Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (31 January - 6 February 2017)
Aid agencies in Cox’s Bazar estimate that 69,000 people have crossed the border from Myanmar since the 9 October attacks in northern Rakhine. The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights has issued a report based on interviews with 200 Rohingya people who have newly arrived in Bangladesh. The OHCHR report details allegations of serious human rights abuses by security forces in northern Rakhine. The recent OHCHR report underscores the need for immediate action to strengthen protection of civilians in Rakhine and to allow full, unhindered humanitarian access to the affected area, including for international staff.
69,000 people crossed the border from Myanmar since 9 October
More than 24,000 people remain internally displaced in northern Maungdaw township which is the area most severely affected by the 9 October border post attacks and subsequent security operations. WFP has reached more than 45,000 people in this area with emergency food aid since 13 January. UNHCR has also delivered non-food items to more than 10,000 people and aid from Indonesia has reached 99,000 people. International humanitarian staff are still not allowed to participate in delivery of life-saving services, including health and nutrition, outside the main centres. Access for the delivery of other assistance, including protection activities, remains severely restricted.
24,000 people remain internally displaced
As of 6 February, about 178,000 people in north-eastern Mindanao remain displaced by flooding caused by a series of weather systems that brought heavy rains since 8 January. Of those displaced, 20,000 are at 127 evacuation centres while most are being hosted by relatives or friends. A total of 586 houses in the towns of La Paz and Trento (Agusan del Sur province) were damaged. Roads in some areas, particularly Agusan del Sur, remain impassable while school classes have been suspended. DSWD is coordinating assistance with local government authorities.
178,000 people displaced by floods
As of 30 January, about 5,700 people displaced by military operations began to return to their homes in Ampatuan municipality, Maguindanao province. Those displaced were predominantly members of indigenous groups. The local government provided transportation and DSWD provided food packs for their return. No civilian casualties were reported as a result of the incident. On 29 January the military announced it had ended its operation against an armed group associated with the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters.
Since the latest eruption of Lopevi Volcano in Malampa Province on 13 January, authorities raised the alert level to 3 (out of 5). Aerial observations indicate that Lopevi has spewed volcanic plume up to 3 km above sea level. While the current volcanic activity is considered to be minor with no reported casualties or major damage, the Vanuatu Meteorological and Geo-hazards Department has issued an advisory to communities in the surrounding islands and visitors as a precaution. The last reported eruption of the volcano was in 2007
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