Rotary Club of Belfast

ShelterBox January-June 2019

From January to June ShelterBox has responded in 8 countries - Cameroon, Ethiopia, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Philippines, Somaliland and Syria - with 7,654 people sheltered and 673 people assisted with aid items. The top 5 most distributed aid items were: mosquito nets, quilted blankets, Jerry cans, solar lamps and sleeping mats. Details of these responses can be seen on the Club website here.

Currently 2 areas are causing them particular concern:

SB Paraguay Flooding 2019 15Paraguay - In July ShelterBox sent a team to Paraguay where after months of torrential rain there is severe flooding in the capital Asunción. The effects of the disaster can be seen everywhere - from the roofs of mud-swamped homes where some families are camping to survive, to the makeshift shelters that are crumbling after months of exposure to the elements. The unusually heavy rain, linked to the climate pattern El Niño, has displaced nearly 20,000 families who urgently need shelter and essential aid. It’s often people in the poorest communities who are forced to live in areas around the river, making them most exposed to floodwaters and at risk of losing their homes and possessions. The floodwater is not expected to recede anytime soon, so families may not be able to get back to their homes until the end of the year. The ShelterBox Team in Paraguay have received great support from the Rotary Club of Asuncion and, working with their trusted partner Habitat for Humanity and the Paraguayan Red Cross, are currently providing 3,000 families with a Shelterkit , 4 blankets, 2 solar lights and 2 mosquito nets.

Syria 2019.1Syria - the conflict is now in its 9th year and ShelterBox, working through their local partners, have supported over 50,000 families (at least a quarter of a million people) affected by the conflict with emergency shelter, plus other essentials such as mattresses and cooking sets, blankets and warm clothes to protect them from the harsh Syrian winters. This makes it the largest, most sustained response in their history. ShelterBox are extremely concerned by an increase in airstrikes in the opposition-held province of Idlib which has caused a sharp increase in people leaving their homes. Over the last 10 days, planes have bombed schools, hospitals, and markets across Idlib, causing widespread destruction and forcing over 300,000 people to flee some finding ‘homes’ under trees. Fears continue that an escalation in Russian and Syrian government attacks could put 3 million people in the path of unimaginable danger. The UN has said that a full-scale military offensive on Idlib would cause ‘the worst humanitarian tragedy of the 21st century’. ShelterBox stress that they will continue in their efforts to support families in Syria.

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