The whole of Southeast Asia has been experiencing tropical storms and depressions that have intensified the annual monsoon rain, causing flooding. In Laos, Tropical Storm Podul and Tropical Depression Kajiki have caused flooding in six provinces. Nearly 400,000 people have been affected, of which nearly 88,000 people are displaced. Large areas are flooded, some areas are not yet accessible and the risk of landslides is high. CARE Laos is well-placed to respond in Sekong province and is conducting informal assessments to assess the level of needs.
Over 3 million people in Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania and Zimbabwe were affected by Cyclones Idai and Kenneth in March. The storms, coupled with chronic droughts and pest outbreaks across the region, have exacerbated a hunger crisis.
In Mozambique, Cyclone Idai destroyed more than 700,000 hectares of crops including maize, ground nut, cassava, beans and rice. According to the United Nations World Food Programme, 80% of Mozambique's population cannot afford the minimum costs of an adequate diet.
To date, CARE Mozambique has reached more than 300,000 people affected by Cyclone Idai with food like maize, beans and rice as well as clean water. CARE has also provided hygiene and emergency household items such as tarpaulins, blankets, mosquito nets, sleeping mats, bathing soap, and jerry cans; as well as chlorine tablets for clean drinking water. We have set up temporary classrooms for children and have provided construction materials and tools for families to build new homes. We are providing livelihoods support to the most vulnerable people.
We are also calling on governments and funders to increase their support for climate-smart agriculture to contain chronic food shortages in the region. Enma Reyes, CARE Mozambique’s Livelihood Coordinator, said:
We are planning to scale-up our response by distributing seeds for short and long cycle crops to help farmers replant their fields. CARE will work with farmers to improve their agriculture skills and ensure they grow crops that are more resilient to climate change. We will also promote the diversification of economic activities to ensure that farmers have an alternative source of income and become more resilient to shocks caused by climate change.
Zimbabwe has experienced below average rainfall during the past year, with long dry spells coinciding with the critical reproductive stage of staple cereal crops. This has caused significant deficits in food production across most parts of the country. The country also experienced the devastation of Cyclone Idai in March.
The combined effect of a poor agricultural season and an under-performing economy has resulted in dire consequences for a population that derives a significant proportion of its livelihoods from agricultural activities. During the peak hunger period (January to March 2020), it is estimated that up to 7.7 million people – which is more than half of the country’s population – will experience food insecurity and be in need of food aid.
CARE Zimbabwe is currently responding to emergency food insecurity in the Cyclone Idai-affected areas (Chimanimani and Chipinge districts) through cash transfers. CARE Zimbabwe is warning that further funding is needed for emergency responses to avert a potential large-scale humanitarian crisis.
The latest escalation of violence in north-west Syria has displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians from their homes. Many of these people have been displaced multiple times, some up to 5-10 times. Entire towns and villages have reportedly emptied as residents fled their communities in search of safety and basic services.
CARE continues to work closely with its local partners, including Syria Relief, to provide emergency relief items and has reached more than 280,000 in the current response to date.
Selim (name changed), a 55-year-old father of 8 children, now all living in a tent at a camp for displaced people, said:
Here at the camp ... there is accumulated waste and insects and mosquitoes have increased dramatically. This is dangerous for our health and the spread of disease. Your team has helped to extract the waste from the camp so that it is properly drained and insects are now slowly disappearing, but you understand what this means? That we rely solely on humanitarian assistance to live in dignity and face these kind of problems. We hope that your support will continue in the future as without you, we will be lost.
Sudan hosts the largest number of refugees from South Sudan in the region - an estimated 858,607 people. The security situation in Sudan remains very challenging, with shortages of cash and fuel that are affecting humanitarian operations and causing price fluctuations of goods on the market. Furthermore, the rainy season has started, a period during which the roads are accessible only with great difficulty to reach refugee camps and settlements.
CARE Sudan has ongoing response programmes in East Darfur, South Kordofan and Khartoum states. Since 1 July 2019, CARE has reached 79,445 people, including both refugees and host communities, with WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) and health interventions. For example, in East Darfur state more than 41,914 people (refuges and host community in Kario, Alnimir and Alfardose locations) got access to safe water that meets the Sphere standard through operation and maintenance of water yards including daily chlorination; 95% of all samples collected at tap stands met the standard.