Philippines + 13 more

Asia-Pacific Humanitarian Bulletin January - June 2014

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Contents

  • Natural Disasters and Conflicts in Asia-Pacific
  • Funding Trends
  • Preparedness Activities in Asia-Pacific
  • WHS Regional Consultation for N&SE Asia
  • Philippines
  • Myanmar
  • El Niño in Asia-Pacific
  • Communications with Communities
  • Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination

NATURAL DISASTERS AND CONFLICTS IN ASIA-PACIFIC

RISING NUMBER OF STORMS

The first six months of 2014 saw the most intense and highest number of storms in Asia and the Pacific compared to the same period over the last five years. Overall, 58 natural disasters occurred between January and June this year, with over 31 million people affected and 820 people killed. Compared with the same period in 2013, the number of storms increased by 70 per cent, with more than three times the number of people killed and over 13 million affected.

The Philippines and China were the most disaster-affected countries, with the deadliest storms killing 253 people and causing over US$6.1 billion in economic losses in the first half of the year.
Heavy rains and strong winds posed increased difficulties over areas that are still recovering from last year’s devastating Typhoon Haiyan in the central Philippines, as survivors were forced to flee from damaged emergency shelters. With the upcoming storm season, the North-West Pacific might be extensively affected by further storm surges.

CONFLICTS AND DISASTERS ACROSS ASIA-PACIFIC

Humanitarian access continues to pose a challenge in Myanmar, where life-saving services were severely disrupted after attacks against aid agencies in March. Tensions remain high throughout Rakhine and Kachin States following inter-communal violence and fighting between Government forces and troops, with over 236,000 people still displaced. In Thailand, a mass exodus of approximately 120,000 Cambodians returning to Cambodia occurred after an announcement by the Thai Government that they would seek stronger regulation for migrant workers from Cambodia, Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Myanmar.

In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, nutritional and funding constraints were exacerbated, leaving 2.4 million vulnerable people still in need of regular food assistance and restricting the ability of humanitarian agencies to operate in the country. In southern Philippines, ongoing clashes in the Zamboanga conflict continued to displace over 26,000 people in transitory sites, leaving them with little access to basic services, such as healthcare, employment or education.

Overall, the number of disasters increased from previous years, with most of the events taking place in China (18), Indonesia (9) and the Philippines (5). However, the extent of annual flooding was less severe with fewer losses but greater numbers of people affected.

Similarly, losses from earthquakes dropped significantly over the last four years.

Indonesia experienced two volcanic eruptions in January and February, which led to the displacement of thousands and accounted for 39 deaths. In the Solomon Islands, heavy rain from Tropical Cyclone Ita caused severe flooding at the beginning of April 2014, killing 22 people and affecting over 50,000. The most severely affected area was the capital, Honiara. In Thailand, an unusually long cold spell across the north, north-east and central parts of the country claimed 63 lives in the beginning of the year, with Bangkok experiencing its coldest night in three decades in January.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.