Algeria: Cold wave - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) Final Report DREF Operation n° MDRDZ003

Situation Report
Originally published
View original



Description of the disaster

A cold wave affected Algeria on 16th January 2017. The wilayat (provinces) of Eastern, Central and the High Plateau regions witnessed significant snow. The precipitation was accompanied by moderate winds, and temperatures that dropped significantly, reaching exceptionally low records, particularly in the central regions of the country. This wave of cold and snow caused economic and livelihood losses in several isolated areas. Electricity was interrupted and houses suffered from structural damages, especially tents used by nomadic population. Water supply was interrupted due to the freezing temperatures. In addition, traffic was paralyzed because of inaccessible roads which reduced supplies to remote communities.

To cope with the situation, substantial Government and military resources have been deployed.

The Algerian Red Crescent (ARC) -Disaster Management Unit- activated its disaster response teams and an assessment was conducted in the affected areas in order to respond accordingly. Initial assessments carried out in 37 wilayat (Batna, Biskra, Tizi-Ouzou, Sétif, Souk-Ahras, Laghouat, Jijel, Constantine, Médéa, Djelfa, Tissemsilt, Khenchela, Mila, Oum el Bouaghi, Tébessa, Bouira, Bordj Bou Arreridj, El Taraf, El Bayad, Bejaia, Saida, Setif, Guelma, Constantine, Medea, Mila, Ain Temouchent, Bechar, Mascara, Naama, Adrar, Ain Defla, Chlef, Relizane, Sidi Bel abbes, Tlemcen, Skikda, Annaba, Mostaganem, Boumerdes, and Tindouf) indicated that up to 25,000 families were been affected by the adverse weather conditions to various degrees. More than 7,570 families among them being vulnerable. In coordination with the Algerian authorities, the ARC provided relief to the most affected people, including food and non-food relief items, and assisted them in preserving their health during this cold wave

Summary of response

Overview of Host National Society

The Algerian Red Crescent is an Algerian humanitarian volunteer organization founded in 1956. It was recognized by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in 1963 and since then a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

During the disaster, all branches of ARCS were mobilized and involved in the response operation around the clock.

The Algerian Red Crescent cooperated closely with local and national authorities and partners with the aim to support 7,570 families by mobilizing its volunteers in the branches and staff in Headquarters to provide relief in the form of food and non-food items.

The full operation to assist 7,570 households spread over 37 wilayat. Those households received:

• Blankets
• food parcels
• clothing
• mattresses

This includes assistance provided to 320 nomadic families with blankets, food parcels, clothing, mattresses and tentsfor the winter period. The assistance program was organized with the participation of local authorities, stakeholders, and beneficiaries.

The Algerian Red Crescent requested support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), in order to meet the needs of 2,000 families out of the total of 7,570 assisted.

Therefore, through this DREF, Algerian Red Crescent assisted 2,000 families (10,000 people) in 10 wilayat:

• Souk Ahras
• Tissemssilt
• Khenchla
• Oum El Bouagui
• Tebessa
• Bouira
• Bejaia
• Guelma
• Borj Bouarerij
• Ain Temouchent

In the frame of the global operation, ARC also distributed 12 generators to isolated villages cut off from electricity supply due to the main electricity grid having been damaged by the adverse weather. In addition, ARC teams were also mobilized to assist homeless people and migrant population in urban areas, by providing hot meals, clothing, blankets and first aid kits.

More than 400 trained volunteers participated in this operation. These volunteers were mobilized in the affected branches or branches nearby. They were supervised by regional and national coordinators from the National Society.

Overview of Red Cross Red Crescent Movement in country

The IFRC Country Cluster North Africa Office in Tunis and the DCPRR and PMER units at IFRC MENA Regional Office in Lebanon monitored the situation.

IFRC works in coordination with the ICRC, which has been in Algeria since the 1954 war of independence.

For the global response operation, the ARC has been also supported by Qatar Red Crescent Society with 2,500 blankets and the Kuwait Red Crescent Society with 620 food parcels, 1,240 mattresses and 1,240 blankets.

Overview of non-RCRC actors in country

As per its “plan ORSEC” (National Emergency Plan) the Government leads and coordinates relief activities. A Crisis Committee was established at high level of the Ministry of Interior. Local authorities and crisis committees were set in the affected Wilayat.

Under the instructions of Prime Minister, all efforts were made to support the areas affected by the cold wave and snow.

To help the targeted population, work on partnership was set among the People National Army Forces, Civil protection, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Public Works, Ministry of Solidarity, Gendarmerie Nationale (police in rural areas), National Company of Electricity and Gaz and the Algerian Red Crescent.