Nearly two million people in Aleppo once again with no running water through the public network
Source: UN Children's Fund
Country: Syrian Arab Republic
Intense attacks have damaged the water pumping station which supplies water to some 250,000 people. Violence is preventing repair teams from reaching the station.
DAMASCUS, 23 September 2016 – “Nearly two million people in Aleppo are once again with no running water, through the public network.
“Intense attacks last night have damaged the Bab al-Nayrab water pumping station which supplies water to some 250,000 people in the eastern parts of Aleppo. Violence is preventing repair teams from reaching the station. In retaliation, the Suleiman al Halabi pumping station, also located in the east, was switched off - cutting water to 1.5 million people in the western parts of the city.
“Depriving children of water puts them at risk of catastrophic outbreaks of waterborne diseases and adds to the suffering, fear and horror that children in Aleppo live through every day
“In the eastern part of Aleppo, the population will have to resort to highly contaminated well water. In the western part, existing deep ground water wells will provide a safe alternative water source. UNICEF will also expand emergency water trucking throughout the city, but this is a temporary solution that is not sustainable in the long term.
“It is critical for children’s survival that all parties to the conflict stop attacks on water infrastructure, provide access to assess and repair damage to Bab al-Nayrab station, and switch the water back on at the Suleiman al-Halabi station”.
ENDs- For more information
Kieran Dwyer, firstname.lastname@example.org; +963-9-9-2-892-847 Juliette Touma, email@example.com; +962-79-867-4628
Humanitarian partners pledge major increase in life-saving support for millions in the Lake Chad Basin
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: Cameroon, Chad, Niger, Nigeria
UN agencies and NGOs are scaling up their operations to deliver assistance to six million people, including some 800,000 people in newly-accessible areas in north-eastern Nigeria, but the response remains critically underfunded.
Governments, regional organizations and humanitarian agencies today pledged a major increase in life-saving support to the millions of people affected by the humanitarian crisis unfolding in the Lake Chad Basin.
Heeding the call of United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, Jan Eliasson, at a high-level event held on the margins of the UN General-Assembly, donors including Belgium, Italy, the United Kingdom and the United States pledged over US$163 million in humanitarian support for the Lake Chad Basin, an area which straddles Cameroon, Chad, Niger and Nigeria.
“I am very encouraged by the new commitments of support that have come out of today’s event”, said Stephen O’Brien, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator. “We must now use these vital extra resources to accelerate our implementation and do everything possible to rapidly scale up life-saving assistance to the millions of people that urgently need our help.”
Beyond financial assistance, affected countries and humanitarian partners pledged to strengthen collaboration to meet immediate needs of affected communities, provide longer-term development assistance and to address the root causes of the crisis.
Over nine million people across the Lake Chad Basin urgently need humanitarian assistance. Some 6.3 million are food insecure and 2.6 million people, including 1.5 million children, have been forced to flee from their homes. Violence and insecurity have brought economic activity to a halt and farmers across the region have missed three successive planting seasons.
"The Lake Chad Basin crisis is one of the most acute emergencies in the world. The situation of many affected communities has deteriorated beyond alarming levels. If we do not act fast, and do more especially in areas that were previously inaccessible, thousands of people will die,” said Assistant Secretary-General and Regional Humanitarian Coordinator for the Sahel, Toby Lanzer.
UN agencies and NGOs are scaling up their operations to deliver assistance to six million people, including some 800,000 people in newly-accessible areas in north-eastern Nigeria, but the response remains critically underfunded. Only $197 million (or 27 per cent) of the $739 million required for the provision of the most urgent life-saving assistance until the end of 2016 has been received, leaving a gap of $542 million prior to today’s event.
The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), managed by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), has provided over $90 million for life-saving humanitarian aid to 2.5 million people affected by the Lake Chad Basin crisis in 2015-16.
The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the European Union (EU) co-organized the event with OCHA. Speakers included the President of the Republic of Chad, Idriss Déby; President of the Republic of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou; the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari; the Minister of Territorial Administration and Decentralisation of the Republic of Cameroon, René Emmanuel Sadi; the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides; and the Secretary General of the OIC, Iyad Ameen Madani.
Over 50,000 migrants opted for assisted voluntary return in first half of 2016: IOM
Source: International Organization for Migration
According to the bulletin, 32 percent of returnees assisted by IOM in January-June 2016 were women and 27 percent were children. Nearly 600 victims of trafficking were also helped.
Switzerland - IOM assisted 51,031* migrants in the first half of 2016 under its Assisted Voluntary Return and Reintegration (AVRR) programmes. The migrants were from 150 different countries of origin and were returned from 92 host and/or transit countries.
Based on the figures outlined in the first AVRR bulletin the number of AVRR beneficiaries is likely to reach 100,000 by the end of the year.
By comparison IOM assisted 69,540 migrants in 2015 – nearly 60 percent more than in 2014, when it helped 43,786 migrants to return to their countries of origin in a safe and dignified manner.
The majority of migrants assisted by IOM to return voluntarily in the first half of 2016 departed from the European Economic Area, with Germany accounting for over half of the total.
“Voluntary returns from other regions such as the Middle-East and North Africa, and West and Central Africa, have also increased in 2016. For example, Niger and Morocco are among the top 10 most important host and/or transit countries for AVRR in the first half of the year,” said Anh Nguyen, Head of IOM’s Migrant Assistance Division.
According to the bulletin, 32 percent of returnees assisted by IOM between January and June 2016 were women and 27 percent were children. Nearly 600 victims of trafficking were also helped to voluntarily return home under IOM specific standards, principles and guidelines.
The AVRR bulletin was produced by IOM Migrant Assistance Division with the support of IOM Global Migration Data Analysis Centre (GMDAC). For further information on AVRR programmes, please click here.
To download the bulletin please go to: http://reliefweb.int/node/1707221/
- Periodic data is provisional and should therefore be considered as an estimation. AVRR global data is reviewed and finalized on an annual basis.
For further information, please contact Nicola Graviano at IOM HQ. Tel.: +41 22 717 94 72, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Hunger stalks north-eastern Nigeria
Source: Catholic Relief Services, ActionAid, Danish Refugee Council, COOPI - Cooperazione Internazionale, Norwegian Refugee Council, INTERSOS, Christian Aid, Mercy Corps, Action Against Hunger, Oxfam, International Rescue Committee, International Medical Corps, Save the Children, Plan, Première Urgence Internationale
In some areas of Borno state in Nigeria, the rate of acute malnutrition in children under five is over 50 per cent, similar to what was seen during the 2011 crisis in Somalia when the scale and severity of hunger led to a declaration of famine.
The ongoing conflict with Boko Haram in West Africa has pushed the number of people facing the threat of severe hunger to more than 6 million according to the latest assessments, say 15 humanitarian organisations.
The warning comes as governments and donors meet to talk about the humanitarian crisis in the Lake Chad Basin region at the UN General Assembly in New York on the 23 September.
The revised UN appeal is calling for US$559 million until the end of the year to meet the emergency needs caused by the crisis. Organisations say that without more money they are unable to reach the most vulnerable people even in areas that can be accessed.
Over 65,000 people are already living in famine in pockets of northeast Nigeria, and over one million people are one step away from famine. In the countries of Nigeria, Niger, Chad and Cameroon there are 6.3 million people severely food insecure. Of these 4.4 million people are in Nigeria.
At the UN General Assembly world leaders will also discuss the plight of refugees and migrants, but those who have fled their homes but remain inside their countries will be missed from the discussions. With 2.6 million people on the move, the Lake Chad Basin is Africa's fastest growing displacement crisis and should be high on their agenda.
Yannick Pouchalan, Action Against Hunger’s Country Director for Nigeria: “What we are seeing is families teetering on the edge of famine. If organisations can’t reach communities in areas trapped by the conflict, we will be looking at a far greater disaster than we are currently facing. Many of those arriving in camps are already severely malnourished. We see families who have not eaten for days, many are begging for food. If the situation continues to deteriorate many more people may die.”
In some areas of Borno state in Nigeria, the rate of acute malnutrition in children under five is over 50 per cent. This is similar to what was seen during the 2011 crisis in Somalia when the scale and severity of hunger led to a declaration of famine.
The conflict, and military operations to counter it, has meant that farmland, rivers and lakes that people rely on for growing food and fishing are off limits as part of military operations in Nigeria, Niger and Chad. Markets have been closed, and people’s means of transport, such as motorbikes, have been banned, cutting people off from their ways of making a living.
Lisa Bay, Oxfam’s Lake Chad Basin’s Operational Lead, said: “Civilians have paid a high price for policies of cutting off Boko Haram’s food and supplies. People should be able to fish, farm and sell their goods at markets. We have seen hugely generous communities welcome people who have fled their homes – but now they have nothing to give. They too are hungry and need access to aid.”
15 organisations in Nigeria are looking for over US$143 million until the end of the year to provide life saving support such as food, water, shelter and safety, but are struggling to secure the funding and scale up their activities.
Sarah Ndikumana, IRC’s Nigeria Country Director: “We have received little over US$53 million, but there is a funding gap of nearly US$90 million. Without money we simply can’t reach the people who need it the most with aid. The situation is critical with many lives hanging in the balance. We urge donors to dig deep to stop this crisis turning into a huge catastrophe. We cannot stand-by and watch thousands of people suffer and die when we can do something about it.”
Jennifer Poidatz, Vice President of Catholic Relief Services’ Humanitarian Response Department, said: "We need to learn from other protracted crises in the world, where short-term solutions simply don't allow people who have fled from their homes to go back to their lives. Only robust funding over multiple years, of both international organisations and local and national organisations on the ground, will ensure that we can adequately respond. We also need political leadership and action to address the root causes of the violence.”
As a result of the conflict, there have been alarming levels of sexual violence, human rights abuses and forced recruitment, even of young children. The security situation remains fragile and violence continues, making it difficult for the agencies to get assistance to all the people who need it.
UN eyes alternate aid delivery route for Syria's Aleppo
Source: UN Department of Public Information
Country: Syrian Arab Republic
The UN is now considering sending aid along a much longer route through Damascus, but when such a convoy could move would depend on the security situation on the ground.
Jens Laerke, for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), said that on 22 September an inter-agency convoy of 23 trucks had completed delivery of humanitarian assistance to 35,000 people in the besieged town of Moadamiya in rural Damascus. The assistance had included food, some medical supplies, nutrition, education supplies, WASH and non-food supplies. The drivers and trucks had returned safely after the delivery. Moadamiya had last been reached by an inter-agency convoy on 24 July 2016.
With the 22 September delivery, altogether, the UN had reached with aid nearly 1.3 million people in hard-to-reach, besieged and priority cross-line areas in Syria in 2016, many of them having been reached more than once. Throughout the year, there had been 115 inter-agency convoys, 85 airlifts and 122 airdrops with aid to those in need.
The UN would continue to plan for further cross-line and cross-border deliveries as soon as conditions on the ground would allow for it.
In response to a question, Mr. Laerke said that those were dark days for the humanitarian operation in Syria. It had been with shock and disbelief that the UN had received the news of the attack on 19 September. Based on the humanitarian imperative of staying and delivering, and doing one’s utmost in this difficult context, the UN had resumed the inter-agency, cross-line convoys that had been put on hold as an immediate security measure for a short period of time. Still, the situation was grim. There were many people entitled to aid who were not getting it. The UN was trying to deliver as much as possible through all kinds of modalities: cross-border deliveries, cross-line deliveries, air bridges and airdrops, as well as other kinds of regular programmes to beneficiaries to whom there was easier access. The UN was pushing ahead with what was its job. However, it was crucially important to have sustained, unconditional, safe and unimpeded access to all people in need throughout Syria, not least to the more than 5 million people who were in besieged and hard-to-reach areas.
In response to another question, Mr. Laerke said that the important thing for humanitarians was to deliver in accordance with the core principle of impartiality. The UN delivered aid based on people’s needs and not on where they were located, their political affiliation, religious belief or any other distinction. The goal was to reach everyone in need to the best of the UN’s ability, using to the fullest all the modalities at its disposal, including cross-border deliveries from Turkey and into northern Syria. In response to a question regarding refusals of approval for convoys, Mr. Laerke said that the UN frequently protested instances of partial approval of convoys, or instances where certain types of supplies were either prevented from being loaded on the convoys, taken off or not approved. The UN did not shy away from speaking out about it publicly. However, the ability to access people was very much determined by the security situation in various areas, and there were many actors who were key in determining the security situation as it unfolded on the ground. He also said that he did not have a timeline for delivery to the Four Towns, but that convoys were planned, as were other cross-line convoys, including an evaluation to see how it would be possible to reach East Aleppo, not just with a cross-border operation from Turkey but also with an in-country convoy.
In response to further questions, Mr. Laerke said that the UN did not currently today have access to East Aleppo, which was tragic because there were some 250,000 to 275,000 people in need of aid. Food stocks are reportedly low and many other commodities were not available. Any increase or intensification of hostilities would certainly not increase the prospects for access. There was an acute, immediate need for adherence to international humanitarian law which stipulated that civilians in armed conflict must be protected from the effects of war. He also clarified that the food in the 40 trucks waiting to go to Aleppo was fit for consumption for several months. The UN was exploring a possibility of an in-country convoy to Aleppo but there were no further details available so far.
Mr. Laerke also said that there were an estimated 13.5 million people in need of aid in Syria. Those estimates were based on people’s needs and not on where they were located. In response to final questions, Mr. Laerke said that humanitarian action, which had been going on in Syria for five years, was separate from political negotiations. Humanitarians had been there before, during, and would be there afterwards, as long as there would be people in need. He also said that the UN Monitoring Mechanism was a spinoff of the UN Security Council resolution that had granted the UN the possibility to cross borders without the explicit consent of the Syrian Government, since 2014, and that continued.
Overall there were 5.47 million people in besieged and hard-to-reach areas, including 590,200 people in besieged areas and 4.88 million in hard-to-reach areas.
Christian Lindmeier, for the World Health Organization (WHO), informed the press that WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic would be in Syria for the coming three weeks and would be available for media inquiries.
Mr. LeBlanc took note of a request voiced by ACANU and several members of the press corps for clarifications and corrections to stakeout transcripts to be sent out in the form of a dedicated note, instead of the whole transcript being resent.
More than 300,000 Burundians have fled to stretched neighbouring countries
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees
Country: Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia
UNHCR expects the number of arrivals to continue to rise, but fears Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and DRC and aid agencies will struggle to continue providing adequate services.
By: William Spindler
The number of people fleeing violence, threats, extrajudicial killings, abduction, torture and persecution in Burundi has passed the 300,000 mark some 18 months after the political crisis in the central African nation erupted in April last year.
These people have fled Burundi – principally from Muyinga, Makamba, Cankuzo, Kirundo and Ruyigi provinces – in search of asylum or international protection. Although departure numbers have generally not been as high as in 2015, there has been a constant flow this year, including more than 20,000 in July and August.
We expect the number of arrivals will continue to rise in the remaining months of this year, but fear that neighbouring Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and aid agencies such as UNHCR will struggle to continue providing adequate shelter, protection and life-saving services.
The reception capacities of these host countries are severely overstretched and conditions remain dire for many refugees, most of whom are women and children.
These worrying trends will persist as long as a solution to the political crisis remains elusive, with far-reaching humanitarian consequences in Burundi and the region. To ensure that the refugees receive the assistance and protection they need, UNHCR calls on the international community to maintain efforts for peace and step up support for the countries of asylum, particularly in areas such as shelter, basic services, education, health and livelihoods.
Tanzania currently hosts 163,084 Burundian refugees, the largest number in the region. In mid-September it was receiving new arrivals at a rate of 324 per day. More than 78% of the new arrivals are women and children.
As the influx continues, UNHCR is in talks with the government to urgently identify a fourth camp site in the west of the country to alleviate the crowding in Nyarugusu (which also houses Congolese refugees), Nduta and Mtendeli camps and to accommodate the new arrivals.
Resources are desperately needed to provide protection and basic assistance and respond to the urgent needs of refugees including, among others, in education, prevention and response to sexual and gender-based violence, child protection and youth programming, psycho-social counselling, and livelihood activities.
Rwanda is home to more than 81,000 Burundian refugees, over 50,000 of whom live in Mahama camp in the east, with some 30,000 in Kigali and other urban areas.
Around 70% of the refugees are living in emergency shelters, which are starting to deteriorate. As the number of arrivals continues to rise, UNHCR is urgently working on the construction of more permanent shelters.
Half of the Burundian refugees in Rwanda are children, many of whom arrived unaccompanied or separated from their families. UNHCR and its partners are concentrating on providing family tracing, reunification, and alternative care arrangements for these children.
At the end of August, Uganda was hosting 41,938 refugees from Burundi, 13,298 of whom have arrived this year. A steady influx of between 1,000 and 3,000 have been arriving each month and most are being hosted in Nakivale settlement, with smaller numbers in Kampala, Kyaka and Oruchinga.
We work with the government and partners to provide emergency assistance, including food, water, shelter, but our humanitarian response – as in the other countries – is becoming increasingly stretched in the face of growing needs in areas such as health, education and water distribution.
More health clinics are needed so that people do not have to walk long distances to access care or rely on mobile clinics; pipelines need to be laid to distribute water in refugee settlements and cut costs of trucking in potable water; schools and classrooms are urgently needed as well as school materials.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
The Democratic Republic of Congo has seen a significant increase in the number of new arrivals from Burundi: 3,925 refugees were registered between July and mid-September, mostly women and children. This compares to 1,773 from April-June. In August, a monthly high of more than 1,650 Burundians refugees were transferred from the border to Lusenda camp, which now hosts more than 21,000 people – well over its capacity for 18,000.
With the start of the rainy season in late September, many of the emergency shelters constructed in the camp since 2015 need urgent rehabilitation. In the meantime, UNHCR is working closely with the Congolese authorities to identify an additional site near Lusenda, in South Kivu province, to accommodate the new arrivals.
More than 1,700 Burundian refugees and asylum seekers have arrived in Zambia since April last year, including 715 between January and August this year. Most of the asylum-seekers are in Lusaka awaiting word on their asylum applications. Once granted refugee status, the Burundian refugees will be relocated to either of two refugee settlements, where they are allotted plots of land by the government and receive assistance from UNHCR and partners.
For more information on this topic, please contact:
In Kigali, Erika Fitzpatrick, email@example.com, +250 788 38 98 28
In Kigali, Martina Pomeroy, firstname.lastname@example.org, +250 788 38 9828
In Kampala, Charles Yaxley, email@example.com, +256 (0) 776 720 045
In Kinshasa, Andreas Kirchhof, firstname.lastname@example.org, +243 81 700 9484
In Lusaka, Kelvin Shimo, email@example.com, +260 979 585 832
In Dar es Salaam, Daria Santoni, firstname.lastname@example.org, +255 22 260 2708 ext 2760
In Geneva, Leo Dobbs, email@example.com, +41 79 883 6347
Devastating impacts of El Niño continue globally
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: Angola, Botswana, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Fiji, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Marshall Islands, Mozambique, Namibia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, Sudan, Swaziland, Timor-Leste, Vanuatu, Viet Nam, World, Zambia, Zimbabwe
23 countries have issued appeals requiring a total of $5 billion. Only 38 per cent is funded as of September 2016, leaving 60 million people at significant risk of further loss.
The El Niño weather event has been in a neutral phase since May. Nevertheless, it continues to have a devastating impact on vulnerable people in parts of Eastern and Southern Africa, Asia and the Pacific, the Dry Corridor in Central America, and Haiti in the Caribbean. This event will also cause long term consequences for public health, nutrition, livelihoods, water and sanitation.
The weather phenomenon has resulted in poor or failed harvests in Africa, the Pacific and Central America in mid-2016, and has forced millions of poor households to resort to negative coping mechanisms, such as reducing meal sizes and non-food expenditures and selling productive assets. Poor or failed harvests lower the food supply and drive up food prices putting more burden on vulnerable households who have already seen their income reduced from poor crop production, loss of livestock and lack of employment. Water scarcity has also triggered human and livestock migration, particularly in pastoral communities. While some areas have experienced poor harvests due to drought, El Niño has led to heavy rainfalls and flooding in other parts of East Africa, Asia and Latin America, which has damaged crops and further reduced food security. The drought and floods also contribute to the spread of water- and mosquito-borne diseases.
Humanitarian partners have been calling for immediate support for farmers, particularly in East and Southern Africa where the growing season will start in September and October. A timely response could help avoid another food crisis in 2017. Many vulnerable households, including subsistence farmers and pastoral communities, are also in need of food assistance, nutrition and other basic services and support to recover their livelihoods.
In August, Ethiopia and Somalia renewed calls for funding for humanitarian response through the end of 2016. Ethiopia has requested $1.6 billion to assist 9.5 million drought-affected people until December 2016. Somalia is requesting $61 million to continue with the response in the Puntland and Somaliland regions until September 2016. In Southern Africa, Zimbabwe is revising its humanitarian requirements after a recent assessment showed an increase in the number of vulnerable people from 2.8 million to 4.1 million.
Food assistance is still delivered to affected communities in Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea and the Republic of Marshall Islands, while about 2 million people in Vietnam need access to safe drinking water following massive saltwater intrusion. In Vietnam, a joint Government-humanitarian partners’ drought recovery plan is being finalized, with the cost of recovery estimated to be $166 million for the remainder of 2016 and $368 million for 2017. Disaster risk reduction and livelihood recovery activities are being implemented to build resilience to future crises, including in the Republic of Marshall Islands and Timor-Leste.
In the Dry Corridor in Central America, about 3.5 million people are still in need of food and livelihoods support. The situation is exacerbated by floods, disease outbreaks and coffee rust infestation.
Latest Forecasts from the US Climate Prediction Centre show that neutral conditions are now more likely than La Niña conditions for the remainder of 2016 and early 2017.
Twenty-three countries have issued costed response plans, requiring a total of $5 billion. As of September 2016, only 38 per cent of the total requirement is funded, leaving 60 million people at significant risk of further loss.
The invisible majority: Helping internally displaced persons
Source: UN Development Programme, Norwegian Refugee Council, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, International Rescue Committee, UN Human Rights Council
In an open letter sent today to all member states of the United Nations, humanitarian leaders are urging governments to find durable solutions for 40.8 million internally displaced persons.
An open letter by OCHA, UNDP, IRC, NRC and the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons
In recent years, we have been haunted by images of refugees, asylum seekers and vulnerable migrants forced to embark on perilous journeys. Confronting this human suffering rightfully demands our attention. The adoption of the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants earlier this week is an important milestone in that endeavor. We would like to command the leadership of all those who have helped achieve such great success; their continued engagement will remain essential to ensure that concrete actions in support of refugees and migrants follow the adoption of the declaration. We were heartened by the fact that people on the move featured prominently in other key discussions during the General Assembly, in particular at the High Level meetings on Syria, Yemen, Iraq and South Sudan.
Yet the vast majority of people who have currently been forced from their homes have not yet crossed international borders. They too have fled armed conflict, violence or disasters. However, because they’ve been displaced within their own countries, their stories have not been told. Instead, their plight is often forgotten.
Today, of the 65.3 million people forcibly displaced around the globe, 40.8 million or more than six out of ten are internally displaced persons (IDPs). They are the invisible majority of displaced persons.
We are all aware of the tragic death of three year-old Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian toddler whose body washed up on a beach in Turkey. The horrific photo shared around the world showed the ordeal faced by so many refugees. But when Aylan and his family first fled their home, they moved several times seeking safety within Syria. It was only the lack of support and dire conditions that finally forced the family to undertake their most dangerous journey and flee the country, with tragic consequences.
It would be a great failure of humanity to limit whom we help based on lines on a map. Our work is guided by humanity and humanity has no borders. We must do all we can to ensure that no group is neglected. We must leave no one behind. This was the world’s pledge through the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Agenda for Humanity. There can be no sustainable development if the more than 40 million internally displaced people are left behind.
When people flee their homes, they often hope to return within days or weeks. In reality, for most of them it takes years or even decades as conflict, destruction or occupation drags on, or due to fear of harassment or attack, lack of economic opportunity and other factors. Many soon slide into poverty, having sold jewelry or other assets and with few opportunities to support their families. They become particularly vulnerable to extortion, discrimination and abuse. Internal displacement often marks the beginning of a long struggle at the bottom or in the margins of society.
Tackling this reality requires stepping up efforts to meet the immediate protection and assistance needs of IDPs, but also addressing the long-term political and development challenges resulting from internal displacement. To give internally displaced people the chance to return to a dignified life, they must have full freedom of movement, access to basic services, labour markets, health, education, adequate housing, sustainable livelihoods and secure land tenure. We must drive towards real, measurable improvements in their lives in the form of specific outcomes in health, education, economic well-being and safety. This requires strong leadership from national Governments. International organisations and bi-lateral partners must support those efforts to reduce protracted displacement and not only “manage” caseloads.
Urgent action is needed to find a consistent and collective vision for addressing the long-term needs of internally displaced persons and supporting the communities that host them. This work must comply with international conventions and be underpinned by strong national policies and comprehensive and appropriate international assistance. The UN Secretary-General has called for renewed efforts to prevent internal displacement, address the root causes and support safe, dignified and durable solutions for internally displaced people, with the aim of halving internal displacement globally by 2030. The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants also recognizes the plight of those displaced within national borders and notes the need for protection and assistance and prevention of displacement in the first place. To achieve this, the world must immediately do more to support IDPs and the communities that host them.
We urge governments, world leaders, thought leaders and the public to unite behind this cause. We should come together next year to propose better ways to prevent internal displacement and support the invisible majority of displaced people. Until then, we also call on leaders and members of the public to keep the spotlight of our compassion on the internally displaced, alongside refugees and migrants.
Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator
Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme
President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee
Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council
Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons
Red Cross helps 4,000 displaced people in Kayin State, Myanmar
Source: International Committee of the Red Cross
In response to displacements following recent armed clashes in Kayin State, around 4,000 people who took refuge in Myaing Gyi Ngu have received urgent assistance.
Yangon/Hpa An (ICRC) – In response to displacements following recent armed clashes in Kayin State, around 4000 people who took refuge in Myaing Gyi Ngu have received urgent assistance from the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) together with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), supplementing the timely and generous support already provided by the monastries, authorities and civil society.
Armed clashes intensified in that region the first weeks of September which prompted the displacement of around 4,000 people from 22 villages to the town of Myaing Gyui Ngu, situated 2 hours north of Hpa An town. Displaced people took refuge in two monasteries. "These camps are well organized. People receive donations, food and water from host communities, local organizations and the authorities. To complement the initial response, we have decided to support them as well", said Khun Kyaw Win, G1 of the MRCS in Kayin.
The MRCS after an assessment last Saturday together with the ICRC has just distributed this weekend over 300 dignity kits (clothes and hygiene products for women), water purifiers, LED lamps, mosquito repellent coils and oral rehydration salt. "Hygiene is the main issue. More latrines are needed and people should be protected from mosquitos", said See Lwin, field officer in charge of ICRC office in Hpa An. "In addition to this, displaced people are very much concerned by their fields and cattle left behind".
The ICRC and the MRCS are distributing 1000 mosquito nets (one per family), additional supplies such as over 800 dignity kits, 50 garbage bins to support waste management in the camps, 200 sleeping mats. A dozen Red Cross volunteers are on the spot to participate to the relief operations and are involved with the Township Health Department for health care, hygiene promotion and camp management with local authorities, for instance maintaining a clean environment and cooking.
The Myanmar Red Cross has a branch in Hpa-An and the ICRC, whose mission consists of helping those affected by armed conflict, has been present in Kayin State since 2000, where it mainly supports a MRCS physical rehabilitation centre.
For further information, please contact:
U Khin Maung Hla, Secretary General, MRCS, tel: +95 9 8553293, firstname.lastname@example.org
Shwe Sin Kyaw Soe, Communication acting director, MRCS, tel: +95 9 9977115601, email@example.com
Zaw Win, ICRC Yangon, tel: +95 9 254 210 287, firstname.lastname@example.org
Humanitarian response severely underfunded as South Sudan crisis deepens
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Country: South Sudan
While new clashes in multiple locations have left even greater numbers of people uprooted, hunger and malnutrition have reached historic levels and taken hold in previously stable areas.
Since the beginning of 2016, the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan has deepened and spread. New clashes in multiple locations across the country have left even greater numbers of people uprooted. Civilians continue to be killed and subjected to horrendous violations, including sexual violence. Hunger and malnutrition have reached historic levels and taken hold in previously stable areas.
The operating environment is increasingly dangerous and difficult, including due to violence against aid workers, bureaucratic impediments, looting, and interference in humanitarian operations. The response is also severely underfunded. Just 54 per cent (US$691.8m) has been received out of $1.3 billion required under the 2016 South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) to respond to the most life-threatening needs of 5.1 million people across the country.
Despite the challenges, humanitarian partners delivered lifesaving assistance and protection to more than 3.2 million people across the country from January to July 2016, including in some of the most remote locations.