An Emergency Committee was convened by the Director-General under the International Health Regulations (2005) on 1 February 2016. Following the advice of the Committee, the Director-General announced the recent cluster of microcephaly and other neurologic disorders reported in Brazil to be a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
A tsunami warning system for the Vanuatu capital, Port Vila, and the second largest city, Luganville, is almost complete.
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60 million PEOPLE WILL BE AFFECTED BY EL NIÑO IN THE FOUR MOST AFFECTED REGIONS
2.8 million PEOPLE REQUIRE HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE IN GUATEMALA AND HONDURAS
10.2 million PEOPLE IN NEED OF EMERGENCY FOOD IN ETHIOPIA
14 million FOOD INSECURE PEOPLE IN SOUTHERN AFRICA – EXCLUDING SOUTH AFRICA
El Niño status
Background and purpose
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) has as its **Strategic Objective 5** to “Increase the resilience of livelihoods to threats and crises”. In support of its national counterparts, FAO aims to address the current and future needs of vulnerable people affected by the 2015‒2016 El Niño event.
Total affected population: 2.3 million
Total affected children (under 18): 1.4 million
Total people to be reached in 2016: 85,000
Total children to be reached in 2016: 51,000
2016 programme targets
800 children aged 6 to 59 months with global acute malnutrition identified and referred, including 120 children treated for severe acute malnutrition (SAM)
48,000 children under 5 years received micronutrient supplementation
The following syndromes have been flagged:
Acute Fever and Rash: French Polynesia, Palau
Diarrhoea: Solomon Islands
El Niño threatens at least 60 million people in high-risk developing countries, WHO says
Geneva, 22 January 2016—The World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners predict a major global increase in health consequences of emergencies this year due to El Niño.
The Pacific region is frequently hit by natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes and cyclones. Pacific countries rank among the highest in the world in terms casualties and people affected per inhabitant. The European Commission provides humanitarian assistance to the region both in terms of disaster preparedness and emergency relief when major disasters strike.
A group of scouts from Australia have donated a water tank to a village near Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila.
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Current conditions and forecast
Oceanic and atmospheric indicators suggest the 2015/2016 El Niño has peaked with a return to neutral conditions expected during the second quarter of 2016. However, countries continue to feel the effects of El Niño which include below average precipitation during the rainy season, more intense cyclones in the North-Western Pacific and potentially more frequent cyclones in the South Pacific over the coming weeks, as well as drought in South and South-East Asia.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Ula will start to weaken as it moves south from Vanuatu after spending the past 13 days impacting countries across the Pacific. The cyclone passed close to the southern islands of Vanuatu as a Category 4 system on 10 Jan bringing heavy rain, some localised flooding, crop damage and heavy seas. Assessments are underway but there are no reports of major damage and there have been no requests for international assistance.
On 10 January the ULA became a category 4 Tropical Cyclone with winds surpassing 210 km/h. It is moving in a south-western direction, passing the Vanuatu islands: Aneityum - 95 km and Tanna - 180 km. The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office advises that the RED alert should be still in effect for TAFEA province.
Over the next 24 hours, it is expected to weaken to a category 3 Tropical Cyclone moving south direction, drifting away from both Vanuatu and New Caledonia.
By Dylan Quinnell
Cyclone Ula in Vanuatu has been upgraded to a category-four system and is expected to hit the same areas devastated by Cyclone Pam last year, the biggest cyclone in the country’s history.
Packing winds of up to 165km/h, the storm is likely to bring heavy rain, which could cause flash flooding and landslides. Storm surges are also possible in coastal areas.
“It’s been barely a year since these same islands were struck by Cyclone Pam, one of the biggest cyclones in living memory,” Inga Mepham, CARE International’s Vanuatu program director said.
By Morag MacKinnon
PERTH, January 10 (Reuters) - Residents of Vanuatu are taking shelter as a category four cyclone brings heavy rain and strong winds to the same area devastated by the largest cyclone in the South Pacific island nation's history last year, aid workers said on Sunday.
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The following syndromes have been flagged:
Diarrhoea: Solomon Islands, Tonga
Solomon Islands: Rotavirus outbreak continues. It appears that nationally the outbreak has plateaued, although case numbers may still be increasing in some provinces. Six deaths (4 children and 2 adults) have been reported to have died of a diarrhoeal illness during the outbreak. These deaths are being investigated to determine which deaths are attributable to the complications of rotavirus gastroenteritis.