Today’s top news: Occupied Palestinian Territory, Sudan, Philippines

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Occupied Palestinian Territory

OCHA warns that the current situation in Gaza does not allow humanitarian organizations to address people’s needs. OCHA reports that limited aid distributions, primarily of flour and water, took place yesterday in the Rafah governorate in Gaza. 

In the adjacent Khan Younis governorate, aid distribution largely stopped due to the intensity of hostilities. Gaza’s Middle Area was largely disconnected from the south, following Israeli forces’ prevention of movement, including of humanitarian supplies. 

On 3 December, the Israeli military designated an area covering about 20 per cent of Khan Younis city for immediate evacuation. The area was marked in an online map published on social media. 

Prior to the onset of hostilities, this area was home to nearly 117,000 people. The area also includes 21 shelters with about 50,000 internally displaced people, the majority of whom were previously displaced from the north.

Under international humanitarian law, parties to a conflict must take all feasible precautions to avoid, and in any event to minimize, civilian harm. This can entail evacuating civilians or giving effective advance warning of attacks, which provides civilians enough time to leave, as well as a safe route and place to go. 

All possible measures must be adopted to ensure that those civilians displaced can afford satisfactory conditions of safety, shelter, nutrition and hygiene, and ensure that family members are not separated. Civilians choosing to stay in areas designated for evacuation do not lose their protection.

Meanwhile, grave concerns persist about waterborne diseases due to water consumption from unsafe sources, particularly in the north, where the water desalination plant and the pipeline from Israel was shut down. There has been almost no improvement in the access of residents in the north to water for drinking and domestic purposes for weeks.

 

Sudan

OCHA warns that the cholera outbreak in Sudan continues to worsen, with a 70 per cent surge in reported cases over the past three weeks. 

As of today, nearly 5,200 suspected cases of cholera, including more than 160 deaths, have been reported in nine states in Sudan since 26 September, according to the Federal Ministry of Health and the World Health Organization (WHO). 

The UN and humanitarian partners continue to scale up the response to the outbreak, including by supporting the detection and treatment of cases and addressing water, sanitation and hygiene issues. 

To date, nearly 2.2 million oral cholera vaccines have been administered in the worst-affected states.

About two thirds of Sudan’s population lacks access to health care, and more than 70 per cent of health facilities in conflict areas are out of service. Since the war began in April, WHO has verified 60 attacks on health care in Sudan.

 

Philippines

OCHA says a 7.4-magnitude offshore earthquake that struck the southern Philippines over the weekend triggered a tsunami alert, with more than 26,000 people evacuating to higher ground in coastal areas. This alert was later lifted.

More than 700 aftershocks have been recorded, which could further weaken already damaged structures. According to national authorities, more than 340,000 people have been affected. Initial reports indicate that roads and hospitals have been damaged. 

The Government is leading response efforts at the provincial and municipal levels. Government agencies, the UN and partners are conducting rapid assessments in affected areas.

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