Crisis watch

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

27 Jan 2021

Ethiopia – Tigray conflict

Three months after the start of the conflict, the situation in Tigray remains volatile. Acute malnutrition and the dire water and sanitation situation are a major concern. The Tigray Emergency Coordination Center estimates that more than 4.5 million people in the region need emergency food assistance, including 2.2 million internally displaced.

CARE has initiated and joined four needs assessments in Amhara and Tigray regions affected by the crisis. To date CARE has distributed shelter kits to 900 households, and dignity kits for 1,000 women and girls, and is preparing to distribute  a further 1,300 shelter kits in the coming weeks.

24 Jan 2021

Northwest Syria – floods

Aerial photo of flooded tents at camp in northern Syria
An aerial photo of a flooded tent camp in northern Idlib

More than 22,000 displaced people have lost their temporary homes as heavy rains, flooding, and snow have damaged over 4,000 tents at displacement camps in northwest Syria. The storm has turned camps into lakes at some 87 sites for displaced people in northern Idlib and western Aleppo, causing loss of the only belongings people have left after years of conflict. Without heating, blankets and dry mattresses to sleep on, many had to seek shelter with family members, in public buildings or out in the open, as temperatures drop below zero.

Sherine Ibrahim, CARE’s Country Director in Turkey, said:

Displacement has yet again caused misery for thousands of vulnerable populations in northwest Syria. With winter setting in, rain, and flooding has destroyed the homes of tens of thousands of people who have already been displaced over the course of nearly a decade of war. Tents, schools, and roads have been heavily impacted by the weather conditions.

Humanitarian organisations like CARE are working around the clock to provide additional tents, essential winter items, and multi-purpose cash support to affected populations and to prepare people for extreme weather. CARE is also improving sites through graveling and raising the level of tents to help prevent flooding. Together with partners, CARE is distributing plastic sheets, blankets, mattresses, floor mats, kitchen sets, and baby packages to over 3,300 displaced Syrian families in 56 camps, whether they have lost their homes to the conflict or to the floods.

20 Jan 2021

Peru – COVID-19

Strict lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have meant people have struggled to work, and provide for their families, especially when it comes to food. Marilú Martens, National Director of CARE Peru, says:

The economic crisis caused by COVID-19 in Peru has limited the access many families have to basic foodstuffs in the market. As a consequence, some of the most vulnerable people including migrants, women-headed families and those who work in the informal sector are struggling to feed their families.

In Peru over 70% of people work in the informal sector and this rises to over 88% among Venezuelans. These are the people who find their livelihoods worst affected by COVID-19 lockdowns.

CARE is responding by setting up ‘soup kitchens’ in some of the most vulnerable areas of Lima – catering to refugees and migrants as well as local populations. Training is also provided to run the kitchens so that going forward the project will be self-sustainable. CARE Peru has also provided over 5,000 food packages and cash grants so people can buy food in their local markets.

19 Jan 2021

Bangladesh – Fire at Cox’s Bazar camp

A fire broke out in Camp 16, for which CARE provides site management, on 18 January at two newly constructed, yet to open, Learning Centres. As the Learning Centres were constructed in a relatively open space, the fire did not spread to other places. No casualties have been reported.

Camp community volunteers and disaster management unit volunteers, organised and trained by CARE, rushed to the site and controlled the fire with available fire extinguishers, sand and water. Rohingya community members also joined. The local Fire Department reached the location soon after the fire broke out and helped contain the fire within an hour.

Imam Hossain, a CARE volunteer for site management informed, said:

When I saw the fire, I called CARE officer to inform about this incident. With the help of our other volunteers from the camp, we managed to control that.

CARE, with the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), has to date conducted fire simulation induction sessions for 100 disaster management unit volunteers.

Camp 16 accommodates around 21,000 Rohingya refugees. On behalf of Bangladesh Government with support from IOM, CARE oversees activities around site development, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), protection and support around gender-based violence, and nutrition.

Pages