Today’s top news: Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator’s travel to Indonesia, Haiti, Syria, Tropical Cyclone Freddy

Today’s top news: Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator’s travel to Indonesia, Haiti, Syria, Tropical Cyclone Freddy

Haiti remains one of the most vulnerable countries to natural disasters. The effects of climate change are expected to increase their frequency and, while some progress has been made, the country still lacks adequate preparedness and resilience building mechanisms. Photo: OCHA/M.Minasi

Senior Official Travel

Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Joyce Msuya, will arrive in Jakarta, Indonesia, on Saturday for meetings with officials from the Association of South-East Asian Nations, or ASEAN.

While in Indonesia, Ms. Msuya will also hold talks with senior officials from the Government of Indonesia, which holds the ASEAN chairmanship in 2023.

She is traveling as part of a United Nations delegation, led by Assistant Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs and Peace Operations, Khaled Khiari.

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A group of officials from the UN and our partners have just concluded a two-days visit to raise awareness of the unprecedented humanitarian crisis in the country and assess how humanitarian agencies can expand their operations.

The group comprised officials from OCHA, the UN Population Fund, UNICEF, UN Women, Concern Worldwide and World Vision. They met with the Prime Minister and senior government officials, humanitarian partners, diplomats in the country, affected communities and community representatives with influence in areas controlled by or under the influence of gangs.

The team noted there has been progress in the response, including the role of local NGOs, and that the Government and health partners deserve recognition for their efforts to control the cholera outbreak.

People’s access to basic services is still severely limited in areas controlled or under the influence of gangs. We and our partners continue to engage with communities and to reach people in hard-to-reach areas. Between October 2022 to January of this year, 97 emergency missions were conducted in these areas.

The 2023 Haiti appeal, calling for nearly $715 million to help more than 3 million people, is expected to be launched next month.

The officials stressed that humanitarian operations alone cannot address the underlying causes of Haiti’s security, political and development crisis.

Several of the officials will be here as my guests tomorrow to brief you on their visit.


Despite a challenging operating environment, humanitarian workers continue to scale up their response and to deliver aid and protection services to people in the areas impacted by the earthquake.

Across Syria, OCHA and its partners have reached more than 1.2 million people with food. More than 50,000 people have received emergency shelter support, while more than 340,000 people have been reached with water, sanitation and hygiene services. Health partners have supported 2.6 million medical procedures.

The 2023 Syria earthquake appeal, calling for $398 million to help 4.9 million people, is currently 72 per cent funded with $256 million received. However, the number of people in need in Syria was at its highest even before the earthquakes struck, with more than 15 million people in need of humanitarian aid and more than 90 per cent of the people living in poverty.

After 12 years of conflict and crises, essential services – including housing, health, education, water, and energy – continue to be impacted. The earthquake hit Syria amidst an active cholera epidemic and a water scarcity crisis.

The 2023 Syria Humanitarian Response Plan is just five per cent funded. This severely limits the ability of the United Nations and our humanitarian partners to help people in need.

Tropical Cyclone Freddy

The extent of the damage wrought by Cyclone Freddy’s second landfall has become more apparent as access slowly improves.

In Mozambique, according to authorities, some 308,000 people have been affected by the cyclone’s second landfall, the majority of them in Zambezia province.

Authorities continue to preposition fuel, boats, food and other supplies. With large swathes of land being flooded, there are still severe difficulties in reached the affected areas.

Humanitarian partners continue to work closely with authorities to help some 49,000 displaced people who have sought safety across nearly 140 accommodation centers.

From the UN, $10 million has just been released from Central Emergency Response Fund to support the response in Mozambique.

In Malawi, the UN Resident Coordinator, Rebecca Adda-Dontoh, is visiting flood-affected areas and has called for the international community to step up its solidarity with people who have been devastated by cyclone, which dumped the equivalent of six months of rainfall in just six days.

Additional search and rescue capacity has arrived today to complement the Government-led operations with support from the World Food Programme and Malawi Red Cross Society. More than 200 people have been rescued so far and we continue to hear reports of people stranded.

Operations have, however, been hampered by difficult weather. We are also facing challenges to deliver supplies.

With more than 88,000 people displaced by floods across 165 temporary sites, we are working to ramp-up assistance to accessible areas by providing food, tents, blankets, and water, sanitation and hygiene supplies.