The Government declared a state of emergency for the northern Marshall Islands on 19 Apr 2013 due to a prolonged dry season and severe drought experienced in Wotje and the atolls north of Majuro. On 8 May, the state of emergency was elevated to a state of drought disaster for a period of 30 days. The severe drought conditions have damaged or destroyed agriculture on many islands of the northern atolls. In addition, deteriorating health is reported in many locations. Four clusters (Health, Food Security, Logistics and WASH) have been established and government cluster leads have prepared specific response plans with support from the UNDAC Team. (OCHA, 21 May 2013)
On 29 May, the Government issued an Intermediate Response Plan for the drought stricken northern atolls. The plan requires US$ 4.6 million for WASH, Health, Food and logistics needs for the 6,384 people affected.
On 7 Jun, the state of drought disaster was extended for an additional 30 days into early July (OCHA, 11 Jun 2013).
As of 30 Sep, the affected populations continued to recover from drought effects as normal seasonal rainfall remained ongoing (USAID, 30 Sep 2013).
The Republic of the Marshall Islands has ratified an international treaty which enables the country to access a global gene pool of more than 1.6 million plants that belong to the most important food crops.
The Pacific Island nation has become the 132nd Contracting Party to the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture through support from the treaty Secretariat, hosted by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), and the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC).
There's been a huge drop in copra production in the Marshall Islands this year.
Read more on Radio New Zealand International
The Pacific region is frequently hit by natural calamities such as floods, earthquakes and cyclones. Pacific countries rank among the highest in casualties and people affected per inhabitant.
Promoting and enabling active participation of both women and men in training, planning and decision-making for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and emergency response is crucial for reducing vulnerability to natural calamities in the Pacific.
In this Issue
- Supporting Climate Change Adaptation in Small Island Developing States (SIDS)
- Mauritius: 20,000 Mangroves Strong: Planting Roots and Securing a More Resilient Future
- Cook Islands: Providing a Safe Haven - Climate Proofing Mangaia Harbour
- Marshall Islands: Protecting Drinking Water from Droughts and Sea Level Rise
- Transforming Nyabihu District in Rwanda
Period covered by this Final Report: 21 June 2013 – 30 March 2014
Appeal target (current): CHF 409,154
Appeal coverage: 89 %
A revised Emergency Appeal was launched on 20 December 2013, revising down the budget to CHF 409,154 to assist 1,529 beneficiaries in three drought-affected atolls/islands with a time extension of an additional three months (up to March 2014).
On 31 August 2013, the first operation update was issued.
The Central Emergency response Fund (CERF) had another record year in 2013, as donors contributed US$477 million to support emergency response efforts in 45 countries.
Whether in high-profile natural disasters or forgotten emergencies, the humanitarian community once again relied on rapid and strategic CERF funding to kick-start the response and to keep life-saving programmes running.
By the time the Government declared a state of emergency in 2013, the wells had long run dry in the drought-stricken northern reaches of the Marshall Islands, and families had started fleeing to the capital Majuro.
This idyllic paradise is set so low in the ocean that there are few freshwater reservoirs or sources of groundwater. The lack of rain since September 2012 led to a twin crisis of drinking water shortages and damaged crops.
Japan is to provide the Marshall Islands with another large grant for water-making equipment.
Read the full article on Radio New Zealand International
o The adoption of the Marshall Island Red Cross Act by parliament heralded the formation of a new Red Cross National Society.
o With the establishment of a sub-regional office in the northern Pacific, the regional office is now better placed to provide closer more tailored support to national societies in Palau, FSM and RMI.
o Completion of the Pacific Governance Enhancement Programme formative evaluation and endorsement from all Pacific members to continue the programme.
With this revised emergency appeal, the budget has been revised down from CHF 803,347 to CHF 409,154 in cash, in-kind, or services to support the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) to assist 1,529 drought-affected beneficiaries. From the initial plan of assisting six of the total of fifteen affected atolls/islands, the operational focus has been reduced to three. The appeal timeframe has been extended by two months. The operation will therefore end in January 2014, and a final report will be made available by May 2014 (three months after the end of the operation).
Affected populations continue to recover from drought effects as normal seasonal rainfall remains ongoing
USAID partner the International Organization for Migration (IOM) continues to deliver food commodities provided by the U.S. Government (USG) to drought-affected atolls and islands
DG ECHO allocated EUR 150,000 to assist populations affected by drought in the Marshall Islands. The funding will contribute to the emergency appeal launched by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC) of CHF 803,347 (ca. EUR 650,000) to assist over 3.000 people facing serious drinking water shortage and food insecurity.
The funding will be used to build an additional 117 water tanks, repair existing rain-water collection systems and provide hygiene promotion information.
September 4, 2013 – Majuro. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is calling on the international community to pledge greater support for risk reduction programmes that help hazard-prone communities in the Marshall Islands to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Posted at 22:44 on 03 September, 2013 UTC
The New Zealand Government has announced a 3.9 million US dollar initiative to help five low-lying Pacific countries, which are vulnerable to water shortages, to better manage their fresh water resources. The money will be to assist Tuvalu, Tokelau, Kiribati, the Cook Islands and the Marshall Islands.
Read the full article on Radio New Zealand International
Period covered by this Ops Update: 19 June to 30 August 2013
Appeal target (current): CHF 803,347.
Appeal coverage: 13 per cent
This Emergency Appeal was initially launched on 19 June 2013 for CHF 803,347; cash, in-kind, or services to support the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) to assist 3,409 drought-affected beneficiaries across six atolls/islands of the 15 affected for a period of six months.