Myanmar - ReliefWeb News

Syndicate content
ReliefWeb - Updates
Updated: 4 hours 23 min ago

World: Le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé - Rapport du Secrétaire général (A/70/836–S/2016/360)

7 hours 15 min ago
Source: UN Security Council, UN General Assembly Country: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, World, Yemen

I. Introduction

1. Le présent rapport, qui couvre la période allant de janvier à décembre 2015, est soumis en application de la résolution 2225 (2015) du Conseil de sécurité. Il renseigne sur l’impact des conflits armés sur les enfants à l’échelon mondial et donne des informations sur les violations graves commises contre des enfants en 2015. Les principales activités et initiatives menées en exécution des résolutions du Conseil de sécurité sur la question et les conclusions du Groupe de travail sur le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé y sont également présentées. Conformément aux résolutions pertinentes du Conseil, on trouve dans les annexes au présent rapport la liste des parties qui recrutent et utilisent des enfants, commettent des agressions sexuelles sur la personne d’enfants, des meurtres ou des atteintes à leur intégrité physique, attaquent les écoles et les hôpitaux, ainsi que le personnel protégé, ou menacent de le faire, en violation du droit international.

2. L’Organisation des Nations Unies a vérifié l’exactitude de toutes les informations consignées dans le présent rapport et ses annexes. Elle a signalé les cas où des facteurs comme l’insécurité ou les restrictions d’accès l’ont empêchée de recueillir ou de vérifier des informations en toute indépendance. Le présent rapport et ses annexes sont le fruit de vastes consultations menées au sein du système des Nations Unies, au Siège et sur le terrain, et avec les États Membres concernés.

3. Conformément à la résolution 1612 (2005) du Conseil de sécurité et pour identifier les situations relevant de son mandat, ma Représentante spéciale pour le sort des enfants en temps de conflit armé a adopté une approche pragmatique de la question, en insistant sur les principes humanitaires qui visent à garantir une protection large et efficace des enfants. La mention dans le présent rapport de telle ou telle situation ne vaut pas qualification juridique de ladite situation et la mention de telle ou telle partie non étatique ne préjuge pas de son statut juridique.

II. Impact des conflits armés sur les enfants

A. Tendances et faits nouveaux

4. La protection des enfants touchés par les conflits armés est demeurée très problématique tout au long de l’année 2015. Les enfants font lourdement les frais de notre échec collectif à prévenir et régler les conflits, et les violations graves dont ils sont victimes ont gagné en intensité dans un certain nombre de situations de conflit armé, comme il est mis en évidence dans le présent rapport. Ces violations sont directement liées au peu d’importance accordée au respect des droits de l’homme et du droit international humanitaire par les parties au conflit.

5. Les conflits prolongés ont eu un impact important sur les enfants. En République arabe syrienne, le conflit qui dure depuis cinq ans a déjà fait plus de 250 000 morts, dont des milliers d’enfants. En Afghanistan, l’année 2015 a connu le plus grand nombre de victimes jamais enregistré parmi les enfants depuis que l’ONU a commencé à comptabiliser systématiquement les pertes civiles en 2009. En Somalie, la situation est restée périlleuse, avec une augmentation de 50 % du nombre recensé de violations commises à l’encontre d’enfants par rapport à 2014, soit plusieurs centaines de cas d’enfants recrutés, utilisés, tués ou mutilés. Au Soudan du Sud, il est éminemment préoccupant que des enfants aient subi l’ensemble des six violations graves, notamment lors d’offensives militaires brutales contre les forces d’opposition.

6. Au Yémen, le conflit a connu un embrasement particulièrement inquiétant. L’ONU a établi que le nombre d’enfants recrutés en 2015 avait quintuplé par rapport à l’année précédente. À cela s’ajoute une multiplication par six du nombre d’enfants tués ou mutilés au cours de la même période. Ces tendances alarmantes se sont poursuivies au début de 2016.

7. Les attaques contre des écoles et des hôpitaux ont été très fréquentes en 2015, notamment du fait de l’utilisation croissante de frappes aériennes et d’armes explosives dans des zones peuplées. Les groupes armés ont particulièrement cherché à restreindre l’accès des filles à l’éducation, et quant aux forces gouvernementales elles ont également attaqué des écoles et des hôpitaux. Les États Membres devraient envisager, selon qu’il convient, de modifier leurs politiques, procédures militaires et appareils législatifs afin de protéger de telles installations.

World: Children and armed conflict - Report of the Secretary-General (A/70/836–S/2016/360) [EN/AR]

7 hours 23 min ago
Source: UN Security Council, UN General Assembly Country: Afghanistan, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, India, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Thailand, World, Yemen

I. Introduction

1. The present report, which covers the period from January to December 2015, is submitted pursuant to Security Council resolution 2225 (2015). It highlights recent global trends regarding the impact of armed conflict on children and provides information on grave violations committed against children in 2015. The main activities with regard to the implementation of relevant Council resolutions and the conclusions of the Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict are outlined. In line with the resolutions of the Council, the annexes to the report include a list of parties that engage in the recruitment and use of children, sexual violence against children, the killing and maiming of children, attacks on schools and/or hospitals and attacks or threats of attacks against protected personnel, and the abduction of children.

2. All the information provided in the present report and its annexes has been vetted for accuracy by the United Nations. In situations in which the ability to obtain or independently verify information is hampered by such factors as insecurity or access restrictions, it is qualified as such. The preparation of the report and its annexes involved broad consultations within the United Nations, at Headquarters and in the field, and with relevant Member States.

3. Pursuant to Security Council resolution 1612 (2005), and in identifying situations that fall within the scope of her mandate, my Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict has adopted a pragmatic approach on the issue, with an emphasis on humanitarian principles aimed at ensuring broad and effective protection for children. Reference to a situation is not a legal determination and reference to a non-State actor does not affect its legal status.

II. Addressing the impact of armed conflict on children

A. Trends and developments

4. Serious challenges for the protection of children affected by armed conflict continued throughout 2015. The impact on children of our collective failure to prevent and end conflict is severe, and the present report highlights the increased intensity of grave violations in a number of situations of armed conflict. Those violations are directly related to the denigration of the respect for international humanitarian and human rights law by parties to conflict.

5. Protracted conflicts had a substantial impact on children. In the Syrian Arab Republic, the five-year conflict has caused the deaths of more than 250,000 people, including thousands of children. In Afghanistan in 2015, the highest number of child casualties was recorded since the United Nations began systematically documenting civilian casualties in 2009. In Somalia, the situation continued to be perilous, with an increase of 50 per cent in the number of recorded violations against children compared with 2014, with many hundreds of children recruited, used, killed and maimed. In a most troubling example, in South Sudan, children were victims of all six grave violations, in particular during brutal military offensives against opposition forces.

6. In Yemen, a particularly worrisome escalation of conflict has been seen. The United Nations verified a fivefold increase in the number of children recruited in 2015 compared with the previous year. This compounded a sixfold increase in the number of children killed and maimed in the same period. These alarming trends continued into early 2016.

7. Attacks on schools and hospitals were prevalent in 2015, linked to the increasing use of air strikes and explosive weapons in populated areas. Armed groups particularly targeted girls’ access to education, although attacks on schools and hospitals were also carried out by government forces. Member States should consider, where necessary, changes in policies, military procedures and legislation to protect schools and hospitals.

Myanmar: Myanmar: Natural disaster risks and past events (as of 31 May 2016)

13 hours 28 min ago
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Myanmar

Myanmar regularly experiences cyclones, storm surges, floods, landslides, earthquakes, drought and forest fires. Over the last 10 years, Myanmar has been impacted by two major earthquakes, three severe cyclones, floods and other smaller-scale hazards. OCHA works closely with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and humanitarian partners to ensure a more systematic, inclusive and coordinated approach to disaster management, preparedness and response.

In 2015-2016, the El Niño phenomenon has been one of the strongest since 1950, with a significant influence on weather patterns. This resulted in drought conditions with intermittent ‘very severe’ category cyclones in different parts of Asia and the Pacific.

According to the Myanmar Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, since mid-February 2016, Myanmar has been experiencing a severe impact of El Niño including extreme temperatures, unusual rainfall patterns, dry soil, high risk of fires and acute water shortages. The El Niño impact is expected to end in June 2016

Myanmar: Emergency livelihood support for flood-affected communities in Myanmar

30 May 2016 - 10:35pm
Source: Food and Agriculture Organization Country: Myanmar

FAO, with funding from the Central Emergency Response Fund, provided emergency livelihood support to 10 000 flood-affected households (around 50 000 individuals) in Sagaing region, Myanmar. Beneficiaries have received livestock and agricultural inputs in advance of the next rainy season. Landless families received either two piglets or ten chickens each, including vaccines and feed for two months. Farming families received agricultural and home gardening kits, including fertilizer, farming tools and vegetable seeds.

This project is part of FAO’s broader emergency programme in Myanmar, which includes projects in Sagaing, Chin and Rakhine. FAO has called for USD 12.1 million to provide assistance to 332 750 conflict- and flood-affected people under the 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan for Myanmar. A further USD 7.6 million is urgently required to reach this total target population.

Author: FAO/Myanmar

Myanmar: Falam landslide victims to be relocated

30 May 2016 - 6:58pm
Source: New Light of Myanmar Country: Myanmar

LANDSLIDE victims from four villages in Falam Township will be relocated to proposed residential areas that do not overlap with proposed location for a 16-acre sports complex or with a site chosen for the construction of a high school, said Union Minister Dr Win Myat Aye in yesterday’s Amyotha Hluttaw session.

Landslides caused by heavy rains struck the four villages in July and August last year. A new phase will be added to the Falam Myothit (Lonpi) urban development project after demarcation of the boundaries of villages that will be included in the satellite town in accordance with the decision of three committees in the township, added the Union minister.

Also during its 32nd-day session, the Amyotha Hluttaw approved the fourth version of the bill to revise the Pyithu Hluttaw Election Law, the Amyotha Hluttaw Election Law and the Region/State Election Law, which were sent back from the Pyithu Hluttaw with amendments.

—Myanmar News Agency

World: Polio this week as of 25 May 2016

30 May 2016 - 5:34pm
Source: Global Polio Eradication Initiative Country: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Ukraine, World

This week, health ministers from around the world are convening in Geneva for the annual World Health Assembly (WHA). Among other public health topics, delegates will review and discuss the latest global polio epidemiology. The GPEI has set up a WHA-specific polio website, with the key documents that are guiding discussions.

At the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen focussing on solutions to the health, economic and social challenges facing girls and women, the Government of Canada announced a Can$19.9 million contribution to Nigeria’s polio eradication efforts.

From 17 April to 1 May, 155 countries and territories participated in the historic trivalent to bivalent oral polio vaccine switch, withdrawing the type two component of the vaccine to protect future generations against circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses. Track the switch live.

Thailand: Relief as rain falls, but drought's aftermath to linger

30 May 2016 - 8:21am
Source: Bangkok Post Country: Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam

While farmers pray that rainfall will return to normal this year, consumers brace for higher food prices and reduced quality resulting from the worst drought in decades.

This depleted water retrenchment pond in Wiset Chai Chan district of Ang Thong was one of the many casualties of Thailand's protracted dry season.

The arrival of long-awaited rain this month has brought relief across large swathes of Asia from one of the worst heatwaves in decades. But the impact of the recent drought will be felt for months to come in the form of lower crop output, higher food prices and economic hardship for farmers.

The strongest El Nino since the record event of 1997-98 caused widespread dry conditions with water levels in many key reservoirs in Thailand falling below 20% of their storage capacity, the lowest since 1994. In Vietnam, water in the Mekong delta was so low that salinity was found as far as 100 kilometres upstream, destroying rice crops.

Major reservoirs were also depleted in Malaysia where the average daily temperature of 30.6 degrees Celsius in April was an all-time high. Thailand endured the longest heatwave in five decades with an all-time high temperature of 44.6C recorded in late April in Mae Hong Son, beating a record that had stood since 1960.

Some relief is in sight as El Nino has finally run its course. Now forecasters are assessing the potential impact of La Nina. In India, where temperatures soared as high as 51C and tens of millions endured water shortages, experts are predicting the best monsoon since 1994.

The Thai Meteorological Department is forecasting average annual rainfall in June to be slightly below normal in the North, Northeast, Central and Southern regions. For the rest of the rainy season through the end of September, it expects near-normal rainfall. It defines slightly below normal as accumulations between 10% and 25% below historical averages, while near-normal is less than a 10% deviation above or below the average.

In the 30-year period from 1971 to 2000, according to department data, average rainfall was 1,573 millimetres. In 2011, the year of the catastrophic floods, rainfall totalled 1,950mm. Last year, however, accumulations were only 1,400mm. Overall, the forecast is for above 1,700mm this year.

For now, however, consumers are dealing with the reality of reduced supplies of staples and higher prices resulting from the dry conditions of the past several months. The Thai Rice Packers Association warned earlier that its members might have to increase the prices of packaged rice by September if new supplies cannot be secured.

Milled rice prices are currently around 14,000 baht a tonne compared with 12,000 baht earlier in the year. The Thai Rice Exporters Association was quoting benchmark prices for 5% Thai rice at a two-year high of US$441 a tonne last week, up from $397 a month earlier.

Thailand's total rice production, including the main and second crops, fell to 27.4 million tonnes in 2015-16, the lowest since 2000-01, according to the Office of Agricultural Economics. It forecasts that the main crop this year, which is typically planted in May and accounts for about 80% of the country's output, may increase to 25.2 million tonnes from 23.5 million a year earlier.

An official checks water quality at the Bang Khen treatment plant in Bangkok. The drought has caused increases in salinity that must be carefully monitored.

The US Department of Agriculture released a forecast in March that production of polished rice in Thailand would decline 18.9% to 15.8 million tonnes this year. Rainfall since the beginning of this year was even lower than in the same period last year, when the amount of precipitation sank to a 26-year low.

World rice production is expected to decline this year for the first time since 2010. Rice inventories in the three top exporters -- Thailand, India and Vietnam -- are set to fall by about a third at the end of 2016 to 19 million tonnes, the biggest year-on-year drop since 2003, according to Reuters calculations based on US Department of Agriculture data.

Any big supply disruption can be extremely sensitive. In 2008, lower Asian rice output resulting from El Nino prompted India to ban exports, sending global prices skyrocketing and causing food riots in Haiti and panic measures in big importers such as the Philippines. Benchmark Thai rice prices hit a record of $1,000 a tonne that year.

QUALITY SUFFERS

Beyond staple foods, declining yields have also affected the availability of fruits, vegetables and perennial plants. Quality has suffered as well because of the dry conditions, with high nitrate levels in pineapples and less sweet watermelon, according to the Economic Intelligence Center (EIC) of Siam Commercial Bank.

The effects are being felt most keenly by low-income consumers as higher food prices cut into disposable income, with a knock-on effect throughout the economy.

Vegetable prices in Singapore have jumped by 40% this year because of reduced exports from water-short Malaysia, which contributes 43% of the vegetables consumed in Singapore, according to a report in the Straits Times.

In Myanmar, the price of betel leaves chewed by many people has tripled, according to wholesale sellers who told the Myanmar Times they had been forced to cut back their stocks, while hawkers say they are struggling to make their usual daily wage.

​"The decline in harvests in many places will definitely lead to low supplies and therefore higher prices of commodities," said Sanny Jegillos, senior adviser for disaster risk reduction and recovery with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) regional office in Bangkok.

However, EIC points out that the prices of some major agricultural commodities such as rice, sugar and cassava, particularly in Thailand, may not increase as much as they did after the previous major drought in 2005. This is because of high inventories resulting from production surpluses in recent years.

Another commodity to watch closely is palm oil, which is used in countless products. Crude palm oil prices are expected to rise this year because of lower yields resulting from the impact of El Niño, said Zakaria Arshad, chief executive of Malaysia-based Felda Global Ventures, the world's third largest palm plantation operator.

Lower palm output in Indonesia and Malaysia, the world's two largest producers in, is expected to lift prices to an average of 2,500 ringgit ($607) per tonne this year, up from 2,275 ringgit last year, he said.

In Thailand, the drought during the first three months of this year caused economic damage of up to 80 billion baht, chiefly to agricultural production, according to Chawalit Chantararat, an expert on water management and chief executive officer of TEAM Group of Companies.

Lower rice output, he said, had not had too much impact on the national level. However, it would affect the financial capability of individual farming households, especially those in upland areas that lack the capacity to store water for low-rainfall periods.

Agriculture accounts for 11% of gross domestic product in Thailand, and 18% in India and Vietnam. Experts say declining farm production in these countries would lower GDP growth because of weaker domestic consumption and lower exports as food prices increase.

For Thailand, EIC predicts that farm income losses may push already high household debt levels up even further, especially for those with existing obligations. Farm-related businesses such as companies that sell fertilisers, herbicides, pesticides, farm equipment and tractors would lose business. Food processors will have to deal with more expensive but lower-quality crops, but some may not be able to pass on those costs to customers because of high competition.

Overall, EIC estimated that the drought could reduce Thailand's GDP by about 0.5% this year.

The impact from El Niño may also be felt on tourism because the warming ocean causes coral bleaching, affecting the attractiveness of diving destinations. Some tourism sites in the region are reported to have closed to deal with the problem, said Mr Jegillos at the UNDP.

In Cambodia, he said, the most severe impact has been in the provinces around Tonle Sap, the biggest lake in Southeast Asia. Residents have long depended on the lake to support their farming and fishing livelihoods, but low water levels have forced many to seek other ways to earn income.

ASEAN UNPREPARED

"As for the countries of Southeast Asia, in the past they were water-rich areas, so they were less prepared for drought. The impact of the drought on these countries is severe," said Li He, natural resources officer with the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) regional office in Bangkok.

Agricultural yield losses exacerbate rural poverty. Since many farmers have no other job skills and lack the capacity to deal with the effects of the drought, they can become desperate as their economic situation deteriorates, she said.

Water scarcity can also affect industries that require a lot of water for production, she pointed out. Fighting the drought also consumes large amounts of energy, which might also restrict an industry's consumption.

"All of these would have negative impacts on the industrial sector. We could say that water scarcity caused by severe drought can intensify social conflicts," she said.

Low water levels also lead to increased risk of contamination and salinity in household water supplies, according to EIC. At least 35 provinces in Thailand had been declared water-scarcity areas as of mid-May. However, the impact has been alleviated to some degree, with authorities providing water trucks, developing new underground water sources and carrying out rainmaking.

In Vietnam, the most severe drought in more than 60 years has left many parts of the country in a state of emergency. Since mid-2015, the FAO reports, 52 of 63 provinces -- more than 83% of the country's area -- have been affected by drought, with 18 severely affected as of May 11. This has left at least 2 million people suffering acute water shortages and requiring humanitarian assistance.

Crop damage has been severe in many vulnerable communities, with 60-90% of planted crops harmed and planting for the new season not possible until shortly before the rainy season. As a result, an estimated 1.75 million people in the agricultural sector have lost their incomes, according to the FAO.

Mr Chawalit of TEAM Group said while the monsoon season was officially said to have begun on May 16, low humidity from El Niño will mean reduced rainfall volumes until mid-June, indicating a delayed rainy season.

He said analysis by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration suggested rain would also be light in July but heavy in August. There is a 75% chance that La Niña will be the source of heavy rains in September and October, especially in central, lower northeastern and eastern Thailand.

MANAGEMENT GAP

The events of the past year or so have underlined the importance of water management in many countries in the region, said Mr Jegillos at the UNDP. "Water storage has to be scaled up in some agricultural areas. Supervision by a formal system and a water management plan has to be set up," he said.

"Climate change is making El Nino more severe, but at the same time El Nino is an opportunity for all sectors to plan development to support agriculture and livelihoods to cope with these changes."

In preparation for the next possible drought, EIC suggests more careful planning of crop rotation and switching to crops that need less water such as corn, kale and watermelon in drier years. Farmers are encouraged to use water-efficient technologies such as drip irrigation -- a form of irrigation that saves water and fertiliser by allowing water to drip slowly to the roots of many different plants through a network of valves, pipes, tubing and emitters.

"Get prepared," said Ms Li at the FAO, adding that countries need to be better aware that drought may occur more frequently as the impact of climate change becomes more pronounced. Drought risk management legislation, planning, strategy, technologies and financing solutions are required.

Developing irrigation infrastructure for supplementary irrigation for rain-fed agriculture is one effective solution. At the same time, she said countries need to developing water-saving plans along with predictive and early warning systems.

'Republished with permission. © Post Publishing Plc. www.bangkokpost.com'

Myanmar: Update: Tzu Chi relief mission to the flood victims in Myanmar

30 May 2016 - 3:20am
Source: Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation Country: Myanmar

The rainy season in Myanmar last year caused serious flooding. Since then, volunteers of Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation had distributed rice seeds in Yangon Region's Hmawbi and Taikkyi townships. In mid-May, Tzu Chi volunteers also traveled to Sagaing's Kalay township to visit poor villages. While there, we distributed rice, blankets, and relief aid to the farmers in need.

While last year's floods devastated the region, Tzu Chi volunteers haven't forgotten about the plight of these people nearly a year later. 14 volunteers depart from Yangon, traveling 600 km north to the remote Sagaing Region's Mawlightkalay. For two consecutive days Tzu Chi volunteers undertook a distribution in five villages helping nearly eight hundred farmers. Each household in addition to receiving rice and blankets, also received 10,000 kyat in relief aid.

The distribution in Khong Thar village took place in the rain as one van had trouble making it down the road and couldn't be driven into the village. This meant that everyone had to get off and walk, and though their feet and legs were covered in mud, no one wanted to miss this event in the village.

Daw Tin May, one of the flood victims in Mawlightkalay-South village, said: “Last year the floods ruined my rice crop. Now that we have received these supplies, I am very happy.” During the distribution, Tzu Chi volunteers treat the villagers as one family. HtetShar, Al Htal Village Leader, also said that: “Tzu Chi's help is what we need the most. I thank you on the behalf of all the villagers.”

Distributing rice, blankets, and money to these flood victims and poor villagers in urgent need of supplies, will help them get through the next two months with greater ease.

Myanmar: BFM provides water tankers to NGOs

30 May 2016 - 2:35am
Source: Government of Myanmar Country: Myanmar

As part of the effort to speed up the nationwide water supply project, KBZ’s Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation (BFM) has provided water bowsers to local non-governmental organizations to bolster local voluntary societies.

A 3,000-gallon water bowser was given to a town elder in Hakha, Chin State, through the local Kanbawza Bank branch on 26 May for use in supplying drinking water to local people.

BFM also gave a 3,000-gallon bowser to a town elder in Falam, Chin State.

The KBZ Bank branch in Kyaukse handed over 3,000-gallon water bowsers to town elders in Kyaukse and in Kume on 22 May in order to supply drinking water to local people.

Since 2014, BFM has carried out water supply activities, including drilling tube wells, maintaining lakes, establishing water supply facilities and supplying drinking water to people across the country facing scarcity of water.

So far, BFM has funded the drilling of 76 tube wells, established 236 water distribution taps and maintained more than 80 lakes nationwide, spending more than K6.5 billion.

As part of its effort to combat water scarcity, KBZ’s Brighter Future Myanmar Foundation has asked communities currently facing droughts to contact the foundation and arrange for fresh, potable water to be delivered.

The foundation plans to build a fleet of up to 42 water tankers.

GNLM

Myanmar: ECHO Factsheet The Rohingya crisis – May 2016

29 May 2016 - 1:40pm
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office Country: Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand

Key messages

  • The Rohingya crisis is a human rights crisis with serious humanitarian consequences. In Myanmar/Burma, the Rohingya have very limited access to basic services and viable livelihood opportunities due to strict movement restrictions. The legal status and the discrimination that these stateless people face must be addressed.

  • The Government must prioritise inter-communal dialogue and conflict resolution in Rakhine State, where tensions between ethnic communities are widespread and continued community segregation is institutionalised.

  • While international organisations help meet emergency humanitarian needs, it is crucial that both the Union (national) and Rakhine State (regional) governments address the basic needs of the affected population while promoting durable solutions, in line with international standards, and stimulate State-wide development for all.

  • Safe and unhindered access to populations in need should be granted to humanitarian aid organisations, not only in Myanmar/Burma, but in all countries of Asia where the Rohingya people are seeking asylum and protection.

  • The crisis has a wider regional dimension, with record numbers of Rohingya fleeing to neighbouring countries on precarious boat journeys. According to the UNHCR some 94 000 people (many of which Rohingya) departed irregularly from the Bangladesh-Myanmar border over the course of 2014 and 2015.

Myanmar: Investing in peace in Myanmar

29 May 2016 - 4:55am
Source: International Alert Country: Myanmar

Workshops promote responsible business practices

International Alert has contributed to a two-day workshop with the private sector in Myanmar exploring how the adoption of responsible business practices is crucial to supporting sustainable development in the country.

The workshop was organised by the Kaw Lah Foundation, with technical assistance from the Peace Nexus Foundation and the Myanmar Centre for Responsible Business (MCRB), and aimed to raise awareness about conflict-sensitive business practices and the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

The importance of businesses engaging with their local communities to ensure they complied with the principles of “do no harm”, while also making positive contributions towards peace, was emphasised, with workshop facilitators using various tools and methods to ensure all participants understood the key messages.

Myanmar is transitioning from a military to democratic government, and the shift from a state-controlled to market-oriented economy has opened up opportunities for both local and foreign businesses to generate more income and improved services for the country. Additionally, ceasefires negotiated with ethnic armed groups have created more possibilities for businesses to invest in areas previously affected by conflict.

However a number of controversial business practices have brought harm on local communities. Many communities in fragile and conflict-affected parts of the country feel that they have not been properly consulted about investment decisions, and corruption, land grabbing, and a lack of transparency are key issues which can lead to conflict between communities and businesses. Investment in the natural resources sector in particular has also resulted in environmental degradation and alleged human rights abuses, so this new hope for economic growth is also tempered by a wariness for how things can be made worse.

International Alert is therefore calling for new investments to be responsible and ethical to ensure they contribute to growth and stability in the country, in such a way that can support, and avoid undermining, progress towards peace.

The workshops were convened to support this vision, giving businesses an important insight into how they can positively influence progress towards peace in their local areas. As one participant commented: “We learnt that for any business activities it is vital to have a good plan which must be implemented in a conflict-sensitive way.”

World: World - Severe weather events - ECHO Daily Map | 27/05/2016

28 May 2016 - 8:14am
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office Country: Bangladesh, China, Colombia, India, Myanmar, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam, World

COLOMBIA

• Heavy rain has been affecting western and centralwestern areas of the country over the past few days causing floods and landslides.

• Media reported at least 100 houses damaged in Valle del Cauca and Antioquia departments.

• Over the next 24 h more heavy rain is forecast for the already affected areas of the country.

IDEAM, NOAA, Local Media

SRI LANKA, INDIA, BANGLADESH, MYANMAR/BURMA

• TC ROANU caused widespread damage and casualties in several countries.

• Bangladesh: 24 dead, 100 people injured, over 513 300 evacuated and 20 000 homes destroyed. Approx. 118 000 people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

• Myanmar/Burma: several damaged homes, bridges and temporary IDP shelters.

• India: two dead, two injured, 2 500 people evacuated and a large number of homes were damaged.

• Sri Lanka: 104 dead, 31 people injured, 99 are still missing, over 21 400 remain displaced and 5 100 homes were damaged.

ECHO, GDACS, JTWC, RMSC, OCHA, DMC, Local Media

CHINA

• A Tropical Depression formed over the South China Sea on 26 May and started moving north towards southern China. It reached the coast of Guangdong, close to Yangjiang, in the morning of 27 May (UTC) with max. sustained winds of 45 km/h. Then it started moving inland, weakening.

• Heavy rain may affect Guangdong, Hunan, Jiangxi, Fujian, as well as Hong Kong on 27-28 May.

CMA, JTWC, Hong Kong Observatory, Local Media

SOMALIA

• Recent floods in Somalia's central Hiran region bordering Ethiopia has caused displacement and created urgent humanitarian needs. At least 70 000 people have been displaced and three people died in Beletweyne.

• ECHO experts are in contact with partner organisations regarding emergency preparedness and response activities. Flash floods in October last year affected at least 132 000 people in south central Somalia.

ECHO, UN, NGOs

VIETNAM

• Heavy rain has been affecting several areas of the north-eastern and north-central regions, over the past few days.

• Media reported one dead and over 200 houses damaged.

• Over the next 24 h more heavy rain is forecast for the already affected areas of the country.

NCHMF, NOAA, Media

Malaysia: Malaysia: One year on, no justice for the ‘boat crisis’ survivors

28 May 2016 - 6:10am
Source: Amnesty International Country: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar

Hundreds of refugees who survived the 2015 boat crisis in South East Asia have been locked up in poor conditions in Malaysia ever since, Amnesty International said, following a visit to the country to investigate the fate of people one year on.

After harrowing footage of desperate refugees and migrants stranded at sea was beamed around the world last May, Malaysia agreed to accept 1,100 people. Almost 400 of those were identified as Rohingya refugees – people fleeing persecution in Myanmar. One year on, the majority of the Rohingya remain in Malaysia’s Belantik detention centre.

“We went to Malaysia to investigate the fate of the boat crisis survivors and found that, for hundreds of them, the suffering and human rights abuse continue,” said Khairunissa Dhala, a refugee expert at Amnesty International.

“Women, men and children fled from persecution in Myanmar, only to undergo the horror of being abandoned at sea by the unscrupulous gangs who run the sea routes. Malaysia should have been their place of safety – but instead they have spent a year in detention, with no end in sight.”

In addition to Rohingya refugees, the boats that arrived in Malaysia were carrying some 700 people from Bangladesh, many likely to have been victims of human trafficking.

In a 2015 investigation into the boat crisis Amnesty International found that hundreds of Bangladeshi survivors who reached Indonesia had likely been trafficked.

Almost all of those from Bangladesh in both Indonesia and Malaysia have since been repatriated.

However sources in Malaysia told Amnesty International that 65 people from Bangladesh remain in Malaysia, and are also detained at Belantik.

The criminal gangs responsible for the boat crisis have not been brought to justice. Most of the boats, crammed with men, women and children, were abandoned by their crews, apparently because they believed the South East Asian authorities were about to take action to combat people smuggling and trafficking.

“The Malaysian government must stop criminalising and punishing refugees and migrants - who are most likely victims of trafficking - and carry out independent and impartial investigations to hold perpetrators to account,” said Khairunissa Dhala.

Amnesty International is calling on the Malaysian authorities to immediately release the refugees and migrants, and work with international partners to ensure they are given the protection they are entitled to under international law.

Background

The 2015 Andaman Sea ‘boat crisis’ claimed global attention when dozens of boats carrying thousands of desperate people were abandoned at sea and the governments of Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia refused to allow them to disembark. Malaysia and Indonesia eventually accepted a total of three boats carrying more than 2,900 refugees and migrants. They agreed to provide temporary shelter to the group for a one-year timeframe provided that they would be resettled or repatriated by the international community within that period. To date, approximately 50 Rohingya refugees from the group in Malaysia were put forward for resettlement to a third country. Amnesty International will publish further details on the situation of survivors of the boat crisis and human trafficking in the coming months.

Malaysia: Rohingya trafficking victims stuck in captivity, one year on

27 May 2016 - 5:52am
Source: Guardian Country: Bangladesh, Malaysia, Myanmar

Hundreds of migrants from Myanmar and Bangladesh are being held in a Malaysian detention centre – despite nominally being freed 12 months ago

Patrick Kingsley Migration correspondent

Hundreds of trafficking victims from Myanmar and Bangladesh remain detained in Malaysia a year after being rescued from near-certain death at sea during the Asian migration crisis.

More on the Guardian

Myanmar: Two emergency motions over Kachin disaster put on record at Pyithu Hluttaw

27 May 2016 - 2:48am
Source: New Light of Myanmar Country: Myanmar

Two emergency motions over disaster-related damage to transportation infrastructure and public property in Kachin State were put on record at the Pyithu Hluttaw yesterday.

U Zone Teint of the Chiphwe constituency tabled a motion calling for prompt repair of a road linking Chiphwe and Hsawtlaw townships. Some sections of the road were damaged in recent torrential rain, he said.

Another motion was concerned with the collapse of houses, landslides, damaged crops, difficult communications and shortages of food due to the incessant rain. U Ar Moe Hsi of Khaunglanphu constituency proposed the motion urging the Union government and the local government to take prompt action to address the problems in Putao district, Kachin State. The region has undergone heavy rain since 18 February this year, he said.

In response to the motions, Construction Union Minister U Win Khaing promised to seek union funding of the 2016-17 fiscal year for the construction of five wooden bridges in the affected areas, saying that construction would start when the monsoon begins to withdraw.

Five bamboo bridges have been constructed in the areas as temporary replacements to ease access to the region.

Home Affairs Union Minister Lt-Gen Kyaw Swe spoke of ongoing measures for the repair of the damaged transportation infrastructure and the provision of foodstuff by local military commands. He added that local police were carrying out security measures in partnership with military personnel in a bid to prevent possible outbreaks of crime and reinforce the rule of law.

Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Union Minister Dr Win Myat Aye said that assistance in cash and materials had been provided to flood victims in two townships in Kachin State. According to the union minister, relief worth K18 million (US$15,202) has been distributed to the victims in Hsawtlaw township and relief worth K53.8 million (US$45,439) to the people in Khaunglanphu township.

Myanmar: World Food Programme Myanmar May 2016 Operational Report

27 May 2016 - 12:33am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Myanmar, Thailand

This issue reports on

  • Displacements in northern Shan
  • Protracted displacement and conflicts in Kachin
  • WFP’s recent small scale emergency responses
  • Cash working group
  • Promising partnership with the Global Fund
  • Japan’s generous contribution
  • WFP’s contingency plan for the Southeast
  • WFP standard project report for 2015.

Displacements in northern Shan: While an estimated 1,300 persons have remained displaced in Nam Kham and Kut Kai Townships, further displacements of around 1,600 civilians in Hsipaw and Kyauk Mae Townships have been instigated by armed conflicts between the Restoration Council for Shan State (RCSS)/ Shan State Army (SSA) and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), which have become recurrent in northern Shan State. Following an inter-agency rapid assessment undertaken on 10th of May and preliminary findings indicated, in general, displaced families have had sufficient balanced diet provided by government and civil social organisations. As displacements have been dramatic and duration of which has been unpredictable, WFP considers following up with another assessment to explore specific nutritional needs specifically for pregnant women and nursing mothers who however consitute only a small proportion, providing displacement lingers for next two weeks. As for existing IDP households, WFP has been providing monthly food rations since March.

WFP’s recent small scale emergency reponses: In May, WFP has urgently accommodated immediate food needs, in consequence of sudden on-set hail and strong winds as well as localised flash floods in late April, of more than 2,000 people in Sintgaing Township of Mandalay Region and 1,000 people in Tsawlaw Township of Kachin State. In the aftermath of flash floods, access roads to Tsawlaw Township of Kachin State have been blocked and transportation on ground has been disrupted. Thanks to the state government and northern commander, who have rendered provision of air-freight service, WFP’s emergency response has been made possible.
Meanwhile in Rakhine, pregnant women and nursing mothers as well as young children, who have escaped from skirmishes between the government forces and Arakan Army in Rathedaung and Kayuk Taw Townships, received high energy biscuits (HEB) from WFP in May. WFP provides HEB at times of emergencies to supplement daily nutritional intake of affected populations without needing to cook when cooking facilities are scarce. In addition, WFP has advanced monthly food distribution for the IDPs affected by an accidental fire that took place in Baw Du Pha camp in Sittwe Township. A total of 49 long houses were destroyed and at least 14 IDPs were scathed by fire.

Protracted displacement and conflicts in Kachin State: The first delivery of WFP food to areas beyond government’s control (NGCA), through its exclusive access that has been renewed for the period of February to December 2016, was accomplished in March, reaching more than 18,500 IDPs across nine camps.
WFP is awaiting for permission to set forth the second delivery mission to NGCA in May. In the meantime, Hpakant Township of Kachin has witnessed the military offensives staged by the government forces and Kachin Independence Army since early May. With increasingly heightened tension, security controls on inbound road traffic towards HpaKant have become strigent.

Cash working group: WFP has been scaling up cash based transfers in its operation and at the same time is leading an inter-agency cash working group (CWG), reactivated in August 2015, to better harmonise and coordinate cash transfer programmes in the country, involving 20 member organisations from different sectors/clusters. CWG members have been collaborating for preparatory measures that include 4W (Who, What, When, Where) data collection, developing standard operation procedure, cash feasibility assessment and advocacy messages, collating and updating data for Minimum Expenditure Basket (MEB), and capacity building for field-based implementers from local NGOs and the government. While 4W data informs the stakeholders with a basic snapshot of ongoing/ planned cash based assistance in the country, regular MEB updates will reflect prices and wages relevant to both staple food and non-food items.

Promising partnership with the Global Fund: The Global Fund made a USD 2.2 million contribution to support WFP’s nutrition support to Multi-Drug Resistant Tubercluosis (MDR-TB) patients, receiving treatment. WFP has been implementing food-byprescription in partnership with the National TB programme (NTP) of the Ministry of Health in Myanmar. With this contribution, WFP has introduced, at the request of the NTP, a customised food package to the patients initially in Yangon and will expand to other operational areas. WFP also anticipates long term partnership with the Global Fund for nutrition intervention for people living with HIV.

World: World - Severe weather events - ECHO Daily Map | 26/05/2016

26 May 2016 - 10:43pm
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office Country: Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, World

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
• Heavy rain has been affecting several areas of the country, especially the northern provinces, over the past few days, causing floods and landslides.
• As of 25 May, 1 550 people were displaced and over 520 houses were partially or fully damaged. Media also reported one dead in Santiago.
• Over the next 24 h moderate to locally heavy rain may still affect Dominican Republic, especially the areas already affected.

SRI LANKA, INDIA, BANGLADESH, MYANMAR/BURMA
• TC ROANU caused widespread damage and casualties in several countries.
• Bangladesh: 24 dead, 100 people injured, over 513 300 evacuated and 20 000 homes destroyed. Two ECHO staff are assessing the situation in Chittagong, Bhola and Barguna. Sub-districts of Sandip, Banshkhali and Anwara are seriously affected (initial information). Approx. 118 000 people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.
• Myanmar/Burma: several damaged homes, bridges and temporary IDP shelters.
• India: two dead, two injured, 2 500 people evacuated and a large number of homes were damaged.
• Sri Lanka: 102 dead, 32 people injured, 100 are still missing after a landslide as well as over 119 000 remain displaced and 4 600 homes were damaged.

NEPAL
• Heavy rain has been affecting western areas of Nepal over the past few days.
• As of 25 May, media reported two dead, seven injured and at least 50 houses damaged in Bajura district (Far-Western).
• Over the next 24 h locally heavy rain may affect central and eastern Nepal.

INDONESIA
• Heavy rain has been affecting western Indonesia over the past few days. As of 24 May, there were five dead, two people missing, eight injured and over 350 people evacuated in Subang Regency (West Java Province). Media also reported several houses damaged in Subang.
• Over the next 24 h heavy rain may still affect Java island.

World: Attacks on Health Care: Prevent • Protect • Provide

26 May 2016 - 7:03am
Source: World Health Organization Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Colombia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Iraq, Liberia, Libya, Myanmar, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Attacks on Health Care

Attacks on health care in emergency situations disrupt the delivery of essential health services, endanger care providers, deprive people of urgently needed medical attention, and undermine our long term health development goals.

WHO collaborates closely with others to better understand the problem, bring attention to the issue, and find solutions that can prevent attacks; protect health facilities, workers, transport and supplies; and ensure the continued provision of health care despite such attacks.

WHO releases new report on attacks on health

Currently there is no publicly available source of consolidated information on attacks on health care in emergencies. This report is a first attempt to consolidate and analyse the data that is available from open sources. While the data are not comprehensive, the findings shed light on the severity and frequency of the problem.

Over the two-year period from January 2014 to December 2015, there were 594 reported attacks on health care that resulted in 959 deaths and 1561 injuries in 19 countries with emergencies. More than half of the attacks were against health care facilities and another quarter of the attacks were against health care workers. Sixty-two per cent of the attacks were reported to have intentionally targeted health care.

Read the full report

World: Documenting the United States’ Commitment to Conventional Weapons Destruction: To Walk the Earth in Safety (2015/FY2014)

25 May 2016 - 6:06am
Source: US Department of State Country: Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Burundi, Cambodia, Colombia, Croatia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Georgia, Honduras, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Lebanon, Marshall Islands, Mozambique, Myanmar, occupied Palestinian territory, Palau, Rwanda, Serbia, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Syrian Arab Republic, Tajikistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United States of America, Viet Nam, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

A Message From Assistant Secretary Puneet Talwar

For more than two decades, the United States has been at the forefront of international efforts to reduce the worldwide threat to civilians from landmines, unexploded ordnance (UXO), and other conventional weapons of war. Just 15 years ago, landmines and other explosive remnants of war killed or injured nearly 10,000 men, women, and children every year—more than 25 every day. Thanks to the concerted efforts of the United States, partner nations, international nongovernmental organizations, and host nations, that figure has now dropped by more than 60%.

The 14th edition of To Walk the Earth in Safety documents the United States’ efforts to combat these threats, the progress we have made, and the work still to be done.

In last year’s report, I highlighted our June 2014 announcement that the United States would no longer produce or otherwise acquire anti-personnel landmines. In September 2014, President Obama took another major step forward, announcing that the United States would not use anti-personnel landmines outside the Korean Peninsula and that the United States would start to destroy anti-personnel landmine stockpiles not required for the defense of the Republic of Korea. These historic policy changes represent another step to advance the humanitarian aims of the Ottawa Convention.

Since 1993, the United States has invested nearly $2.5 billion to clear or destroy landmines, unexploded ordnance, and other dangerous conventional weapons. In Fiscal Year 2014, the Department of State allocated approximately $140 million to CWD programs in more than 40 countries, helping post-conflict communities and countries recover and rebuild. These programs touch thousands of lives all over the world, from children in Sri Lanka who can now safely walk to school, to farmers in Vietnam who can now tend to their crops without fear. Our efforts have cleared aging and unstable ammunition in Kyrgyzstan, and provided medical rehabilitation and vocational training for survivors of landmine incidents who currently reside in Syrian refugee camps.

I’d like to highlight four important milestones from FY2014:

• Comprehensive Survey and Clearance Project in Quang Tri, Vietnam: As part of our increased commitment to removing UXO from Vietnam, we launched a five-year initiative to make Quang Tri Province—home to 700,000 people—free from the impact of UXO. Our ten-fold funding increase for efforts in Quang Tri Province in FY2014 is a clear sign of this continued commitment.

• First Mine Clearance Operation in West Bank: In FY2014, The HALO Trust (HALO), funded by the U.S. government and other international donors, began the first-ever humanitarian mine clearance operation in the West Bank. They cleared and excavated 26,600 square meters and destroyed 344 mines in a single minefield. The Department of State continues to support HALO’s close collaboration with both Israeli and Palestinian mine action authorities, and we share the goal of clearing the remaining minefields that endanger the lives of Palestinian civilians.

• Gender Advancements Among Demining Teams: Reflecting our firm commitment to gender equality and advancing the rights of women and girls, in 2014 the Department of State funded an all-female demining team in Tajikistan, the first and only female demining team in Central Asia. Zimbabwe’s first all-female demining team became operational in January 2015. In Sri Lanka, female deminers are assuming greater leadership roles in integrated male and female demining teams.

• Destruction of Illicitly Proliferated or At-Risk Stockpiles: The Department of State works diligently to ensure that dangerous weapons, including MANPADS, do not fall into the wrong hands. That is why last year, in Chad, our support allowed MAG (Mines Advisory Group) to assess, refurbish, and better secure armories and ammunition stores throughout the country. In Niger, we and our partners destroyed more than 1,000 small arms and light weapons at risk for illicit proliferation. In Bosnia and Herzegovina, our support has enabled Sterling Global to send technical advisors to assist the Bosnian Armed Forces in reducing massive stockpiles of conventional munitions, including destruction oversight and capital improvements to the Bosnia and Herzegovina demilitarization facilities.

Thanks to the tremendous support of Congress and the American people, we will continue to prioritize these efforts because they are in our interests and reflect the very best of our values. As Secretary Kerry said last year, “President Kennedy set for our nation the goal of sending a man to walk on the moon. We did that. Today, we reaffirm our resolve to help all people everywhere to be able to walk safely, right here on Earth.”

Puneet Talwar Assistant Secretary Department of State Bureau of Political-Military Affairs

World: Implementing Sendai to reduce humanitarian burden

25 May 2016 - 3:53am
Source: UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction Country: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Viet Nam, World

By Denis McClean

ISTANBUL, Turkey, 25 May 2016 - The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction has peppered the speeches of government representatives making commitments at the World Humanitarian Summit which closed yesterday.

In particular, the ten ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries which have been at the centre of some of the world’s worst recent disasters led a debate yesterday on how building resilience to disasters can help reduce the humanitarian burden.

ASEAN was the first region in the world to adopt a legally binding framework on disaster risk management which entered into force in 2009, said Ms. Adelina Kamal, Director, ASEAN Secretariat.

The new five year plan for ongoing implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response is based on the Sendai Framework which was adopted in March 2015 by UN Member States as a guide to reducing the impact of both man-made and natural hazards.

Ms. Kamal said that as a result of experiences in responding to disasters such as the Indian Ocean Tsunami, Cyclone Nargis and Typhoon Haiyan which together claimed over 370,000 lives and devastated many countries across the Indian Ocean, ASEAN was now a world leader in disaster risk management.

The region which comprises Brunei Darussalam, Myanmar, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam was in a position to share what it had developed with the rest of the world and to reduce the humanitarian burden through leadership and partnership.

In a keynote address to the gathering, UNISDR head, Mr. Robert Glasser, praised the ASEAN agreement as remarkable and in line with the focus in the Sendai Framework on disaster risk management as opposed to disaster management.

He said disaster risk reduction was essential in a world where we are no longer meeting humanitarian needs even as these needs rise. The distinction between conflict and natural hazard related disasters was becoming increasingly blurred given the interconnectedness of the underlying risk drivers including poverty, exposure, population growth, drought and climate change.

Ms. Monique Pariat, Director General of the EU Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Department, ECHO, said the ECHO, said that implementation of the Sendai Framework has to be a collective effort and that 2016 must be year of delivery.

“Disaster risk reduction is a global challenge. We have a unique opportunity to ensure coherence with other 2015 agreements, with what was decided in New York, the sustainable development goals, and in Paris, the COP 21 climate change agreement. And with what will be agreed in Istanbul where disaster risk reduction is a key priority,” she said.

Ms. Pariate added that in June the European Commission will publish an action plan on Sendai implementation which will identify a number of key areas to strengthen the implementation of the Framework at EU level and the four priorities of the Sendai Framework will be translated across EU policies.

Ms. Farah Kabir, chair of the GNDR Global Board, Global Network of Civil Society Organisations for Disaster Reduction, said that GNDR now has over 800 members and that the Sendai Framework is at the core of GNDR’s thinking about how to build resilience to disasters. While the State has the primate responsibility for reducing disaster risk community resilience is the foundation and civil society has many roles to play including implementation, capacity building, knowledge sharing and advocacy.

Ms. Kabir said it was vital to reduce the vulnerability of marginal groups and to enhance their resilience so they graduate out of poverty. This can be done by focusing on local capacities and knowledge gained through experience of disasters. Women have to be “front and centre” of efforts to build back better.

Mr. Said Faisal, Executive Director, ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management, said ASEAN now had a five year work plan to implement the Sendai Framework. He emphasised that disaster risk reduction is cross sectoral and there is a need to share the sense of ownership of disaster management and that sustainable financing is important to achieve the ASEAN vision of a disaster resilient society.

Dr. Faizal Perdaus, President, MERCY Malaysia, and chair of the International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA), said disaster risk reduction became a model of operations after the Indian Ocean tsunami with the adoption of the Hyogo Framework for Action.

Dr. Perdaud said there was a challenge in getting communities to understand that disaster risk reduction was something which they could benefit from. “We fully embraced the Sendai Framework when we saw the word resilience coming to the fore and the word sustainable coming to the fore.”