Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (17 - 23 January 2017)
As of 17 January, an estimated 644,000 people across eight provinces have been affected by drought and salt water intrusion over the past four months. Batticaloa District in Eastern province is the worst affected with 302,000 people experiencing the effects of drought.
The Government has initiated water trucking in Batticaloa and taken measures to import additional rice in the event the prolonged drought has significant impact on food supplies. The President of Sri Lanka has established a Task Force to coordinate the response.
The UN Country Team is providing information management support to authorities.
644,000 people affected
At least 21,000 people are estimated to be internally displaced in the northern part of Rakhine State as a result of the 9 October attacks and security operations.
This is in addition to the 66,000 people estimated to have crossed into Bangladesh. Between 13 and 20 January, WFP provided emergency food assistance and nutrition support to more than 16,000 people in Maungdaw north.
Although humanitarian activities have been able to resume in many areas of northern Rakhine, the Government is still not permitting international staff to travel outside the main centres. Ten containers of food and clothes donated by Indonesia have arrived in Rakhine State for distribution by Government officials in Maungdaw and in IDP camps.
21,000 internally displaced
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
On 22 January (16:30, UTC+10), a 7.9 magnitude earthquake (originally registered as 8.0) struck Bougainville, west of Arawa at a depth of 136 km, close to the border of PNG and the Solomon Islands. People in the area reported the earthquake being felt with many moving to higher ground in anticipation of a tsunami. Tsunami alerts for PNG and the Solomon Islands have since been cancelled. To date, no significant damage or casualties have been reported.
As of 20 January, over 63,000 people remain displaced due to flash floods in northern Mindanao and the Visayas from 16 January, with an estimated 48,000 people inside 115 evacuation centres. The Department of Social Welfare and Development reported at least ten deaths and registered 579 houses damaged, mostly in Agusan del Sur province. The area remains under the highest alert as rains continue. Authorities have been providing relief assistance.
63,000 people displaced
Mount Sinabung's latest eruption on 18 January spewed lava and caused damage to around 30 hectares of agriculture land and crops in Tiganderket (Karo District, North Sumatra). For more than one and a half years, an estimated 9,300 people (4,600 male and 4,700 female) have been displaced as a result of continuing eruption of Mount Sinabung volcano, with displaced people living in nine sites in North Sumatra province. Lack of available land has constrained efforts to provide displaced families with permanent housing solutions.
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