Marshall Islands: Drought - May 2013
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).
A Drop in the Bucket: Jerry cans bring safe water to Marshallese
Republic of the Marshall Islands—Martha is no stranger to disaster. In 2013, Martha and her family survived the RMI drought. In 2014, Martha’s outer island home on Bekarej, Arno burned down displacing Martha, her husband, and their children. A year and half later, Martha was faced with a familiar challenge- an El Niño induced drought that NOAA has reported to be “the strongest… in recorded history.”
Recurrent earthquakes, floods, typhoons, and volcanoes present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region. Some countries also face civil unrest and associated humanitarian impacts, as well as limited government capacity to respond to disasters. Between FY 2007 and FY 2016, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/ OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/ FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a diverse range of natural and complex emergencies in the region.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Government of the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) have signed a $200,000 grant agreement to help the country tackle the effects of a severe drought.
The grant was signed at a ceremony in ADB’s headquarters in Manila involving ADB Pacific Department Director General Xianbin Yao and ADB Executive Director Gaudencio Hernandez (on behalf of the Government of the Marshall Islands). The grant is sourced from the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund.
he ADB program in the Marshall Islands has provided loans, grants and technical assistance to grow the country’s economy and improve the lives of people, particularly the poor, women, children and other vulnerable groups.
ADB has been working with the Marshall Islands since 1990, providing loans, technical assistance, and grants amounting to over $125 million.
The Asia Pacific zone (APZ) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) comprises the zone office in Kuala Lumpur, four regional offices in Suva (Pacific), Bangkok (Southeast Asia), Delhi (South Asia) and Beijing (East Asia) and 12 country offices, adopting a “best-positioned” strategy to support the national societies (NSs) in the zone according to their needs. Through this decentralized management structure, the Asia Pacific zone office directs the work of the regional and country offices.
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).