Regions in Papua New Guinea have been experiencing a significant drought over the past few months, with conditions likely to worsen. Megan Krolik, Disaster Risk Reduction Coordinator for the Pacific region, explains the situation.
Somalia: Flooding has affected 132,000 people and displaced an estimated 60,000 as low-lying areas of Mogadishu have now been inundated, as well as areas of Middle Shabelle and Lower Juba. Main supply roads are impassable and some airstrips unusable The middle and lower reaches of the Shabelle River remain at high risk of flooding.
Posted by Richard Edwards
Climate change is already impacting the people of the Pacific. In Papua New Guinea, families are struggling to access water and put food on the table because of a severe drought. In Samoa, the owner of a modest beachfront resort has watched for years as her property erodes, with storm surges and flooding battering the shore, pulling her property toward the sea.
These are just a few of the courageous people I have met in the few months since I became the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Regional Coordinator for the Pacific.
Recurrent earthquakes, floods, typhoons, and volcanoes present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region. Some countries also face civil unrest and associated humanitarian impacts, as well as limited government capacity to respond to disasters. Between FY 2006 and FY 2015, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a diverse range of natural and complex emergencies in the region.
Introduction and Executive Summary
A Rapid Gender Analysis (RGA) is designed to provide information about the different needs, capacities and coping strategies of women, men, girls and boys in a crisis. The objective of this RGA is to provide an overview of the gender relations between men, women, boys and girls in those Papua New Guinea’s highland provinces affected by drought and frost as a result of the 2015 El Niño event.
Overview of El Nino in Papua New Guinea (PNG)
El Niño affects the weather in large parts of the world, depending strongly on location and season. The strongest effects on lowering precipitation are in South-East Asia and the western Pacific Ocean, especially in the dry season (August-November) where severe droughts can prevail (OCHA, 2015).
An official in Papua New Guinea's Eastern Highlands province says the area has seen a 50 percent drop in agricultural production because of the current drought.
The secretary of the Eastern Highlands Agriculture Society, Solepa Thomas Arganisafa, says the province is experiencing a decrease in many staple crops.
Read the full article on Radio New Zealand International.
As many as 4.7 million people in 13 Pacific countries (2.4 million in PNG and the total populations of the remaining Pacific nations) are at risk of adverse effects of drought including water shortages, food insecurity and disease.
Governments are taking measures to mitigate the potential impacts of the drought. The government is delivering water to drought affected areas in Fiji.
The Vanuatu government is delivering food to affected communities especially those affected by Tropical cyclone Pam.
This report examines trends over the first half of 2015 in both open-source and agency-reported data. We are pleased that this quarterly security analysis includes information from 11 contributing agencies - one more than last quarter. As compared to last quarter, this edition contains more reported incidents both from open sources (88, up from 51) and agencies (223, up from 198). As described below, many of the additional reported incidents affected humanitarian infrastructure and occurred in Africa and the Middle East.
World Toilet Day 2015: new World Bank report finds severe lack of access to water & sanitation for thousands of families across the Pacific
SYDNEY, November 19, 2015 – As more and more families migrate from rural areas to Pacific capital cities, water, sanitation and health challenges in rapidly growing informal settlements in key Pacific capital cities are in urgent need of response, according to a new World Bank report.
There is a need for Papua New Guinea to develop a regional relief assistance framework that will build links across Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) economies.
This is given the fact that PNG faces major threats on natural disasters and this framework will help to develop regional and global solutions and responses.
Foreign Affairs and Immigration Minister Rimbink Pato said this in Manila after giving a rundown on the El Nino effect, among others.
Millions of vulnerable households globally could face increased hunger and poverty due to droughts and floods as a result of a climatic occurrence: El Niño. This phenomenon is not an individual weather event but a climate pattern which occurs every two to seven years and lasts 9 to 12 months. Typically, this climatic condition develops during April-June and reaches maximum strength during December-February; this event could be the most powerful on record (Earth Institute 2015).
The governor of Papua New Guinea's Chimbu province says money provided by the national government for drought relief is fast running out.
Read the full article on Radio New Zealand International.
Yemen: 14.4 million people are now food insecure: two million more than in June and four million more than before the escalation of conflict in March. 7.6 million people are severely food insecure. Heavy fighting continues, in particular in Al Dhalee and Taizz governorates. Peace talks between Houthi and government representatives, which were expected to begin mid-November, are yet to take place.
• A strong El Niño is now in force with some climatologists warning it could rival the 1997/98 event which was the most severe on record.
• In an El Niño year, the cyclone season usually runs longer and features a greater proportion of severe cyclones forming over a larger area.
• Up to 13 Pacific countries could be affected by El Niño-related drought, placing as many as 4.7 million people at risk.
With recent climatic and environmental changes occurring all across the globe, adaptation has been in the front line of development policies. The Fifth Assessment report of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) defines adaptation as “the process of adjustment to actual or expected climate and its effects” (Annex II, 2014a:1758). Although the term has been used mainly in connection with climate change, it also refers to the whole spectrum of human responses to environmental changes that aim to “avoid harm or exploit beneficial opportunities” (IPCC, 2014a:1758).
GOROKA, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea, Nov 13 2015 (IPS) - An estimated one-third of the population of Papua New Guinea, c
Dickson Guina, Chairman of the National Disaster Committee, told IPS that 2.4 million people across most of the nation’s 22 provinces are confronting a critical lack of food and water. There are also reports of many schools and hospitals forced to close as water shortages disrupt their operations.
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Papua New Guinea has experienced noticeably below average rainfall since October 2014, causing drought conditions across large swathes of the country and affecting at least 2.4 million people. Due to the current El Niño weather event, this pattern of reduced rainfall is predicted to last at least through January 2016.
This article was written by Amanda Watson and Dan Jorgensen and originally published at The Interpreter on 29 July, 2015. Republished with permission.