Asia / Pacific

Photo: Franz Nikko Lacsina


Afghanistan • Pakistan • Philippines • Myanmar (Burma) • Cambodia • Japan

Emergency Response

In a year’s time, CWS’s work in responding to emergencies has literally covered the map, whether in East or South Asia. In all locales, CWS remains committed to strengthening the resilience of affected communities, which is why our emergency work in Asia is “holistic.” Our recent responses to natural disasters in Pakistan and Afghanistan – earthquakes, floods and mudslides – has included advocacy for the most vulnerable survivors in a politically fragile region.

The same commitment has also undergirded our work in Japan, where disaster response, long-term recovery and advocacy have merged into ongoing work following the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami and the nuclear power disaster.

There’s no disaster where any humanitarian organization can “go it alone.” This has been illustrated most recently in the wake of our response to both Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines – the single most calamitous disaster in Asia this past year – and to major floods in Cambodia.

Some highlights of our work

Afghanistan Floods and Mudslides:Covered by a $550,421 appeal, we responded to flash floods and landslides that affected some 120,000 people across 16 provinces. In Badakhshan Province, CWS distributed 863 non-food item packages to affected families in Argo District and Kishm District. In Argo District, health and hygiene sessions benefited 219 individuals and 114 hygiene kits were distributed to 114 women. In Kishm District, 40 hygiene kits were distributed to 40 women, along with health and hygiene sessions which benefited 87 individuals.

Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines: A huge event, the typhoon may have been the strongest on record. Thousands were killed and more than 100,000 families were displaced. Our assistance, covered by a $750,000 appeal, helped with combined efforts that provided immediate assistance to more than 200,000 people, including providing plastic sheeting, water and sanitation repair and shelter assistance.

Cambodia Floods:This past year, Cambodia experienced severe flooding as a result of greater-than-average rainfall caused by typhoons and other severe weather systems. Nearly 2 million people were affected in some way and more than 100,000 were displaced – many poor families, including landless migrant laborers. Our work, centered in Banteay Meanchey province, focused on initial emergency efforts, as well as food security and water and sanitation work. Our appeal of more than $ 1 million centered on our work, as well as our partners in the ACT Alliance Forum.

Myanmar (Burma) Floods: Our appeal of more than $670,000 centered on the response to floods in Myanmar. Floods in that country seriously affected the southeast part of the country, affecting at least 73,300 persons and destroying thousands of acres of farmland. Our work first focused on an initial response to 800 households in the township of Pha Ann. Assistance included food items — rice, cooking oil and beans. The second phase widened efforts to help alleviate food problems for 2,900 households, including food aid, farm recovery assistance and cash for work.

Ongoing Japan tsunami / nuclear response: CWS was among the agencies providing initial assistance to those affected by the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear power disaster. In the last year, ongoing CWS work has begun gearing up for increased advocacy work by establishing a coalition of major Japanese networks and NGOs to advocate together for the world to learn from Fukushima’s mistakes. CWS has been the rare agency that has done on-the-ground humanitarian work in Japan, while at the same time linking to regional and global advocacy activities.