Rotary Club of Belfast

ShelterBox Update April 2017

ShelterBox are currently reacting to the drought in Somaliland, a self-declared state on the Horn of Africa, which is facing famine as livestock perish after three years of poor pasture. Their team has recently returned having been assessing the suitability of ShelterBox aid and securing a partnership to enable them to distribute shelter throughout the country. Although the rains have recently arrived, families are still vulnerable. Operations Team Lead, James Luxton explains that the need for shelter is still urgent in the short video.     

ShelterBox is also reacting to the ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Syria; flash flooding and landslides in Columbia; flooding in Peru; crises in Cameroon & Niger and a cyclone in Mozambique.

Iraq - Mosul Offensive
Half a million people have reportedly been forced to leave their homes since military operations to retake Mosul began on 17 October 2016. The rate of displacement out of Mosul has spiked in line with progress made by Iraqi forces on the ground. ShelterBox is working with partner organisations, (primarily ACTED and People In Need) to distribute emergency ShelterKits and other essential aid to internally displaced Iraqis, including people from Mosul. They are focussing on out of camp settlements and initial rapid response.

Syria - Ongoing Conflict
The conflict in Syria has now entered its seventh year, the future of millions of families still hangs in the balance. Shelterbox have been working with their partners Hand in Hand for Syria and ReliefAid to help over 20,000 families affected by the crisis across Syria and Iraq since the war began distributing ShelterKits, blankets and solar lights and to date in 2017 - aid has been provided to 3,430 families.

Colombia - Flash Flooding and Landslides
On Friday 31 March torrential rains brought an onslaught of mud, trees and rocks to the city of Mocoa in Colombia. A third of the region's expected monthly rain fell in just one night with whole neighbourhoods crushed by landslides which struck when many people were asleep in bed. Many families failed to hear the warnings - which meant they didn't have time to get out of danger. Hundreds of families have been left without even basic shelter. A team has been deployed to Colombia to some of the affected areas to oversee the distribution of 96 ShelterBoxes. More aid will be arriving in country soon, with a view to supporting 400 families.

Peru – Flooding
Throughout March, intense rains caused widespread flooding and landslides, leaving 94 dead and almost a quarter of a million homeless. Shelterbox currently have a team in Peru, assessing the situation where thousands of families have been left without even basic shelter, losing their homes and their livelihoods. However, the recent flooding is nothing new for these families. Peru has been experiencing periods of heavy rainfall since December, and Peruvian authorities are calling this the worst El Niño-related flooding in recent history. The main affected areas are still neck-high deep in water, but as the relief efforts continue, more and more people will need help. They are discussing their next steps with the National Disaster Management Agency.

Cameroon and Niger - Lake Chad Basin Crisis
A team has recently been in Cameroon. In order to meet the growing need for shelter they have provided 1,044 tents to Minawao camp, meaning that a total of 2,568 families have received aid. They are exploring how else they can help families in this region with hygiene kits and SchoolBoxes. In Niger, a total of 2,000 ShelterBoxes have given families a home after fleeing attacks from Boko Haram.

Mozambique – Cyclone
A team is currently working in Mozambique supporting the most vulnerable families following heavy flooding after tropical storm Dineo which made landfall on the south coast of Mozambique on Wednesday 15 February bringing heavy rains and winds of more than 160 km per hour. The team in the field are waiting for the arrival the 1,000 ShelterKits and mosquito nets requested for distribution. 

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