Tropical Cyclone Harold made landfall in Vanuatu as a category 5 cyclone on 6 April with sustained winds of more than 200 km/h. The northern provinces of Sanma, Malampa and Penama are most affected. Due to its path across the centre of Vanuatu, TC Harold has directly impacted on a large number of populated islands and the large island of Santo with the country’s second largest city Luganville. According to the latest satellite analysis based on the cyclone track and wind speed zones and the population data, at least 112,000 people would be potentially exposed to the strong winds greater than 120km/h. Mobile phone networks on the islands were still down as of 7 April. Two Aerial Surveillance Assessment team were deployed on 7 April to assess the northern provinces and a Rapid Technical Assessment Team is scheduled to be deployed on the ground as soon as conditions allow.
Some 5,000 migrants are expected to return to Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi provinces from Malaysia. The returnees will be quarantined on an isolated island as a preventive measure against the spread of COVID-19. According to UNICEF, the province of Sulu is expected to receive 700 migrants with the provincial government prioritizing the construction of WASH facilities in Bubuan Island, a remote island with no water source, in the municipality of Hadji Panglima Tahil. The provincial authorities also communicated the need for food, shelter/NFIs. The Mindanao Humanitarian Team led by OCHA is coordinating with BARMM and the provincial authorities to identify support requirements.
The humanitarian situation in Paletwa Township, Chin State, along with several townships across Rakhine State, remains severe due to the ongoing conflict between the Myanmar Armed Forces and the Arakan Army. As of 25 March, humanitarian actors report over 4,300 IDPs in Paletwa Township – a 60 per cent increase compared to earlier reports. This week, the World Food Programme delivered a two-months’ ration of emergency food assistance and basic non-food relief supplies to some 2,600 most vulnerable internally displaced people (IDPs) in the Samee town of Paletwa Township. This complemented earlier food and non-food relief support to some 2,800 people by an international organization in late March. Food assistance by international organizations within Paletwa town, however, is yet to take place. Violence has also disrupted land and waterway transportation to the township, which led to a shutdown of supply chains and increased food insecurity and prices, affecting both IDPs and host communities.
With the onset of the rainy season, severe flooding was reported across many provinces in Afghanistan over the past week. Provincial authorities and humanitarian partners coordinated joint needs assessments to reach affected areas and respond to humanitarian needs. This year, more than 14,000 people were affected by floods, landslides and avalanches. To date, 480 families (approximately 3,360 people) were provided with emergency shelter and household items.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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