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).
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.
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.
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).
Affected populations continue to recover from drought effects as normal seasonal rainfall remains ongoing
USAID partner the International Organization for Migration (IOM) continues to deliver food commodities provided by the U.S. Government (USG) to drought-affected atolls and islands
Normal seasonal rains begin in drought-affected areas of northern RMI, alleviating drought conditions
U.S. Government (USG) provides nearly $1.8 million in additional assistance for drought relief activities in RMI
Two shipments of USG-provided food commodities for distribution to drought-affected communities arrive in RMI in July
- The effects of severe drought conditions continue to affect nearly 6,400 people in RMI
- On June 14, U.S. President Barack Obama declared a disaster for RMI, authorizing additional U.S. Government (USG) funding for relief and reconstruction activities
- To date, the USG has provided nearly $1.3 million to respond to drought-related humanitarian needs in RMI
This Emergency Appeal seeks CHF 803,347 in cash, in-kind, or services to support the Government of the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI) to assist 3,409 beneficiaries across six atolls/islands of the 15 affected for a period of six months. A Final Report will be made available by March 2014 (three months after the end of the operation).
(Suva:19 June 2013):
In response to the drought disaster in the Republic of the Marshall Islands, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, approved a rapid response grant of US$1 million yesterday. This grant, implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will assist the Government in its response efforts as outlined in the Government’s $4.7 million Immediate- and Near-term Drought Response Plan.
Drought conditions persist and humanitarian needs are urgent in the northern Marshall Islands.
The initial state of ‘drought’ disaster proclaimed on 8 May has been extended by Cabinet for an additional 30 days into early July.
The Marshall Islands Government finalized an Immediate and Near-Term Drought Response Plan on 31 May.
The total funding requirement estimated by the Marshall Islands Government is US$ 4.7 million. A significant funding gap remains for lifesaving needs identified in the plan.
- Executive Summary
The Republic of the Marshall Islands is made up of 1,200 islands, islets and atolls with a land area of 180 square kilometers. The group is spread in two formations, with the eastern groups known as the Ratak ("Sunrise") chain and the Western groups the Ralik ("Sunset") chain
This bulletin is being issued for information only and reflects the current drought situation and details available at this time within the Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI).
The state of ‘drought’ disaster proclaimed by the President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands on 8 May 2013 will remain in effect for 30 days from the proclamation date, unless reissued by the Republic of the Marshall Islands Cabinet.
Four clusters (Food Security, Health, Logistics and WASH) have been established to support coordination of the Emergency Operations Centre.
Strategic response plans have been developed by the Food Security, Health and WASH clusters.
Prolonged dry weather has triggered significant drought in northern Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI)
A U.S. Government (USG) preliminary damage assessment team is scheduled to begin assessments of drought-affected areas in the coming days
To date, USAID has responded with reverse osmosis machines and other pre-positioned relief supplies
The Republic of the Marshalls Islands (RMI) Cabinet issued an elevated state of disaster on 7 May as the prolonged and severe drought in the northern parts of the country worsens.
There is a high likelihood that RMI will remain in drought conditions through July based on ENSO Pacific updates.
An UNDAC team has been deployed arriving in RMI on 9 May.
Assessments are on-going, however, water tanks are empty and wells are unsafe for drinking. Most of the seven reverse osmosis units are operating belowcapacity.
Following persistently low rainfall during the dry season, the Republic of the Marshall Islands declared a state of emergency for the northern Marshall Islands on 19 April 2013.
Severe drought conditions are being experienced in Wotje and the atolls of the Marshall Islands north of Majuro.