Myanmar - ReliefWeb News
In normal times the Danyawaddy football grounds in Sittwe are a place where people gather to play sports, but the grounds are Thursday a temporary shelter for hundreds of refugees in Myanmar's western Rakhine State.
Over 600 people of the Rakhine ethnic group moved into makeshift tents here about a week ago after they fled an outbreak of violence in the town of Maungdaw near the border with Bangladesh, an epa journalist reports.
Despite their uprooted lives, life appears to continue as normal here, with children playing among the tents, boys studying and reading, and people doing their laundry.
But the apparent normality has worn off for some people, who have already returned to Maungdaw to prepare for rice paddy harvesting.
One man in the camp, Maung Maung Kyaw, spoke to epa after finishing a phone call to his family in Maungdaw, in which he inquired about the conditions there.
Most families here left everything they have in Maungdaw when they escaped the violence, but don't yet feel secure enough to return.
On Oct. 9, attackers killed nine police officers, with at least four of the assailants slain in the incident in the Muslim-majority Township.
More people were arrested and lost their lives in the days following the attack after security forces pursued militant suspects in the area.
The MIMU 3W gathers inputs from participating humanitarian and development agencies on Who is doing What,
Where, across Myanmar. This exercise is currently conducted every 6 months, gathering information on agencies’ activities at village/township level (MIMU Village level 3W) as well as in IDP camps (MIMU Camp 3W). 210 agencies participated in the September 2016 3W, providing information on their activities in 22 sectors and 154 sub-sectors which have been defined by technical/sector working groups. Currently the 3W reporting is quite comprehensive for projects of INGO, UN and Red Cross agencies, but there is still likely to be under-reporting of the specific activities of field-based local NGOs and CBOs. Some reporting agencies do not report village information – as such their work cannot be reflected in the village tract maps and tables or the village level Online 3W.
This overview of the 3W results in Rakhine describes projects under implementation as of September 9, 2016.
Further information on planned and recently completed projects is available from the 3W dataset, published on the MIMU website and, at a glance, through the MIMU 3W Township Dashboard, http://themimu.info/3w-dashboard
Yemen: Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, 27 October 2016 - Yemen, Myanmar
The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Yemen has reported 51 confirmed cases of cholera from nine governorates in the country, with more than 1,180 cases. Yemen's Ministry of Public Health has reported six labs-confirmed deaths related to cholera in Sana'a, Aden and Ibb. WHO is estimated that 7.6 million people are living in affected and at risk areas. And there are delays in confirming the suspected cases of cholera since there are only two labs in the country, one in Sana'a and one in Aden. Humanitarian partners continue to provide people with water supplies in the affected areas and improve water infrastructure as much as possible.
And WFP says it’s also concerned about the potential deterioration of food security for people affected by recent violence in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine State. WFP yesterday resumed its regular cash assistance for some 20,000 people in vulnerable households in Buthidaung. It is on stand-by to resume its regular distributions of food for 17,000 pregnant women, nursing mothers and malnourished children in the area. WFP is ready once again to distribute food to an additional 50,000 people in Mangdaw Township once it becomes accessible.
World: The Market Monitor - Trends and impacts of staple food prices in vulnerable countries, Issue 33 I October 2016
This bulletin examines trends in staple food and fuel prices, the cost of the basic food basket and consumer price indices for 70 countries in the third quarter of 2016 (July to September). The maps on pages 6–7 disaggregate the impact analysis to sub-national level.
• During Q3-2016, FAO’s global cereal price index fell a further 9 percent year-on-year. Ample global stocks and record production levels continue to suppress international prices. By contrast, the FAO global food price index continued to rise in Q3-2016 (5% y/y) due to significant price increases, largely for sugar as well as for dairy and oil products.
• The real price of wheat dropped again, falling 19 percent below last year’s level. This is because world supply estimates remain at record levels thanks to excellent yields and production forecasts as well as record ending stocks.
• The real price of maize dropped 10 percent in Q3-2016 compared to the last quarter and the same period in 2015 and is now at levels last seen in 2006. Globally, the 2016/17 maize crop is forecast to be the highest on record with exporter stocks at a near 30-year high.
• During Q3-2016, the real price of rice increased by 5 percent compared to Q2-2016. After peaking this July, prices have been on a downward trend thanks to a global recovery in production, particularly in India.
• The real price of crude oil has remained stable during Q3-2016 and is 9 percent below the level of last year.
• The cost of the basic food basket increased severely (>10%) in Q3-2016 in eight countries: Bangladesh, Burundi, Iran, Madagascar, Mozambique, Niger, north Nigeria and South Sudan. High increases (5–10%) were seen in Democratic Republic of Congo, Kyrgyz Republic, Peru and Uganda. In the other monitored countries, the change was moderate or low (<5%).
• Price spikes, as monitored by ALPS, were detected in 23 countries, particularly in Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria and Zambia (see the map below). These spikes indicate crisis levels for the two most important staples in each country.
By Joe Freeman SITTWE/MYANMAR,
Shwe Maung first heard the shots at around 1 a.m. on 9 October.
At the time, the 23-year-old fisherman was in his village on the outskirts of Maungdaw Township in the north of Myanmar’s Rakhine State.
Neighbours were roused from sleep. Phonecalls were made. The shooting continued for hours.
Read the Full Article on IRIN
In Rakhine, community ponds are one the major water sources in the rural areas. The communities rely on these water sources throughout the dry season. Although the pond water cannot provide safe drinking water, these community ponds are often the only available water reachable with local technology for villages where there is complex ground water access.
During floods, many ponds become filled with contaminated surface water, debris, deposits and animal bodies.
Risk and pond cleaning:
Pond cleaning for emergency flooding response should only be undertaken after consideration of the following risks:
Have the village members and/or DRD requested that the pond be cleaned? Pond cleaning must not be undertaken if not requested and agreed upon by village members and DRD.
Has any other agency/authority already cleaned a pond in the village in response to the latest flood? Confirm the status of this pond, and if it’s an acceptable drinking water source, no further ponds should be cleaned.
Are there alternative sources of drinking water for the village for the period of pond cleaning? Only one pond for “drinking water” should be cleaned per village to ensure there is sufficient drinking water while the targeted pond is cleaned;
Will the pond be able to be re-filled by rain before the end of the wet season? Emptying of ponds must be completed by 15 September to allow the ponds to be refilled by the end of the wet season, to maximize water storage for the next dry season.
Pond classification and treatment:
Due to the variation in the level of damage, ponds are categorized into 4 types: types 1, 2, 3 can be cleaned for emergency response, however type 4 ponds should not be cleaned this wet season.
Over 3,000 local villagers waiting out a storm in the Irrawaddy Delta town of Labutta were sent home on Wednesday as the government’s Department of Meteorology and Hydrology lifted a warning it issued earlier in the week.
Residents from around 15 villages in Labutta Township were moved to shelters in the town two days ago amid warnings of a major storm approaching the coast. The regional government said the villagers were sent home on 26 October after the storm in the Bay of Bengal changed course and started heading northwest along the Burmese coast toward Bangladesh.
Hla Shaung, the administrator of the Labutta Township government, said that officials arranged buses and ferry boats for the villagers to return home.
“We arranged three buses for the locals returning to inland villages and seven ferry boats for those who live close to the sea and local waterways, and the government is also covering travel expenses for those who went back via commercial transportation services,” said Hla Shaung.
He said around 1,000 people left Labutta on Wednesday morning.
Similarly, local villagers taking shelter in the town of Haigyi Island, the administrative center of Ngapudaw Township, also returned to their homes after the storm warning was lifted on Tuesday.
“They started returning to their villages in the morning and by the afternoon all of them had left the town,” said the town’s administrator Thet Lwin Oo.
In total 16,311 locals from 11 village-tracts around Haigyi Island sought shelter in the town amid warnings on Sunday that the area was likely to be hit hard by the storm.
A red alert that was issued on the weekend was downgraded to a yellow alert by late Monday. However, heavy rains brought by the storm continue to threaten Burma’s west coast with flooding, according to the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology.
YANGON, Myanmar – As Moe Moe Khaing, 30, listened to her doctor discuss family planning, she automatically reflected on the pressures building at home: Rent had been due a week ago, and her 3-year-old son had been sick for three straight days. Her 10-year-old daughter needed new clothes, but they could not rely on her husband’s earnings as a casual labourer. An unplanned pregnancy was the last thing she could manage.
She made up her mind, she announced to the doctor. She wanted a contraceptive implant – a long-acting reversible contraceptive.
Not long ago, women in Moe Moe Khaing’s shoes had fewer options. Family planning was a taboo subject, and contraceptives were not widely available.
Even today, many women cannot access the modern contraceptives they need to avoid or delay pregnancy. “The current situation in the country shows that nearly 1.8 million women of reproductive age… do not have access to modern contraceptive methods,” said Daw Hla Hla Aye, UNFPA’s assistant representative in Myanmar. “It affects them and many aspects of their family lives.”
Taking charge of her health and future
Without family planning, many women in Myamar have surprisingly high fertility rates. While the national average is just over two children per woman, newly analyzed figures from the 2014 census reveal that fertility rates among married women are much higher – five children per woman. Married women in Chin State have nine children on average, the analysis shows.
And lack of access to family planning contributes to the country’s high maternal death rate. According to the most recent UN figures, out of every 100,000 live births, some 178 women die of pregnancy-related causes – much higher than the regional figure of 128 deaths per 100,000 live births. Other estimates, from the 2014 census, indicate this figure could be as high as 282 deaths per 100,000 live births.
But family planning is helping women like Moe Moe Khaing take charge of their health and futures. The implant “is easy, and effective as well. That is why I choose it,” she said. The version she selected will provide five years of contraception. It can be removed at any time.
UNFPA is working to increase the contraceptive options available in Myanmar, so women can choose the method best suited to their circumstances. Earlier this year, UNFPA began partnering with the health ministry and civil society partners to provide the contraceptive implant, free of charge, to low-income women.
“We will only provide implant services in hospitals where doctors are trained to an international standard,” said Daw Hla Mya Thway Eindra, a senior official from the health ministry.
“I have been looking forward to this moment”
Last year, UNFPA Supplies – the world's largest provider of donated contraceptives – spent nearly $2.8 million on contraceptives and maternal health medicines in the country.
UNFPA is also helping to improve the contraceptive supply chain, and is training midwives and other health professionals to offer family planning counselling and services.
For 36-year-old Ma Theint Theint Tin, a casual labourer on the outskirts of Yangon, these services offer much more than health care – they offer peace of mind.
Money is tight for her family of five, and she does not want to risk an unplanned pregnancy.
“I have been looking forward to this moment,” she told UNFPA, as she prepared to receive a contraceptive implant. “My husband is completely supportive of the initiative. It will remove anxiety and uncertainty between us.”
She added she plans to spread the word about the benefits of family planning. “I will share the information with other women in my neighbourhood in a similar situation,” she said.
“Now,” she emphasized, “I can concentrate on my work and family.”
– Si Thu Soe Moe
Only some schools can reopen in Maungtaw District due to ongoing security concerns.
Even though Thadingyut holiday period has ended, many school doors remain closed.
“There are some challenges to reopen schools. The main reason is security, including security for the teachers. Meanwhile, all schoolchildren have not yet gone back their homes,” said Deputy Director U Thet Lay Oo of Sittway Education Office.
So far, 50 schools have been reopened while 365 schools are still closed since the violent attacks on border police outposts on October 9.
The Rakhine State government has planned to reopen 24 schools in Maungtaw Township, 26 schools in Buthidaung Township and 13 schools in Rathedaung Township.
According to the Sittway District Education Office, authorities are planning to assist schoolchildren who left their homes due to fear after the October-9 attacks in Rakhine State, to continue their education at suitable schools.
Authorities will hold a meeting with teachers on payday and will make arrangement to reopen remaining schools, said Rakhine State Social Affairs Minister Dr Chan Thar.
“We have an idea to replace female teachers with male teachers or to provide security to teachers on their way from their places to schools,” he added.
“The mental security of teachers is also important to teach schoolchildren in peace,” he added.
There are 1,361 teachers in Maungtaw Township, 1,299 in Buthidaung Township and 1,407 in Rathedaung Township.
There are 95,115 schoolchildren in Maungtaw Township, 69,246 in Buthidaung Township and 36,917 in Rathedaung Township.
Min Thit (MNA)
Myanmar: President’s Malaria Initiative: Greater Mekong Sub-Region - Malaria Operational Plan FY 2017
I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
When it was launched in 2005, the goal of the President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI) was to reduce malaria-related mortality by 50% across 15 high-burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa through a rapid scale-up of four proven and highly effective malaria prevention and treatment measures: insecticide-treated mosquito nets (ITNs); indoor residual spraying (IRS); accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs); and intermittent preventive treatment of pregnant women (IPTp). With the passage of the Tom Lantos and Henry J. Hyde Global Leadership against HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria Act in 2008, PMI developed a U.S. Government Malaria Strategy for 2009–2014. This strategy included a longterm vision for malaria control in which sustained high coverage with malaria prevention and treatment interventions would progressively lead to malaria-free zones in Africa, with the ultimate goal of worldwide malaria eradication by 2040-2050. Consistent with this strategy and the increase in annual appropriations supporting PMI, four new sub-Saharan African countries and one regional program in the Greater Mekong Sub-region of Southeast Asia were added in 2011. The contributions of PMI, together with those of other partners, have led to dramatic improvements in the coverage of malaria control interventions in PMI-supported countries, and all 15 original countries have documented substantial declines in all-cause mortality rates among children less than five years of age.
In 2015, PMI launched the next six-year strategy, setting forth a bold and ambitious goal and objectives. The PMI Strategy for 2015-2020 takes into account the progress over the past decade and the new challenges that have arisen. Malaria prevention and control remains a major U.S. foreign assistance objective and PMI’s Strategy fully aligns with the U.S. Government’s vision of ending preventable child and maternal deaths and ending extreme poverty. It is also in line with the goals articulated in the RBM Partnership’s second generation global malaria action plan,
Action and Investment to defeat Malaria (AIM) 2016-2030: for a Malaria-Free World and WHO’s updated Global Technical Strategy: 2016-2030. Under the PMI Strategy 2015-2020, the U.S. Government’s goal is to work with PMI-supported countries and partners to further reduce malaria deaths and substantially decrease malaria morbidity, towards the long-term goal of elimination.
In 2011, PMI support extended to the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS), which is made up of six countries: Burma, Cambodia, China (Yunnan Province), Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR), Thailand, and Viet Nam. This FY 2017 GMS Malaria Operational Plan (MOP) presents detailed implementation plans for Burma, Cambodia, and Thailand/Regional which includes the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) and Viet Nam.
Although considerable progress has been made in malaria control in the GMS during the past 10 years, malaria remains a major concern for the international community, ministries of health, and the people of the region. This is due primarily to the development and possible spread of resistance to artemisinin drugs, the principal component of the combination therapies for malaria that now are the first-line treatment for malaria throughout the GMS and the world. Plasmodium falciparum resistance to artemisinin drugs was first confirmed in western Cambodia; treatment failures to artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) have been reported from multiple sites on the Thai-Cambodian border; and an early warning sign of artemisinin resistance — prolongation of parasite clearance times — has been reported throughout the region.
The USG has supported malaria control efforts in the GMS since 2000. These regional efforts have focused on antimalarial drug resistance monitoring and drug quality surveillance. All GMS countries have received Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Global Fund) support. The other major sources of funding for malaria in the region include the Three Millennium Development Goal Fund in Burma, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, the Asian Development Bank, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. In addition, the Global Fund supports a 3-year $100 million Regional Artemisinin Initiative to reduce malaria transmission and respond to resistance in GMS countries.
The FY 2017 PMI MOP for the GMS was developed with the Regional Development Mission for Asia (RDMA), and Burma and Cambodia USAID Missions during a planning visit in March 2016 by representatives from USAID, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the national malaria control programs of Burma, Thailand, and Cambodia, with the participation of other major donors and partners working on malaria in the area.
The FY 2017 MOP supports regional/cross-cutting activities, such as surveillance for antimalarial drug resistance and antimalarial drug quality assurance, and malaria prevention and control activities to reduce malaria transmission in geographically targeted areas. PMI is also supporting a pilot package of elimination activities in one operational district in Cambodia for potential scale up to other areas. PMI will also consider emergency assistance, including commodity support and technical assistance for surveillance, case management, and social and behavior change communication (SBCC) in other GMS areas threatened by artemisinin resistance. The activities PMI is proposing to support with FY 2017 funding are in line with the national malaria control program strategies of the six countries and are intended to complement ongoing Global Fund malaria grants and contributions from other donors.
The proposed FY 2017 PMI budget for the GMS includes $9 million for Burma, $4.5 million for Cambodia, and $3 million to the Thailand/Regional program. PMI will support the following intervention areas with these funds:
Entomological monitoring and insecticide resistance management:
Malaria transmission in the GMS is closely associated with two malaria vectors that inhabit the forest and forest fringe, Anopheles dirus and An. minimus. Countries have made progress in monitoring vector distribution and insecticide resistance, which to date has not been a major problem in the GMS area. Entomological surveillance will focus geographically on targeted areas with an emphasis on improved insecticide resistance monitoring and foci investigations, where epidemiologically appropriate. PMI will also provide support for entomological training in the region, in response to the changing vector ecology.
Insecticide-treated nets (ITNs):
Most studies suggest that insecticide-treated nets (ITNs) provide protection even with significant outdoor and early evening biting. There is a strong culture of bed net use in the GMS and net ownership is quite high, especially in Burma and Cambodia, but many of those nets are untreated. Considerable numbers of long-lasting ITNs targeted for high-risk areas in Burma, Cambodia, and Thailand are included in their respective Global Fund grants. With FY 2014 and FY 2015 funding, PMI procured approximately 823,000 and 423,000 long-lasting insecticidetreated nets (LLINs) in Burma and Cambodia, respectively, to fill gaps in Global Fund grants in the PMI focus areas and developed innovative SBCC approaches to improve LLIN use among vulnerable migrant and mobile populations.
With FY 2016 funding, PMI is procuring approximately 607,000 LLINs and hammock nets for migrant and vulnerable populations in targeted focus areas. With FY 2017 funds, PMI will procure approximately 686,000 LLINs for Burma, Cambodia, Thailand, and Lao PDR. Indoor residual spraying (IRS) is mostly limited to outbreak response and focal control and is not a key activity in national malaria control strategies in the GMS with the exception of Thailand. Therefore, PMI funds will not be targeted for IRS in the Sub-region.
Malaria in pregnancy: While intermittent preventive treatment for pregnant women (IPTp) is not part of national policies for any country in the Sub-region, given the low prevalence of malaria in the GMS, PMI will support promotion of universal LLIN coverage and prompt diagnosis and treatment of clinical cases of malaria in pregnant women as they remain a vulnerable group in the region. PMI supported a rapid assessment of malaria in pregnancy to identify programmatic areas for strengthening in Burma, Cambodia, Thailand, and Lao PDR in 2015. With FY 2016 funding, PMI is building on the assessment findings and recommendations to ensure all GMS national programs have updated policies and guidelines.
With FY 2017 resources, PMI will support procurement of LLINs, training and supervision of facility staff, and updating training materials and job aids to strengthen malaria case management and prevention activities provided through antenatal clinics in Burma and Cambodia.
Case management: In all countries making up the GMS, diagnosis of malaria is based on laboratory tests with microscopy or rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs). Although all countries in the GMS recommend ACTs as the first-line treatment of Plasmodium falciparum infections, artemisinin resistance has been confirmed throughout the Sub-region. Treatment failures to ACTs have now been documented in Western and Northern provinces of Cambodia. Case management of malaria in the GMS is further complicated by the fact that P. vivax and P. falciparum are co-endemic. With FY 2015 and FY 2016 funding, PMI has supported training of community health and malaria volunteers and health facility staff in Burma, Cambodia, and Thailand in malaria case management including diagnostic testing.
The majority of RDT and ACT needs in Burma, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Thailand is anticipated to be met by those countries’ Global Fund grants through 2016 when the Global Fund malaria grants in Burma and Thailand will end; however, an anticipated extension of Thailand and Burma’s Global Fund malaria grant is expected through 2017. With FY 2017 funding, PMI will procure small quantities of RDTs to fill gaps and strengthen laboratory capacity in targeted areas. PMI will also procure ACT treatments to fill any gaps in Burma and Cambodia and respond to urgent needs in the region. Because of concerns about the quality of malaria diagnosis and treatment in targeted areas, PMI will support in-service training, accreditation of microscopy trainers, development of slide banks, and quality assurance of the parasitological diagnosis of malaria. In addition, PMI will continue to support drug quality assurance efforts by helping the national pharmaceutical reference laboratories in Burma, Cambodia, Lao PDR and Thailand achieve and maintain international accreditation. PMI will continue to support drug therapeutic efficacy and drug resistance monitoring at 45 sites (alternating every other year) in all six GMS countries.
Social and behavior change communication (SBCC): PMI will continue to provide technical support to national programs to facilitate development and use of effective communication strategies and appropriate SBCC approaches. As countries move from malaria control to elimination, SBCC interventions will need to be more tailored and targeted for hard-to-reach populations that remain at risk, including mobile and migrant populations. PMI supports integration of SBCC activities in the delivery of malaria services (e.g., distribution of LLINs and case management). A multi-pronged, comprehensive approach for SBCC interventions will be emphasized to sustain community involvement, support promotion of healthy behaviors, and reduce risk-taking in the context of malaria exposure. With FY 2017 funding, PMI will support development of effective SBCC approaches for elimination in targeted areas of Cambodia. In Burma, with FY 2017 funding, PMI will support efforts to standardize and harmonize key SBCC materials and messages at the community level.
Surveillance, monitoring and evaluation (SM&E): The quality of malaria case detection and reporting systems varies widely within the GMS. In the context of malaria elimination, accurate and timely data are essential to identify cases, mount a timely response, inform policy decisions, and focus resources to areas of ongoing malaria transmission. USG funding for SM&E during the past several years has focused on updating national M&E plans, providing technical assistance for surveys, and capacity development at the national level. With FY 2015 and FY 2016 funding, PMI is supporting strengthening and scale-up of surveillance systems in Burma,
Cambodia, and Lao PDR, providing technical assistance for national surveys in Cambodia and Burma, and supporting collection and reporting of routine surveillance and survey data in PMI target areas.
With FY 2017 funding, PMI will focus efforts on targeted areas to implement systems and practices to foster timely collection and use of quality surveillance data. At the national level, PMI will provide technical support to all national malaria control programs on their national M&E plans, through support for national/sub-national malaria surveys, and build SM&E capacity within their national programs and at state/province and district levels, including technical support for surveillance systems and databases. In Cambodia and Burma where many patients seek care in the private sector, PMI will continue to strengthen collection and integration of malaria data from private providers.
Operational research (OR): PMI has supported key operational research activities in the region in the past to address outdoor transmission by assessing the acceptability and entomological efficacy of insecticide-treated clothing and the safety of low-dose primaquine in those with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency and infected with P. falciparum. No OR is currently planned with FY 2017 funding, but PMI will continue to keep abreast of key programmatic bottlenecks and plan for OR to address those gaps as necessary.
MANDALAY City Development Committee has submitted its project to construct reservoirs, water pumps, outlets and locks at targeted points in the region next year to prevent floods caused by heavy rains, especially in the east and west of Mandalay, a member said.
The MCDC projects to install locks at Mingala Canal in eastern Mandalay, a reservoir on 35th street between 65th street and 66th Street, five water pumps at Thingaza Creek in western part of the region, a new channel at the sewage filtration facility near Jivitadana Sangha Hospital.
The details of the project to put those facilities at designated places, including dams and major creeks, during the 2017-2018 fiscal year has been submitted to the regional chief minister and the mayor, said U Tun Win, head of the MCDC’s sanitation department.
After completion of the new project, the region will reduce the possible risk of flooding caused by the increased water level of the Ayeyawady River to a certain degree, he added.
The major creeks and canals of Mandalay are Payandaw Creek, Nadi Creek, Thingaza Creek and Shweta Creek Ngweta Creek, as well as Columbo Canal, Zaungkalaw Canal and Mingala Canal that flow into the Ayeyawady River through Kandawgyi Lake, Taungthaman Lake and Nankat Lake.
INDIA - TC THREE
TC THREE formed over the east-central Bay of Bengal on 21 October. It then started moving west-northwest over the Bay of Bengal towards eastern India, strengthening. On 25 October at 0.00 UTC its center was located approx. 868 km east of Visakhapatnam city (Andhra Pradesh State, India) and it had max. sustained wind speed of 65 km/h (Tropical Storm).
Over the next 24 h it is forecast to continue moving west-northwest towards the eastern Indian coastal states slightly strengthening but remaining a Tropical Storm. Heavy rain and strong winds may affect several areas of western and south-western Myanmar/Burma as well as the Nicobar Islands (India).
Sources: GDACS, JTWC, BMD, RSMC, IMD, DMH, Local media.
Heavy rain has been affecting the western regions of the country, especially the Insular Pacific Region over the past few days causing floods.
According to media, as of 23 October, one person has been killed and another has gone missing as well as over 20 000 people have been affected in Choco department. National Authorities have declared an State of Emergency in Choco.
Sources: National Authorities, Meteo Colombia, Local media
Heavy rain has been affected the country, especially the eastern areas, over the past few days causing floods and landslides.
According to official reports, as of 23 October, two people have died, of which one in Jiquilisco municipality (Usulutan department) and the other one inYucuaiquín municipality (La Union department). They also reported that 56 families have been evacuated in San Miguel department and at least 163 houses have been damaged in the eastern provinces of the country.
Sources: Redhum, SNET, Local Media
Severe weather, including heavy rain and strong winds has been affecting most of the country over the past few days causing floods. Approx. 56 mm of rain in 24 h were recorded in Barahona town (Barahona province) over 22-23 October.
According to official reports, as of 23 October, over 880 people have been displaced and over 100 houses have been damaged in the southern provinces of the country.
Sources: Redhum, ONAMET, Local Media
Heavy rain has been affecting the country, especially the province of Seville (Autonomous community of Andalusia), over the past few days causing floods.
According to local media, as of 25 October, one person has been killed and several houses have been damaged in Dos Hermanas town (Seville province).
Sources: SACOP, AEMET, Local media
By Saw Yan Naing
RANGOON — The first group of Burmese refugees sheltering in Thailand was repatriated by UNHCR, the United Nations’ refugee agency, and Thai authorities.
Dozens of refugees were voluntarily resettled in places including Myawaddy, Kawkareik, and Kyainseikgyi townships in Karen State, according to Karen State’s chief minister Nang Khin Htwe Myint.
Refugees being resettled in Karen State will cross the Myawaddy-Mae Sot Thai-Burma Friendship Bridge on Tuesday and Karen State government officials will be visiting them on Wednesday, she told the Irrawaddy.
Other refugees being resettled in Tenasserim Division will be sent through another border crossing.
“We will welcome them tomorrow,” said Nang Khin Htw Myint. “We heard that there are 58 refugees being sent through the Myawaddy-Mae Sot crossing.”
She added that most of them come from the Nu Po refugee camp and that the UNHCR had arranged their repatriation.
Iain Hall, a senior field coordinator at the UNHCR told Reuters that the returnees made their own decision to return home after family members in Burma provided information that it was safe to do so.
“The Myanmar government came over and issued certificates of identification saying these people are their citizens,” Hall told Reuters, adding that the repatriation is a “milestone.”
The move is the first official group repatriation from the more than 120,000 registered Burmese refugees living in Thailand for over 20 years. Most of the refugees, who fled home to escape civil war, are from ethnic Karen communities who faced persecution by the Burma Army.
By Lawi Weng
RANGOON — Burma’s President Office spokesperson has denied accusations of human rights violations being carried out by security forces in northern Arakan State, saying, “we haven’t done anything lawless.”
His responses came after United Nations human rights experts called on the Burmese government to take action against alleged arbitrary arrests, extrajudicial killings and burning of mosques and homes by authorities during manhunts in Maungdaw and surrounding areas for suspected attackers against border guard outposts earlier this month.
“What troubles me most is the lack of access for a proper assessment of the true picture of the situation there at the present moment,” said UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in Burma Yanghee Lee in the statement.
“The blanket security operations have restricted access for humanitarian actors with concerning consequences for communities’ ability to secure food and conduct livelihood activities,” the expert emphasized.
The UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions, Dr. Agnes Callamard, also said in the statement that the government should investigate and prosecute the perpetrators in a court of law and “not with violence.”
“Reports of homes and mosques being burnt down and persons of a certain profile being rounded up and shot are alarming and unacceptable,” she stated.
The President’s Office Spokesperson U Zaw Htay told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that reports of security forces carrying out extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests and village burnings were just “accusations.”
He said that it was the government’s security forces who tried to put out fires after suspected militants set ablaze houses where they had hidden guns, before running away in an effort to abandon any evidence.
“The security forces haven’t arrested anyone without evidence. The arrests we made so far are based on the testimony and information we got through investigation of the attackers we have arrested,” U Zaw Htay said.
When asked about killings, the spokesperson said that security forces acted in response to people trying to harm them during the manhunt for suspects. “We have already released information about it,” he added.
Including the initial attack on three police border posts on Oct. 9, nine police officers and five soldiers have been killed during the manhunt for the attackers. A total of 32 alleged attackers have also been killed by government forces with 51 arrested as of Monday.
U Zaw Htay also denied the report of the Burma Army’s forced eviction of Muslim Rohingya villagers in a crackdown following attacks on border security forces, saying villagers had simply run away when the security forces came in.
“We are even encouraging them to stay at their homes rather than fleeing, as it makes more difficult to find the suspected attackers who are hiding among them.”
By SAW YAN NAING 25 October 2016
RANGOON — Several dozen residents in the town of Mongyang, including government workers, have fled south to Kengtung, the administrative capital of eastern Shan State, fearing the outbreak of fighting as tensions flare between the Burma Army and the United Wa State Army (UWSA).
Fears have mounted after the deadline of an ultimatum delivered by the Burma Army to the UWSA—to withdraw its troops who had occupied several bases belonging to a supposed ally, the National Democratic Alliance Army (NDAA), in the autonomous Chinese border enclave of Mongla—passed on Monday without action.
The seizure of the posts in early October was reportedly carried out to shore up the UWSA’s strategic position against a potential Burma Army offensive, and was prompted by growing mistrust of its longtime junior partner, the NDAA—more popularly known as the Mongla Group—after the NDAA displayed a willingness to engage with the Burmese government’s peace process that was out of step with the UWSA’s cautious approach.
According to local sources, government staffers employed at a hospital and in schools in Mongyang town of eastern Shan State have fled south to Kengtung. Other local residents have sought sanctuary across the nearby Chinese border.
However, so far there have been no visible signs of an offensive by the Burma Army, which has a considerable presence across eastern Shan State, with Triangle Command headquartered in Kengtung. Mongyang is located between Mongla and the town of Mongpauk, a UWSA stronghold.
On Friday, the UWSA responded to a letter from the National Reconciliation and Peace Center—the Burmese government body charged with facilitating the peace process—asking them to withdraw their troops and requesting a meeting.
The UWSA said that reports that it had commandeered posts from the NDAA were based on a “misunderstanding” of the facts on the ground; they were merely conducting military exercises in a region belonging to their allies, and any concerns had been cleared up with the NDAA, with whom they preserved “brotherly” relations.
In the letter, the UWSA said they had ordered their troops to de-escalate tensions, and that the organization was committed to restoring peace and maintaining unity in Burma—and would not provoke conflict. They also turned down the request for a meeting.
Both the UWSA and the NDAA developed out of units of the Communist Party of Burma when it imploded in 1989, and signed ceasefires with the Burmese government more than 25 years ago, since which relations with the Burma Army have been peaceful.Wa
Myanmar: UN experts urge Myanmar to address serious violations of human rights in northern Rakhine State
GENEVA (24 October 2016) – A group of United Nations human rights experts today urged the Government of Myanmar to address the growing reports of human rights violations in northern Rakhine State following the attacks on 9 October 2016 by armed individuals against three Border Guard Police posts in Maungdaw and Rathedaung townships, and subsequent security operations in search of suspected attackers.
“In the aftermath of the attacks, State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi has rightly called for proper investigations to be conducted and for no one to be accused until solid evidence is obtained,” said the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights situation in Myanmar, Yanghee Lee. “Instead, we receive repeated allegations of arbitrary arrests as well as extrajudicial killings occurring within the context of the security operations conducted by the authorities in search of the alleged attackers.”
“What troubles me most is the lack of access for a proper assessment of the true picture of the situation there at the present moment. The blanket security operations have restricted access for humanitarian actors with concerning consequences for communities’ ability to secure food and conduct livelihood activities,” the expert emphasised.
Regarding allegations of summary executions of civilians, including of children, during the searches and raids conducted as part of the police and military forces’ security operations, the UN Special Rapporteur on summary executions, Agnes Callamard, reminded the Government of its obligations.
“While the State has the legitimate authority and power to carry out operations to pursue the alleged perpetrators of the 9 October attacks, such crimes should be investigated and prosecuted in a court of law and not dealt with violence,” Ms. Callamard said.
“Reports of homes and mosques being burnt down and persons of a certain profile being rounded up and shot are alarming and unacceptable,” she stated. “The authorities cannot justify simply shooting suspects down on the basis of the seriousness of the crime alone. The authorities have the duty to take concrete measures to prevent extrajudicial killings in the country, not to perpetuate them.”
Ms. Callamard further recalled “the duty to conduct thorough and impartial investigations of all suspected cases of extra-legal, arbitrary and summary executions, including those reportedly carried out by state agents.”
The UN Special Rapporteur on internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, also expressed serious concerns about the displacement of large populations from affected areas as a result of the security operations. “The authorities must allow access for humanitarian actors to be able to undertake a needs assessment and continue delivering assistance and aid, as well as ensure that the protection, needs and wellbeing of affected populations are urgently and properly addressed,” Mr. Beyani said.
“All internally displaced persons have the right to an adequate standard of living, including access to food and potable water, basic shelter and housing, and essential medical services and sanitation, without discrimination,” the expert stressed.
The UN experts concluded by urging the Government to undertake proper and thorough investigations of alleged violations as well as implement concerted efforts to fight and prevent acts of incitement to discrimination, hostility and violence against minorities, while still upholding internationally recognised human rights standards.
The experts’ call has also been endorsed by the UN Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, Juan E. Méndez.
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UN highlights restricted humanitarian access in Kachin, Shan
Clashes in Kachin and Shan continue during August peace conference
Humanitarian organizations continue to respond to urgent needs among vulnerable populations
Continued insecurity and natural disasters contributed to ongoing humanitarian need in Burma during FY 2016. Floods from June–August temporarily displaced an estimated 500,000 people; separately, approximately 218,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) continued to reside in Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan states as of late September, according to the UN. Restricted access in some areas of Rakhine and Shan impeded humanitarian response efforts during the fiscal year.
In FY 2016, the U.S. Government (USG) provided more than $50 million in humanitarian funding for the Burma response. USAID/FFP committed $8.4 million through UN agencies to provide emergency food assistance and respond to cases of acute malnutrition. With nearly $7.3 million in USAID/OFDA assistance, partners provided health, nutrition, protection, and shelter support; strengthened access to livelihoods; and implemented water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) interventions. In addition, humanitarian actors—through $34.3 million in State/PRM funding—addressed critical needs among vulnerable populations, including IDPs in Burma and refugee populations from Burma residing in other countries in the Asia region
25th October, 2016 20:00 MST
Cyclonic Storm News
According to the observations at (19:30)hrs M.S.T today, the cyclonic storm “KYANT” has moved to West-Southwest. It is centered at about (235)miles West of Pathein, (235)miles West-Southwest of Gwa, (230)miles Southwest of Kyaukpyu, Myanmar and (425)miles East-Southeast of Visakhapatnam, India. It is forecast to move continuous West-Southwest wards.
The present stage of cyclonic storm is coded yellow stage, it is not moving towards the Myanmar Coasts
Position of cyclonic storm, Centre pressure and wind
Cyclonic storm is located at about Latitude (16.8) degree North and Longitude (90.6) degree East, it’s centre pressure is (997) hPa and maximum wind speed near the center is about (50)miles per hour at (19:30) hrs MST today.
Under the influence of cyclonic storm, rain or thundershowers are likely to be scattered to fairly widespread with isolated heavy falls in Lower Sagaing, Mandalay, Magway and Ayeyarwady Regions, Chin and Rakhine States during 26th October to 27th October, 2016.
Occasional squalls with rough sea will be experienced in the Delta, off and along Rakhine Coasts. Surface wind speed in squalls may reach (40) m.p.h.
Under the influence of cyclonic storm, trawlers, vessels and ships in the Delta, off and along Rakhine Coasts are advised especially to avert in this condition.