Crisis watch

Florentine, a young mother in Mozambique, who received assistance from CARE following drought and food shortages
15 February 2022

Cyclone Batsirai - Madagascar

The tropical cyclone Batsirai made landfall on 5th February at 8pm local time on the East coast of Madagascar. The north of the city of Mananjary is reported to be the most damaged area.

Monique Morazain, CARE Country Director in Madagascar said, “Assessments are still ongoing to determine the extent of the damage. As of now, 121 fatalities have been reported, over 27,048 displaced and 143,718 people affected. The cyclone destroyed over 2,562 classrooms leaving over 20,000 students unable to continue with learning. Also, 69 health centres have been damaged. Beyond the 50-kilometre radius, the damage is immense. Rice fields, as well as houses, remain flooded over a week after the cyclone hit.”

Before the Cyclone made landfall, CARE Madagascar had deployed two emergency response teams to Manakara (South-East) and to Vatomandry (East) where CARE has an operational presence and ongoing programming. Manakara, where the response team is located, is approximately 150 kilometers from Mananjary. They have reported seeing roofs blown off houses, homes destroyed by mudslides, and windblown boulders as well as trees, blocking the roads.

CARE has identified four main response areas including food, hygiene and sanitation, dignity kits, and shelter kits. Morazain says, “More resources will be needed to scale up the response based on the humanitarian needs analysis. The teams are working alongside the communities to identify and respond to the needs of the families.”

28 January 2022

Eruption of Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai volcano

Tonga is currently dealing with the aftermath of a volcano eruption and tsunami. On 15 January the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai volcano erupted at a level seven times more powerful than the December eruption, with booms being heard in Fiji and Vanuatu.

The volcanic eruption broke the underwater communications cable, leaving most parts of Tonga without communication and internet access. 84,776 people are affected according to Tonga official sources. Safe water has been the most expressed need with psychosocial support also likely to be needed. Other concerns include the impacts of ash on people, livestock, crops and vegetation.

On Thursday 20 January, CARE sent 1,000 tarpaulins and around 700 kits with essential hygiene items on the HMAS Adelaide, which left Brisbane for Tonga. CARE’s partner MORDI Tonga Trust also had pre-positioned emergency stocks in Tonga. 

CARE is working with local partners to coordinate support, including the distribution of food packs, hygiene items and high-quality equipment for ash removal. CARE Australia and CARE International UK have set up emergency appeals to support Tonga. 

27 January 2022

Freezing temperatures in Syria affecting displaced families

A fierce snowstorm has hit south of Turkey and North of Syria, affecting camps for displaced Syrians. 545 tents in displacement camps have been destroyed while 9,200 have been damaged, along with people’s few belongings. The snowfall has blocked roads and impeded movement within the camps and there is fear of flooding once the accumulated snow melts.

Severe weather is forecast to continue for some time in the Middle East in general, and in Northwest Syria in particular – with recovery lasting many more months. Tents and informal settlements are already in dire conditions, leaving children, women, people with disabilities, and the elderly utterly exposed to freezing temperatures, rain and snow. There are 2.8 million displaced Syrians in the region, of which 750,000 people are currently living in tents.

Sherine Ibrahim, CARE Turkey Country Director says:

The number of tents damaged or destroyed in the Northwest means that thousands of people have lost their shelter in the last few days. No parent should be in fear of their child freezing to death. We urgently need additional funding to reach more displaced people and to establish more protective, dignified shelters.

CARE’s local partners are carrying out a rapid needs assessment and CARE in Turkey is monitoring the situation and preparing for a response.

17 August 2021

Lebanon fuel tanker explosion

Lebanon is reeling from yet another crisis that is set to further destabilise the already struggling nation, after a fuel tanker exploded in Akkar in the north of the country. It has left around 30 reported dead and more than 100 injured. 

Akkar where the explosion happened is the poorest area in Lebanon, with a high proportion of Syrian refugees.   

CARE Lebanon Area Manager Juliana Bssawmai visited the al-Salam hospital in Akkar today to assess the needs as CARE plans to provide a response;“The situation here is terrible, there remain unidentified bodies, and the fuel crisis across the country means even the biggest hospitals are struggling to run life-saving machinery and lack even basic first aid equipment, let alone the smaller health facilities outside the main cities. Here the doctors are not sure how much longer they will be able to operate for. When the injured began arriving early this morning, those who brought people to the hospital were just throwing water on them because they couldn’t find any medicines to treat the burns.”  

Mouein Chreiteh lost both his sons - 16-year-old Jalal and 20-year-old Khaled - to the fuel tanker tragedy. He says; 

My sons died for 50,000 pounds (2.5 USD)” [the price of 20 litres of gasoline that the two young men planned to take home]. Here we lack everything, water, electricity, fuel, generators. We have always been left behind and because we are left behind, we are used like cannon fodder. We are begging for bread, milk, food. Even for DNA tests allowing me to identify my children's bodies, it takes twice as long as elsewhere in the country. Lebanon is on the brink, I know. But I have nothing more to lose; I have just lost two children.

CARE is planning to respond to this latest crisis with psychosocial support to those who have lost loved ones, as well as basic supplies to families affected amongst other interventions.  

Gul Rehman, CARE Lebanon Deputy Country Director says:

Lebanon and its people are taking blow after blow, and we do not know how much more it can stand. This latest tragedy comes on top of a worsening economic crisis, pushing over half the population into poverty and causing shortages of everything from fuel to medicines and food. The country’s capital Beirut is also still recovering from the devastating blast that happened last year in August, with huge rehabilitation efforts still needed. Now we see one of the country’s poorest and most vulnerable communities affected by a new tragedy. It is heart-breaking. 

25 May 2021

Eruption of Volcano Nyiragongo, DRC

Following the eruption of volcano Nyiragongo, on 22nd May 2021, CARE continues to monitor the developing situation in Goma and surrounding regions after thousands fled their homes. Immediately after the eruption, over 5,000 sought refuge in Rwanda and another 25,000 to the northwest in Sake. The number of those fleeing keeps increasing. During this rapid mass evacuation, it is feared that over 170 children are missing. There continues to be seismic activity not only in and around the region but far afield to even parts of Rwanda. This has led to infrastructure and building damage despite the lava flow stopping. The eruption of Mt. Nyiragongo adds to the list another crisis in the DRC. Now in its 20th year of conflict,

DRC is the largest food crisis in the world with nearly 7 million people a step away from famine and 27.3 million suffering food insecurity. CARE has released US $70,000 from its internal funds to help provide immediate cash support so that those who have been displaced and lost their homes to the lava and noxious gases can buy necessities such as food for themselves and their families. Across the border, CARE Rwanda is also monitoring and assessing the situation to see how best to support those who fled there.

Frederic Cyiza, the CARE DRC Humanitarian Program Coordinator, said:

When the volcano eruption started, we felt our homes shaking and we started to see cracks on the walls which was frightening. Many people - including our staff - are struggling not only with the immediate impacts of the volcano on their homes and livelihoods, but also the psychological trauma of the event, and the aftershocks that continue. Goma, with an estimated population of about 2 million, is one of the rapidly expanding cities in DRC. It also serves as the gateway for vital humanitarian aid coming into the country from Uganda and Rwanda. Strategically it is also the main hub for humanitarian response in eastern DRC, one of the areas hardest hit by food insecurity and conflict. It is. This eruption compounds the crises in the area and threatens to affect the ability of humanitarian agencies to respond and save lives across the region. This was the last thing the DRC needed as it battles the largest hunger emergency in the world as well as many other complex crises.