Crisis watch

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

18 May 2021

Palestine-Israel Situation

We are witnessing a rapid escalation of violence in Palestine and Israel. As of 17 May at least 220 Palestinians, including 58 children, 31 women, more than 6300 injured. 10 Israelis have been killed, including 2 children and 300 injured. Hostilities have also resulted in significant additional displacement of Palestinians, with over 38,000 displaced persons taking shelter in 48 UNRWA schools across Gaza.

Those in Gaza are made particularly vulnerable by the on-going land and naval blockade which makes it impossible for them to seek safety elsewhere. 

"No one is safe in Gaza. People spent the last 3 nights calling on the world to stop the bombing and saying farewell to their families on social media. People in Gaza have no safe places to hide and nowhere to flee. CARE is sending urgent supplies to Al Shifa hospital but we are waiting for the opening of Karem Abu Salem crossing into and out of Gaza to provide access for humanitarian staff and materials" says Wael Ibrahim, CARE Palestine West Bank and Gaza Country Director. “Civilians cannot wait any longer for an end to the violence and access to vital relief.”

CARE is monitoring the situation and are raising funds to provide emergency healthcare and shelter to innocent civilians in Palestine who are paying the price of this escalation in violence.  

CARE has worked in Palestine and Israel since 1948 to provide humanitarian relief and promote values of social justice and gender equality. CARE stands with all people affected by violence, discrimination and conflict and condemns all violence against civilians on both sides.

29 April 2021

Central America cyclone season

Climate change is exacerbating extreme weather in Central America, increasing the intensity of both rain and droughts, and warming sea temperatures are contributing to hyperactive storm seasons, which are devastating for communities without the resilience to deal with them.

The tropical storms Eta and Iota which hit Honduras and Guatemala in October 2020 caused flooding and landslides at a scale never seen before. Hundreds of thousands of people lost their homes and crops and were forced to evacuate, leaving everything behind. Now these people are facing a new hurricane season. Rogelia Soto, CARE Guatemala Country Director, says:

The 2.4 million affected by Eta and Iota have not yet recovered, while the first rains of the 2021 season caused the first displacement of more than a thousand people.

Catalina Vargas, CARE Regional Humanitarian Manager for Latin America and the Caribbean, says:

The impact of the hurricane season aggravated the situation of poverty, hunger, and inequality that is occurring in both Guatemala and Honduras due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CARE and UN Women conducted a Rapid Gender Analysis in Guatemala and Honduras in January to measure the effects of the tropical storms on women and girls and found that they have exacerbated already existing gender inequalities. The arrival of storms Eta and Iota left thousands of women unprotected, forcing them into temporary shelters and into employment in the informal sector after losing their homes and crops.

One of the main effects was the loss of autonomy: women have fewer or no social, political, and economic resources. Women also continue to assume sole responsibility for reproductive health issues and care work at home, perpetuating gender stereotypes that limit their possibilities for development. Maite Matheu, CARE Honduras Country Director, says:

The lack of access to adequate and appropriate support services and protection, the lack of access to economic opportunities as well as the lack of knowledge of their rights are increasing the risk of women and girls from most affected communities to gender-based violence, abuse, and exploitation. Many women and their children are at risk of displacement or migration as they are afraid to return to their communities either by the threat of new floods or the threat of gangs.

Since November 2020, CARE has assisted more than 25,000 people in Honduras and Guatemala affected by the hurricane season. Our actions sought to reduce the risk of transmission of COVID-19, ensure access to safe water, reduce the risk of malnutrition amongst vulnerable groups, guarantee access to protection systems and psychological support for women survivors of gender based violence, as well as meeting the immediate needs of food,shelter and livelihoods for the affected populations.

27 April 2021

India – COVID-19 second wave

A second wave of COVID-19 is raging through India with devastating impact. Daily infections are at 350,000 and are expected to continue to rise up to 600,000 infections per day.

The current surge is already overwhelming health infrastructure across the country. Even cities like Mumbai and Delhi with well-established healthcare networks are under tremendous strain, while across the country there are shortages of oxygen, medicines and hospital beds. Cases are not expected to peak until mid-May, leading to a major human catastrophe.

CARE is monitoring the situation and assessing how we can contribute to the response.