Responding to Smaller Disasters
With more than 350 disasters reported globally on an annual basis for each of the last 10 years, there has been an unprecedented rise in the need for international humanitarian aid. Although large disasters are generally well publicized, the majority of disasters are highly localized and affect comparatively smaller populations. It goes without saying that the humanitarian needs of 1,000 households are no less critical than when a similar disaster strikes 100,000 households. Unfortunately, these smaller scale disasters receive much less media attention and funding. The result is that the humanitarian needs of those affected by smaller-scale disasters often go unmet.
In response, the Humanitarian Coalition is collaborating with Global Affairs Canada (GAC, formerly the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development) to address this gap in humanitarian needs. Supported by an innovative funding mechanism called the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund (CHAF) and the HC’s own Emergency Response Fund (ERF), our member agencies are able to leverage their local knowledge, community-level relationships, and program capacity to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by smaller scale disasters.
Our responses to smaller-scale disasters are supported by the GAC (75%), HC member agencies (15%) and the Humanitarian Coalition (10%).
Recent Responses to Smaller-Scale Disasters:
Sudan: Help for displaced people
A sum of $452,562 CAD was allocated to Oxfam Canada to meet the needs of 20,000 people displaced by conflict in Sudan.
Since mid-January, military operations in North Darfur have forced large numbers of people to flee their homes and seek refuge elsewhere in the country.
Oxfam Canada will provide water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, including trucking in water, rehabilitating and drilling new hand pumps, building 200 emergency temporary latrines, distributing hygiene kits to 1,000 households and creating awareness for proper hygiene practices.
Breakdown of funding: $337,278 (Global Affairs Canada); $47,250 (HC); $68,034 (Member Agency).
India: Assistance to people affected by flooding
A sum of $275,000 CAD was allocated to Oxfam Canada to meet the needs of 6,600 people affected by flooding in Chennai, India.
Heavy rainfall during November and again in December flooded several districts, killing more than 300 and affecting more than 2 million people.
Oxfam Canada is providing WASH and emergency shelter, but there is a critical lack of cash and resources to meet daily needs, to rebuild shelter and restart livelihoods.
Breakdown of funding: $206,250 (Global Affairs Canada); $27,500 (HC); $41,250 (Member Agency).
Somalia: Assistance to people affected by cyclone
A sum of $300,000 CAD was allocated to CARE Canada to meet the needs of 12,000 people affected by a cyclone in Puntland, Somalia.
Back to back tropical cyclones hit the coastal areas of Puntland in Somalia on November 3 and 4. The storms and resulting flooding caused widespread damage to homes and local infrastructure.
CARE Canada will focus on improving access to water and hygiene services for 12,000 people by rehabilitating shallow wells, distributing water and handing out hygiene kits. It will also include cash-for-work initiatives targeting 240 households (1,440 persons of which 734 are female) and increasing access to non-food items for 1,050 people.
Breakdown of funding: $225,000 (Global Affairs Canada); $30,000 (HC); $45,000 (Member Agency).
Pakistan: Assistance to people affected by earthquake
A sum of $468,898 CAD was allocated to CARE Canada to meet shelter and winter needs to 3,500 people affected by an earthquake.
A powerful earthquake struck major cities of Pakistan, including the northern areas with a magnitude of 7.5 on the Richter scale.
Vulnerable groups, such as women, children and elderly people are finding it hard to cope with the freezing temperatures.
CARE Canada will be able to increase access to emergency shelter and improve living conditions of 500 poor and vulnerable households affected by the earthquake in the Swat district.
Breakdown of funding: $315,000(GAC); $35,000 (HC); $118,898 (Member Agency).
Algeria: Provision of assistance to Saharan refugees victims of floods
A sum of $250,000 CAD was allocated to Oxfam-Québec to meet shelter and nutrition needs to 15,000 refugees affected by floods.
Torrential rains fell on 5 Saharan refugee camps in southwestern Algeria. The scale and devastation of these floods is unprecedented. In the Dakhla refugee camp, 100% of all the homes are inhabitable today.
Oxfam-Québec will provide safe and weather resistant shelters to at least 112 of the most vulnerable families (560 people) and supplementary food rations to 15,000.
Breakdown of funding: $187,500 (GAC); $25,000 (HC); $37,500 (Member Agency).
BENIN: Provision of multi-sectoral assistance to victims of floods
A sum of $268,528 CAD was allocated to CARE Canada to meet the most immediate needs of approximately 10,000 people affected by floods.
Heavy rains caused flooding in two communes on the banks of the River Niger in northern Benin. This year, as in 2013, the consequences are dramatic. The water has risen several metres above normal levels and residents were forced to move to temporary sites.
Rapid evaluations organized by the Plateformes Communales de Réduction de Risque de Catastrophe (municipal disaster risk reduction platforms) show that 50 villages have been touched, with 19,860 people affected and 657 families displaced. These vulnerable fishing and agricultural communities were affected in 2012 and 2013.
CARE will take a multi sectorial approach in assisting 3 areas (Malanville, Karimama and Kandi) with special attention to Malanville and Karimama, the two most affected areas along the Niger River. CARE aims to ensure 10,000 people affected by the recent floods are receiving multi-sectorial assistance to meet their immediate needs.
Breakdown of funding: $201,861 (GAC); $26,667 (HC); $40,000 (Member Agency).
SIERRA LEONE: Supporting Flood Affected Households in Bo District – October 13, 2015
A sum of $375,000 CAD was allocated to Plan Canada to respond to flood-affected households in the Bo District of Sierra Leone.
Torrential rains began on September 5-6, 2015, and then continued on September16-17, which caused extensive damage largely due to rains bursting river banks. The flooding has caused widespread displacement and destruction across all districts: individuals and families continue to seek safety and shelter in large buildings (such as schools and community centres) in Bo and Pujehun, and in the National Stadium, Atouga Stadium in Freetown, as their homes are either destroyed or remain uninhabitable. Heavy monsoon rains are anticipated to continue until the end of October with rains predicted to be heightened due to the El Nino climate cycle, potentially causing further flare ups and prolonged destruction.
Among other activities, Plan Canada will distribute shelter material to 140 flood affected families, 750 education kits to flood affected children, 420 hygiene kits to flood affected families, Rehabilitation and treatment of water wells
Breakdown of funding: $281,250 (GAC); $37,500 (HC); $56,250 (Member Agency).
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO: Humanitarian assistance to displaced people because of armed attacks - October 1, 2015
$418,000 CAD has been allocated to Oxfam-Québec to respond to recent violence in the region of Beni, Democratic Republic of the Congo.
This project is a result of population movements due to armed attacks by the armed group ADF-NALU in the towns of Masulukwede/Ntoy and Mukida/Maleta, as well as offensives against this armed group on the part of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (FARDC). These armed attacks, accompanied by theft, rape, looting and massacres, have prompted thousands of families to seek refuge. In total, 8,593 households (42,965 people) have sought refuge in Beni City, Mavivi, Mbau, Oicha and Eringeti. The town of Eringeti alone has welcomed over 3,240 households (16,200 people). It is these families who will be assisted by Oxfam and MAAMS (Multi Actions d’Assistance aux Marginalisés et aux Sinistrés) as part of this project.
Breakdown of funding: $313,500 (GAC); $41,800 (HC); $62,700 (Member Agency).
INDIA: Provision of safe drinking water and sanitation to the communities affected by Cyclone Hudhud in India - November 15, 2014
A sum of CAD $359,000 has been allocated to Plan Canada for the provision of safe drinking water and sanitation to the communities affected by Cyclone Hudhud in India. On October 12th, Cyclone Hudhud (Category 4) pounded the coastal districts of Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Odisha with heavy rain and winds of almost 210 kmph (GDACS) followed by relentless rains until the evening of October 13th. The cyclone moved from coastal AP to Odisha, where it damaged approximately 50,000 thatched houses both in Andhra Pradesh and Odisha while destroying power networks, roads, uprooting trees, electricity poles, and semi-structured buildings before moving onto Chhattisgarh and weakening into a "deep depression" system. Cyclone Hudhud has devastated local infrastructure and destroyed the livelihood of many. This disaster has impacted the availability of food and water, left individuals homeless or with partially destroyed homes and extremely vulnerable.
With the funds, Plan India will provide water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) support for some 95,000 individuals affected by Cyclone Hudhud.
Breakdown of funding: $269,250 (GAC); $35,900 (HC); $53,850 (Member Agency).
Turkey: CARE Canada's Humanitarian Assistance to Syrian Refugees in Southern Turkey - November 1, 2014
A sum of CAD $400,000 has been allocate to CARE Canada to meet the needs of newly-arrived Syrian refugees and their hosting communities to reduce vulnerability to weather and water-related diseases and illness as a result of increased access to WASH services and essential NFI items for the winter months.
Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis in 2011, large numbers of people have fled the conflict to seek refuge in Turkey. As of early October 2014, approximately one million Syrian refugees were officially registered in Turkey, with the real number believed to exceed 1.5 million, the large majority from the regions of Idlib and Aleppo. The vast majority are making do the best they can in urban centres. However, on September 18, a large additional influx of new refugees from the Ain al Arab region crossed into Turkey when the Syrian Kurdish enclave of Kobane was overrun by Islamic State (IS) fighters. The IS offensive, which included heavy weaponry, artillery and tanks, forced people in the city of Kobane and surrounding villages to flee into Turkey. Approximately 190,000 refugees are thought to have entered Turkey since 19 September, with most arriving in or passing through the town of Suruç, 16 kilometres from the border point with Kobane city.
The project will undertake WASH and NFI distribution activities, reaching an estimated 10,080 individuals. CARE Turkey aims to provide a complete WASH package to each beneficiary, including water supply, sanitation and hygiene promotion, in order to reduce their vulnerability to water-related diseases.
Breakdown of funding: $300,000 (GAC); $40,000 (HC); $60,000 (Member Agency)
Bangladesh: CARE Canada's Emergency Response to Flood affected, Vulnerable Communities in Northwest Bangladesh in 2014 - September 17, 2014
A sum of CAD $345,500 has been allocated to CARE Canada to meet the immediate Non Food Items (NFI), WASH and Livelihood needs of 7,000 severely affected households (men, women, boys and girls) in five of the most severely flood affected districts in Northwest Bangladesh (Kurigram, Pabna, Sirajganj, Jamalpur and Bogra.
Northwest Bangladesh has been severely affected by flooding resulting from heavy monsoon rains since August 13, 2014. According to the latest situation report from the Government of Bangladesh, as of September 10, 2014, 14 deaths have been reported and almost 3 million people or 629,243 households have been affected. In addition, over 30,000 hectares of rice crops have been inundated and countless educational institutes have been flooded and declared closed. Many affected people have knee to waist deep water in their homes and have been forced to take refuge on ‘higher ground’, including the roofs of their houses, schools and temporary shelters alongside their poultry and livestock. As most sanitation facilities have been submerged, ground water sources have been contaminated, causing a shortage of safe drinking water and threatening water borne diseases, such as diarrhea, and skin infections, etc.
The funds will support CARE in meeting the immediate non-food items (NFI), WASH and livelihood needs of 7,000 severely affected households (men, women, boys and girls) in five (Kurigram, Pabna, Sirajganj, Jamalpur and Bogra) of the most severely affected districts in Northwest Bangladesh.
Breakdown of funding: $254,383 (GAC); $25,438 (HC); $65,679 (Member Agency).
South Sudan: Our member agencies are responding - September 17, 2014
CAD $150,000 has been allocated to CARE Canada and Oxfam Canada to respond to the needs of internally displaced persons in South Sudan. In December 2013, violence erupted in South Sudan forcing 1.5 million people to flee their homes and causing thousands of deaths. A number of short-lived ceasefires have not solved the conflict, which is now affecting 4.9 million people. They are in urgent need of food , water, sanitation, and health services. Because the planting season was lost due to the hostilities, millions are facing severe hunger. The rain season has now started, leaving some communities isolated and vulnerable.
The funds were split between two agencies. A sum of $75,000 was allocated to CARE Canada to improve the provision of primary health care and nutrition services for 8,070 individualsin Bentiu’s Protection of Civilian Camps and specific payams in Rubkona and Guit counties of Unity State, South Sudan. Similarly, $75,000 was allocated to Oxfam Canada to reduce the vulnerability and suffering of 1,595 individuals through provision of basic WASH services in the Kule and Tirekdi refugee camps, Pamdong Transit Centre and Pagak Reception Centre in Gambella Region of Western Ethiopia where South Sudanese refugees are harbouring.
(This project was funded entirely by the Humanitarian Coalition)
Nepal: Oxfam EFSVL response to the Nepal Mid and Far West Floods and Landslides - September 1, 2014
A sum of CAD $300,000 has been allocated to Oxfam Canada to respond to torrential rain fall and flooding in the Surkhet, Banke and Bardiya districts of Mid Western Region of Nepal.
Torrential and widespread rainfall from 13-15 August 2014 caused flash floods and landslides in various parts of the country. According to National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), a total of 256 persons are confirmed dead, 157 persons injured and 254 persons have gone missing as of 3 September 2014. In addition, a total of 6,841 houses are completely and 18,148 houses are partially damaged. According to the press statement of UN Office of the Resident Coordinator in Nepal on 20 August 2014 43,000 families are affected, out of which 21,196 families or 215,000 and 105,980 people respectively are displaced. The most affected districts are Bardiya, Banke, Surkhet and Kailali. Initially Oxfam will focus in three districts (Bardiya, Banke and Surkhet) of Mid-Western Region and will expand to other districts gradually if it is required.
With CHAF funding, Oxfam will intervene in Emergency Food Security and Vulnerable Livelihoods (EFSVL) with the specific objective to improve household food security for 2,729 affected households such that they can meet their daily needs without undertaking negative coping mechanisms.
Breakdown of funding: $225,000 (GAC); $30,000 (HC); $45,000 (Member Agency)
Niger: WASH and Food Security Support to People Displaced by North Nigerian Crisis - July 22, 2014
A sum of CAD $250,000 has been allocated to CARE Canada to meet the food security and WASH needs of approximately 14,000 people affected by the North Nigerian crisis and local food insecurity in the Diffa region of Niger. In response to Boko Haram’s expansion and increased targeting of the civilian population, the government of Nigeria has increased its counterinsurgency operations and use of force in late 2013/early 2014 which exacerbated violence and displacement in the region. In May 2014, Nigeria’s National Commission for Refugees (NCFR) made data available to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) showing that as many as 3.3 million people have been internally displaced in the country by violence, representing the largest displaced population in Africa and the third largest in the world behind Syria and Colombia.
This escalating conflict between the Government of Nigeria and Boko Haram has led many people to flee to neighboring countries, resulting in a sudden increase in the number of refugees and returnees crossing the border into Niger’s Diffa region. As many as 1,000 refugees/returnees were arriving per week as of July 21th, 2014. An estimated 70,000 refugees/returnees are now hosted in Diffa Region of Niger. Thousands of refugees and returnees are living in conditions of great hardship, located in remote areas where the borders of Chad, Niger and Nigeria converge. Reports indicate that four out of five arrivals are women and girls. Many of the arrivals are women who have lost their husbands, or children who have become separated from their parents.
With the CHAF funds, CARE will work to increase household income/livelihood security and improve purchasing power of 1,000 households (most affected host families, refugees and returnees) in Diffa through unconditional cash grants, as well as provide hygiene kits and safe water and improved hygiene and sanitation for 14,000 affected persons.
Breadown of funding: $187,500 (GAC); $25,000 (HC); $37,500 (Member Agency)
Emergency Child Health & Nutrition Response for CAR Refugees in Cameroon - July 4, 2014
A sum of CAD $402,209 has been allocated to Plan International Canada to respond to the Central African Republic refugee crisis in Cameroon.
According to UNHCR, there are more than 100,000 new CAR refugees in Cameroon (and 211,023 in tota). Currently there are 7 refugee sites spread across the country: Gado, Lolo, Mbile, Yokadouma and the recently created Timangolo site in the East; Borgop and Ngam in the Adamawa region in the northern part of Cameroon. A significant number of refugees are living with local host communities. As of June 15, 2014, out of all new arrivals registered so far, 57.6 % are children (UNHCR statistics as of June 15, 2014). The number of new CAR refugees anticipated to be in Cameroon at the end of 2014 is 180,000. To highlight the severity of the situation for CAR refugees arriving in Cameroon, the Deputy High Commissioner for Refugees, Janet Lim, visited Cameroon with a delegation from Geneva in early July. The objective was two-fold: to encourage aid agencies to deploy and/or upscale to address the growing needs in Cameroon; and to advocate for further funding. While there are sizable funding gaps at present, the Deputy High Commissioner assured all implementing partners that this would be addressed.
Plan International’s response will focus on the East Region of Cameroon, which is vast and previously sparsely populated. The arrival of refugees has meant drastic changes in the make-up of local villages with resources being stretched far beyond capacity.
Breakdown of funding: $297,209 (GAC); $30,000 (HC); $75,000 (Member Agency)
Democratic Republic of Congo: Livelihood support program to help victims of the armed conflict - June 5, 2014
A sum of $200,000 has been allocated to Oxfam-Québec to meet the needs of at least 1,078 households displaced as a result of the fighting between the FNL (Burundian liberation forces) and the FARDC in the middle plateaus of Uvira.
Together, the middle and upper plateaus of Uvira (South Kivu Province) make up one of Uvira Territory’s most isolated regions, serving as a stronghold for national and foreign armed groups. Over the past few years, the region has been further destabilized by fallout from the FARDC’s (armed forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo) military operations against national and foreign armed groups.
Armed confrontations occurred among the self-defence militias and armed groups on the one hand and between these groups and the FARDC on the other. These clashes displaced populations and led to the systematic pillaging of basic necessities and food crops. The battles that raged from April 21 to 25 are indicative. The FARDC managed to drive the Burundian FNL rebels from their base. As a result, the security situation in the region has become relatively calm. The extremely dilapidated Runingu-Katobo-Marungu highway, weak phone network coverage and the ever-changing security situation mean that humanitarian stakeholders (in particular NGOs and other international organizations) are refraining from assisting the region’s population.
Breakdown of funding: $150,000 (GAC); $20,000 (HC); $30,000 (Member Agency)
IRAQ: Anbar IDP Crisis - April 28, 2014
CAD $350,000 has been allocated to Save the Children Canada to provide essential Non-food items and Child protection services toapproximately 28,000 people displaced by the Anbar conflict in Kirkuk and Salah Al-Din, Iraq.
Following the break out of conflict in Fallujah and Ramadi, in Anbar Province, west central Iraq in late December 2013, families are fleeing to neighboring provinces with many seeking refuge in schools and mosques or renting overcrowded rooms.
As the situation persists the abilities of families to cope with this displacement becomes increasingly strained.Not only are the numbers of displaced families increasing dramatically but their needs are also growing.As of April 24th, the number of displaced people - as per Government figures - stands at 72,910 families with approximately 50% of that population being children. Furthermore nearly half the students in Anbar province have been prevented from attending school due to the ongoing conflict.
Breakdown of funding: $262,500 (GAC); $35,000 (HC); $52,500 (Member Agency).