Snapshot 24 June – 01 July
In Syria, although Damascus forces were reportedly preparing for a large-scale assault on the opposition-held countryside of Aleppo, the regime’s forces are now primarily concentrating their attacks on the city of Homs in central Syria, conducting artillery and aerial shelling. The offensive on Homs comes in the aftermath of steady military gains made by President Assad’s forces, with the support of Shi’ite Islamists, in villages in Homs province and in towns close to the Lebanese border, amidst reports of chemical weapons use by Damascus. According to the latest estimates, the number of Syrian refugees in neighbouring countries is now over 1.7 million with reports indicating that humanitarian organisations are struggling to keep up with rising needs.
In Sudan, conflict resumed between the Al-Gimir and Beni Halba tribes near Katela in South Darfur and between Abbala and Beni Hussein tribes and elements of the Sudanese Armed Forces near Al Sareif Beni Hussein in North Darfur. Meanwhile, the Sudanese authorities revealed a new strategy for civil society organisations that is in line with the government’s policies regarding human rights work in Sudan and underscores permanently banning any groups that support rebels from entering the country. The new policy is clearly targeting foreign humanitarian organisations that are trying to gain access to the rebel-held areas in South Kordofan and Blue Nile states where needs are reportedly very high. According to reports unverified by UN agencies, some 700,000 people in South Kordofan and 90,000 in Blue Nile are displaced or severely affected by the conflict.
In Bolivia, the Government issued a National Emergency Decree on 19 June due to a drought that is affecting the four Departments of Tarija, Chuquisaca, El Chaco, notably Santa Cruz, and Cochabamba, especially its southern part. As of 27 June, an estimated 87,500 people were affected by the resulting food insecurity and water shortage, while 86,450 hectares of crops were reportedly damaged.
The monsoon has started 20 days in advance this year, severely hitting the State of Uttarakhand in northern India while also affecting neighbouring western Nepal on 14-17 June. As of 30 June, estimates for casualties were as high as 1,000 people with numbers being constantly revised in India. At present, the main unknown remains the very high number of missing with local estimates articulating numbers that range between 3,000 and 4,500 people. Overall, at least 300,000 people in India have had their lives disrupted by the floods. As of 27 June, the disaster has displaced 12,500 and affected 39,000 people in Nepal. To date, no reliable information on flood-triggered damages is available for either of the affected countries.
Last Updated: 01/07/2013 Next Update: 08/07/2013