000 children living under siege and in hard-to-reach areas. More than 1,200 UNICEF-supported young volunteers are going door-to-door to reach out-of-school children including through alternative learning opportunities.
UNICEF’s work with partners and thanks to generous donors support in education is paying off. A recent assessment shows a drop in the number of out-of-school children from 2.1 million in 2014/15 to 1.7 million in 2015/16[ii].
“This is significant progress but is not enough. We need to invest much more so that every child in Syria is in school,” says Singer.
“We urge all parties to the conflict to protect children, schools and all civilians in line with their obligations under international humanitarian law.”
[i] Whole of Syria Education Focal Point, New Data on Education inside Syria, October 2016
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أطفال سوريا التّي مزّقتها الحرب يخاطرون بأرواحهم كي يعودوا إلى المدارس
دمشق/جينيف، 21 تشرين أوّل/أكتوبر 2016- مع بدء العام الدراسي في سوريا، لا يزال أكثر من 1.7 مليون طفل خارج المدرسة، و1.3 مليون طفل آخرين معرّضون لخطر التّسرّب، وفقا لبيانات جديدة حول وضع التّعليم [i].
تستمرّ عدّة عوامل في إجبار الأطفال على البقاء خارج المدرسة وحرمانهم من حقّهم في التّعليم، منها تصاعد العنف والنّزوح وتفاقم الفقر إلى جانب النّقص في الموارد التّي يحتاجها نظام الّـتعليم الّذي يعمل فوق طاقته.
واحدة من بين ثلاث مدارس في انحاء سوريا الّتي مزّقتها الحرب غير صالحة للاستخدام، إمّا بسبب الأضرار الّتي تعرّضت لها أو دمارها الكامل، أو بسبب إستخدامها لأغراض أخرى مثل إيواء النّازحين من مناطق أخرى أو لأغراض عسكريّة. تعرّضت المدارس لأكثر من 4,000 اعتداء منذ بداية الحرب عام 2011.
وتقول هناء سنجر ممثّلة اليونيسف في سوريا : "يخاطر الأطفال في سوريا بحياتهم من أجل الذّهاب إلى المدرسة. في الأسبوعين الأخيرين، لاقى تسعة أطفال من تلاميذ المدارس -كان اصغرهم في الخامسة من العمر- حتفهم في اعتدائين منفصلين طالا المدارس او المناطق القريبة منها " لا يجوز أن تتحوّل المدرسة إلى مصيدةٍ للموت. يجب أن تكون المدرسة مكاناً يحصل فيه الأطفال على الحماية وعلى التّعلم والنّمو وتطوير المهارات".
في ايلول الماضي، أطلقت اليونيسف وشركاؤها حملة "العودة إلى الدّراسة" كي تصل إلى 2.5 مليون طفل وتزوّدهم باللوازم المدرسيّة والكتب التّعليميّة، بما في ذلك 200,000 طفل ممّن يعيشون تحت الحصار وفي المناطق التي يصعب الوصول إليها. يقوم أكثر من 1,200 من المتطوعين الشباب وبدعم من اليونيسف بالذّهاب "من باب إلى باب"، للوصول إلى الأطفال الّذين لا يذهبون إلى المدرسة ولكي يوفّروا لهم فرص التعلم البديلة.
العمل الّذي تقوم به اليونيسف وشركاؤها، والّدعم السّخي الّذي يقدّمه المانحون من أجل التّعليم، يُؤتي ثماره. تظهر التّقديرات الصّادرة مؤخّراً بأن عدد الأطفال الّذين لا يذهبون إلى المدرسة انخفض من 2.1 مليون طفل في السّنة الدرّراسيّة 2014/2015 إلى 1.7 طفل في سنة 2015/2016 [ii]
وتقول سنجر : " هذا تقدّم ملحوظ ولكنّه غير كافي. نحتاج لأن نستثمر أكثر من ذلك بكثير كي لا يبقى طفل في سوريا خارج نطاق المدرسة. "
نحثّ كل أطراف الصّراع على حماية الأطفال والمدارس والمدنيّين، بما يتوافق مع التزاماتهم الّتي ينصّ عليها القانون الإنساني الدّولي".
[i] التّعليم في عموم سوريا. نقطة الاتصال. بيانات جديدة حول التّعليم داخل سوريا، أكتوبر 2016
[ii] نفس المصدر
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Humanitarian groups, journalists, and rights monitors need access to Rahkine
Source: Human Rights Watch
"Recent violence in northern Rakhine State has led the army to deny access to aid agencies that provide essential health care and food to people at grave risk,” HRW said.
Burma: Aid Blocked to Rakhine State
Humanitarian Groups, Journalists, and Rights Monitors Need Access
(Rangoon, October 21, 2016) – The Burmese government and army should urgently ensure humanitarian aid can reach ethnic Rohingya and other vulnerable populations in northern Rakhine State, Human Rights Watch said today. Government security operations have cut off assistance to tens of thousands of people and forced many to flee their homes.
The United Nations and donor governments should publicly call on the Burmese government to ensure aid organizations can reach those in need.
“Recent violence in northern Rakhine State has led the army to deny access to aid agencies that provide essential health care and food to people at grave risk,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Rohingya and others have been especially vulnerable since the ethnic cleansing campaign in 2012, and many rely on humanitarian aid to survive.”
On October 9, 2016, armed men attacked three police outposts in Maungdaw township near the border with Bangladesh, killing nine police officers and seizing weapons. The President’s Office blamed a previously unknown Rohingya group called Aqa Mul Mujahidin for the attacks, though other officials have said it is unclear who was responsible.
Government security forces declared the area an “operation zone” and began sweeps to find the attackers. According to senior members of the government, security forces have killed 30 people, while five members of the security forces have also been killed. However, reporting is heavily reliant on government sources as journalists have been denied access.
Rohingya activists have alleged that government forces have committed serious abuses during the current operations, including summary executions and the burning of villages.
Since October 9, authorities have blocked all aid deliveries to Maungdaw township and aid agencies have not been able to conduct a needs assessment. “We have asked [for access] from township level to Union level,” a World Food Programme (WFP) partnerships officer said. “The official explanation [for being denied access] is that security operations are ongoing.”
Under international law, authorities may restrict freedom of movement for specific security reasons for a limited period of time, but broad and open-ended restrictions are not permissible. Under the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, all authorities “shall grant and facilitate the free passage of humanitarian assistance and grant persons engaged in the provision of such assistance rapid and unimpeded access to the internally displaced.”
A number of UN agencies and nongovernmental organizations have long operated in northern Rakhine State, including the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), WFP, Medecins Sans Frontieres, and Action Contre la Faim, providing food aid and mobile health clinics, among other services. WFP alone assists 152,000 vulnerable people with various services, including nutrition support for pregnant women, nursing mothers, children under 5, and people living with HIV and tuberculosis.
WFP told Human Rights Watch that while the government has recently permitted the resumption of food assistance to 37,000 people in Buthiduang township, 50,000 people remain without food aid in Maungdaw.
The blocking of aid will also severely impact nutritional programs and mobile health clinics that serviced the area, aid workers said. With freedom of movement restricted, ill or wounded people cannot access the main hospital in Maungdaw.
Humanitarian organizations said the violence has displaced some 3,000 ethnic Rakhine people and as many as 15,000 Rohingya, but the lack of access prevents an accurate count.
Rohingya constitute approximately a third of Rakhine State’s population of over three million people. The Muslim minority has long suffered from discrimination and a host of serious human rights violations, including restrictions on the rights to freedom of movement, access to health care, and education. Successive Burmese governments have effectively denied Rohingya citizenship under Burma’s discriminatory 1982 Citizenship Law.
The fighting has also increased tension in the camps for the nearly 120,000 displaced Rohingya near the town of Sittwe in Rakhine State. These people fled their homes after communal violence in 2012, which left large numbers of people dead and entire villages destroyed.
“The Burmese government has a responsibility to search for and arrest those who attacked the border posts,” Adams said. “But it is required to do so in a manner that respects human rights, ensures that the area’s people get the aid they need, and allows journalists and rights monitors into the area.”
En Haïti, la priorité de la Croix-Rouge est de venir en aide aux communautés difficiles d’accès
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies
Avant la tempête, les infrastructures étaient déjà limitées. Maintenant, beaucoup de routes sont impraticables et les gros camions transportant des articles de secours ne peuvent pas circuler, explique la Croix-Rouge.
Port-au-Prince, 18 octobre 2016 – Les secours d’urgence commencent à atteindre les villages d’Haïti touchés par l’ouragan Matthew. Toutefois, l’ampleur des dommages subis par les routes et les infrastructures rend très difficile l’acheminement de l’aide dans nombre de communautés isolées.
Chaque jour, les volontaires de la Croix-Rouge haïtienne, avec le soutien de la Fédération internationale des Sociétés de la Croix-Rouge et du Croissant-Rouge (Fédération internationale) parviennent à fournir une assistance et des articles de secours à un nombre croissant de personnes. Cependant, beaucoup de petites communautés côtières ou situées à l’intérieur des terres qui ont désespérément besoin d’aide sont extrêmement difficiles à atteindre.
« Avant la tempête, les infrastructures étaient déjà limitées, » a déclaré Colin Chaperon, chef de l’Équipe d’évaluation et de coordination sur le terrain de la Fédération internationale. « Maintenant, beaucoup de routes sont impraticables à cause des inondations, des bâtiments effondrés et des décombres. Les gros camions transportant des articles de secours ne peuvent pas circuler. »
De plus, nombre des ports et des quais situés le long de la côte sud-ouest sont endommagés ou trop petits pour les navires-cargo qui devraient y accoster.
« Nous travaillons jour et nuit pour chercher d’autres moyens d’apporter une assistance d’urgence aux communautés difficiles d’accès, » a expliqué M. Chaperon.
Pour atteindre les villages isolés, la Fédération internationale et la Croix-Rouge haïtienne ont mis en place une chaîne d’approvisionnement logistique qui prévoit le déchargement de 30 tonnes d’articles fraîchement arrivés d’un grand navire sur des petits bateaux (ravitailleurs).
Les volontaires de la Croix-Rouge haïtienne parcourent de longues distances à pied pour se rendre dans des communautés où les véhicules ne peuvent pas accéder, en prenant avec eux tous les articles de secours qu’ils peuvent porter, comme des colis alimentaires ou des trousses d’articles d’hygiène.
« Notre principal objectif est maintenant d’apporter une aide essentielle aux communautés isolées qui n’ont pas encore reçu d’assistance, pour faire en sorte qu’elles reçoivent les soins médicaux dont elles ont besoin, et qu’elles aient accès à de l’eau, à l’assainissement et à des articles d’hygiène, afin d’éviter la propagation de maladies transmises par l’eau, comme le choléra, » a dit M. Chaperon.
La Fédération internationale a lancé un appel d’un montant de 6,8 millions de francs suisses (6,9 millions de dollars É.U.) pour fournir une assistance en matière de santé, de logement, d’approvisionnement en eau et d’assainissement à 50 000 personnes dans le sud-ouest du pays, qui a été ravagé par la tempête. Des dons peuvent être versés ici pour soutenir l’intervention d’urgence de la Croix-Rouge haïtienne.
Cliquez ici pour visionner une vidéo de l’opération logistique, et ici pour consulter des informations sur les articles de secours distribués en Haïti.
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Up to 806,000 persons in extreme food security emergency in Haiti
Source: Agency for Technical Cooperation and Development
The initial evaluation of the food security situation, carried out by the Coordination Nationale de la Sécurité Alimentaire (CNSA) and WFP in the Sud and Grande’Anse departments, is alarming.
Hurricane Matthew hit the southwestern tip of Haiti on October 4, affecting 20% of the Haitian population, especially those living in the Sud ad Grand’Anse departments. The latest figures from the governmental Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC), confirmed by UNOCHA on October 17, have estimated that some 175,500 displaced people are living in 224 shelters across the country. The humanitarian needs are immense: up to 2.1 million persons have been affected by the hurricane; 1.4 million persons are in need of humanitarian assistance, 750,000 persons of whom need emergency aid. The needs are immediate and substantial: shelters, drinking water, food, sanitation and access to medicine. The hurricane left thousands of houses flattened to the ground; roofs were snapped; and access routes to the most remote regions of Grand’Anse were cut off.
Extreme food-security emergency
The initial evaluation of the situation of food security, carried out by the Coordination Nationale de la Sécurité Alimentaire (CNSA) and the World Food Programme (WFP) in the Sud and Grande’Anse departments, is alarming. Up to 806,000 persons are in an extreme food-security emergency, and local production and livelihoods have been strongly affected.
ACTED teams have been working hard since the passage of Hurricane Matthew. The strategy of ACTED’s initial emergency response is to distribute foods and non-food items, facilitate access to drinking water and respond to cholera. The second phase of the response includes recovery activities in the sectors of agriculture, shelter and WASH.
With the support of DPC, IOM, USAID and the Minustah, initial livelihood distributions by ACTED teams started on October 19 and are planned to take place on a daily basis from that day onward, by capillarity. In addition, water treatment units, provided by Fondation Véolia, are under way. Two out of 6 units were installed on October 18-19.
Distribution of WASH kits
Multi-sectorial and WASH REACH units were also deployed in the Sud department, in support of local actors, assisting in the assessment efforts. A deployment in Grand’Anse is planned for the coming days.
Throughout the two weeks since the passage of the hurricane, ACTED teams, in coordination with local stakeholders, distributed a total of 187 jerry cans, 228 hygiene kits, 537 tarps, and 862 blankets around the Grand’Anse Department, especially in Jérémie.
ACTED also established a total of 26 chlorination points, established 3 emergency rehabilitations, in addition to 2 emergency investigations and 2 emergency reconstructions were performed in both Grand’Anse and Sud.
ACTED teams mobilised to prevent the spread of cholera
After the hurricane, many areas have been inundated and covered in mud, creating conditions for the propagation of cholera.
ACTED teams distributed a total of 125 cholera kits and 1,180 soap bars, established 45 hand-washing areas, as well as led WASH awareness-raising sessions around the Sud Department, especially in Les Cayes. Nine water points have been cleaned, in addition to 28 houses decontaminated.
Deteriorating displacement crisis in Afghanistan requires urgent attention and increased resources
Source: UN Human Rights Council
Due to a deteriorating security situation, displacement is becoming more protracted for more people, a United Nations expert on internally displaced persons explained.
KABUL / GENEVA (20 October 2016) – A United Nations expert on internally displaced persons (IDPs), Chaloka Beyani, today called on the Government of Afghanistan to intensify its efforts to meet the needs of hundreds of thousands of IDPs as a deteriorating security situation leads to dire warnings of massive new displacement.
At the end of a follow-up visit* to the country, Mr. Beyani also urged the international community “to remain consistent humanitarian and development partners at this critical time.”
The UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons expressed grave concern over escalating conflict and IDP figures. In the first ten months of 2016, according to UN agencies, over 323,000 Afghans were internally displaced across the country in areas accessible to humanitarian actors alone, continuing an upward trend witnessed over the last four years.
“Warnings by humanitarian partners suggest that many more IDPs could be displaced by the end of the year, yet attention and resources allocated to their needs seem to be waning rather than increasing in line with the growing challenges and need for durable solutions,” he stated.
“The displacement picture in Afghanistan is changing as the conflict evolves and intensifies,” Mr. Beyani explained. “Displacement is becoming more protracted for more people as the security situation has led many to make the difficult decision not to return to their homes.”
In that regard, the rights expert called on the Government and its international humanitarian and development partners to continue emergency responses, while they should also dedicate more attention and resources “to finding development-based sustainable solutions for those in protracted displacement.”
Mr. Beyani, who visited IDP locations around Kabul, Herat and Mazar-e-Sharif during his fact-finding visit, met with numerous IDP communities, both relatively newly displaced and those who have been displaced for several years.
“During my ten-day mission, IDPs described to me their experiences of displacement, sometimes multiple times, due to conflict and insecurity. Many thousands live in dire conditions and face abject poverty on the margins of urban centres, often with little or no long-term assistance,” he said. “They described their priorities as access to land, improved housing, education facilities, also for girls, healthcare clinics, water and sanitation, and livelihoods.”
“The onset of winter will bring additional challenges for already vulnerable IDPs while resources to support them are dwindling,” the Special Rapporteur warned. “In September 2016, the UN issued a Flash Appeal for US$ 150 million to meet urgent needs, including winter assistance packages, by the end of the year. I urge the donor community to respond generously and rapidly to that call.”
The expert pointed out that the commitment of donors, partners and the Government of Afghanistan to improving the lives of Afghans through the Brussels Conference held in October 2016 has provided a positive momentum. “I hope, and I encourage partners to ensure, that the funding and national initiatives within this framework for development fully include IDPs and their hosting communities who require both immediate and longer-term assistance,” he added.
The Special Rapporteur noted that many IDPs lack National ID cards or ‘Tazkira’, which restricts their access to services and justice, and education for their children. “It is no exaggeration to speak of a lost generation of displaced Afghan children deprived of education since children constitute about 56 per cent of the displaced population,” he stated.
He praised the Government for demonstrating the political will to address the IDP situation. However, a National IDP Policy, while a positive step, remains largely unimplemented in practice. National institutions charged with IDP responses lack resources and capacity to fulfill their functions. The influx of tens of thousands of Afghan returnees from Pakistan has further increased pressure on the Government and its international partners to resolve the situation of other vulnerable groups.
The Special Rapporteur, who visited the country for the second time at the invitation of the authorities, thanked the Government for its cooperation with his mandate as well as UN and other national and international partners. He will produce a comprehensive report and recommendations for presentation to the Human Rights Council in June 2017.
(*) Check the Special Rapporteur’s full end-of-mission statement:
Mr. **Chaloka Beyani** is a Professor of International Law at the London School of Economics and was appointed Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons by the Human Rights Council in September 2010. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms. Special Procedures mandate-holders are independent human rights experts appointed by the Human Rights Council to address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. They are not UN staff and are independent from any government or organization. They serve in their individual capacity and do not receive a salary for their work. Learn more, log on to: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IDPersons/Pages/IDPersonsIndex.aspx
UN Human Rights, country page - Afghanistan: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/AFIndex.aspx
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More than 50,000 migrants and refugees still live in substandard conditions and lack proper access to health care
Source: Médecins Sans Frontières
Country: Greece, World
MSF highlights the gaps within the current system that mean vulnerable people are neither properly identified nor receive appropriate protection and care.
Athens/London, 20 October 2016 – Seven months after the signature of the EU/Turkey deal and despite the huge amount of funds pledged by the EU, more than 50,000 migrants and refugees still live in substandard conditions in Greece and lack proper access to health care. MSF is especially concerned for the most vulnerable, including victims of violence, those with chronic diseases and psychiatric disorders, people with mobility limitations, (unaccompanied) minors, pregnant women and newborn babies, whose specific needs are not cared for and whose health is particularly at risk. MSF urges the Greek authorities to live up to their responsibilities in terms of assistance to a population in danger in its own territory and provide , with the support of EU member states, adequate response based on individual needs and not just the nationalities of the people.
In the report “Greece in 2016: Vulnerable People Left Behind”, MSF highlights the gaps within the current system that mean vulnerable people are firstly not properly identified and secondly do not receive appropriate protection and care. “It is appalling that seven months after the EU/Turkey deal vulnerable people are still not properly cared for in Greece. The hotspots on the islands are at 200% capacity and the services in the mainland camps sub-standard”, says Loic Jaeger, MSF’s Head of Mission in Greece. “The EU funded response is too slow and the public health system in Greece is overwhelmed. As a result, the most vulnerable people are left without the care they desperately need”.
In addition, the report illustrates how the psychological well-being of the men, women and children is affected by their precarious situation and uncertain future: “The people we work with have been through unimaginable trauma in their home countries and on the journey to Greece. For them, being blocked in Greece is like being in an open air prison”, says Christina Sideri, MSF psychologist. “Moreover, the asylum process is so slow that many will have their first asylum appointment in April, May next year. This delay and the uncertainty this means for their future is devastating.”
MSF teams, who witnessed people suffer in tents last winter, are also very worried about the lack of planning for this year’s cold season. “We’ve heard about a national plan for months now”, says Jaeger. “But people still live in tents in Northern Greece where the temperature has already dropped to 5 ° C. How can Europe leave these people in the cold for yet another winter?”.
The unwillingness or the inability of the Greek government to take the lead and to ensure proper cooperation with the other actors is having a serious impact on the quality and speed of the response. Likewise, the deliberate negligence of the EU and its member states in providing an efficient relocation system for those seeking safety and protection is prolonging and intensifying the suffering. MSF urges the EU and the Greek authorities to immediately address the needs of the most vulnerable and to facilitate legal and safe ways for those who are entitled to enter in the relocation scheme to be quickly welcomed elsewhere in Europe.