Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (29 August - 4 September 2017)
As of 3 September, an estimated 87,000 people have reportedly crossed from Myanmar into Cox’s Bazar, following violence in Rakhine state. An estimated 14,000 people are believed to have crossed in the preceding 24 hours alone. Existing makeshift settlements and camps for registered refugees are overcrowded, with schools, community centres, religious buildings and local families hosting new arrivals. New clusters of settlements have also been set up and continue to expand. New arrivals seem to be moving between locations once crossing the border, in search of shelter and services. There is an immediate need for land allocation for shelters, emergency shelter kits, WASH facilities, food, and health services including psychosocial support.1 As of 3 September, the Government reports that floods in 32 districts have affected more than eight million people. As water moves down toward the Bay of Bengal, several low-lying central areas have become inundated. An estimated 101,700 houses are reported to have been destroyed and 620,000 are believed to have been damaged by the floods, while 145 people are known to have died. As of 3 September, 172 shelters in flood-affected areas are sheltering more than 46,000 people. On 1 September 2017, the HCTT launched an Emergency Response Plan seeking US$ 12 million to complement the Government response.
An estimated 30 million people have been affected by flooding since August. At the height of the emergency, 1.1 million people were hosted in 3,271 camps. Waters are now receding in many areas and people have begun to return to their homes, however, there has been extensive damage to vital infrastructure as well as agricultural land and livestock, with likely impacts on food security and livelihoods.
Following a series of attacks on police and military posts in Rakhine on 25 August by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army and subsequent security operations by the military, mass internal displacement has been reported as well as large numbers of people fleeing to Bangladesh. Given the prevailing security situation and the lack of humanitarian access to most of the affected areas, it is not possible for the UN and partners to confirm displacement figures or to independently verify allegations of widespread human rights violations. Many ongoing humanitarian activities across Rakhine remain either suspended or severely interrupted. The UN and humanitarian partners continue to offer support to meet the needs of all affected communities and are in close contact with authorities in an effort to resume all critical humanitarian operations as soon as possible.
1.7 million people have been affected by flooding, with 235,400 houses damaged or destroyed. The majority of those displaced have now returned to their communities, but not all have been able to return to their homes and are living in make-shift shelters or with host families. Affected communities require shelter, WASH facilities and health support to prevent the spread of waterborne diseases. Communities also require assistance to re-start income generating activities, especially families who are reliant on agriculture and whose crops and equipment have been destroyed.
As of 1 September, at least 15 people, including four children, have reportedly died in flooding in Karachi, following heavy rainfall. Further rainfall is predicted over Punjab, Kashmir, and Khyper Pakhtunkhwa.