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World Disaster Update

Posted by feww on September 21, 2008

Situation report on diarrhea and cholera in Iraq, September 19, 2008

Diarrhea and laboratory confirmed Cholera 07/08- 19/09/08

1. Summary

Total cholera cases up to 19/09 reached 171 an increase of nine cases over yesterday’s total.

  • One case in each of Missan and Diala
  • 2 cases in each of Anbar, Najaf and Baghdad Resafa.
  • 5 cases in Basra 3 of them confirmed by the (CPHL) and 2 provisionally diagnosed as cholera by the local lab.
  • 17 cases in Karbala. o 39 cases in Baghdad-Kerkh.
  • 104 cases in Babil province all confirmed at the CPHL

Cases under investigation

  • Babil (13) cases diagnosed by provincial Lab. o Basrah (2) cases diagnosed by provincial Lab. o Kerbala (1) case diagnosed by provincial Lab.

Total laboratory confirmed cholera deaths:

  • Babil (2) deaths. o Basra (1) death. o Missan (1) death.
  • Baghdad Kerkh (1) death

There are another 7 death due to Acute Watery diarrhea; however, either stool specimens were not collected (3 deaths) or stool on examination turned negative for cholera organism (4 deaths)

Tomorrow the Central Public Health Laboratory will forward cholera positive and negative isolates to WHO for confirmation, serotyping, antimicrobial sensitivity pattern and relation to last year or this year out break in Iran. – Full Report by WHO

Haiti: UN hurricane relief appeal grossly under-funded

The United Nations today appealed to donors to make up an enormous shortfall in emergency funding for relief work in Haiti, where hundreds of thousands of people are still suffering from the devastation caused by four hurricanes over the past month.

Only 2 per cent of the $108 million flash appeal has so far been donated, nine days after it was launched, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported.

OCHA stressed that the situation remains very serious in the impoverished Caribbean country, where over 320 people were killed by the storms and flooding, and 160,000 others are still living in the open, exposed to disease and malnutrition.

Some $54 million are needed for emergency food aid. The UN World Food Programme (WFP) has already helped feed some 298,000 people since the start of the crisis.

OCHA is also concerned over access to those who have not yet received aid, including people in the Artibonne and Nippes regions, where continued rains might complicate relief efforts.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Representative for Haiti, Hédi Annabi, yesterday visited hurricane victims in Hinche, central Haiti, evaluating their needs and assuring them of the commitment of the UN and the international community to help them.

Meanwhile, UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Goodwill Ambassador Mia Farrow began a five-day tour today to take stock of the devastation which has affected more than 300,000 children, according to Government figures.

Ms. Farrow and UNICEF Canada head Nigel Fisher will meet with children and women victims and visit Gonaïves, the worst-hit town, where some 70,000 people are in temporary shelters.

UN appeals for $10 million to relieve flood-hit communities in Laos

The United Nations has appealed for nearly $10 million in urgent humanitarian aid to assist communities hit by recent floods in Laos that have damaged farmland, infrastructure and the homes of over 200,000 people.

“The floods of August 2008 pose a serious mid- to long-term threat to the health, food security, welfare and livelihoods, especially of the poorest communities affected by them,” said UN Resident Coordinator Sonam Yangchen Rana.

Disease, malnutrition and loss of livelihoods are among the threats facing 11 provinces hit by some of the worst flooding in a century in the South-East Asian country.

“Families who were already close to the poverty borderline risk being pushed under due to the loss of rice paddy, food stocks and other assets,” the UN representative stated. “Caregivers who already struggled to ensure their children received a sufficiently nutritious diet will find the task even harder.”

Ms. Rana noted that while flooding is a regular incident in the region, the calamity of this year’s mid-August inundations was a severe setback to development progress in large parts of the country.

A rapid needs assessment conducted by the Government, UN and other parties has identified the immediate priorities to be addressed: clean drinking water and sanitation, food supplies, essential medicines and primary health care, emergency replacement seeds, immunization and surveillance for disease outbreaks and nutrition status.

Kick-starting the relief activities, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has already contributed $2.024 million towards the joint appeal that proposes 15 projects in eight sectors. The appeal is requesting a total amount of $9,945,998 to address the humanitarian and essential early recovery needs.

Thailand: 16 dead in Thailand floods: interior ministry

BANGKOK, Sept 21, 2008 (AFP) – Severe flooding across Thailand has left at least 16 people dead and more than half a million people struggling to cope with damaged property and disease, officials and news reports said Sunday.

Floods caused by heavy rain have deluged 21 of Thailand’s 76 provinces in the north, east and centre of the kingdom, affecting 693,550 people, the Department of Disaster Prevention and Mitigation said in a statement.

Nearly 1,900 houses, 659 roads and 188,835 rai (75,500 acres) of farmland have been destroyed in the floods, which began earlier this month, they said. The cost of the damage is estimated at 28.55 million baht (840,000 dollars).

The department said that two people remained missing. It did not say how the 16 people were killed, but local media reports said most had been swept away in flood waters.

The English-language Bangkok Post and Nation newspapers also reported Sunday that more than 50,000 people were suffering from water-borne diseases, and authorities are delivering food, drinking water and medicine to those affected.

Copyright (c) 2008 Agence France-Presse

Thousands of villages still flooded, millions still homeless one month after deluge in India’s poorest state

Source: Save the Children Alliance

Children who were forced to flee their villages to escape flooding in Bihar, northern India, are still homeless and living in appalling conditions.

Much of the floodwater has yet to recede and in some areas, flooding has created new inland ‘seas’ up to 20km wide, according to reports from Save the Children staff in the region.

Save the Children’s Lydia Baker, who has just returned from the affected region, said: “The size of the area affected by flooding is immense. If you stand at one edge of the floodwaters, you can’t see where it ends, it feels just like you are at a coast looking out over the sea. It’s horrendous to think that under all that water are people’s homes and farmland.”

It’s been one month since the Kosi river breached its banks causing massive flooding in India’s northern Bihar province. The two districts of Madhepura and Sharsa are totally cut off with the increase in the water level. Approximately five million people, over half of them children, have been affected in 16 districts, and some villages are still completely under water.

More than 350 relief camps have been set up to house around 340,000 people but there are still thousands who haven’t made it to the camps and are living in basic shelters made from rags that they have built along highways and roads.

Save the Children is calling for more funding for this emergency to provide food and shelter to the thousands of homeless people. So far the amount that has been donated by world governments this year is less than last year, even though this year’s floods are more severe.

Save the Children is responding to the flooding and working in the relief camps of Araria, Saharsa and Khagaria. As well as giving out basic supplies of food, water and shelter equipment they are also working to protect children who may have been separated from their families by the flooding, which puts them at risk of trafficking.

“During disasters there is a severe risk of children being separated form their parents and families. This is not only extremely frightening for children, but also leaves them vulnerable to abuse and exploitation and trafficking” said Shireen Vakil Miller, Head of Policy and Advocacy at Save the Children in India.

Save the Children, in partnership with the government of Bihar, UNICEF and the Indian Red Cross have launched a family tracing programme to re-unite families separated by the floods. It will be used in all 357 relief camps to identify separated families and children, create a database of their profiles, match them and eventually reunite them.

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