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Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (19 - 25 May 2020)

Countries
India
+ 3 more
Sources
OCHA
Publication date

BANGLADESH & INDIA

Cyclone Amphan made landfall between West Bengal in India and the Hatiya Islands in Bangladesh on 20 May. In India, Odisha and West Bengal states were affected, with nearly 60 million people affected and at least 80 people killed in West Bengal alone. More than 700,000 people were evacuated across India and at least 80,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed. Extensive damage has been reported to thatched houses, standing crops, horticulture, and fisheries in cyclone-affected areas, where the response is being impeded by disruptions in electricity, communication and transport networks. The authorities have issued instructions to the affected districts to ensure social distancing is maintained and other COVID-19 protective measures are adhered to during the evacuations.

In Bangladesh, 10 million people were affected by Cyclone Amphan and at least 25 people were killed. An estimated 2.4 million people were evacuated ahead of the storm. According to preliminary reports, 330,000 houses were damaged, including 55,600 destroyed in the nine most affected districts. The cyclone led to the internal displacement of at least 100,000 people who are currently staying on embankments and with friends or relatives. Satkhira, Khulna, Barguna, and Patuakhali districts were most severely affected, with up to 1.2 million people highly affected in those four districts alone. Widespread flooding has damaged at least 150 km of embankments, destroying farmland, paddy, fish and shrimp farms, and other crops. The Government is working with humanitarian partners to respond to immediate humanitarian needs.

PHILIPPINES

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect existing health emergencies in the Philippines, including measles, dengue and polio outbreaks. According to WHO, there has been an average decrease of 40 per cent in routine immunization coverage across all diseases, comparing the number of children vaccinated in March 2019 with March 2020. WHO and UNICEF are looking to find ways to continue polio immunization campaigns that were suspended due to COVID-19 quarantine and lockdown measures. Active and passive case finding for tuberculosis in community health facilities have also reduced significantly.

PAKISTAN

An estimated 1.5 million people have been affected by swarms of desert locusts since January 2020 in what is being called the worst locust outbreak in Pakistan in over 25 years. Pakistan is an important front-line country for desert locusts as it lies on their migratory route and because it covers both summer and winter/spring breeding areas. The existing situation in Pakistan is far worse than initially anticipated, affecting significant areas of food crops, orchards, and fodder, with negative consequences on food security, nutrition, and livelihoods across all provinces. The ongoing response to eradicate and control the locust swarms is being led by the Government with the support of the international community. The Food and Agriculture Organization has launched a regional appeal $ 30 million for the locust response.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.