Floods and cyclones in Africa and Asia, Russian ships in PNG, and emojis for disasters

Posted on 22 May 2018

+ Breathe out in the Pacific, inhale sharply in parts of Africa and Asia...   

As the cyclone season comes to an end in the Pacific and communities start to rebuild, climate extremes elsewhere are disrupting lives, communities and economies. In addition to floods in Kenya and Somalia, the worst Tropical Cyclone in history in Somalia, Sagar, has killed at least 20 people and displaced thousands across the region, as a second system is forming. While the rains can bring relief from hunger in the region, floods also contribute to the potential for the spread of disease and increase favourable breeding conditions for locusts, which will impact food security in the months to come.

And of course, New Zealand NGOs are part of the humanitarian response in Bangladesh, where the Rohingya refugees living in camps in Cox's Bazaar are struggling through the beginnings of what forecasters predict will be an extreme monsoon season
+ Emojis for disasters?

"Twitter has emerged as a powerful platform for communication, coordination among residents and emergency responses," writes Catherine Cheney in Devex.

So what do disaster emojis look like?
+ Russian navy ship in Port Moresby, Australian report on PACER PLUS and more

Lowy Institute's Pacific Links updates on "the first time in history that a Russian military ship has made a port call in PNG".

Plus a report released from the Australian Government on PACER PLUS, which highlights the main problem with the agreement - "the absence of Fiji and PNG"; and examines the possible impact of the agreement on Pacific islands’ economies, health, women, business capacity, aid, and labour mobility.

Plus more on Chinese aid, Exxon-Mobil in PNG and more.
+ Violence in Gaza - what next?

Violent protests culminated on May 15, the 70th anniversary of the Nakba (“catastrophe”), during which most of Palestine’s Arab population was expelled from the British-mandated territory in the course of Israel’s creation. Approximately 70 percent of Gaza’s 2 million Palestinians are registered refugees from lands in what is now Israel, writes Brookings Institute's Khalad Elgindy.

For another view, "Don't blame the violence on the opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem," writes Max Book of the Washington Post.

"Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza, would not accept any U.S. Embassy anywhere in Israel, because it doesn’t accept the state of Israel."

And a reminder of the tense relationship between the government of Israel and some NGOs working in Gaza. 'Dozens of NGOs operating in Gaza continue to be under close scrutiny since 2016 when Israel accused US-based World Vision of funneling aid money to Hamas', writes Foreign Policy. An accusation that was never proven.

Many NGOs working in Gaza have had funds cut, and are struggling to do their work.

"The local NGO crisis in the Gaza Strip is driven by three forces: the Israeli occupation, the internal division between the two main political parties, Hamas and Fatah and the lack of international funding," says Amjad Al-Shawa, head of PNGO [The Palestinian Non-Governmental Organisations Network], a network of 133 organisations in Palestine, of which 65 are in Gaza."


Pacific Islands Africa Asia Emergency Management