Maldives Situation Report #39/2005
Period: 27 April - 02 May 2005
Prepared by UN Country Team, Male', Maldives
Upcoming Visit to Maldives of UN Special Envoy for the Tsunami, Former Pdt. Bill Clinton
In a Note Verbale dated 05/05/05 to the Permanent Mission of Maldives in New York, the UN Special Envoy's Office informed the Government of Maldives of the upcoming working visit of former President Bill Clinton on 28-29 May 2005. The Special Envoy is expected to meet with the President and other key Government officials from various ministries, as well as UN representatives and to undertake a site visit to a selected island to meet with local officials and the civil society.
Re-scheduling of Lessons Learnt Workshop
At the request of the Government, the Lessons Learnt Workshop that was planned to take place on 10th. & 11th of May 2005, has now been re-scheduled tentatively for the 17th. & 18th of May 2005 (tbc). The change in the date will allow the participation of key Ministers and Government officials at the Workshop.
Reports from Agencies
Water and Environmental Sanitation (WES). All 20 reverse osmosis (RO) desalination units have been delivered to affected islands and operational. 20 people from the islands that have received the Degremont RO units have been trained for the operation and maintenance of these units.
As the current dry spell persists, UNICEF is in the process of extending the current one-month contract for the transportation of five mobile RO units, which are delivering water to more isolated areas of need across the country.
The first phase HDPE rainwater collection tank delivery is completed and the final installation of the tanks is now being assured by the Ministry of Health and the island communities.
In addition, the procurement of up to 1,500 HDPE septic tanks has begun as part of a series of small bore sanitation systems to be installed by UNICEF in the coming year.
UNICEF has finalised the recruitment of a long-term consultant for the Maldives Water and Sanitation Authority (MWSA). The consultant will work closely with the government providing technical assistance in the sanitation and waste sectors.
Health/Nutrition - UNICEF, WHO and Department of Public Health (DPH) carried out a survey from 10 -19 April to assess the nutritional status of under-fives in Raa Atoll, to test the new WHO Child Growth Standards and compare classification of nutritional status in 0-3 year-olds using the Maldivian Growth Chart and the new WHO Standards.
The survey covered five islands of Raa Atoll and included children displaced from Kandholhudhoo island. A total of 443 children aged 0-60 months were included in the analysis (51.3% of total population).
The results show very high malnutrition rates: 37.7% of children are stunted (chronically malnourished), 41.1% are underweight and 19.6% wasted (acutely malnourished). Anaemia prevalence is also high with 53.8% of the children below the cut-off of moderate anaemia, although no cases of severe anaemia were identified. There is no difference, however, between the IDP population and the rest of the sample. This indicates that the situation in general is grave for all children under five years of age at the Raa atoll.
Most growth charts showed growth faltering after the period of exclusive breastfeeding, indicating a strong need to improve complementary feeding practices. UNICEF is currently working with DPH/MoH on strategies for strengthening complementary feeding through guidelines, training of health workers and development of IEC material.
Additionally, 2.7 tonnes of cereal-based baby food provided by UNICEF for IDPs and families identified eligible for food aid are being distributed. The food packets will cover 1,250 children between 6 months and 2 years of age.
Reproductive health and psychosocial support. On 1 May, UNFPA with Dr Manuel Carballo, Director of International Centre for Migration and Health (ICMH), briefed a number of Government Ministers on IDP issues such as health including reproductive health and psychosocial support, social psychology, ethical and legal aspects of internally displaced people, identifying risk situations and vulnerability, creating participatory systems and communication strategies.
UNFPA is currently working in partnership with the Ministry of Planning and National Development to finalize input into the "Tsunami Impact Assessment" to evaluate the psychosocial and reproductive health impacts of the tsunami. UNFPA has also committed funding to support this survey in the areas of preparation, fieldwork and printing.
Four FAO projects related to the rehabilitation of marine fisheries and agricultural sectors are under implementation. Activities in the fisheries sector relate to the provision of fishing gear, the construction of 89 small boats and repair work. In addition, FAO technical assistance is being provided in boat building and design, assessment of needs in fishing processing (large scale commercial & small scale cottage industries) as well as in managing the overall relief effort. In the agricultural sector, vegetable seeds and equipment for monitoring soil salinity were procured and delivered. Procurement of a range of agricultural inputs - tools, implements, fertilizers and seedlings - is underway. FAO technical expertise on soil salinity and water resources management issues was provided.
The full complement of OCHA staff to support the RC' Office and the UNCT is expected to be finalized within the next few days. A Humanitarian Affairs Officer, an IDP Advisor and an Information Manager will join in the UN team for an initial assignment of six months.
Maldives National Disaster Management Centre:www.tsunamimaldives.mv
Field office contact
Aishath Jeelaan, Communications Officer,
UN Resident Coordinator System,
Tel: (960) 324501, mob: (960) 787 987; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thierry Delbreuve, Senior Humanitarian
Affairs Officer, UN Resident Coordinator System,
Tel: (960) 324501, mob: (960) 778 971; email: email@example.com