#United Nations; #NorwegianRefugeeCouncil; #DemocraticRepublicoftheCongo; #DemocraticRepublicoftheCongo; #InternalDisplacementMonitoringCentre
United Nations, May 11 (Canadian-Media/UN): A record 41 million people remain displaced worldwide because of conflict and natural disasters, an increase of more than a million individuals in a single year, United Nations(UN) reports said.
The finding, by the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), a partner of the UN, points to ongoing clashes in Syria, along with often under-reported tensions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Ethiopia and Cameroon.
Let me give the example of Cameroon, I was just there inside the west of the country," said NRC's head, Jan Egeland. "The southern and western anglophone parts of Cameroon, there is an armed conflict; nobody is talking about it, nobody is engaging to end (it) there’s no mediation, there’s no humanitarian programme commensurate to the scale of the suffering. But there’s hundreds of torched villages and there is now between four and five hundred thousand people displaced within the anglophone part of Cameroon,” he explained.
Apart from conflict, extreme weather events and natural disasters were also responsible for people fleeing their homes. Some of the worst storms and tropical cyclones were in China, India and the Philippines, NRC’s Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre said, with 10 million people displaced in those three countries alone.
In many countries, conflict and natural disasters combined to create mass population shifts, not least in Afghanistan, where drought has triggered more displacement than armed conflict. Similarly, the security crisis in north-east Nigeria has been aggravated by flooding that has affected 80 per cent of the country.
New York/Maputo, Apr 28 (Canadian-Media/UNICEF): An additional 368,000 children in Mozambique are now at risk and potentially in need of lifesaving humanitarian support after the country was hit by a second major storm – Cyclone Kenneth – in less than six weeks, UNICEF said yesterday.
Cyclone Kenneth made landfall Thursday in the Cabo Delgado province of northern Mozambique as a Category 4 storm and forecasters are warning that the slow-moving system could continue to dump rain for days, putting affected areas at heightened risk of lethal flooding and landslides.
Displacement is also a major concern as Kenneth destroyed up to 90 per cent of homes in some villages.
“Cabo Delgado has no history of cyclones and we are deeply worried that communities in the area would not have been prepared for the scale of the storm, putting children and families in a very precarious position,” said Michel Le Pechoux, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Mozambique. “The soil is saturated with rain and the rivers are already swollen, so the emergency is likely to get worse from flooding in the next few days. We’re doing everything we can to get teams and supplies on the ground to keep people safe.”
UNICEF has advanced teams in Cabo Delgado specializing in health, nutrition, child protection, water and sanitation, and has prepositioned humanitarian supplies, including health kits and water purification supplies, to speed up the emergency response. Assessments are under way and the scale of the disaster will become clear over the coming days.
This is the first time in recorded history two strong tropical cyclones have hit Mozambique in the same season. Tropical Cyclone Kenneth follows on the heels of Tropical Cyclone Idai, which made landfall on 14 March, leaving more than 600 people dead and an estimated 1.85 million people in need.
Devastation caused by cyclones Idai and Kenneth potentially could bring the cumulative number of children in need of humanitarian assistance to nearly 1.4 million in affected areas across the northern and central Mozambique. Following Cyclone Idai in March, UNICEF launched an appeal for US$122 million to support its humanitarian response for children and families affected by the storm and its aftermath, in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi over the next nine months.
#UnitedNations; #InternationalChernobylDisasterRemembranceDay; #UNLibrary; #OCHA; #UNDP; #nuclearpowerreactors;
United Nations, Apr 28 (Canadian-Media/UN): More than three decades after the devastating explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, parts of Belarus’ adjoining regions have sprung back to life and the biggest of them, Homiel, has become a leading destination for domestic and international investors, United Nations (UN) reports said.
Image Credit: UNDP Belarus/Siarhei Hapon: Restoration work is underway in Chernobyl-affected areas, 33 years after the disaster. (April 2019)
Sixty per cent of Homiel’s produce - comprising meat, dairy products and handicraft – are exported to neighboring regions and countries while the region attracted $17.7 billion worth of domestic and foreign Investment between 2011 and 2017, representing just over 15 percent of the country’s total direct investment during that period.
A ceremony marking International Chernobyl Disaster Remembrance Day (ICDRD) was held at UN Headquarters in New York on Friday. While the Soviet Government only acknowledged the need for international help to mitigate the disaster in 1990, that same year the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for more international cooperation.
A Chernobyl Trust Fund, managed now by the humanitarian affairs coordination office, OCHA, was created by the UN in 1991, and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) became involved in 2002, when the Organization announced a new focus on longterm development. The agency and its offices in the three countries affected, have taken the lead in that area, ever since.
“In the 33 years since that tragic night, there’s been a re-thinking of the way local populations in southeastern Belarus have handled themselves”, said Zachary Taylor, UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative in Belarus. “Stigma is still pervasive, but the economic revival is visible. This is a fertile and productive region and its people are open, resilient and resourceful.”
37,000 small- and medium-sized businesses now operate in the areas directly affected by the disaster, up from only 2,375 in 2002.
“But let’s not rest on our laurels. There’s much more that needs to be done to bring the area back to its full potential. We need to keep investing in training, safety, long-term development planning, new technologies, including tourism and organic farming. This is an area that’s been left behind for too long. Let’s double our efforts to make sure it catches up,” said Mr. Taylor.
The disaster affected Belarus, Ukraine and Russia. Around 470 small towns and villages have been destroyed in Belarus alone, with 138,000 people unrooted from their homes.
The disaster still represents a huge financial burden. In Ukraine last year, 5 to 7 percent of the national budget was still dedicated to Chernobyl-related recovery activities. In Belarus, the overall economic loss is estimated at $235 billion. Missed profits and investment opportunities alone are estimated at $13.7 billion.
UNDP has been working with the rest of the UN system and international partners to help Chernobyl-affected areas in Belarus and Ukraine move from recovery and humanitarian support, to creating new jobs, strengthening social services, improving infrastructure, business and increasing investment opportunities.
#flooding; #Grand Lake; #New Brunswick
New Brunswick, Apr 22 (Canadian-Media): Grand Lake in New Brunswick experiencing the rising waters and has already surpassed flood stage, media reports said.
In 2018 also floods combined with a fierce wind storm, damaged many properties along Grand Lake.
#floodrisks; #Ottawa, #Gatinueau, #OttawaRiver;
Ottawa, Apr 21 (Canadian-Media): Cities of Ottawa and Gatineau, are facing flood risks due to rising water levels on the Ottawa River, media reports said.
In the wake of the looming flood risk many residents of Ottawa and Gatineau are spending their Easter weekend preparing for the flood risks.
Ottawa River Regulation Board Planning Board reported this morning that water levels are expected to rise slowly and hit peak levels late Sunday.
Levels will remain high for several days with ongoing risk, but cooler than forecasted temperatures along with less than anticipated rain have reduced expected inflows in most locations, said Michael Sarich with the Ottawa River Regulation Planning Board.
Given below is the list of where to seek assistance or help out over the Easter weekend.
#Notre Dame cathedral; #Paris; #UNESCO; #fire; #WorldHeritageCentre
United Nations, Apr 16 (Canadian-Media): Two-thirds of the largely medieval roof of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris have “gone” after the devastating fire in Paris on Monday evening, but UN cultural experts are standing by to offer help where it is needed in rebuilding the iconic structure.
UNESCO/George Papagiannis: Notre-Dame cathedral after the fire in Paris. Sections of the cathedral were under scaffolding as part of extensive renovations. (16 April 2019)
That’s what UNESCO World Heritage Centre Director Mechtild Rössler told UN News after visiting the site on Tuesday.
She described seeing people praying outside the stricken symbol of the city and the nation, still trying to take in the scale of the disaster:
“I saw many, many people going from the Metro, to the site of Notre Dame, and I have to say many are still in a state of shock, because it’s not only the Christian community, it’s a building for all of us”, she said. “Really, it’s a universal symbol and it’s the centre of France …I think this is really shocking people profoundly and they lost something that is part of their identity.”
Dr Rössler said that a team of UNESCO experts is on hand to investigate the stability of the stonework and potential damage to stained glass windows, echoing a statement by the UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, in which she announced that a “rapid damage assessment” would be carried out as soon as possible with the authorities.
After visiting the site of Notre Dame on Monday night Ms. Azoulay said “we are all heartbroken.” The Cathedral is part of the World Heritage site officially known as “Paris, Banks of the Seine”, inscribed on the World Heritage List, in 1991.
“Notre Dame represents a historically, architecturally, and spiritually, outstanding universal heritage. It is also a monument of literary heritage, a place that is unique in our collective imagination”, said the UNESCO chief, adding that the inferno which engulfed the cathedral, but appears to have left the medieval stonework intact, “reminds us of the power of heritage that connects us to one another. We are receiving messages of support from all over the world.”
The cathedral, where construction began in the 1160s extending for more than a century, is considered to be the finest example of the French Gothic style of architecture, with its groundbreaking use of rib vaults and buttresses, stained glass rosettes and sculpted ornaments.
#DonaldTrump, #Tornado, #Alabama; #FederalEmergencyManagementAgency
Washington, Mar 6 (Sputnik/UNI) US President Donald Trump has approved a disaster declaration for the state of Alabama which will free up federal aid to help in recovery efforts after a deadly tornado hit the region on Sunday, media reports said.
Donald Trump/Facebook page
The states of Alabama, Georgia and Florida were ripped through by more than 30 tornadoes on Sunday which had caused 23 deaths and left at least 30 people unaccounted for in Alabama.
"Today, President Donald J Trump declared that a major disaster exists in the State of Alabama and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes on March 3, 2019," a Whitehouse release said on Tuesday.
A disaster declaration allows the federal government to cover up to 90 percent of recovery costs above a qualifying threshold, according to a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) website.
Local search and rescue operations have already being carried out by FEMA teams to affected areas to aid .
(Reporting by Asha Bajaj)
#WinnipegFire, #LittleGrandRapids; #PauingassiFirstNation
Maitoba/Ottawa, May 24 (Canadian-Media): A blaze nearly half the size of Winnipeg continued to burn forcing hundreds of evacuees expected to be flown from fire-threatened eastern Manitoba First Nations on Thursday, media reports said.
The situation was described as chaotic by evacuees
The Red Cross, Armed Forces and a series of small planes helped take more than 600 people from Little Grand Rapids and 45 from Pauingassi First Nation Wednesday as a wildfire greater than 20,000 hectares in size moved toward them.
Manitoba fire/Courtesy of CBCNews
Small said as of early Thursday afternoon, 42 people were still stuck in Little Grand Rapids, and in Pauingassi the number was much higher — 234 were waiting to be taken to Winnipeg.
He said as of noon, 758 people had already been taken out of Little Grand Rapids and another 66 residents from Pauingassi arrived in Winnipeg.
There have already been more than 1,500 people evacuated from four First Nations due to fires this week, including people living in Sapotaweyak Cree Nation and Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation.
The total number of evacuees could reach 2,200 by the end of the day if crews finish evacuations in Pauingassi and Little Grand Rapids, said Feely.
Small said planes started flying people out of Pauingassi and Little Grand Rapids again early Thursday morning after a break overnight.
Thick smoke from the fire delayed evacuations on Wednesday.
Unusually dry spring conditions have prompted weeks-long burn bans and contributed to the spread of more than 160 fires in Manitoba this spring.
People in parts of Manitoba's Interlake region, between Lake Winnipeg and Lake Manitoba, were also forced to leave this week due to fires.
Small said a small number of people who left Kinonjeoshtegon First Nation (also known as Jackhead), 225 kilometres north of Winnipeg, are expected to be able to return home Thursday.
Roughly 700 evacuees from Sapotaweyak Cree Nation, about 400 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg, remain in hotels in Brandon, Swan River and The Pas.
They were forced to leave the community due to fire on Sunday and Monday.
In total, 173 fires are burning in Manitoba. The average number of fires this time of year is 105.