Ref: DHAGVA - 97/0463
DISASTER OVERVIEW UPDATE
1. The information given in situation reports No. 1 (30 June 1997) and No. 2 (4 July 1997) on the damages caused by a severe storm with the character of a hurricane (strong wind accompanied by heavy rain and hailstones), which hit parts of Belarus on 23 June 1997, remains unchanged and can be summarized as follows:
2. 6 districts of the Brest region and 9 districts of the Minsk region were affected with about 50 casualties reported, several hundred people left without shelter and heavy damage to the infrastructure and cultivated land. This led to some nutritional problems and extended needs for reconstruction, especially in the field of electric power supply.
3. The Government of Belarus estimated that USD 150,000,000 were required for rehabilitation and reconstruction and addressed through DHA-Geneva its request for international assistance of USD 5,000,000 to undertake the most urgent measures for elimination of the consequences of the disaster. As defined by the GoB and the Belarusian Red Cross, construction materials, electrical equipment, cables, financial grants for medical and social assistance and general relief items were mostly needed.
INTERNATIONAL ASSISTANCE PROVIDED
4. According to the UN Resident Coordinator the following international assistance has been provided to the Republic of Belarus in response to the appeal:
Israel in-kind contribution of medicines to two Belarusian hospitals
Japan in-kind-contribution of different drugs and medical supplies, all together 1,293 kg, designated for the hospital of RND Institute and hospital No. 1 in Minsk
International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) financial contribution of CHF 15,000
Swedish Red Cross in-kind contribution of 23 tons of clothes
Polish Red Cross financial contribution of USD 1,000.
5. The UN Office in Minsk is planning to support a Crisis Management Centre within the Ministry of Emergencies using UNDP funds. It will also cover some of the costs of supply distribution by IFRC.
6. UN Resident Coordinator informs that, in answer to a specific question from DHA on application of Customs duties to the incoming humanitarian aid to Belarus, Mr. Kenik, Minister of Emergencies of Belarus, replied that he believed that there would be no Customs duties imposed on humanitarian aid incoming in connection with the windstorm.
7. DHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions, to be used during the immediate relief phase, in coordination/consultation with relevant organizations of the United Nations system. DHA provides donors with written confirmation and pertinent details concerning the utilization of the funds contributed.
8. Donors wishing to channel their contributions through DHA should transfer funds to DHA account no. CO.590.160.1 at the Swiss Bank Corporation, Case Postale 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland, with reference: Belarus/Windstorm.
9. For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform DHA-Geneva, as indicated below, of relief missions/pledges/contributions and their corresponding value by item.
10. This is the last situation report on this disaster unless unforeseen circumstances would require issuance of another report.
Telephone number: +41-22-917-1234
In case of emergency only: +41-22-917-2010
Desk Officer: Mr. Dmitri Balabanov, direct tel: +41-22-917-28-27
Contact for media: Ms. M. Moulin-Acevedo, direct tel: +41-22-917-2856
Telex: 41 42 42 dha ch
DEPARTMENT OF HUMANITARIAN AFFAIRS