South-East Asia: Drought - 2015-2017
In Viet Nam, the worst drought the country has seen in 90 years has been attributed to the El Niño weather event, with 52 out of 63 provinces having been affected by drought. Coupled with the drought's impacts, saltwater intrusion has extended up to 90 km inland in some coastal areas, leaving river water too salty for human or animal consumption, or to irrigate crops and continue fish-farming production. (FAO, 23 August 2016)
In the most affected 18 provinces, 2 million people including 520,000 children and 1 million women, were in need of humanitarian assistance, as of August 2016. Of the total 2 million people affected, some 500,000 live in the drought-affected South Central and Central Highlands Regions, and 1.5 million live in the Mekong Delta. (UNICEF, 15 Aug 2016)
On 15 March 2016, the government of Viet Nam requested assistance from international partners for its relief efforts, prioritizing support to ensure safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene practices and nutritional support in drought-affected areas and enhanced monitoring of potential disease outbreaks. On 26 April 2016 the government of Viet Nam, United Nations and partners appealed to the international community to support a US$48.5 million joint government-United Nations emergency response plan to address the El Niño drought. (UNICEF, 15 Dec 2016)
By October, more than 54.4 per cent or US$ 26.4 million of the Emergency Response Plan (ERP) emergency needs has been mobilized for WASH, nutrition, health, food and livelihood recovery actions. While relief operations are concluding, actions remain vital to address short, medium and long term drought recovery and strengthen the resilience of affected communities. (UNCT, 12 Oct 2016)
In terms of forecast for the 2016/17 dry season (November to April), river water levels are expected to be: 15-35% lower than average in the Mekong Delta; 20-60% lower than average in the Central Highlands and 70% lower than average in the South-Central region. For all three regions, rainfall will be slightly higher than average in the coming months (Nov. 2016-Feb. 2017), but lower in the months after. Drought conditions are expected for the coming dry season in the Central Highlands, but not as severe as in 2015/16. The Mekong Delta will also be affected by higher than normal rates of salinity intrusion, but less severe than the previous dry season. (UNCT, 16 Sep 2016)
During the peak of the drought (February-May 2016), an estimated 2 million people did not have access to water for consumption and domestic use, 1.1 million were food insecure and more than 2 million people lost incomes due to damaged or lost livelihoods. Risks of water- related diseases and severe acute malnutrition also significantly increased. The total costed recovery needs from October 2016 until 2020, as calculated by the 18 drought affected provinces, is estimated at VND 27,241.2 billion (equivalent to US$1,221 million). (Govt. Viet Nam/UNCT/OCHA, 21 Oct 2016)
By October 2016, the annual flooding began in the Mekong Delta. However, the water level is around 1 meter lower than the same period in previous years. With the current water level lower than 2015, salt water intrusion could possibly come back within two months, and could be more serious. (UNICEF, 15 Oct 2016)
In Indonesia, drought associated with El Niño is reported in 16 of 34 provinces, while a total of 43 districts in eight provinces are facing an extreme drought.The Ministry of Health reported that ten people have died and more than 272,000 people have suffered from acute respiratory infection from August to September 2015. (OCHA, 29 Oct 2015)
El Niño meant that the rainy season did not start in December as expected: after a short period of average rain in the first days of January, rainfall returned to well below-average in February. Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT), one of the poorest provinces, is one of the most affected, and makes up almost half of the people in need, as high poverty and malnutrition exacerbate the impact of the drought. In NTT, besides the 500,000 people in need of food assistance, an additional 700,000 are considered at risk of food insecurity. (ACAPS, 15 Mar 2016)
An estimated 3 million Indonesians live below the poverty line in severely drought impacted districts with 1.2 million of these reliant on rainfall for their food production livelihood. The late onset of rains and subsequent delays in planting have two critical cascading effects: extension of the lean season and increased exposure of the second rice planting to peak dry season which increases the probability of crop damage or failure. (WFP/Govt. Indonesia)
In the Philippines on 7 June, the Province of Davao del Norte, in Mindanao, declared a state of calamity due to El Niño-induced drought. An estimated 57,240 families (229,000 people) were affected. Agricultural damage in the province is estimated at US$19.2 million. A total of 17 provinces across the Philippines were under a state of calamity. (OCHA, 13 June 2016)
For the first seven months of 2016, El Niño contributed to about US$ 258M in crop losses across the country, impacting the production of rice, vegetables and high-value crops. There were some 285,000 affected farmers. (OCHA, 31 Jan 2017)
In February 2016, the Government of Thailand announced that 28 provinces throughout the country were likely to be at risk of water shortages. (Government of Thailand, 26 Feb 2016) In June, a government official said that continuous rainfall that came with the start of the monsoon season had alleviated the country's drought situation. (Government of Thailand, 25 June 2016)
In Myanmar, a total of 146 villages suffered from water shortages during last year’s summer season, while this year has seen those figures increase to roughly 300 villages, with the majority of those villages located in the townships of Ngapudaw, Thabaung, Kyaunggone and Yekyi, according to the records of the Directorate of Water Resources and Improvement of River Systems. (Gov't of Myanmar, 14 Mar 2016) According to the Myanmar Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, since mid-February 2016, Myanmar has been experiencing a severe impact of El Niño including extreme temperatures, unusual rainfall patterns, dry soil, high risk of fires and acute water shortages. (OCHA, 31 May 2016)
According to climatologists the drought affecting Malaysia is likely to continue until June 2016. The current heat wave has been compared to the one in 1997-1998. Sabah and northern Sarawak districts will probably be the most affected. Several hundred hectares of crops have been destroyed by fires in Sabah in the past week. Ten villages were affected. The drought is likely to cause water pollution and water scarcity. (ECHO, 20 Mar 2016)
According to official estimates, approximately 350 000 people, or one‑third of Timor-Leste's total population, were affected by prolonged drought during the previous two years. Although rains improved in recent months, bringing some relief to drought-affected areas, vulnerable households have not recovered fully and may still require humanitarian assistance. (FAO, 14 Dec 2016)
The severe El Niño-caused drought, which has persisted in Timor-Leste since the end of 2015, is expected to escalate a food security crisis at the start of the dry season in July 2017. The November 2016 to May 2017 rainy season has been insufficient and erratic, maintaining drought conditions on most of the island. In the next three months, rains are expected to remain insufficient with the onset of the dry season in June. Expectations of a poor harvest make it likely that people will continue to rely on livestock for food. Food intake reduction and a lack of diet diversity is likely to escalate malnutrition rates. National and international response is underway, but the government has not declared an emergency. (ACAPS, 03 May 2017)
Most of the 25 provinces of Cambodia experienced water shortages due to what is considered the worst drought in about 50 years. According to the National Committee for Disaster Management (NCDM), Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Pursat, and Kampong Speu provinces are the worst affected, with around 2.5 million people (625,000 households) severely affected. WFP, UNICEF and FAO are conducting a survey to assess the medium and long term needs related to the prolonged effects of El Niño. (OCHA, 30 May 2016)
The impact of the prolonged drought from early 2015 to mid‑2016 has resulted in an increased level of food insecurity in Cambodia's affected areas. According to official estimates, approximately 2.5 million people, and 18 out of 25 provinces, were affected by the drought. Although rains improved from late July 2016 over most of the country, bringing relief to the drought-affected areas, farming households with little resilience and low agricultural productivity have not recovered fully and may require some humanitarian assistance. (FAO, 12 Dec 2016)
VIENTIANE – Today, the Lao PDR Ministry of Health, jointly with the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), launched the country’s first Fill the Nutrient Gap report. The report confirmed that despite significant progress, Lao PDR has some of the highest rates of malnutrition in South East Asia, with more than one third of children under five (35.6 percent) suffering from stunting or chronic malnutrition.
By Ganug Nugroho Adi
Residents of 13 villages in Kemalang district, Klaten, Central Java, are being forced to buy clean water, as the dry season has caused wells and rivers in the area to dry out.
The villages, which are remote and geographically difficult to access, have seen the price of water skyrocket up to Rp 300,000 (US$ 22.49) for each 5,000-liter tank. Clean water usually costs from Rp 100,000 to Rp 150,000 per tank.
In 2016, the central and southern regions Vietnam experienced their worst drought and salt intrusion in 90 years, 18 provinces declared a state of emergency at the same time. One million people were left in dire need of food assistance as a result, and close to two million saw their livelihoods lost or badly affected. The area known as the Central Highlands - one of the poorest areas in Vietnam - was amongst the most affected regions.
To address the impacts of drought, salinity intrusion, and flooding in rice production in the Mekong River Delta, a participatory climate-related risk mapping was conducted to develop adaptive measures.
Greetings fellow ASEANers!
The ”One ASEAN, One Response” vision, which has been shared amongst the ASEAN Community since 2015, is a comprehensive effort coordinated by the AHA Centre to help ASEAN Member States (AMS) respond to disasters as one and to establish mechanisms that reduce disaster-related losses.
From January 2015 to June 2017, a total of 39,375 children under the age of five years and 54,555 pregnant and nursing mothers were treated for malnutrition.
From January 2015 to June 2017, 327.3 mt of locally-produced Timor Vita, a specialized nutritious food for women, and 109.5 mt of Ready-to-Use Supplementary Food was distributed to 125 health facilities in six municipalities.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Favourable rains boost prospects for 2017 main season crops
Rice exports in 2017 forecast to remain close to 2016 levels
Rice prices mostly stable in recent months
Favourable prospects for 2017 main season crops
This bulletin examines trends in staple food and fuel prices, the cost of the basic food basket and consumer price indices for 69 countries in the second quarter of 2017 (April to June). The maps on pages 6–7 provide impact analysis dis-aggregated to sub-national level.
Food Security Snapshot
- Cereal production in 2017 forecast to increase from last year’s reduced level but remain below average
- Cereal import requirements in 2017/18 forecast to decrease from last year’s high level
- Acute food insecurity persists in some pocket areas
Cereal production in 2017 to increase from last year’s reduced level but remain below average
New Indonesia report highlights critical role of ending child poverty and violence to achieving sustainable development
NEW YORK/JAKARTA, 18 July 2017 –The Government of Indonesia and UNICEF today launched a new report showcasing the progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals that the country has made for children, acknowledging challenges and highlighting the crucial role of preventing violence against children in reducing poverty.
15.8 million population (2016) 51.2% Female 48.8% Male
17.7% poverty headcount ratio at national poverty lines (% of population 2012)
US$1,270 lower middle-income GDP per capita (2016)
Localized floods and droughts are annual events, and with 70 per cent of the population living in rural areas and dependent on subsistence agriculture, these natural disasters can have a devastating impact.
69 million population (2016) 50.7% Female 49.3% Male
10.5% poverty headcount ratio at national poverty lines (% of population 2014)
US$5,908 Upper middle-income GDP per capita (2016)
WASHINGTON, July 7, 2017 – Lao PDR is taking steps to lessen the impact of natural disasters and will continue to improve the country’s national water resources management systems, in partnership with the World Bank. The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved financing support of $30 million for the Lao PDR Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Management (DRM) Project and $25 million of additional funding for the Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management (MIWRM) Project.
Agriculture sector decision makers identify best practices for boosting resilience through peer-to-peer exchange in Philippines
June 2017, Cebu, Philippines – Understanding the weather and climate – when storms will break, how much rain will fall, and when the rainy season will start and end – are one of the most valuable tools a smallholder farmer can possess. But what happens when the climate changes and age-old traditions are put on their end?
29 June 2017, Vientiane Capital, Lao PDR - Today, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Kingdom of Morocco. As part of South – South cooperation, Morocco is the first Arabic and African partner of the MRC.
The partnership translates the vision of the King of Morocco towards diversifying the cooperation at all levels to achieve a sustainable, active and solidarity-based development.
By KIMBERLEY PHILLIPS / DVB, 26 June 2017
CHAUK TOWNSHIP, Magwe Division — The mercury’s steady ascent and increasingly erratic rainfall have not convinced every farmer in Burma’s Dry Zone that the climate is changing, but they’re unanimous about one thing: A life working the land is more difficult now than it was a generation ago.
17 GOALS TO TRANSFORM OUR WORLD
As the spectre of famine currently looms in multiple countries, climate change is exacerbating many of the existing environmental pressures. The ways we produce and consume food will need to adapt to keep pace.
In September 2015, 193 UN member states adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Universal, inclusive, and indivisible, the Agenda calls for action by all countries to improve the lives of people globally. These 17 goals are designed to transform our world.
FOOD SECURITY SNAPSHOT
Cereal production in 2017 forecast close to last year’s high level
Cereal imports in 2017/18 marketing year (July/June) forecast to expand to record level
Prices of rice generally stable in recent months
Large number of people affected by typhoons and El Niño in 2016
Cereal production in 2017 forecast close to last year’s high level