Snapshot 9–14 April 2015
Afghanistan: Security incidents have spiked in early April, after the announcement that more NATO troops would remain in the country than originally scheduled. NATO convoys were targeted in Nangarhar and Kabul on 10 April. On the same day, five NGO staff were found dead, having been abducted in Uruzgan province in early March.
Ten years have passed since the Indian Ocean Earthquake and Tsunami of December 2004. With a view to gathering, learning and sharing from experiences of the 2004 earthquake and tsunami, and other disasters in the region that occurred between 1993 and 2013, the Tsunami Global Lessons Learned Project (TGLLP) was created. The project sought to deliver three principle outcomes: a global lessons learned study, a Discovery Channel documentary tracking the recovery, and a disaster recovery toolkit for recovery practitioners.
December saw a significant deterioration of the security situation – compared to the previous month – in nine countries or conflict situations in the world, including in South Asia (Pakistan and India), and East Africa (South Sudan and Kenya). There is a risk of increased violence in the coming month in Sudan, where major offensives are anticipated on the heels of a failure in the peace talks; in Sri Lanka, in the context of the 8 January elections; and in Haiti, where the current president could rule by decree unless parliament's mandate, due to expire on 12 January, is extended.
The role of faith in the humanitarian sector is not easy to measure. Faiths generally advocate welcoming the stranger and there are many organisations and individuals inspired by their faith or religion to provide protection and assistance. Yet it is easier to measure the activities inspired by faith than to measure the difference that having that faith makes, and secularly inspired standards for such activities can appear to be in tension with the faith inspiration. FMR 48 includes 36 articles on ‘Faith’ plus seven ‘general’ articles.
After a rainy season lull, South Sudan’s warring parties are preparing for major offensives with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army-In Opposition (SPLA-IO) this week launching attacks on Bentiu, capital of oil-producing Unity state (see our recent Conflict Alert). Hardliners in the government and the SPLA-IO appear determined to settle the conflict through war.
Biannual FAO Food Outlook report and new Food Price Index released
9 October 2014, Rome - Food markets are more stable and prices for most agricultural commodities are sharply lower than they have been in recent years, according to the latest edition of FAO's biannual Food Outlook report and a new update to the Organization's monthly Food Price Index, both out today.
The U.S. expanded its aerial campaign against Islamic State (IS) militants in late September with strikes in Syria’s north and east. The operation, which targets both IS and fighters linked to al-Qaeda’s central leadership and the affiliated group Jabhat al-Nusra, risks alienating other rebel groups in Syria and strengthening support for IS.
The Tsunami Warning System established under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO in the Indian Ocean following the December 2004 disaster is functioning effectively. This was demonstrated in a simulation exercise conducted on 9 and 10 September 2014, with the participation of 24 countries of the Indian Ocean Rim*.
According to the preliminary results of the simulated alert, all of the participating countries received timely tsunami advisory messages, and no delays were reported.
Ten years after the strongest tsunami in living memory in 2004, 24 countries of the Indian Ocean Rim* will participate in a large scale simulation exercise organized under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO on 9 and 10 September to test the Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System. The goal is to measure the capacity and response times of the various stakeholders involved to address such rare but potentially destructive events.
The fight for control of Libya between the Misrata-led Islamist-leaning coalition and the Zintan-led forces is escalating by the day. Hundreds have been killed and thousands displaced in over six weeks of clashes and heavy artillery fire. The Misrata side emerged victorious in the battle over Tripoli’s international airport, taking control of the capital, and made advances around Benghazi, but the larger political divide remains unresolved.
Syria: Only 41% of Syria’s public hospitals are fully operational. The latest in a number of local truces around Damascus has been agreed between state forces and opposition in Qadam. 191,369 people were reported killed March 2011–April 2014, mainly in Rural Damascus, Aleppo, Homs, Idleb, Dar’a and Hama, according to new UN figures.
Increasing Israeli-Palestinian tensions culminated in Israel launching "Operation Protective Edge" in Gaza in early July (see our latest report and commentary). The assault, which started as an aerial campaign and was later extended to include ground operations, reportedly killed more than 1,400 Palestinians throughout the month while 64 Israelis were killed in clashes inside the Gaza Strip and by Hamas rocket fire. Several attempts at reaching a ceasefire agreement failed in July.
• During the first quarter of 2014, the global cereal price index decreased by 12% year-on-year, and slightly increased by 2% compared to the previous quarter.
• Real prices of maize were relatively stable and only 2% higher than the previous quarter of 2014.
Compared to the same period of the previous year, maize prices are low (-28%).
• Real prices of wheat increased significantly by 9% from Q1 to Q2-2014. More recently, for June, prices are down due to an increase in global supply and production.
07/30/2014 22:12 GMT
PARIS, July 30, 2014 (AFP) - Drug-resistant malaria parasites are now firmly established in border regions in four Southeast Asian countries, imperilling global efforts to control the disease, experts warned on Wednesday.
Blood samples taken from 1,241 malaria patients found that parasites which are resistant to the frontline drug artemisinin have spread to border areas in western and northern Cambodia, eastern Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, they said.
Camp coordination and camp man agement was defined as a new sector under the Humanitarian Reform process in 2005. Since the CCCM Cluster’s creation, it has been activated in a number of humanitarian crises. The cluster has invested signifcant efforts in emergency responses and has begun working closely with national authorities in disaster and conflict-prone countries to build their capacity to respond to the needs of the displaced. Presently the CCCM Cluster missions are active in 19 countries worldwide.
Joint IDMC-UNHCR press release - A record 33.3 million now displaced by war worldwide, as one family flees inside Syria every 60 seconds - Report
33.3 million people were internally displaced at the end of 2013 due to conflict and violence says a new report by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). This equates to a staggering increase of 4.5 million from 2012, signalling a record high for the second year running.
• During the first quarter of 2014, the global cereal price index decreased by 19% year-on-year, and slightly increased by 1% compared to the previous quarter.
• Nominal prices of maize (-31%), wheat (-8%) and rice (-23%) are significantly below a year ago due to strong supplies.
• Real prices2 of maize are up by 5% since the last quarter of 2013 given a surge in demand and high trade forecasts against comfortable stock levels after 2013 record crops.