Ahmad lives in the Al-Tah camp for internally displaced people in Idleb Governorate, Syria (April 2020). Credit: OCHA
Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 21 October 2020
Syria: Update on hostilities, including in the north-west
Hostilities in north-west Syria continue almost daily despite the 5 March ceasefire agreement, while across the country, reports of civilian casualties from the conduct of hostilities continue to be reported.
Despite the reduced airstrikes in the north-west following the ceasefire, increasing numbers of reported improvised explosive device incidents, clashes between non-State armed groups and targeted attacks highlight the high level of insecurity across Idleb and northern Aleppo.
Humanitarians continue to be injured and killed by hostilities. On 15 October, two humanitarians and their driver were injured during an airstrike in their vicinity in the area of Salqin city in Idleb. That followed an incident the day before where one humanitarian was killed and another injured in an attack on their vehicle north of Al Bab, in northern Aleppo.
On 6 October, a bomb blast from a truck was reported near a bus station in Al Bab city. Reports indicated that more than a dozen civilians were killed in the attack and up to 40 others were injured.
In total across Syria in August and September, OHCHR verified at least 117 incidents in which 108 civilians, including 7 women and 24 children, were killed and at least 172 civilians, including 12 women and 21 children, were injured as a result of the conduct of hostilities. Some 64 per cent of these incidents were due to attributed to explosive remnants of war in agricultural lands and to targeted killings (including improvised explosive devices).
The United Nations reiterates the call of the Secretary-General for a full country-wide ceasefire and calls on all parties to respect their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law to protect civilians and civilian infrastructure.
Vietnam/Cambodia/Thailand/Lao People’s Democratic Republic: Impact of floods
Since the beginning of October in the Lower Mekong Region, prolonged, heavy rains have caused severe and widespread flooding and landslides in several provinces of Vietnam, Cambodia and parts of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) and Thailand.
Across the region, at least 132 people have reportedly died and more than 110,000 people have been displaced.
As of 18 October, flood waters in Lao PDR and Thailand are receding, while the situation in Vietnam and Cambodia remains challenging and could deteriorate further as Tropical Storm Saudel is forecasted to make landfall on 24–25 October in the same affected provinces, bringing additional heavy rains.
In Vietnam, some 7 million people are currently estimated to have been exposed to heavy rains and floods, with almost 900,000 people directly affected.
Joint Government-UN-NGO assessment teams are currently in affected areas, and initial feedback suggests that the number of affected people may rise as additional information comes through.
Nearly 178,000 houses have been flooded and nearly 113,000 hectares of agricultural land have been damaged, according to official data.
The UN and humanitarian partners, in support of the Government-led response efforts, are providing food packages and water purification tabs in the affected areas.
The immediate needs include drinking water, food, household items, support to damaged schools, cash to restore livelihoods, and hygiene and health assistance to health centres.
The UN Resident Coordinator met with the Vietnamese Prime Minister today to offer support in areas where the needs are greater. OCHA is working closely with the Resident Coordinator’s office to provide advice on response planning, reporting and mapping.
In Cambodia, more than 131,000 houses have been damaged or destroyed and more than 12,200 households have been displaced, as of two days ago. More than 133,000 households have been affected by the floods, and some 319,000 hectares of agricultural land have been inundated, according to official data.
Joint Government-UN assessment teams continue to conduct needs and damage assessments.
The Cambodian Red Cross and humanitarian partners are providing food, water, emergency shelter, non-food items and emergency cash to affected households.