Heavy rain as part of the monsoon season caused flooding in many parts of Myanmar starting in the beginning of August 2012. Up to 6,000 people were left homeless after the Salween River in Karen State flooded (Mizzima News, 10 Aug 2012). The Moei River along the Thai border burst its banks following days of heavy rain (Mizzima News, 14 Aug 2012). In the Irrawaddy region, the Darka River overflowed its bank, affecting 12,000 people (Mizzima News, 14 Aug 2012). In northern Shan State flooding started on 19 Aug, killing at least one person and leaving hundreds homeless (Irrawaddy, 22 Aug 2012).
Myanmar ranks first on OCHA’s list of most at-risk Asia-Pacific countries in 2012.
The country is vulnerable to a wide range of hazards, including floods, cyclones, earthquakes, landslides and tsunamis. The likelihood for medium to large-scale natural disasters to occur every couple of years is high, according to historical data.
Inter-communal violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state in June and October 2012 displaced an estimated 140,000 people. Many fled to temporary camps where they have been living without adequate shelter or sanitation facilities. Continued tensions between communities means that these families are still reluctant to return home.
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Snapshot 27 May – 03 June
In Syria, the government military continued its offensive on opposition-controlled Qusayr, a strategic city in Homs province connecting the capital to the Mediterranean coast. Humanitarian agencies expressed alarm over the fate of thousands of civilians still trapped in the city. The UN estimates that over 6.8 million people are in need of humanitarian aid in Syria. While an estimated 5 million people are internally displaced, the number of Syrians registered or awaiting registration in host countries has surpassed 1.6 million.
Fighting continued unabated throughout Syria, in particular in Hama, Aleppo, Ar-Raqqa, Dar’a, Deir-ez-Zor, Homs, Idleb, Lattakia and around Damascus. 6.8 million people are in need in of humanitarian assistance in the country, 4.25 million people are displaced and over 1.4 million people have fled into neighbouring countries.
6.8 million people are in need in of humanitarian assistance in Syria and the UNHCR has defined the crisis as the worst humanitarian disaster since the end of the cold war. 4.25 million people are displaced and over 1.3 million people have fled into neighbouring countries. Fierce fighting continues across the country and cross-border shelling into Lebanon has intensified over the last days.
On 6 March at least 27 people were killed in a standoff between approximately 200 members of the Royal Sulu Army, an armed Islamic group from the southern Philippines who have occupied the Sabah region in Malaysia since 9 February, and the Government of Malaysia.
In Syria, intense fighting was reported in Raqqa, Homs and Quneitra. The number of Syrian refugees continued to rise, amounting to a total of 1,086,975 as of 11 March.
Clashes and violence escalated during the past week in Bangladesh, following the sentencing to death of a senior Islamist leader, marking the bloodiest bout of violence since the country’s independence four decades ago.
Continuous rains have caused floods in Agusan del Sur in the Province of Pampanga in the Philippines. Some 49,073 persons were affected as of 27 February.
Tropical Depression “Crising” made landfall on the southern tip of Davao del Sur, Philippines, on 19 February moving northwest towards southern Palawan and affecting 262,880 people.
The south-west coast of Madagascar was hit by Tropical Cyclone “Haruna” on 22 February as a Category 2 Tropical Cyclone with wind speeds of 154 km/h to 177 km/h and heavy rains. According to OCHA, as of 23 February 7,330 people were displaced and 10 people were killed. Initial assessments indicate severe damage to houses and infrastructure.
In Syria, insurgents heightened their offensive to capture airports and air bases in Aleppo, leading to intense fighting across the province. In eastern Syria, rebels captured the town al-Shaddadeh after three days of fighting that left 130 people dead and forced some 40,000 people to flee the town. The number of Syrian refugees continued to rise, amounting to a total of 830,675, an increase of around 38,500 newly registered refugees or individuals awaiting registration in a week.
In Syria the conflict continues to affect large parts of the country with escalating tensions in Homs, Aleppo, Idlib and Damascus provinces. Increased fighting has led to record high levels of new arrivals of refugees in neighbouring countries such as Jordan, where more than 10,000 people arrived between 20 and 24 January alone.
The French-led ground offensive against Islamist rebels in Mali continued on 28 January with armed forces driving Islamic insurgents out of the northern towns of Gao and Timbuktu.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Favourable weather at the start of the 2012/13 early cropping season
Below average rice crop estimated in 2012
Slightly higher cereal imports in current marketing year
Price of rice decreased sharply in recent months
Food insecurity concerns due to adverse impact of floods and conflict in Rakhine, Kachin and Northen Shan states
Last week a cold front with historically low temperatures and extreme weather conditions such as torrential rains and flash floods affected Asia and the Middle East. 420,000 people in China’s southwest Guizhou province, 10,000 in India, 2 million in Bangladesh as well as vulnerable populations in Nepal and Kyrgyzstan were affected by cold temperatures.
Seleka rebels in the Central African Republic have taken control of several towns and subsequent fighting has led to displacement and a deterioration of the already precarious humanitarian situation in the country.
Tropical Storm Wukong (Quinta) made landfall over the island of Leyte in the Philippines on 26 December, affecting more than 240,000 people.
Yangon, 22 Dec - With the technical assistance of Yangon Region Agriculture Department, efforts are being made to meet the targeted acreage of previous year in putting winter crops and edible oil crops into farmlands of Thongwa and Kayan Townships of Yangon Region. There had been untimely rainfalls in the region till November, with the result that paddies were destroyed and rain water remained in the farmlands, making the farmers late for winter crop cultivation.
Tropical cyclone Evan hit Samoa and Fiji on 13 and 16 December. As a category 4 storm, Evan caused significant damage to homes and infrastructure on both islands. 3,500 people were evacuated to emergency shelters in Fiji. In Samoa 1,500 were evacuated and 2 killed.Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) made landfall in the southern Philippines on 4 December, carrying winds of up to 160 kilometres an hour.
Actions Taken/ Needed
Conflict and communal violence--- In Kachin and Northern Shan States, WFP and other actors continue to provide assistance (in accordance with the multi-sector Response Plan) to displaced populations, with more than 30,000 IDPs reached. WFP delivered 457 MTs of food to displaced persons in November. According to KMSS and UNHCR reports, close to 900 people living in 3 temporary IDP camps in Hpa Kant (Kar Mine, Gau Ri and Nan Shan) are in urgent need of food assistance.
Typhoon Bopha (Pablo) made landfall in the southern Philippines on 4 December, carrying winds of up to 160 kilometres an hour. More than 5.4 million people have been affected in seven provinces, according to Government estimates. On 9 December an earthquake of 5.6 magnitude struck Davo Oriental province in the Philippines, which was one of the most affected by the typhoon.
The situation in Syria continues to deteriorate, with heavy fighting south and northeast of Damascus following a major operation launched by the Government to prevent rebels from advancing on the capital.