A new batch of urgently needed medical and relief supplies is leaving to the Ebola-affected region in West Africa today on board of the Dutch ship "Karel Doorman".
For the second time, as part of the coordinated European response to the Ebola outbreak, the Netherlands has offered to transport vital supplies free of charge. The vessel is carrying 1,500 tons of food for the World Food Programme (WFP) in addition to more than 50 vehicles, medical supplies and protective clothing for health personnel offered by Belgium, France, Germany and the UK.
Today the first Ebola aid supplies will be loaded onto the naval ship Karel Doorman, leaving for West Africa tomorrow. Goods will start to come aboard at around midday, including 11 million rubber gloves, a significant number of lorries, ambulances and other vehicles, 1,000 rubber boots, disinfectant, thermometers, generators, mobile laboratories, protective clothing for medical staff and more than 300,000 medical masks for relief workers.
Local communities in the Tisza River basin have recently been confronted with several serious toxic spills and ecological disasters along the river. Regional scientists, within a NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) project, have therefore started to develop a monitoring system to increase the chances of predicting environmental crises and improving disaster response.
From one disaster to another
HIGHLIGHTS - The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) reached over 79,000 across Ukraine.
The Ukrainian authorities nominated Mr Volodymyr Groysman, Deputy Prime Minister as the coordinator on all IDP matters.
During the last coordination meeting on IDP matters, the authorities decided on the establishment of a registration system and on the drafting of new legislation on IDPs in line with international standards.
In the last few days severe weather conditions (heavy snowfalls, low temperatures, rainfall) have hit parts of central and eastern Europe, in particular Romania and Bulgaria, causing power outages and transportation problems.
Natural disasters, including drought, earthquakes, floods, and wildfires, as well as ongoing complex emergencies and limited government capacity in the region, present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in Europe, the Middle East, and Central Asia (EMCA). Between FY 2004 and FY 2013, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided assistance in response to a range of disasters, including floods, wildfires, winter emergencies, and complex crises.
• The European Commission has provided €20 million to help those affected by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda): €10 million in humanitarian aid to support emergency relief operations and €10 million to assist with recovery and rehabilitation.
Support is being delivered to Bulgaria to help the national authorities cope with the influx of Syrian refugees. The assistance is provided by Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Austria, and is coordinated by the European Commission. It includes more than 2000 folding beds and mattresses, more than 4200 blankets and other items, such as bedding, towels, kitchen sets and cutlery.
■Since the beginning of the year Bulgaria has been put under unprecedented pressure from asylum seekers and illegal immigrants. In result of the conflict in Syria a significant increase of the number of requests for protection is being seen. The number of persons who entered Bulgarian territory illegally this year is 7410 people. The total number of the refugees in Bulgaria as of 14th October 2013 is 6404. Bulgaria has not faced such a crisis for the last 90 years.
By Denis McClean
GENEVA, 18 September 2013 - European Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva this week told European parliamentarians that significant progress has been made in reducing disaster impacts across Europe over the last nine years of the Hyogo Framework for Action, the global agreement monitored by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction.
1. Executive summary
The economic crisis in Europe continues to hit headlines. According to the last EU figures, 43.6 million of EU citizens find difficulties in accessing food on a daily basis, and trends show that the need for food assistance is likely to increase in the near future.
Over 26 millions of people were unemployed across the EU in April 2013, by 1.7 million more than in April 2012. Youth unemployment figures are particularly alarming, with peaks of 56 per cent in Spain and 62.5 per cent in Greece.
Factsheet on Syria:
The number of people affected by this protracted crisis is estimated to be 6.8 million people.
Around 4.25 million people are reported to be displaced within Syria.
The number of refugees has now reached 1 683 901, with over 550 thousand in Lebanon alone..
The total humanitarian funding committed to the crisis is €682 million: €265 million from the EU and €417 from the Member States which includes in-kind contributions.
Since the beginning of the floods that have struck the countries of Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, the newly inaugurated Emergency Response Centre (ERC) of the European Commission based in DG ECHO, has been monitoring the situation continuously and supporting these Member States in their response.
Austria - Floods (National Civil Protection Authorities)
As of 09 June, the water levels of all rivers are further declining, cleanup efforts are ongoing in the flooded areas and operational measures are focusing on the area along the river Danube in Lower Austria.
Czech Republic – Floods (Hydrometeorological Institute, Czech Ministry of Interior, Czech Civil Protection Authorities, Local Media)
According to the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute, the water levels of Vltava and Elbe are expected to further decrease throughout the country. In Ústí nad Labem (Ústecký, northern CZ), Elbe culminated at 10.72m on 7 June. As of the same date, it has also reached its peak in Děčín (also in Ústecký). As of 6 June, the Ministry of Interior reports a total of 20,500 people evacuated so far and ca.
Austria – Floods (Austrian Civil Protection Authority)
The water levels of all rivers are declining. The operational measures are still focusing on the area along the River Danube in Lower Austria. National and international railway connections in parts of the Provinces of Tyrol, Salzburg, Upper Austria and Lower Austria are still affected, numerous roads in the affected regions are blocked.
Summary: Due to exceptionally heavy rainfalls and the consequent extreme flooding of the major river systems, particularly in the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, followed by Slovakia and Hungary, thousands of people have been evacuated from several parts of central Europe. Further rainfall, which has been forecast across parts of the region in the coming days, is likely to exacerbate the problems caused by flooding, especially in low-lying areas.