Asia Pacific Humanitarian Update

Situation Report

Highlights

  • AFGHANISTAN: Half of the country's population face acute hunger
  • CLIMATE EMERGENCY: OCHA signs up to Climate and Environment Charter for Humanitarian Organizations
  • MYANMAR: Escalation of Conflict in the Northwest
  • NEPAL: 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered
  • PHILIPPINES: Philippines and UN align relief efforts for upcoming typhoon season
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Key Figures

18.4M
People in Need in Afghanistan (2021)
11M
People in Need in Pakistan (2021)
1.3M
People in Rohingya Joint Response Plan
3M
People targeted for assistance in Myanmar

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Contacts

Pierre Peron

Regional Public Information Officer, OCHA ROAP

Asia Pacific Humanitarian Update

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Tonga: Volcanic Eruption - Flash Update # 3 (As of 18 January 2022)

Situation Overview

The United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT) has released a preliminary assessment report and has analyzed five areas/islands. Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai; Nuku’alofa; Uoleva; Uiha and Nomuka. The Pleiades satellite image acquired on 16 January 2022 shows that the caldera of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai has collapsed and the island has lost a substantial percentage of its initial surface of 285ha. Damage can also be seen in Nuku’alofa, Uoleva, Nomuka and Uiha with mainly inundated areas and zones with ash deposits. The analysis can be viewed and downloaded at: https://www.unitar.org/maps/map/3433.

The European Union activated its Emergency Management Service of the EU Earth Observations System Copernicus and initial results are available online under https://emergency.copernicus.eu/mapping/list-of-components/EMSR558 and under https://emergency.copernicus.eu/mapping/system/files/components/EMSR558_AOI02_GRA_PRODUCT_r1_RTP01_v1.pdf Yesterday, Australia and New Zealand carried out surveillance flights over Tonga. The pictures are currently being analyzed, will first be shared with the Tongan Government, and should then be available shortly.

The full extent of damage is yet to be fully quantified. The eruption broke the underwater communications cable, leaving most parts of Tonga without communication and internet access. A ship is underway from Papua New Guinea to fix the cable. It is feared that the rupture of this cable is close to the volcano, making it potentially dangerous to restore. Anticipating an extended period of communications challenges. Communication means within Tonga are gradually being restored.

Tonga is also negotiating with broadband satellite operator Kacific to access a satellite internet connection. An initial assessment from the Government of Tonga is that 100 houses were damaged and 50 destroyed in Tongatapu.

No evacuation centres are open in Tongatapu, the people who were displaced (numbers not confirmed as of now) are staying with extended families. There are 89 people in evacuation centres in ‘Eua. Information from outer islands is still very scarce. In Ha’apai and Vava’u islands, communication lines remain down and concerns exist regarding damage to low lying island in this group. Three deaths have been recorded so far.

Preliminary information from the Tongan Ministry of Agriculture indicates that the damage in the agricultural sector, and particularly of root crops, is less severe than initially feared.

Due to thick ash cover is thicker than anticipated (between 5 and 10 cm) and will need more time to be cleared away. Planned relief flights (from Australia and New Zealand, for the time being) are on stand-by. It is hoped the airport will be operational by 20 January 2022. New Zealand is bringing survey and diving teams to inspect changes to the seabed in shipping channels and ports. These teams will also assess wharf infrastructure to assure the future delivery of aid and support from the sea.

The Tongan Government has advised that further updated needs and requests for assistance will be available by the end of this week. Download document

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Earthquake in Badghis Province, Afghanistan - Flash Update No. 1 (As of 18 January 2022, 10:00 local time (Kabul)

Earthquake in Badghis Province, Afghanistan - Flash Update No. 1 (As of 18 January 2022, 10:00 local time (Kabul)

Situation Overview

  • A 5.3 magnitude earthquake struck in Qadis District, Badghis Province in the Western Region of Afghanistan at 16:10 local time (UTC+4:30) on 17 January 2022. The earthquake was preceded by a smaller earthquake and was felt in Badghis, Ghor and Hirat Provinces. The earthquake reportedly resulted in human casualties and damage to homes and infrastructure in Qadis District, Badghis Province.

  • According to the US Geological Service, the earthquake measured 5.3 on the Richter scale, was shallow at a depth of 18.8 km, and had an epicentre 41km East of Qala-e-Naw in Badghis Province.

  • Initial reports indicate that 26 people were reportedly killed, four people injured, and hundreds of houses were damaged or destroyed. Heavy rains in the area prior to the earthquake reportedly rendered mud brick houses more vulnerable to damage.

Preliminary Humanitarian Needs and Response

People whose homes have been damaged or destroyed are being hosted by their relatives and other members of their communities. Preliminary reports indicate that food, shelter, and non-food items, and heating materials are most urgently needed.

The Western Region Operational Coordination Team (OCT) has been mobilized and an inter-agency assessment team is being deployed to the affected areas in Qadis District today 18 January. Initial emergency support will also be provided in the form of hot meals, mobile health teams, and the distribution of water purification tablets, hygiene kits, and water kits.

Further updates will be issued.

For more information, please contact: Pierre Peron peronp@un.org Download document

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Myanmar Humanitarian Update No. 14 | 17 January 2022

Myanmar Humanitarian Update No. 14 | 17 January 2022

This regular update, covering humanitarian developments from 1 and 26 December, is produced by OCHA Myanmar in collaboration with the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group and UNHCR. The January Humanitarian update will be issued in early February 2022.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The security and humanitarian situation across Myanmar remains tense, with continued armed clashes in multiple states and regions, resulting in additional loss of life, destruction of civilian property and increasing internal and cross-border displacement.

• On 24 December, at least 35 civilians, including four children and two humanitarian actors, were killed and burnt in Kayah State, south-eastern Myanmar.

• As of 27 December, an estimated 320,900 people remained internally displaced across Myanmar due to clashes and insecurity since 1 February 2021. This is in addition to the 340,000 people living in protracted displacement before February 2021.

• A small number of partners were able to reach IDPs and other affected people in acute conflict areas during December, but greater access remains critical for the urgent delivery of humanitarian assistance to hundreds of thousands of vulnerable people.

• At the end of the year, the Humanitarian Response plan was 58 per cent funded receiving US$225.3 million of the $385.7 million requested for 2021. In 2022, the humanitarian community requires increased funding to bring in additional resources to scale up its efforts to address the unmet and escalating needs.

• On 31 December, the 2022 Humanitarian Needs Overview was published identifying 14.4 million people in need. The 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan will be published by the end of January outlining efforts to reach 6.2 million people with assistance and requiring $826 million.

KEY FIGURES

320K people currently displaced across Myanmar by clashes and insecurity since February 2021

175K people currently displaced in southeast Myanmar by insecurity and clashes since February 2021

132K people currently displaced in Chin State, Magway and Sagaing regions by clashes and insecurity since May 2021

17K people currently displaced in Shan since January 2021 and in Kachin since March 2021 due to clashes and insecurity

SITUATION OVERVIEW

The security and humanitarian situation in Myanmar remains volatile, with civilians bearing the brunt of ongoing armed clashes between the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and Ethnic Armed Organisations (EAOs) and/or various PDFs, as well as between EAOs, in multiple states and regions. In Kayin and Kayah states, as well as Magway and Sagaing regions, clashes have intensified, resulting in increasing civilian casualties, destruction of civilian properties and internal and cross-border displacement.

Since the February military takeover, more than 2,200 houses and other civilian properties have reportedly either been burnt down or destroyed, mainly in Chin (800), Kayah (654), Sagaing (529), and Magway (223). As of 27 December 2021, an estimated 320,900 people were internally displaced due to clashes and insecurity since 1 February, according to UNHCR figures. The southeast of the country (Kayin, Kayah and southern Shan) recorded the highest new internal displacement with 175,700 IDPs (55 per cent), followed by the northwest part (Sagaing, Magway and Chin) with 132,200 IDPs (41 per cent), Shan with 14,400 IDPs (four per cent) and Kachin with 3,200 IDPs (one per cent). In addition, 340,000 people remain displaced due to earlier conflicts before 2021. This includes 106,800 people in protracted displacement camps (since 2011) in Kachin and northern Shan; 144,000, mostly Rohingya people, in camps in Rakhine State (since 2012); and 79,900 people displaced in Rakhine State and southern Chin due to conflict between the Arakan Army (AA) and the MAF from early 2019 and late 2020. More than 19,000 people have crossed the borders into neighbouring countries since February 2021.

With only 58 per cent of the requested funding (US$225.3 million out of $385.7 million) received in 2021, the UN and its humanitarian partners succeeded in providing record levels of life-saving assistance and protection services. As of early December, the humanitarian response reached more than 2.4 million out of the three million people in need identified in the original 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan and subsequent Myanmar Interim Emergency Response Plan (June-December). Final full-year figures for 2021 will be available in February 2022. Despite this significant scaleup, humanitarian needs continue to grow. In 2022, humanitarians estimate 14.4 million people are in humanitarian need and have prioritized 6.2 million for urgent assistance. To meet these needs $826 million in funding and expanded access will be required. Download document

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Community Perception Report - Heavy Rain

Nepal: Community Perception Report Flood, Landslide And Heavy Rain January 2022

In early 2021 Nepal was selected as a pilot country for OCHA’s Central Emergency Response Fund’s anticipatory action project. Anticipatory action is an attempt to design response intervention and act to execute them in advance of a predictable natural hazard, with an aim to mitigate the risk faced by exposed communities and prevent the loss of lives and livelihoods. By acting prior to an imminent disaster based on predictive models, humanitarian action becomes more effective, efficient and dignified. OCHA allocated $6.7 million for the pilot in Nepal for a potential flood event in two major river basins.

In the months leading up to the onset of monsoon season, five partner agencies worked closely with OCHA and the UN Resident Coordinator’s Office (RCO) to agree on a scientific trigger which would indicate a large scale flood event was coming, a package of pre-defined interventions to be carried out upon the trigger being activated and pre-agreed financing to enable these activities. Given the COVID-19 context, and the short window of time between the anticipatory action framework design and the onset of monsoon, readiness and action activities of the anticipatory action pilot in 2021 were designed based on the experiences of participating agencies and did not involve an inter-agency community perception survey.

Although no major flood event happened during the monsoon season, Nepal witnessed unseasonal heavy rains shortly after monsoon season, resulting in a string of floods and landslides across the country. As it was the time of harvest, many crops had been cut and were washed away. It was estimated that up to 35% of crops were lost in some areas, representing a massive loss to food supplies in affected areas. Communities in Province One, Province Two, Lumbini and Sudhurpaschim were affected particularly.

Accountability to Affected Populations (AAP) is one of the guiding principles of humanitarian action, and has long been a focus in Nepal. The RCO can carry out community perception surveys in the event of a disaster, as an inter-agency common service, with funding provided by FCDO. Following the extreme weather event, the RCO can carry out a community perception survey, and integrated questions relevant to anticipatory action work, in order to feed into revisions of the project for 2022 and ensure the work is better aligned with the needs and priorities of the communities it aims to serve. In addition, the community perception survey will also contribute to preparedness activities for 2022. Download PDF: Community Perception Report - October 2021 Heavy Rains

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UN and Partners Launch Plans to Help 28 Million People in Acute Need in Afghanistan and the Region [EN/AR/Dari/PS]

(Geneva, 11 January 2022): The United Nations and non-governmental organizations will today launch joint response plans aiming to deliver vital humanitarian relief to 22 million people in Afghanistan and support 5.7 million displaced Afghans and local communities in five neighbouring countries.

The humanitarian and refugee response plans combined require over US$5 billion in international funding in 2022.

People in Afghanistan face one of the world’s most rapidly growing humanitarian crises. Half of the population face acute hunger, over 9 million people are displaced, millions of children are out of school, the fundamental rights of women and girls are under attack, farmers and herders are struggling amid the worst drought in decades, and the economy is in free fall. Without support, tens of thousands of children are at risk of dying from malnutrition as basic health services have collapsed.

Conflict has subsided, but violence, fear and deprivation continue to drive Afghans to seek safety and asylum across borders, particularly in Iran and Pakistan. More than 2.2 million registered refugees and a further 4 million Afghans with different statuses are hosted in the neighbouring countries. This has stretched the capacity of the communities hosting them, and they also need support.

The UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, said: “Events in Afghanistan over the past year have unfolded with dizzying speed and with profound consequences for the Afghan people. The world is perplexed and looking for the right way to react. Meanwhile, a full-blown humanitarian catastrophe looms. “My message is urgent: don’t shut the door on the people of Afghanistan. Humanitarian partners are on the ground, and they are delivering, despite the challenges. Help us scale up and stave off wide-spread hunger, disease, malnutrition and ultimately death by supporting the humanitarian plans we are launching today.”

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said: “The international community must do everything it can to prevent a catastrophe in Afghanistan, which would not only compound suffering but would drive further displacement both within the country and throughout the region. At the same time, we must also urgently scale up the response in support of refugees and the communities that have hosted them for generations. The needs of refugees cannot be dismissed, nor can the generosity of host countries be taken for granted. They need support and they need it today.”

The Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan requires $4.44 billion, the largest humanitarian appeal ever launched. If funded, aid organizations can ramp up the delivery of life-saving food and agriculture support, health services, treatment for malnutrition, emergency shelter, access to water and sanitation, protection and emergency education.

The Afghanistan Situation Regional Refugee Response Plan requires $623 million in funding for 40 organizations working in protection, health and nutrition, food security, shelter and nonfood items, water and sanitation, livelihoods and resilience, education, and logistics and telecoms.

Mr. Griffiths and Mr. Grandi will host today’s launch at a virtual event beginning at 11:30 a.m. CET.

The launch will be webcast on UN Web TV

Media resources with links • Afghanistan - Humanitarian Needs and Planned Response 2022 • Summary of the Afghanistan Situation Regional Refugee Response Plan (RRP) • News edit for broadcasters is available from 6 a.m. CET, 11 January, on UNifeed • Photos from OCHA • Photos from UNHCR Media contacts

OCHA: In Geneva, Jens Laerke, laerke@un.org, +41-79-472-9750 In New York/London, Zoe Paxton, zoe.paxton@un.org, +1-917-297-1542 In Kabul, Pierre Peron, peronp@un.org, +93 796000155

UNHCR: In Geneva, Babar Baloch, baloch@unhcr.org, +41 79 513 9549 In Bangkok, Kasita Rochanakorn, rochanak@unhcr.org, +66 64 932 0803 In Islamabad, Qaiser Khan Afridi, afridiq@unhcr.org, +92 300 501 8696 In Tehran, Farha Bhoyroo, bhoyroo@unhcr.org, +98 912 132 7183 In New York, Kathryn Mahoney, mahoney@unhcr.org, +1 347 443 7646

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Screen Shot 2565-01-19 at 17.13.22

Afghanistan Humanitarian Needs and Planned Response 2022

Afghanistan is descending into the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Amidst the backdrop of an already dire situation following 40 years of war, economic decline, price increases, and rising poverty, in 2021 the people of Afghanistan faced intensified conflict, the worst drought in 27 years, the withdrawal of international forces and then the takeover of the country by the Taliban in August. 24.4 million people – 55 per cent of the population – are in need of humanitarian assistance in 2022, a staggering 30 per cent increase from last year.

The main driver of the rise in humanitarian need is a dangerous increase in acute food insecurity, with almost 23 million people facing acute hunger, including 8.7 million people at emergency levels (IPC4). All 34 provinces are facing crisis or emergency levels of acute food insecurity. Rising food insecurity coinciding with the potential collapse of basic health systems services would leave 1.1 million acutely malnourished children under the age of five years without access to treatment services and up to 131,000 children could die this year if no action is taken.

Both the formal and informal economies have suffered dramatically due to disruption to markets, financial and trade mechanisms, the freezing of central bank reserves and loans, and the sudden drop in direct international development assistance, which formerly accounted for 75 per cent of public expenditures. The deteriorating economy has led to an immediate GDP contraction of an estimated 40 per cent, throwing people into critical need.

Following the record displacement of nearly 700,000 people in 2021, some 9.2 million IDPs and returnees remain in some form of displacement and in need of support to return where possible. Of the 24.4 million people in need of humanitarian and protection assistance, humanitarian partners have prioritized 22.1 million people to receive well-coordinated multi-sector assistance in 2022, for which US$4.44 billion is required. Download document in PDF

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Philippines: Super Typhoon Rai (Odette) Humanitarian Snapshot (As of 13 January 2022)

Philippines: Super Typhoon Rai (Odette) Humanitarian Snapshot (As of 13 January 2022)

As of 13 January 2022, a total of 8 million people are affected across 11 regions in 8,779 barangays or villages. Around 200,000 displaced people are reported in five regions with 160,000 people still in evacuation centers. A total of 1,400,000 houses have been damaged, out of which 400,000 are destroyed. Due to a surge in COVID-19 cases, the pandemic continues to threaten public health and safety and is also creating multiple operational challenges for the humanitarian response. Women and girls continue to face disproportional impacts due to limited access to sexual and reproductive health services, increased risk to gender-based violence, and disruptions in protection services. Children are at risk of falling behind due to school closures (6,200 classrooms are damaged nationwide) and increasing food insecurity resulting in malnutrition.

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MYANMAR Surge in displacement in the southeast

Myanmar: Escalation of conflict in the Southeast Flash Update (As of 13 January 2022)

Highlights

• Fighting between the MAF and Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) and local People’s Defence Forces (PDFs) has intensified in Kayah and Kayin states since December 2021.

• In Kayah State, increased fighting has been seen in Loikaw, Demoso Hpruso, and Shadaw townships. In Kayin, the escalation initially started in Lay Kay Kaw in Myawaddy Township and has since spread to Kawkareik, Hpapun and Hpa-An townships.

• More than half the population of Loikaw township has been internally displaced. People who have fled their homes have sought refuge in community centers, host communities or the jungle.

• Several humanitarian organisations have been forced to temporarily suspend operations in parts of the southeast due to the security situation.

• As of 3 January, 162,000 people from Kayah and Kayin states, including women and children, remain displaced after fleeing their homes since May 2021.

• To date, 654 houses and other civilian properties, including churches, monasteries, and schools, have reportedly been burnt down or destroyed in Kayah State since May 2021.

Situation Overview

The humanitarian and security situation in southeast Myanmar has deteriorated during the past few weeks, especially in Kayah and Kayin states, following heavy ting between the MAF and EAOs as well as local PDFs including the use of airstrikes by fighter jets and attacks from helicopters. A heavy military presence and increased military checkpoints have been reported and search and arrest operations have been conducted.

Since early January 2022, fighting has been escalating in Loikaw, Demoso, and Shadaw townships in Kayah State, forcing thousands of people to flee their homes and seek refuge in community centers, host communities or the jungle. More than half the population of Loikaw township has reportedly since been displaced. Of those who have fled, 5,000 people reportedly sought refuge in Taunggyi township in southern Shan State. Secondary displacement was also reported in Demoso township and more than 1,000 people from this group reportedly crossed the border into Mae Hong Son,Thailand.

In December 2021, Kayah State recorded one of the highest single-day casualty figures following in an incident that occurred in Hpruso township, where at least 35 civilians, including four children and two humanitarian workers, were burnt and killed.

The Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, expressed his horror over the incident in a statement where he called on “the Myanmar Armed Forces and all armed groups in Myanmar to take all measures to protect civilians from harm.” Ongoing armed clashes have also resulted in destruction of civilian properties across Kayah State. Since May 2021, 654 houses and other civilian properties, including churches, monasteries, and schools, have reportedly been burnt down or destroyed.

In Kayin State, fighting has been escalating since mid-December 2021, following the arrest of pro-democracy activists, including former member of parliament. The fighting started in Lay Kay Kaw in Myawaddy Township and spread to Kawkareik, Hpapun and Hpa-An townships. Heavy shelling and airstrikes have been reported, and roadblocks were erected in these areas. More than 22,000 people were reportedly displaced from Lay Kay Kaw, with more than 8,600 crossing the border into Tak, Thailand. Of those, several thousand people have returned and are currently residing in informal displacement sites within Myanmar while just about 2,800 people remain in Thailand.

Overall, as of 10 January 2021, 181,400 people remain internally displaced in southeast Myanmar (89,300 in Kayah, 74,400 in Kayin, 7,200 in Mon, and 1,500 in Tanintharyi). IDPs are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. Local partners have been providing critical assistance to the extent possible. Several humanitarian partners have suspended their operations since last December due to the security situation. Others, who are still operating are still facing access constraints which are stopping them reaching IDPs and other affected people in these contested areas due security and military checkpoints and lack of travel authorizations.

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Philippines Super Typhoon Impact Comparison

Philippines Super Typhoon Impact Comparison

Eight years after Super Typhoon Haiyan (known locally as Yolanda), the most destructive storm to hit the Philippines, Super Typhoon Rai (known locally as Odette) brought similar torrential rains, violent winds, mudslides, floods and storm surges to central parts of the Philippines, leaving a wide path of destruction and debris in its wake. While not as powerful as Haiyan, Rai damaged houses, infrastructure and livelihoods on a comparable scale. It struck as people across the Philippines were already coping with increasing poverty, unemployment and a roll-back on development gains following two years of the pandemic. Their resources are now depleted and local coping capacities are severely strained. One bright spot amid Rai’s destruction was the significantly lower number of casualties, which is thanks to pre-emptive measures undertaken by communities and Governments.

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Situation Update Response to COVID-19 in Indonesia

Situation Update: Response to COVID-19 in Indonesia (As of 5 January 2022)

The Government of Indonesia has officially extended the emergency status due to the COVID-19 pandemic through Presidential Decree Number 24 of 2021, which was enacted on 31 December 2021. The Presidential Decree stipulates that the COVID-19 pandemic, which the WHO has declared a global pandemic, is still ongoing and has not ended in Indonesia. During the pandemic, the Government implements economic and financial policies, as well as special health and social measures and regulations. In order to manage, control, and/or prevent the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts, particularly in the health, economic, and social sectors, the decree establishes that the Government may set up a policy through the establishment of a funding scheme between the Government and business entities that are engaged in financing health services and other schemes, in order to support citizens’ access to health services.

As of 4 January 2022, and since the beginning of the pandemic, the Indonesian Government has announced 4,263,732 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in all 34 provinces of Indonesia, with 4,658 active cases (including 254 cases of the Omicron variant), 144,105 deaths, and 4,114,969 people that have recovered. The Government has also reported 4,257 suspected cases.

Indonesia has received more than 470 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine both in bulk form and ready-to-use vaccines as of 2 January 2022. Download document

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Humanitarian Needs Overview

Myanmar Humanitarian Needs Overview 2022 (December 2021)

Context, crisis, impacts and needs

The people of Myanmar are facing an unprecedented political, socioeconomic, human rights and humanitarian crisis with needs escalating dramatically since the military takeover and a severe COVID-19 third wave in 2021. The expansion of armed conflict into and formation of new armed elements in new areas is driving increased displacement and has exacerbated or generated new protection and assistance needs. The military takeover and the large-scale Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM) that has followed have heavily impacted the emerging economy and the already fragile public service sector, further restricting people’s access to essential services and children’s access to education. These inter-related risks have also deepened pre-existing needs among already vulnerable groups including stateless Rohingya people and people living in protracted displacement, predominantly in the country’s southwest and northeast.

The economic and political turmoil of 2021 is projected to have driven almost half the population into poverty heading into 2022, wiping out the impressive gains made since 2005. Increasing numbers of vulnerable people are exhausting their coping capacity and are now slipping into humanitarian need. Price hikes, COVID-19 movement restrictions and ongoing insecurity have forced the most vulnerable people to resort to crisis or emergency coping strategies to buy food and other basic supplies, often negatively impacting on their safety, well-being and dignity. Prices for key household commodities in some states and regions have risen significantly making some food items increasingly unaffordable. Farming incomes have been affected by lower wholesale prices for some crops, higher input prices, lower farm gate prices and limited access to credit, affecting their livelihoods.

COVID-19 related border closures have reduced agricultural export earnings, and made essential farming inputs like fertilizer less available and more expensive. Monsoon floods in July and August 2021 affected more than 120,000 people across various parts of the country (eastern Shan, Kayin, Mon and Rakhine states as well as in Tanintharyi Region), resulting in crop losses and further contributing to food insecurity.3 In a deteriorating trend from the beginning of the year, it is estimated that 14 out of 15 states and regions in Myanmar are now within the critical threshold for acute malnutrition.

This multi-dimensional humanitarian crisis is now affecting the whole country, posing grave protection risks for civilians, limiting access to services and deepening food insecurity. The grim outlook outlined in this Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) requires a scaled-up Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) to prevent loss of life and reduce suffering. The UN Socioeconomic Resilience and Response Plan (SERRP) will also have a critical complementary role to play in preventing more people from slipping into humanitarian need in 2022 by addressing the root causes of the crisis targeting those who are impoverished and at-risk but not yet in need, supporting people to build their resilience and recover from humanitarian need, and pivoting available development resources to reach those with needs whom humanitarians are not able to reach.

Evolution of needs

2021-2022 The ongoing political, socioeconomic and protection crisis in Myanmar is fuelling growing humanitarian needs. The outlook for 2022 remains dire, with the key drivers of need – conflict, COVID-19, economic stress and statelessness – all continuing to negatively affect the population. The political and security situation is expected to remain volatile, with increased and protracted displacement anticipated. The devastating third wave of COVID-19 appears to be breaking as 2021 draws to a close. However, a damaging fourth wave, due to relatively low vaccination rates and the emergence of new variants of the virus, is a risk in 2022. Associated COVID-19 precautions and restrictions are likely to be a continuing factor for the people of Myanmar and the response in 2022. Because of the poor performance of domestic food markets, prices are only expected to decrease marginally with the next harvest, while farm gate prices will likely remain low. As a result, consumer prices are projected to be higher than the seasonal average, in a context of decreasing incomes. Yields are expected to be below normal, partly due to localized dry conditions, but especially due to the disruption of agricultural markets, further impacting on food security. The unrelenting stress on communities from the combination of COVID-19, financial pressures, food insecurity, political instability, conflict and violence, as well as the threat of landmines and other explosive hazards is having an undeniable impact on the physical and mental health of the nation, particularly the psychological well-being of children and young people.

Women, children and persons with disabilities (PWDs) are particularly vulnerable amid this economic and protection crisis, exposing them to risks of exploitation and abuse, including gender-based violence (GBV). The risk and incidence of human trafficking, already on the rise in 2021, is expected to further escalate in 2022 due to increased mobility and the use of unsafe migration as a negative coping strategy. In areas affected by conflict, entire communities, including children, are being displaced. This increases the risks being faced by children regarding all forms of conflict-related violence including killing, physical injury, trafficking, recruitment and use in armed conflict, sexual violence, arbitrary arrest, and unlawful detention of adolescent girls and boys.4 In 2020 and 2021, learning has been disrupted for almost 12 million children – nearly all of the school-aged population – due to widespread COVID-19 school closures, taking away the protective and life-saving support offered by education. Although schools began to reopen towards the end of 2021, in many parts of the country, the prospect of a full return to formal education remains slim for many children who are in COVID-19 hotspots, are affected by confl ict or poverty, or whose parents are resistant to sending their children to schools managed by the de facto authorities. These interruptions will have catastrophic long-term consequences for children’s development if they continue. Even for those who attend school, there is a likely shortage of trained educators due to teachers’ high level of participation in the CDM. This has resulted in an increased care burden on mothers and other women family members. Areas that are reliant on alternative forms of education will require more time and resources to strengthen community-based solutions, although this is complicated by access constraints, the economic deterioration and the COVID-19 health crisis. Similarly, the public health system’s ability to meet the country’s needs has been under severe strain due to COVID-19 and since the military takeover due to the large number of medical personnel joining CDM.

Unmet needs in 2020 and 2021 because of access constraints and service interruptions have directly contributed to escalating needs heading into 2022. Unmet needs will only compound, the longer access constraints persist.

Scope of analysis

Given the dramatic deterioration in the situation over the course of 2021 and the anticipated depth of needs in new areas, the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) has adopted a broader national analysis of the humanitarian situation in Myanmar in 2022, applying a vulnerability lens to calculate the number of people in acute humanitarian need, with food security predominantly used as a proxy indicator of intersectoral needs. The 2022 numbers refl ect the unprecedented scale of the humanitarian implications from recent events, especially for women and children. This new national methodology more accurately frames the situation in Myanmar as a whole-of-country, complex and multi-dimensional crisis, where there are grave protection risks, and food insecurity is deepening, requiring scaled-up humanitarian interventions to stop people slipping into more severe need, including treatment for acute malnutrition.

In the absence of national, multi-sector needs assessments, food insecurity data was mostly used as a proxy basis for determining intersectoral vulnerability, as it is the only sector with recent data suitable for nation-wide extrapolation. This change in approach, combined with a worsening situation on the ground, has resulted in the identification of a much greater number of people in need (PiN) in the HNO. The joint intersectoral analysis process identified 14.4 million people in humanitarian need in Myanmar in 2022 (6.9 million men, 7.5 million women, 5 million children). It is important to note that it is not possible to directly compare the numbers for 2022 to past years as a very different and broader methodology has been used. It is likely that some of the humanitarian needs identified for 2022, as part of the new national analysis, were pre-existing but had never been previously quantified because of the narrower geographical scope which was heavily focused on Kachin, Rakhine and northern Shan, while addressing smaller pockets of vulnerability in Bago, Kayin and southern Chin. No baseline of humanitarian needs data exists for many new areas.

The situation in 2022 is also unpredictable, with a range of risks and opportunities that could overturn planning assumptions. Due to these uncertainties and the heavy reliance on proxy data for this initial analysis, the HCT has committed to a revision of the needs and response analysis in mid-2022, if not earlier, once more nuanced data and projections become available.

Population groups

Because of the dramatic deterioration in the situation since 1 February 2021, combined with COVID-19, needs are deep and widespread across the country affecting people from many different walks of life. The HCT’s new vulnerability-sensitive approach still covers those who are directly “shock-affected” such as displaced and disaster-affected people, but now also looks more broadly at those who are struggling to survive and are facing food security and protection risks throughout the community. Thus, a new population group of ‘vulnerable people with humanitarian needs’ has been added.

• Internally displaced people (IDPs)

• IDPs who have returned, resettled or locally integrated into communities • Non-displaced stateless people

• Vulnerable people with humanitarian needs This HNO applies protection, gender, age, disability, mental health and accountability lenses to its analysis with sex and age disaggregated data used throughout, where it is available.

Humanitarian conditions, severity, and people in need

The deteriorating context and a change in methodology have resulted in approximately a quarter of the population or more than 14 million people being classified as having humanitarian needs in 2022. Although not directly comparable, this is up from the combined 3 million people identified in the 2021 HRP and Addendum in July 2021. This increase is driven by the social, economic and health impacts of COVID-19, worsening food insecurity, as well as conflict-driven displacement and protection needs since the events of 1 February 2021. It is also partly the result of the new national methodology outlined above. The humanitarian needs estimate was calculated using the Joint Intersectoral Analysis Framework (JIAF) approach (data scenario B5), which looks holistically at the needs facing people in Myanmar and measures the severity of these needs, mostly using food security figures as a proxy guide to intersectoral need. Download document

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Asia Pacific Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Feature

UN and humanitarian partners in the Philippines call for US$107.2 million to provide life-saving aid to 530,000 people in areas devastated by Typhoon Rai (Odette)

Manila, 24 December 2021--The Humanitarian Country Team in the Philippines today launched the Humanitarian Needs and Priorities plan to respond to the needs of 530,000 people in the worst affected areas in CARAGA and Eastern Visayas following the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rai (local name Odette).

Response efforts are already underway after this Super Typhoon made landfall on 16 December, pummeling six of the Philippines’ 17 regions. At least 177 persons were killed and 275 injured; over 630,000 people were displaced, with 372,000 of them taking shelter in evacuation centers; and some 200,000 houses were damaged. Some three million people, including one million children, were left needing assistance.

The Humanitarian Needs and Priorities plan (HNP) calls for US$107.2 million to support the Government in responding to the most urgent humanitarian needs for the next six months. The plan has been developed based on preliminary assessment findings and early estimates of people in need to enable humanitarian partners to kick-start immediate life-saving and protection activities, focusing on women, girls, and people with disability living in areas hardest hit by Typhoon Rai.

On 22 and 23 December, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Gustavo Gonzalez went on a mission to CARAGA and Surigao Province to witness first-hand the damage wrought by the typhoon. During the mission, he spoke with local officials, frontline responders, and typhoon-affected people.

“I saw roads covered by debris, houses without roofs and people on the border of Butuan and Surigao begging for water and food,” said Gonzalez.

“This super typhoon evoked memories of [Typhoon] Haiyan,” added Gonzalez. “While the Government was more prepared for a typhoon of this magnitude this time around, the needs remain overwhelming.”

With the Government leading response efforts, the HNP seeks to provide for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), life-saving food needs, emergency shelter, including the efficient management of evacuation camps, decentralized communication to restore access to islands and places which are currently cut off, and support for coordination by the government, among others.

“The response set out in the plan will also prioritize COVID-19 protective measures,” said Gonzalez. “This is a crisis within a crisis. It happened at the end of the year when the Government has been able to keep down COVID-19 infections and inoculated a significant number of the population. We will work with the Department of Health (DOH) to ensure that these hard-won gains are not lost.”

The UN Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF) is allocating the US$12 million of humanitarian funds to UNICEF, UNFPA, WFP, and IOM. CERF is one of the fastest and most effective ways to ensure that urgently needed humanitarian assistance reaches people caught up in crises. CERF’s Rapid Response window allows the UN to kick-start relief efforts immediately in a coordinated and prioritized response when a new crisis emerges.

On behalf of the Philippine Government, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro L. Locsin Jr. expressed appreciation for the CERF support. “Typhoon Odette has brought great suffering to Filipinos who are looking forward to a better Christmas this year following the dramatic reduction in the number of COVID-19 cases and the progress made by the government in its vaccination drive. But with the support of the UN and humanitarian partners, we will get back on our feet.” Locsin said.

Notes to editors

The Humanitarian Needs and Priorities Plan can be downloaded here: https://bit.ly/32qmmoh

Photos are available here:https://bit.ly/3z27OHF

For further details, please contact:

OCHA Bangkok: Pierre Peron, +66 614200 390,peronp@un.org

UNIC Manila: Teresa Debuque +63 9150612351 debuque@un.org Download press release

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Situation Report
Feature
FD7bRbNWQAECZqb

COP26: OCHA signs on to Climate and Environment Charter and IASC calls on global leaders to prioritize the most vulnerable

12 November 2021 - "I'm pleased to say that today I signed The Climate and Environment Charter for Humanitarian Organizations on behalf of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). It signals our commitment to face up to the challenges and spurs action."

- Mr Martin Griffiths, USG for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

***

Statement by the Principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) on the climate crisis

(03 Nov 2021)

The global humanitarian community calls on world leaders at the climate summit to prioritize the most vulnerable and at-risk countries and communities.

Members of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee urge Governments at COP26 in Glasgow to step up support to people most at risk and vulnerable to the devastating effects of the climate crisis.

As humanitarian organizations, we have witnessed for years how climate change is placing millions of lives at risk and creating unprecedented humanitarian needs. In the last 20 months alone, more than 658 million people have been exposed to extreme-temperature events, while climate-related disasters have killed more than 17,200 people and affected the lives and livelihoods of at least 139 million.

The climate crisis affects communities around the world, but those who face multiple other threats, including conflict, violence, poverty and COVID-19, particularly women and girls, are disproportionately affected. Their capacity to cope with shocks and adapt to changes is limited. These vulnerable communities are being left further behind. They need urgent support to adapt and respond to the climate risks and disasters that threaten their lives and livelihoods.

Humanitarian organizations have a crucial role in supporting vulnerable communities. We are committed to being part of the solution, to helping people anticipate, absorb and adapt to climate resilience, and to responding when people are forcibly displaced due to the effects of climate change. We are committed to increasing our own environmental sustainability and ensuring we do not inadvertently contribute to worsening these crises. We are committed to being more effective and inclusive, and to scaling action to minimize the impacts of shocks, including loss of lives and livelihoods, and to sharing our insights about the humanitarian consequences of climate change in policy debates, including through the Climate and Environment Charter for Humanitarian Organizations.

The extent of the scale and impact of the climate crisis is more than humanitarian organizations can address alone.

World leaders who gathered at COP26 in Glasgow must rise to the challenge and scale up climate mitigation. They must prioritize support to build resilience and strengthen adaptation of local communities for effective climate action in order to avert and minimize loss and damage from climate-related shocks and stresses.

Governments should take the following measures:

  • Ensure a focus on the most vulnerable and marginalized people in crises, with a particular focus on women, youth, internally displaced people and refugees.

  • Listen to communities and grassroots leaders, particularly women, youth and indigenous people, and engage them in decision-making and co-creating and owning solutions that put people, climate and nature at the centre of all actions.

  • Invest in more effective preventative risk management and capacities at the local level, including on climate risk monitoring, early warning and early action. We must work closely with communities to better anticipate, respond and adapt to potential climate disasters.

  • Increase financing for climate-adaptation action that targets the most vulnerable countries and communities.

  • Turn global commitments into effective local action that empowers those most at risk. This includes ensuring that local institutions have access to adaptation finance, including risk transfer mechanisms such as social protection and insurance and nature-positive solutions, and ensuring that investments are accessible and meet the needs of those most at risk.

 

We urge Governments to consider the humanitarian consequences that their decisions have on people bearing the brunt of the climate crisis. We have no time to lose.

***

Signatories

Mr. Sean Callahan, President and Chief Executive Officer, Catholic Relief Services

 (CRS)

  • Mr. Dominic MacSorley, Chief Executive Officer,

     Concern Worldwide

  • Mr. Qu Dongyu, Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization

     (FAO)

  • Mr. Peter Maurer, President, International Committee of the Red Cross

     (ICRC)

  • Ms. Jane Backhurst, Chair of

     ICVA

     Board and Senior Adviser, Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy, Christian Aid

  • Mr. Ignacio Packer, Executive Director, International Council of Voluntary Agencies

     (ICVA)

  • Mr. Samuel Worthington, Chief Executive Officer,

     InterAction

  • Mr. Jagan Chapagain, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross

     (IFRC)

  • Mr. António Vitorino, Director General, International Organization for Migration

     (IOM)

  • Mr. Martin Griffiths, Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs

     (OCHA)

  • Ms. Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

    (OHCHR)

  • Ms. Abby Maxman, Chair, Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response

    (SCHR), and President and CEO, Oxfam America

  • Mr. Gareth Price-Jones, Executive Secretary, Steering Committee for Humanitarian Response

     (SCHR)

  • Ms. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons

     (SR on HR of IDPs)

  • Mr. Achim Steiner, Administrator, United Nations Development Programme

     (UNDP)

  • Dr. Natalia Kanem, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund

     (UNFPA)

  • Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director, United Nations Human Settlement Programme

     (UN-Habitat)

  • Mr. Filippo Grandi, United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

     (UNHCR)

  • Ms. Henrietta H. Fore, Executive Director, United Nations Children's Fund

     (UNICEF)

  • Mr. David Beasley, Executive Director, World Food Programme

     (WFP)

  • Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization

    (WHO)

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Asia Pacific Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Afghanistan — Media
IPC

Half of Afghanistan's population face acute hunger as humanitarian needs grow to record levels

25 October 2021 (ROME/KABUL) – More than half the population of Afghanistan – a record 22.8 million people - will face acute food insecurity from November, according to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report issued today by the Food Security and Agriculture Cluster of Afghanistan, co-led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN and the UN World Food Programme.

The combined impacts of drought, conflict, COVID-19 and the economic crisis, have severely affected lives, livelihoods, and people’s access to food. The report’s findings come as Afghanistan’s harsh winter looms, threatening to cut off areas of the country where families desperately depend on humanitarian assistance to survive the freezing winter months.

The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report has found that more than one in two Afghans will be facing crisis (IPC Phase 3) or emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of acute food insecurity through the November 2021 to March 2022 lean season, requiring urgent humanitarian interventions to meet basic food needs, protect livelihoods and prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.

The report also notes that this is the highest number of acutely food insecure people ever recorded in the ten years the UN has been conducting IPC analyses in Afghanistan. Globally, Afghanistan is home to one of the largest number of people in acute food insecurity in both absolute and relative terms

“It is urgent that we act efficiently and effectively to speed up and scale up our delivery in Afghanistan before winter cuts off a large part of the country, with millions of people – including farmers, women, young children and the elderly – going hungry in the freezing winter. It is a matter of life or death. We cannot wait and see humanitarian disasters unfolding in front of us – it is unacceptable!” said QU Dongyu, FAO Director-General.

“Afghanistan is now among the world’s worst humanitarian crises - if not the worst - and food security has all but collapsed. This winter, millions of Afghans will be forced to choose between migration and starvation unless we can step up our life-saving assistance, and unless the economy can be resuscitated. We are on a countdown to catastrophe and if we don’t act now, we will have a total disaster on our hands,” said David Beasley, WFP Executive Director.

“Hunger is rising and children are dying. We can’t feed people on promises – funding commitments must turn into hard cash, and the international community must come together to address this crisis, which is fast spinning out of control,” Beasley warned.

Hunger spreads from rural to urban areas

The IPC report reflects a 37 percent increase in the number of Afghans facing acute hunger since the last assessment issued in April 2021. Among those at risk are 3.2 million children under-five who are expected to suffer from acute malnutrition by the end of the year. In October, WFP and UNICEF warned that one million children were at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition without immediate life-saving treatment.

For the first time, urban residents are suffering from food insecurity at similar rates to rural communities, marking the shifting face of hunger in the country. Rampant unemployment and the liquidity crisis mean that all major urban centres are projected to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4) levels of food insecurity, including formerly middle-class populations.

In rural areas, the severe impact of the second drought in four years continues to impact the livelihoods of 7.3 million people who rely on agriculture and livestock to survive.

Current funding a drop in the ocean

FAO and WFP have been alerting the world to huge funding shortfalls and the need for urgent action by the international community before it is too late. Immediate financial support is now crucial to meet the most basic humanitarian needs as Afghans confront winter with no jobs, cash, or prospects, just as another La Niña event is on the horizon, meaning this year’s drought conditions are likely to extend into 2022.

To meet the scale of needs, the UN will need to mobilize resources at unprecedented levels. The UN’s Humanitarian Response Plan remains only a third funded. WFP in planning to ramp up its humanitarian assistance as we enter 2022 to meet the food and nutrition needs of almost 23 million people in Afghanistan. To meet the task at hand WFP may require as much as US$ 220 million per month.

Since the beginning of 2021, WFP has provided food, cash, and nutrition assistance to 10.3 million people, including malnutrition treatment and prevention programmes for nearly 400 000 pregnant and breastfeeding women, and 790 000 children under-five.

FAO continues to deliver vital emergency livelihood interventions at scale in Afghanistan, providing lifesaving support and cash assistance to farmers and livestock owning households who comprise 70 percent of the total population, so they can remain productive. More than 3.5 million people will be supported this year, with FAO reaching over more than 330 000 in August and September alone.

Amid worsening drought, FAO is seeking $11.4 million in urgent funding for its humanitarian response and is seeking a further $200 million for the agricultural season into 2022. FAO is now distributing wheat cultivation packages, including high quality and locally-supplied seeds, fertilizers and training. This campaign is expected to benefit 1.3 million people across 27 out of 34 provinces of the country in the coming weeks.

The IPC Report brief can be accessed here & IPC Snapshot here.

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Asia Pacific Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Myanmar — Emergency Response
CHIN

Myanmar Flash Update: Escalation of Conflict in the Northwest (As of 3 November 2021)

Highlights

• Fighting in the northwest between the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and the Chinland Defence Force in Chin State and the local People’s Defence Forces (PDFs) in Magway and Sagaing regions has recently escalated.

• In Chin State, more than 160 houses, two churches and an NGO office in Thantlang Town were reportedly burnt down on 29 October.

• Around 37,000 people, including women and children, have been newly displaced by fighting which started in May in the northwest, in addition to around 7,600 people previously displaced by earlier conflict between the Arakan Army (AA) and the MAF in Paletwa, Chin State, since December 2019.

Situation Overview

The humanitarian, human rights and security situation in Chin State, as well as in neighbouring Magway and Sagaing regions, is deteriorating with intensified armed clashes reported between the MAF and local PDFs. Displacement has increased as well as rights violations and causalities. In Chin State, more than 160 houses, two churches and an NGO office in Thantlang Town were reportedly burnt down on 29 October, in addition to other townships facing similar destruction of property since August. Most residents had already fled in late September in anticipation of the conflict. However, UNICEF is concerned about the safety of children who are thought to remain in Thantlang Town and is calling for immediate efforts to ensure the safety of these children, and of all children impacted by the conflict.

In total, around 37,000 people, including women and children, have now been displaced in the northwest since the clashes started in May. This includes at least 18,300 people who have been displaced across several townships in Chin State. Of those people, more than 10,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) are sheltering in Thantlang Township in Chin State next to the Indian border. The newly displaced people in Chin State are in addition to some 7,600 people who remain displaced since December 2019 in Paletwa in southern Chin due to the conflict between the AA and the MAF. About 15,000 people have reportedly crossed the border into India since the military takeover on 1 February.

The total number of displaced people in Sagaing and Magway regions remains mostly unchanged for the last two weeks as some have returned to their areas of origin, while others have been newly displaced. Around 7,000 people remain in the displacement sites in Kale, Kani, Khin-U and Mingin townships in Sagaing Region and around 12,300 remain in the displacement sites in Gangaw, Pauk and Saw townships in Magway Region.

(DOWNLOAD FULL SITUATION REPORT)

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Situation Report
Myanmar — Media

MYANMAR: Statement from ERC Martin Griffiths regarding the increasing violence and humanitarian need

9 November 2021: The following can be attributed to Mr Martin Griffiths, Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs

The humanitarian situation in Myanmar is deteriorating. Across the country, there are now more than 3 million people in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance because of growing conflict and insecurity, COVID-19 and a failing economy. Without an end to violence and a peaceful resolution of Myanmar’s crisis, this number will only rise.

Since the 1 February armed forces takeover, hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes due to violence across the country, and 223,000 people remain internally displaced. This includes 165,000 in the south-east of the country and is on top of a significant population of people who were already displaced in Rakhine, Chin, Shan and Kachin states prior to the takeover.

Long-term displacement remains unresolved, with 144,000 Rohingya people still confined to camps and camp-like settings in Rakhine, many since their displacement in 2012, and more than 105,000 people displaced in Kachin and Shan, many for years. I am also increasingly concerned about reports of rising levels of food insecurity in and around urban areas, including in Yangon and Mandalay.

In recent weeks, the situation in the north-west of the country has become extremely concerning, with an escalation in hostilities between the Myanmar Armed Forces and the Chinland Defence Force in Chin state, and with the People’s Defence Forces in Magway and Sagaing regions. More than 37,000 people, including women and children, have been newly displaced, and more than 160 homes have been burned, including churches and the offices of a humanitarian organization. Attacks directed against civilians and civilian infrastructure, including humanitarian workers and facilities, are clearly prohibited under international humanitarian law and must stop immediately.

Humanitarian workers are providing assistance to those in need across Myanmar. So far this year they have reached more than 1.67 million people with food, cash and nutrition assistance. They stand ready to do more but remain constrained by lack of humanitarian access and funds. Access to many people in desperate need across the country remains extremely limited due to bureaucratic impediments put in place by the armed forces. I call on the Myanmar armed forces — and all parties — to facilitate safe, rapid and unimpeded humanitarian access.

I also call on the international community to fund the response. Less than half of the US$385 million required under the Humanitarian Response Plan and Interim Emergency Response Plan launched after the armed forces’ takeover has been received. The people of Myanmar need our help to ensure that their basic rights are upheld and they can live with dignity.

The world is watching. I urge all parties to fully respect their obligations under international humanitarian and human rights law to protect civilians, ensure civilians can freely move towards safety when needed, and allow humanitarian assistance to be provided to those in need, including those being forced to flee the violence.

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Asia Pacific Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Nepal — Emergency Response
FCDnqkqVgAoN1Du

NEPAL: Situation Report on COVID-19 and heavy rains (as of 1 November)

This report is produced by Office of the Resident Coordinator in collaboration with partners.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • 15 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered to date, covering 43% of people over 18 will one dose and 32.6% with two.

  • Heavy rains have generated a more severe impact than any 2021 monsoon event, with more deaths in one week than over the course of monsoon. Impacts are estimated to be heaviest in agriculture sector with serious implications for food security in the coming months.

  • Rapid assessment of crop and agricultural losses in ongoing and will inform medium term planning for Food Security Cluster.

  • Cholera/dysentery outbreak in two municipalities requires renewed efforts to contain with reports of cases increasing in four additional municipalities

  • High mobility and low testing during the ongoing festival period leaves the current picture of transmission and cases fuzzy, creating challenges for planning.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

After the official end to monsoon season on 11 October, incessant rainfall, between 17-20 October across Sudurpaschim, Karnali, Lumbini and Province One triggered the heaviest floods and landslides of 2021, resulting in loss of lives, infrastructures and heavy losses and damage in the agriculture sector, especially the ready to harvest paddy crops. Humanitarian partners have been mounting a response to immediate needs and preparing to assess mid- to long-term needs in the agricultural sector, expected to have far reaching implications for food insecurity in the coming months.

In addition, a cholera/dysentery outbreak began in two municipalities of Kapilvastu in early October, and despite three weeks of active response, is reportedly spreading beyond these hotspots in four neighbouring municipalities.

At the same time, Covid-19 cases have been declining in absolute terms; however, official data is difficult to interpret due to the sharp decline in testing rates. Test positivity has increased, particularly in those areas where testing is at its lowest. As Nepal is in the middle of the biggest festival period, with high intra- and inter country mobility, the impact on transmission and true case numbers is expected to only be reliably interpreted towards to end of November.

Humanitarian partners continue to respond to the secondary impact of Covid-19 as well as the heavy rains and cholera outbreak, and take actions to mitigate a new wave of Covid-19 at this critical juncture.

(DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT PDF)

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Situation Report
Papua New Guinea — Feature
occ
Tsunami Drills at East Cape Primary School, Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea. (Photo: UNDP)

United Nations, the Japan Government, and PNG Government Collaborate to Improve Tsunami and Multi-hazard Preparedness Plans for COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought new challenges to disaster risk reduction, disaster response and planning for safe evacuation from disaster events - including tsunamis.

World Tsunami Day, marked on 5 November each year, promotes a global culture for tsunami awareness, preparedness, and response to build resilience across generations.

Launched by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015, World Tsunami Awareness Day was inspired by Japan’s tsunami response expertise in early warning systems, public action and building back better after disaster to reduce future impacts.

Disaster and tsunami preparedness plans need to be reviewed and updated to address any urgent challenges brought about by current events, including the pandemic. COVID-safe guidelines now include wearing of mask, physical distancing, and hygiene practices in disaster planning.

“The advent of the Covid-19 pandemic has compounded the vulnerability of people to cope against socioeconomic and environmental disasters,” said Dirk Wagener, UNDP Resident Representative.

The pandemic has brought new challenges to disaster preparedness and response with a significant number of students globally, including in Papua New Guinea, continuing to learn from home or alternate locations, there is a growing need to strengthen community preparedness as well.

“With the current pandemic situation, and the restrictions it imposes on travels and public gatherings, it is very necessary to update existing preparedness plans in schools and communities, so people become resilient to tsunamis, pandemics and other hazards whilst observing the ‘niupela pasin’ within their own communities,” he said.

In 2017, supported by the Government of Japan, the United Nations Development Programme Bangkok Regional Hub launched the ‘Partnerships for Strengthening School Preparedness for Tsunamis in the Asia Pacific Region’. Known as the Tsunami Project, the aim is to mitigate impacts of tsunamis by strengthening school preparedness in 18 disaster prone countries in the region.

Papua New Guinea was chosen to action the Tsunami Project with 17 other countries, including: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu, and Vietnam.

The Tsunami Project operates in New Guinea Islands and Southern Regions, in Papua New Guinea. In 2017-18, a total of 3,325 students and community members were trained in tsunami preparedness and response in PNG. During 2019-2021, primary and secondary schools in East New Britain and Milne Bay Provinces, and Sohano Island in Autonomous Region of Bougainville joined the Tsunami Project. In 2019, the Milne Bay Provincial Administration also committed to ensure all schools in the province will conduct tsunami drills and observe World Tsunami Day, annually.

Phase three of the Tsunami Project will build on the impact and lessons learnt to reach the most vulnerable to make risk informed decisions for individual and community preparedness and transform the way disaster preparedness is managed – scaling up and institutionalizing preparedness and response efforts in the ‘new normal’ context.

Due to current Covid-19 restrictions, the project is commemorating World Tsunami Day via official UNDP social media platforms using hashtag handles #TsunamiDay and #OnlyTogether.

Funded by the Japanese Government, the Tsunami Project is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, the National Disaster Centre, National Department of Education and the Port Moresby Geophysical Observatory Branch of the Department of Mineral Policy and Geohazards Management (DMPGM). DMPGM is the State agency responsible for the monitoring and assessment of earthquake and tsunami hazards within the PNG region.

The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction and UNDP in Asia-Pacific are committed to supporting tsunami awareness and preparedness.

(This article originally appeared on the UNDP website)

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Asia Pacific Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Visual

Asia Pacific Humanitarian Snapshot (26 October - 1 November 2021)

ROAP Snapshot 211102[5]

PHILIPPINES

On 31 October, armed clashes between government security forces and members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) took place in Maguindanao Province. An estimated 2,730 people are currently displaced in Region 10 due to the clashes in Shariff Saydona Mustapha Municipality. As of 1 November, over 540 families fled their homes and are temporarily settled with their relatives and in a local school because of fears of being caught in crossfire. The UN and humanitarian partners are monitoring the protection situation of the affected populations.

VANUATU

The Yasur Volcano on the island of Tanna, some 200 km south of the capital Port Vila, began an increased level of eruption on 22 October. The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department confirms that the volcanic activity remains in the “major unrest” level (level 2) as of 1 November. The most likely cause of the recent eruption is that heavy rainfall caused a landslide which fell into the crater. The volcano has emitted substantial plumes of volcanic gases and ash, and a danger zone of one kilometer around the volcanic cone has been established. Nearby villages are struggling with the ashfall that is destroying food gardens and is contaminating water sources. The number of affected people is estimated at 1,622 and initial assessments are currently being carried out humanitarian partners.

INDONESIA

Floods in Sekadau and Sanggau regencies in West Kalimantan between 25 and 30 October killed one person and directly affected 14,482 people, of whom over 2,000 were temporarily displaced. Similar flooding events also occurred in Dumai and Pekanbaru regencies in Riau Province between 25-30 October, affecting about 800 households (4,000 people). Responding to the situation, local governments have provided immediate relief assistance including medical services, food, and shelter.

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Asia Pacific Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Visual

AFGHANISTAN: Humanitarian Response - Highlights and Cumulative Response Figures

ocha-afg-humanitarianresponse-211021

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Humanitarians seek US$606 million as part of the Flash Appeal to provide prioritised multi-sectoral assistance to 11 million people in the four remaining months of 2021. Donors are urged to fast-track funding to mitigate against avoidable deaths, prevent displacement and reduce suffering. Donors are also urged to ensure that funding is flexible enough to adapt to the fast-changing conditions on the ground. As at 3 November, the Flash Appeal remained 54 per cent funded, with a shortfall of some $276 million. Humanitarians continue to urge for pledged funding to be rapidly translated into commitments to resource immediate response and preparedness activities.

  • Humanitarians remain concerned about "conditional humanitarianism" or attempts to “leverage” humanitarian assistance for political purposes. Further, donors are urged to ensure transactions and other activities required for humanitarian operations are excluded from the scope of sanctions regimes to allow humanitarian activities to continue without impediment.

  • Since 1 September 2021, partners have reached 48,383 children with community-based education activities, supported 82,761 people with standard NFIs assistance, provided 4.1 million people with food assistance, reached 580,050 people with primary healthcare, provided treatment for Acute Malnutrition to 85,623 children under five, supported 28,529 people with psychosocial support services, and assisted 198,656 drought-affected people with water trucking.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Forty years of war, recurrent natural disasters, chronic poverty, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic have devastated the people of Afghanistan. The recent upheaval has only exacerbated needs and further complicated an extremely challenging operational context.

Even prior to the events of 15 August, the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan was one of the worst in the world. By the mid-year mark, nearly half of the population – some 18.4 million people – were already in need of humanitarian and protection assistance in 2021. Protection and safety risks to civilians, particularly women, children and people with a disability, were also reaching record highs.

Humanitarians urge the de facto authorities to deliver on their promises to protect the rights of all Afghan citizens — including women, children, minority communities, former government employees. This includes ensuring freedom of movement for women to work and to enjoy their basic rights — and for girls to have effective access to all levels of education. Additionally, humanitarians are concerned about reports of forced evictions of minority communities. The de facto authorities are urged to respect the housing, land and property rights of all Afghans and the tenure documentation that they hold, including those residing on land of the former government.

The country is currently facing the second drought in four years and the worst of its kind in 27 years. The recently updated Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) analysis shows the food security situation has further deteriorated with worrying implications for the winter lean season ahead. An estimated 22.8 million people, or 55 per cent of the population, are expected to be in crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity (IPC 3+) between November 2021 and March 2022, a nearly 35 per cent increase from the same season last year (16.9m). No provinces have been included under IPC 1 and 2 during the projected period till March. Some 9 million people projected to be in IPC 4 – the highest number in the world.

In rural areas, this is largely driven by the drought. Assessments show that even after harvest, 57 per cent of households do not have food reserves that would last for 3 months. In urban areas, income loss (driven by economic shocks) has contributed to the rapid deterioration in food insecurity. 10 out of 11 most densely populated urban areas are anticipated to be in IPC 4.

Sharp drops in income, surging food and other commodity prices, growing unemployment and severed remittances are expected to contribute to the deterioration of food security. No population group had a net positive income in 2021.

Assessments show that more households have higher than average debt this year. This is increasingly concerning as food basket costs are steadily rising, constituting more than 82 per cent of the average HH income. While markets continue to function, prices for key commodities remain well above pre-pandemic levels and the purchasing power of casual labourers and pastoralists remains significantly reduced. It is anticipated that current political uncertainty, devaluation of the Afghan currency, import challenges and cash availability may lead to further inflationary impacts.

The recent leadership transitions in the country and unfolding implications on basic services, financial systems and markets has led to a further deterioration of the situation for vulnerable people. While the full impact of recent events will take more time to manifest, aid organisations have already witnessed a dangerous deepening of humanitarian need amongst a greater number of people.

Humanitarians in Afghanistan are in a race against time to deliver life-saving aid to crisis-affected people and preposition supplies ahead of winter. Humanitarian partners have reached close to 10.3 million people with assistance across the country during the third quarter of the year.

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MYANMAR: Humanitarian Snapshot

Myanmar Humanitarian Snapshot October 2021

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Philippines — Media
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Philippines and UN align relief efforts for upcoming typhoon season

MANILA, 7 October 2021--The United Nations (UN) Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the Philippines, Gustavo Gonzalez, announced a contribution of over P380M from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund mechanism (CERF) to better address the upcoming typhoon season. The funds will be allocated as part of an innovative pilot test for anticipatory actions.

The announcement was made in the context of a High-Level Meeting co-chaired by the Secretary of National Defense and Chair of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, Delfin Lorenzana, and the UN Philippines chief.

The high-level talk brought together the Department of National Defense (DND) and its Office of Civil Defense (OCD), the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and the Ambassadors of Canada, Germany, EU and UK, which are key countries supporting the anticipatory action as well as the CERF.

A collaborative dialogue explored ways in which anticipatory approach can address challenges of the climate crisis. Secretary Lorenzana noted that ‘the Government of the Philippines is inspired to embark on this joint anticipatory action program and is eager to further explore how to contextualize the pilot and ensure it empowers the local government units which are our first line of defense.” He added that the “current focus provides a good start to eventually roll out the pilot to other areas”.

With the two-year funding from the UNCERF, the pilot’s anticipatory interventions will be executed by FAO, IOM, UNFPA, UNICEF and WFP, and their implementing partners, while OCHA will provide overall coordination. The framework is designed to support 270,500 most vulnerable people in 44 municipalities across Regions 5 (Bicol) and 8 (Eastern Visayas) three days prior to landfall of a category-4 or 5 typhoon.

“This work would not be possible without international collaboration and I welcome the resource partners and recognize their commitment, both globally and nationally, in advancing humanitarian response, disaster risk reduction and addressing climate change”, said Gonzalez. “UK, Germany, EU and Canada are key contributors to the CERF and these resource partners, together with the World Bank, are also pioneering supporters of anticipatory action.”

A series of anticipatory pilots are facilitated by the CERF around the world and there is a compelling amount of evidence that acting before the disaster hits, cuts the costs of humanitarian response, preserves people’s dignity and allows for a faster recovery by protecting hard-won development gains that were already achieved.

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AFGHANISTAN: Snapshot of Population Movements

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Afghanistan Flash Appeal Overview: Immediate Humanitarian Response Gaps, Sept-Dec 2021 (1/2)

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Forty years of war, recurrent natural disasters, chronic poverty, drought and the COVID-19 pandemic have left 18.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Recent escalation in conflict and resulting upheaval has exacerbated needs and further complicated an extremely challenging operational context. Humanitarians have already witnessed a dangerous deepening of need for a wider number of people. While all population groups across the country have been impacted, the consequences for women and girls have been most immediately felt.

This Flash Appeal presents a prioritisation of unmet needs in the 2021 HRP and strategic response to new emerging needs, as they are currently understood. Humanitarians seek $606 million to provide prioritised multi-sectoral assistance to 11 million people in the four remaining months of 2021. $413 million of this is already costed within 2021 HRP requirements, while $193 million is needed to address new emerging needs and changes in operating costs.

The full implications of the recent political transition on the country’s basic services, financial systems and markets will take time to mainfest. However, initial indications already reveal a severe deterioriation of the situation for vulnerable people. While it is outside the humanitarian remit and the parameters of this appeal, it is critical that these basic services be maintained through continued development assistance. Failure to do so risks human and humanitarian catastrophe for the more than 37 million people who currently live on less than $2 a day.

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Afghanistan Flash Appeal Overview: Immediate Humanitarian Response Gaps, Sept-Dec 2021 (2/2)

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Anticipatory Action in the Philippines

210628 CERF Pilot AA Infographic

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Anticipatory Action in Bangladesh

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Anticipatory Action in Bangladesh

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Humanitarian Data Portal for COVID-19 in Asia Pacific

This humanitarian data portal developed by OCHA puts together regional-level information on the COVID-19 Crisis in Asia and the Pacific: all in one place, interactive, and searchable.

It presents data on the impact of COVID-19 on people and humanitarian operations, as well as providing insight on how the international community is working collectively to respond to the crisis. It includes an overview of the various health and multi-sector response plans, with funds required and people targeted by each plan.

The portal also has baseline data and indicators that are useful for understanding potential and underlying vulnerabilities.

Click here or on the image below to access the COVID-19 Humanitarian Data Portal. For further information or questions, please send an email to: Pierre Peron, peronp@un.org

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Asia and the Pacific: 2021 Regional Focus Model

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A key challenge faced by humanitarian agencies is how to ensure that limited available resources are allocated where they are most needed and are efficiently delivered in a principled manner. Decisions to allocate resources must strike a balance between meeting the immediate needs of crisis affected communities and supporting efforts to strengthen resilience and response preparedness to future emergencies.

To support humanitarian partners address some of these challenges, the OCHA Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (ROAP) produces the Regional Focus Model (RFM). Similar to previous analyses in 2018 and 2019, the model is based on INFORM (www.inform-index.org), a global risk index that identifies and analyzes where crises requiring international assistance may occur. It can be used to support decisions about disaster risk reduction, emergency preparedness and response.

The model identifies hazard-prone countries that combine high vulnerability and low capacity to respond, and are therefore more likely to request and accept support from the international community. The model also includes a "Humanitarian" component, reflecting issues more directly related to OCHA's coordination work. This humanitarian component is combined with INFORM to produce a Focus score. The model should be a practical tool to inform and guide disaster managers, by providing an evidence base on which to base discussions and prioritization.

In 2021, the RFM covers analysis of 38 countries in the Asia-Pacific region under ROAP in Bangkok, Thailand and the Office of the Pacific (OP) in Suva, Fiji.

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2020 Asia Pacific Humanitarian Response Overview

2020 Asia Pacific Humanitarian Response Overview

Over the course of the year, humanitarian needs and human vulnerabilities have grown across countries in Asia and the Pacific due to the health and economic shock of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The region was also battered by particularly harsh period of monsoon rains, tropical cyclones, floods, and landslides, resulting in a doubly difficult year for the world's most densely populated and disaster-prone region.

In the context of COVID-19, humanitarian agencies are overcoming increasingly complex challenges to reach the most vulnerable people affected by the mutually compounding socio-economic and humanitarian consequences of the pandemic, climatic disasters, and ongoing conflicts.

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2020 Asia Pacific Humanitarian Response Overview (page 2)

2020 ASIA PACIFIC HUMANITARIAN RESPONSE OVERVIEW OCHA Page 2

This year, the humanitarian community has launched response plans in 28 countries that have identified and prioritized over 97 million people who were most vulnerable and in most need of life-saving assistance in Asia and the Pacific.

Through these plans, the UN and partners have called for US$3.9 billion to fund humanitarian responses focused on the the most urgent needs of men, women, and children in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, DPR Korea, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, the Pacific (14 countries including Fiji, Vanuatu, and Samoa), Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Timor-Leste, and Viet Nam.

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Philippines — Feature
Teresita Tendenilla - OCHA AA mission - Catanduanes. AM 1

Anticipatory Action: “Typhoons will come, but we will be ready”

Teresita Tendenilla is 79 years old and has just been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, so she decided to attend the community meeting in her Barangay in Catanduanes where FAO, WFP, IOM, UNICEF, UNFPA and local partners, in coordination with OCHA and local government are implementing an anticipatory action pilot funded by the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). The project is targeting 44 most-at-risk municipalities in Bicol and Visayas and will deliver humanitarian assistance to those at risk to be affected by the Category 4 or 5 typhoon ahead of its landfall.

Despite her age, Teresita continues to work to support her family. Her son who works as a fisherman and also in the abaca industry, was doubly affected by Super Typhoon Goni (local name Rolly) last November, losing his livelihoods as well as the roof of his house. Today, a year later, Teresita and her son hope not to suffer the same situation again. She also wants to know how to respond to her grandson’s fears should they have to leave their home again to go to a shelter, as well as how to support the women in her community who, as she highlights, are the most affected.

Through pre-identified selection criteria, 270,500 beneficiaries are targeted under the anticipatory action pilot to be reached and will receive three days before the landfall multi-purpose cash assistance, protection commodities, nutrition supplies, WASH and shelter kits among others, to mitigate the impact of a typhoon on their homes and livelihoods. Teresita bids us farewell and, before leaving, lets us know that although she has always come through when she was affected by a typhoon, she now knows the true meaning of resilience. She will now have the resources and skills that will help her to be prepared for cyclones in her area, even though the intensity of these cyclones is only increasing due to climate change.

Full details of the Anticipatory Action Framework Philippines, 2021-2022 are available here.

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