Authorities have begun evacuating residents in the province of Batangas in Luzon Island following volcanic activity (lava flows and ash clouds) and the risk of a hazardous eruption of Taal volcano. CARE has deployed an assessment team into the area to gather information on priority needs of the affected population. We are closely monitoring the situation together with our partner organisations ACCORD (Assistance and Cooperation for Community Resilience and Development) and CDRC (Citizens Disaster Response Center). David Gazashvili, CARE’s country director in the Philippines, says:
CARE and partner teams are ready to provide assistance to those who are affected by the Taal Volcano eruption.
The ongoing humanitarian crisis continues to worsen, with 7 million people inside Venezuela in need of humanitarian assistance; 1.6 million Venezuelans in Colombia, with this figure expected to reach 2.4 million during 2020; more than 400,000 Venezuelans in Ecuador who are aiming to stay there; and more than a million Venezuelans estimated to be in Peru.
CARE has helped 43,000 people in Ecuador, 2,000 people in Colombia, 4,800 people in Peru, and 2,700 people in Venezuela, with protection, food, water/hygiene, and health support. We are working to scale up our response – through humanitarian assistance and advocacy – to achieve more impact for crisis-affected people across the region.
As violence has escalated in northwestern Syria over the past two weeks, CARE is deeply concerned for the safety and protection of more than 3 million civilians in the Idlib area, over half of whom are internally displaced.
Some 300,000 people have been displaced from their homes in southern Idlib between December 1st 2019 and January 1st 2020, moving further north away from the hostilities. At least 240,000 (80 percent) of those displaced are women and children. (Source: UNOCHA)
What does having to flee their homes mean for the affected people? Haniya, a mother of six, says:
Our family has been separated. We have been displaced for more than a week. We moved many times since we left our home. The situation has caused us nothing but worry and panic. We feel defeated. I wish we could go back home.
Jameel and his family were displaced from Aleppo three years ago and have now had to flee again. He says:
If someone stole a lighter from you, you would be upset. How about someone taking away your home and your land right before your eyes? [Here] I could only find an unfinished house, with no doors or windows, to put my children in, but it does not protect us from the cold or the wind. I wish that we would have some relief and be in a better situation.
CARE is responding to the latest escalation of violence by providing clean water, food baskets, ready-to-eat rations, cash vouchers, winter supplies, hygiene items, packages for babies, emergency shelter tools, and psychological first aid to people affected by the crisis. Through a network of partners inside Syria, CARE has reached over 60,000 people between 21 December 2019 and 2 January 2020. Throughout the period, CARE has supported evacuation efforts from urban centres being targeted by airstrikes and is also supporting a network of ambulances.
CARE staff and four local partner organisations mobilised to conduct a rapid needs assessment in areas that were affected by the typhoon on 24 December, including providing initial relief where possible. Many families whose houses have been completely destroyed (and are not in evacuation centres) are currently sleeping in makeshift tents/shelters made up of debris from the storm. Access to clean water is currently the biggest problem, with queues of up to 200 metres outside drinking water refilling stations. Roads in Mianay, Sigma and Cogon, Panay remain completely impassable to all types of vehicles. Hygiene kits are urgently needed as well as food and dry clothing.
As of 3 December, a total of 3,331 Ebola cases have been reported, of which 56% were female, 28% were children aged less than 18 years, and 5% were health workers; 2,207 people have died.
To date CARE has reached 422,000 people with our response, which focuses on community engagement, filling the critical gaps in WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) and in infection prevention and control. For example, 274 Community Animation Cells were set up in Butembo, Katwa and Lubero and 3,006 people were trained on Ebola prevention. In Lubero, 40 community action plans were developed, awareness campaigns were conducted and community dialogue is ongoing. We are also providing practical help, for example, we distributed intimate hygiene kits to more than 600 girls and women at risk in the health zones of Butembo and Katwa. In Katwa, six health facilities received a tank for water storage, chlorination kit and handwashing system.