Center for Humanitarian Health Weekly Newsletter
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The Humanitarian Health Weekly Newsletter

Week of January 2nd - January 8th, 2017

Humanitarian Emergency News

Mongolia faces big chill as arctic winter worsens

This winter will likely see vast swathes of the Mongolian steppe hit by the extreme weather phenomenon known as a “dzud”. Fears are growing of a devastating humanitarian crisis. Temperatures have dropped to -50C and pasture is covered with 90 cm of snow. Some of the main roads have been closed due to the snowfall. The cold is likely to get worse say meteorologists. More than one-third of Mongolian population depends entirely on pastoral farming for its livelihood, harsh dzuds can cause economic crises and food security issues the country. After previous dzuds, thousands of families lost all or most of their animals and herders have been deprived of their only source of income. Many were forced to move to slum areas on the outskirts of the capital Ulaanbaatar and other urban centers.

Floods threaten Thailand as death toll mounts
Flash floods have affected nearly a million people across several provinces of the Asian country. Several days of torrential rain caused swaths of farmland to become submerged, with water threatening villages and damaging more than 1,500 schools in Thailand's south. At least 18 people have been killed and one is missing. Military forces, including helicopters, have been activated to provide flood relief, set up shelters and distribute aid. Thailand's Meteorological Department warned that the rainfall would continue for at least two more days.

Quake rattles southern Iran, four Afghan laborers killed - TV

An earthquake shook Iran's southern Fars province on Friday, killing four Afghan laborers and prompting a search operation for other casualties in the thinly-populated mountainous area. The shallow magnitude 5.3 earthquake struck at dawn, with its epicentre 53 km southwest (33 miles) of the city of Jahrom, the USGS said. Iranian media said the quake measured 5.1. The governor of Fars province, Mokhtar Abbasi, told state TV that rescuers were searching the quake zone for any other victims in the sparsely populated region. Three injured people from the village of Chartala were taken to hospital but later discharge.

Special Reports

Inside Venezuela's hidden healthcare crisis

Medicines and basic hospital equipment are now in such short supply that doctors struggle to make diagnoses, let alone provide treatment. And yet, they continue to try to do their best for their patients, even as they lack the tools. Meanwhile, the government of President Nicolas Maduro has refused to lift a ban on international aid that could alleviate the crisis. The government also restricts media access to public health facilities and penalizes health workers who speak out. Hospitals have armed guards, and journalists caught inside face arrest. The attached film by freelance videographer Kamilia Lahrichi was only possible because of the bravery of the two doctors it documents and the risks taken by the journalist and her fixer.

Crisis Updates

Streets of Ivory Coast cities calm after soldier mutiny

The streets of Ivory Coast's second-largest city Bouake were calm and the military presence was gone, residents said on Sunday, after a two-day soldiers' mutiny took over the city before spreading across the country. The mutiny began early on Friday when rogue soldiers demanding bonus pay seized Bouake. Soldiers at military camps in cities and towns across Ivory Coast, including the commercial capital Abidjan, joined the rebellion. A deal was reached between the government and the soldiers late on Saturday. A mutineer close to the negotiations said soldiers had returned to barracks. The revolt comes two years after a near identical uprising, which ended when the government offered mutineers amnesty from punishment and a financial settlement. A repeat of the solution raises the risk soldiers will be encouraged to do it again.

Drought victims in Amhara dropped by 72 per cent 

The Amhara State Agriculture Bureau has announced that the number of people affected by the El-Nino induced drought has dropped by 72 per cent, putting the number of those in need at 650,000.  The bureau said the government's prompt response to the drought reversed the severe situation which might have turned into famine. Fertilizer, select seeds and other improved working system were introduced among the farmers in response to the problem. The bureau stressed on the need to promoting natural resources conservation activities among locals to reverse the dire situation. The drought originally affected more than 2.3 million people in the state.

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