With seventeen cases of polio in the Philippines, the polio outbreak continues to be a public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC) and WHO assesses the risk at the national level as high. The 12th March declaration of an enhanced 30-days community quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic will have a significant impact on polio outbreak response activities, including vaccinations. Vaccination campaigns in selected areas of Region III and Mindanao have been postponed until further notice.
Heavy rains and localized floods have affected areas of Java over the past week. A flood in Bandung District, West Java, on 21 March directly affected more than 42,000 people. Local Government and the Red Cross have provided basic relief assistance.
Heavy rains on 13 March resulted in flooding in Dili municipality. According to the impact assessment conducted on 14 to 15 March 2020 led by the Timor Leste Civil Protection Department, the Red Cross, and partners, more than 9,000 people were affected and seven people were injured. The flood has destroyed at least 190 houses. Current immediate needs are reportedly food, access to clean water, and health services. Several international humanitarian organizations are supporting the affected population with food items and relief kits. Heavy rains are forecast to continue over most of East Timor over the next week.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
At least ten people were killed and two people are missing following a landslide triggered by heavy rainfall in Tambul-Nebilyer District in Western Highlands Province on 21 March. More than 1,000 people were affected, crops were damaged, and a number of houses were destroyed.4
Close to 65,000 people are currently displaced in 148 sites in Rakhine and Chin states due to the conflict between the Myanmar Armed Forces and the Arakan Army. This is a 25 per cent increase compared to the figures reported at the start of the year. According to the Rakhine State Government, some 60,703 people are currently hosted in 133 sites in Rakhine. Humanitarian partners report over 4,000 people hosted in 15 sites in Chin State. A notable increase in number of IDPs has been reported in Paletwa Township of Chin State and Kyauktaw Township of Rakhine State in recent weeks, as intensified clashes with the use of heavy artillery continue. There has also been a spike in civilian casualties, with reports of over 40 civilians killed or injured between 14 to 15 March in Paletwa Township alone. According to public sources, at least 167 civilians have been killed or injured between 1 and 20 March in Rakhine and Chin states. There are also reports of hundreds of homes burnt, destroyed or otherwise damaged by the fighting.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.