Crisis watch

Florentine, a young mother in Mozambique, who received assistance from CARE following drought and food shortages
4 Feb 2021

Sudan – refugees from Ethiopia

More than 60,000 refugees from Ethiopia have crossed to Sudan as of 30 January 2021. The refugees are arriving in poor health conditions with little to no personal belongings with them. People are in urgent need of access to water and latrines, health and nutrition services, shelter and non-food items, and protection support including sexual and gender-based violence prevention and response. Refugee and host communities also need support on COVID-19 prevention measures, isolation centres, and health and hygiene practices.

CARE’s intervention in Um Raquba camp is ongoing and focusing on providing water, sanitation and hygiene services that include maintenance of 2 water yards, and construction of 100 latrines and 50 shower blocks.

20 hygiene promoters from the refugee population have been trained in collaboration with the state ministry of health. They are providing awareness raising sessions to the population with special focus on COVID-19 and hygiene-related messages.

CARE has contributed to improve referral services for emergency medical cases, to hospitals near village-8. CARE is operating and supporting the ambulance received from UNHCR, and keeping it ready for emergency referral when needed.

So far, CARE has reached 19,450 people with WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) and health referral services.

3 Feb 2021

Mozambique – Cyclone Eloise

More than 314,000 people continue to be affected by the aftermath of storm Eloise, including more than 20,000 internally displaced people and over 33,600 people evacuated. As of 1 February a total of 36 temporary accommodation centres remain active (32 in Sofala Province and 4 in Manica Province).

At least 29,310 houses have been destroyed, damaged or flooded, mainly in Sofala Province. At least 579 classrooms and 86 health centres will need repairs. These figures could still rise in the days ahead as assessment teams reach additional, harder to reach, areas particularly in Buzi district.

Some of the worst affected areas were resettlement sites, which were established in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai in 2019 and heavily affected by Storm Chalane on 30 December 2020. Some of the most vulnerable households headed by women, children, the elderly or persons with disabilities, had their tents and shelters totally destroyed or partially destroyed. If not prioritised in shelter and other humanitarian assistance as well as in longer term recovery and rebuilding, these  already vulnerable groups may be further exposed to heightened protection risks.

CARE coordinated with stakeholders to support community mobilisation and pre-emptive evacuation ahead of Cyclone Eloise (on 22 January) and from 23 January has participated in joint multi-sector assessments in three districts: Beira City, Dondo and Nhamatanda.

CARE distributed cooking pots in coordination with IFRC in two accommodation shelters on 27 January. COSACA (consortium with CARE, Save the Children and Oxfam) distributed  handwashing stations and soap as COVID-19 prevention measures in two evacuation centres on 28 January and facilitated protection focus groups in Nhamatanda accommodation centres, to raise awareness and facilitate protection monitoring.

2 Feb 2021

Bosnia – migrant support

A few weeks after the migrant camp in Lipa burned down, more than 8,300 refugees and migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and other countries continue to face miserable living conditions in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Most of them persevere in abandoned buildings without heating systems, sanitation facilities or medical care.

CARE and our partners Zene Sa Une in Bihac and Zemlja Djece U BiH in Tuzla have been working around the clock to support refugees and migrants with urgently needed food, warm gear such as clothes, shoes and sleeping bags, and hygiene kits including personal protective equipment against COVID-19. CARE partners have also been providing information about safe accommodation and medical assistance and psychosocial support.

28 Jan 2021

Northern Syria

CARE and 19 other NGOs are warning that reduced access for humanitarian aid to Syria – due to a decision six months ago by the UN Security Council to further limit access points – is putting lives at risk.

Sub-zero temperatures, floods and soaring food prices – combined with rising cases of COVID-19 – have rapidly increased the needs across northern Syria. Lack of access to aid, including food, water and medical supplies including oxygen, means millions of Syrian people risk falling short of meeting their basic needs. The joint NGO statement says:

UN cross-border humanitarian access to North West Syria must be assured now and in the future and the Security Council must urgently address ongoing access challenges across the country. It is critical for continuing to deliver the most basic forms of life-saving aid to those who need it most. The loss of access would contribute to a rapid increase in hunger, an out-of-control COVID-19 crisis, and unnecessary suffering and death. Ten years into this conflict, we cannot turn our backs on the Syrian people, and risk the lives of millions.

27 Jan 2021

Mozambique – Cyclone Eloise

Early assessments of the impact of Cyclone Eloise, which hit Central East Mozambique on 23 January, show that disaster preparedness work has helped to prevent widescale destruction. Marie David, CARE Mozambique Acting Assistant Country Director, said:

The fact that agencies and government worked hard before the cyclone hit to evacuate people and we mobilised communities to raise awareness, means the death toll at least remains low.

However, at least 7 people have died, and over 17,000 homes have been damaged. One woman living in Mandruzi resettlement site in Beira city – which bore the brunt of Cyclone Idai in March 2019 – told CARE staff:

We tried to build a small shelter with pieces of sticks and tarpaulin for the five of us after Eloise destroyed our house. Our crops are totally destroyed, and we lost our income generating activities. We are only having one meal a day.

CARE has distributed immediate emergency relief kits to people in Beira City who have lost all their belongings. We are carrying out assessments of needs and plan an immediate response for those worst impacted, combined with longer-term resilience building and disaster preparedness planning.

Eloise is the second tropical storm to hit Mozambique in the last three weeks, all in the same area and suggesting an increased intensity in weather for Mozambique and the wider southern Africa. David adds:

As we are now in the cyclone season, this is very worrying, especially as climate change has shown us that natural disasters are becoming worse and harder to predict.