By Maurice Geary, Logistics Advisor, Concern Worldwide
When the rains came in Zambezia Province in central Mozambique, people collected their belongings and left their traditionally built homes behind to head for higher ground. They resettled in scattered pockets, often under very basic shelters constructed from palm leaves held up by stick frames.
17 May 2013 - Christian Aid is releasing £100,000 emergency funds to partner organisations in Bangladesh to help them distribute food and provide emergency assistance to vulnerable communities hit by Cyclone Mahasen. Nearly 1.3 million people have been affected, 128,000 homes destroyed and 14 people are dead after heavy rain and cyclone-strength rains hit low-lying coastal regions of Bangladesh on Thursday evening.
• On 16 May 2013, AFAD - the Disaster and Emergency Management Agency of Government of Turkey announced that the total number of Syrians registered and accommodated in 17 camps in 8 provinces has increased to 194,425 including 336 Syrians receiving medical treatment in hospitals.
The number of Syrian civilians who have fled their country to escape conflict has passed the 1.5 million mark, according to an announcement made by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) on the 17th of May. The refugee influx continues on a daily basis and is worsening an already precarious situation, on top of particularly difficult weather conditions.
The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) as part of its Hurricane Preparedness Month activities for May 2013, hosted housing sector professionals in a day long forum at the Knutsford Court Hotel on Thursday May 16, 2013.
After making landfall in Bangladesh and moving forward to the northeast away from Myanmar, Tropical Cyclone Mahasen weakened and dissipated on 17 May. Relevant storm tracking sites stopped tracking the weather system once it moved over northern Bangladesh early on 17 May.
As of midday today, the Government of Bangladesh had reported six deaths, and a limited number of people in flood affected districts were injured. While assessments are ongoing, in light of the potential damage anticipated over the last five days, reported damage to houses has been limited.
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:
CHF 300,794 has been allocated from the IFRC’s Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Uganda Red Cross Society (URCS) in delivering immediate assistance to some 6,500 beneficiaries. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.
As cyclone Mahasen headed towards Burma, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India, local authorities and aid agencies such as World Vision helped to minimise the dangers for people in vulnerable, low-lying areas. The Rohinga Muslim community, many living in camps in Burma's Rakhine state, were particularly at risk. Aid workers helped to evacuate 1 million people to shelters during the storm, which weakened without causing major devastation
Initial reports of damage from Tropical Storm Mahasen indicate that destruction is serious, but less severe than expected earlier in the week. The tropical storm, downgraded from a cyclone as it approached land, appears to have spared vulnerable communities of internally displaced people in Myanmar. Damage in Bangladesh is substantial, but reported loss of life is lower than in previous storms.
Danish Refugee Council (DRC) is the leading organization for newly arrived refugees in Lebanon. DRC assists 25 percent of the newly arrived refugees but despite the massive effort, more assistance is still needed. Only 40 percent of the refugees are reached – across the efforts from the different NGOs in the country.
Somalia is the country generating the third highest number of refugees in the world, after Afghanistan and Iraq. UNHCR leads protection and emergency relief interventions targeting 700,000 IDPs out of a total IDP population estimated at 1.1 million and over 2,300 refugees in Somalia.
On 6 May, Al Shabab fighters ambushed the Raskambooni police base in Dobley town.
The armed clashes lasted more than half an hour and one Raskambooni soldier died during the attack and three others were seriously injured. Two days later, the militants launched another hit and run attack against the Somali government forces manning a checkpoint at Shaqalaha neighborhood on the exit road to Afmadow west of Kismayo.
No casualties were reported. Tension remains high in Dobley and its surrounding areas.