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August 2010

Pakistan: Help makes the difference between hope and despair (ECHO)

30 August 2010

In Pakistan I met a young man called Gul-a-Lala, which in Pashtun means “Flower of Paradise”. He is an Afghan refugee who lives in the village of Azakhel, in Nowshera district, which is north of Pakistan’s capital Islamabad.

Gul-a-Lala escaped from war in Afghanistan to make a new life in Azakhel. But at the end of July the Monsoons arrived. His house was flooded together with the rest of the village. And when the waters receded they left behind a mess of bricks, broken wood and mud.

Pakistan: Reaching flood victims by truck, mule and chopper

27 August 2010

ISLAMABAD, 27 August 2010 (IRIN) - Getting food and other aid to eight million or more people in urgent need is a logistical challenge. Based on World Food Programme (WFP) costs and times, IRIN takes a look at the main options for transporting 100 tons of food 100km.

Truck: The most common means of transporting aid.
Volume of food: Each truck can carry 10 tons of food
Number needed: 10 trucks to transport 100 tons
Time required to travel 100km: 3 hours
Total cost: US$1200

“This is not an easy job. We have been stopped by desperate people who have tried to remove the food.

Hue - Microdis Asian Symposium on Disasters

27 August 2010
VietNamNet Bridge – Southeast Asia is considered as the world’s storm center and Vietnam is among the top ten countries most affected by natural calamities and climate change.

As many as 60 experts from 20 Asian countries and the United Nations met in the central province of Thua Thien-Hue on August 25 to evaluate the impact of natural disasters in the region.

According to the conference, natural calamities in Asia account for nearly 40 percent of global losses caused by natural calamities; this continent accounts for nearly 60 percent.

Viet Nam: Cyclone N°3 Mindulle claims 10 lives in central region

26 August 2010
Damage / 26 August 2010

- Death: 10 people (Nghe An: 06, Ha Tinh 3 and Quang Binh 1) (most from drowning, of which one commune official from Ha Tinh, 2 other people died when protecting their house).
- Missing: 1 person in Quang Binh on his way to work.
- Injured: 64 people (Nghe An: 49, Ha Tinh: 15, Quang Tri: 03, Thua Thien Hue: 11). 
- Houses collapsed: 461 houses (Nghe An: 389; Quang Binh: 07; Quang Tri: 02; Ha Tinh: 58; Thanh Hoa: 07).
- Houses flooded or with damaged roofs: 47,079 houses (TT. Hue: 312; Quang Tri: 29; Quang Binh: 31; Ha Tinh: 11,039; Nghe An: 35,731; Thanh Hoa: 278).

Viet Nam Government urges Labor Ministry to issue new poverty standards

23 August 2010
VietNamNet Bridge - The Government has recently urged the Ministry of Labor, War Invalids, and Social Affairs (MOLISA) to quickly issue new poverty benchmarks.

Vietnam has adjusted its poverty standards five times. The country is implementing a national program on poverty reduction for 2006-2010, which aims to reduce the poverty rate from 18.2 percent in 2006 to 10-11 percent in 2010.

According to the current standards, poor households are defined as those whose average monthly income is no higher than 200,000 dong and 260,000 dong per person for rural and urban areas respectively.


The breathing earth simulation

21 August 2010
Welcome to Breathing Earth.

This real-time simulation displays the CO2 emissions of every country in the world, as well as their birth and death rates.
Please remember that this real time simulation is just that: a simulation. Although the CO2 emission, birth rate and death rate data used in Breathing Earth comes from reputable sources, data that measures things on such a massive scale can never be 100% accurate. Please note however that the CO2 emission levels shown here are much more likely to be too low than they are to be too high.

See Breathing Earth Site

August 21 is Earth Overshoot Day

21 August 2010

August 21st marks an unfortunate milestone: the day in which we exhaust our ecological budget for the year. Once we pass this day, humanity will have demanded all the ecological services – from filtering CO2 to producing the raw materials for food – that nature can provide this year. From that point until the end of the year, we meet our ecological demand by liquidating resource stocks and accumulating carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

What is Earth Overshoot Day?

Every year, Global Footprint Network calculates nature’s supply in the form of biocapacity, the amount of resources the planet

MYANMAR: Nargis now a development issue, says Yangon

20 August 2010

ANGON, 20 August 2010 (IRIN) - Myanmar’s government surprised the international aid community this week by ending centralized coordination of the response to Cyclone Nargis, which in 2008 devastated the Delta region, leaving tens of thousands of families without adequate shelter two years later.

The government inherited its coordination role from the Tripartite Core Group (TCG) at the end of July.

On 16 August, Myanmar’s Ministry of Social Welfare Relief and Resettlement (MoSWRR) told international NGOs and UN agencies that the post-Nargis Delta recovery should be “mainstreamed into

For your shelves! New publications

Advancing climate change adaptation in developing countries: an overview of the UNDP-GEF adaptation portfolio

This overview highlights projects supporting measures that minimize climate change damage by reducing the risk, or the adverse effects, of climate change, through support to LDCs, advancing achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, and supporting grassroots actions for policy change.

Why is the world not responding as Pakistan drowns?

19 August 2010

NEW DELHI (AlertNet) - Scant international donations to flooded Pakistan are being driven by a multitude of factors ranging from the financial crisis, donor fatigue, a low death toll and scepticism that the government can translate the contributions into effective aid, say relief workers and analysts.

The disaster, which has killed up to 1,600 people and affected 20 million, is one of the biggest humanitarian crises in recent years - bigger than the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004 or the earthquake in Haiti earlier this year, according to the United Nations.

Yet despite the television images