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Myanmar: Myanmar: Dooplaya Interview: Naw A---, August 2015

8 hours 56 min ago
Source: Karen Human Rights Group Country: Myanmar

In this Interview, Naw A--- describes events occurring in Kawkareik Township, Dooplaya District, in August 2015, including education, water supply and healthcare.

  • Naw A--- talked about the difficulties that she and her fellow teachers face at their school because one of the Burma/Myanmar government teacher’s husband teaches some of his wife’s lessons even though he is not a trained teacher.
  • Naw A--- also raised an issue that villagers from another village have diverted water from her village by using pipelines without consent from villagers in her village. This caused problems for the villagers because these pipelines are placed under their houses, plantations and farms. Villagers are also worried that they might face water scarcity in the summer season.
  • Naw A--- also mentioned that her school teaches up to Standard 4 and they teach both the Karen Education Department (KED) and the Burma/Myanmar government’s curriculum. In the past they could teach Karen language up to Standard 4, however, since two years ago, when her school became a Burma/Myanmar government school, they are only allowed to teach Karen language up to Standard 2. Villagers also have to provide accommodation and basic support for the school teachers who are hired by the Burma/Myanmar government.

Myanmar: Myanmar’s Rakhine Advisory Commission meets with top leaders, lawmakers

5 December 2016 - 10:55pm
Source: Radio Free Asia Country: Bangladesh, Malaysia, Myanmar

Members of Myanmar’s Rakhine Advisory Commission met with President Htin Kyaw and five lawmakers in Naypyidaw on Monday to discuss the unstable situation in the western state where a security crackdown has sparked allegations of genocide of the Rohingya Muslims who live there.

Led by former United Nations chief Kofi Annan, the nine-member commission met with three lawmakers from the lower house of parliament, and two from the upper house following a visit to the northwestern part of Rakhine State.

Myanmar security forces are alleged to have carried out extrajudicial killings, rapes and arson there during their search for “Rohingya militants” responsible for deadly attacks on border guard posts nearly two months ago.

Though the commission had requested a meeting with all lawmakers in Rakhine state, the five parliamentarians were the only ones who agreed to meet with it because of widespread opposition among ethnic Rakhine residents and members of the state legislature’s dominant Arakan National Party (ANP).

“They [members of the commission] have now visited Rakhine three times, and they said cooperation from the Rakhine side was minimal, while that from the Muslim side was very active,” said Soe Win, an upper house lawmaker from the ruling National League for Democracy (NLD) party who attended the meeting.

“What they want is for both sides to come and talk about their feelings, hardships, and problems, so they can prepare a report based on those findings,” he told RFA’s Myanmar Service.

The commission, appointed in late August by State Counselor Aung Sang Suu Kyi, must submit a report on its findings to the government within a year. The body is looking into conflict resolution, humanitarian assistance, and development issues in the divided and impoverished state.

A commission member told local media that the body will submit an interim report to the government in the next two months, according to state-run newspaper Global New Light of Myanmar.

“But now that only the Muslims are active, that means there will be very few facts about problems that the ethnic Rakhine people are facing,” said Soe Win. “They are not happy about that, so they want to hear suggestions for possible solutions from us.”

With previous governments failing to effectively deal with the religious divisiveness and related issues in Rakhine state, Aung San Suu Kyi is trying to find a solution that will in turn help the multiethnic country achieve her goal of lasting peace.

But ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and ANP members oppose the appointment of three foreigners, including Annan, to the commission, believing that they will side with the Rohingya.

Rakhine civil society organizations refused to meet with commission members, who instead were greeted by protesters during the weekend when they arrived in Maungdaw, Buthidaung, Mrauk-U, and Myebon townships.

‘Let them leave’

More than 1.1 million stateless Rohingya Muslims, whom the Burmese call “Bengalis” because they consider them illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh, live in troubled Rakhine state. Myanmar’s Buddhist majority has long subjected them to persecution and attacks and denied them basic rights, including citizenship.

About 120,000 live in displaced persons camps where they were placed following communal violence with Rakhine Buddhists that left more than 200 dead and tens of thousands homeless.

The recent security crackdown has forced tens of thousands of Rohingya to flee their villages and attempt to enter neighboring Bangladesh.

“Among the Muslims in Rakhine state, citizenship should be given to those who really deserve it in accordance with existing laws … and action should be taken against those who don’t meet the requirements,” Soe Win said.

“Remove the barriers that stop Muslims in Rakhine state from going to other parts of the country,” he said. “If there are those who want to go abroad, let them leave. Those were my suggestions.”

ANP lawmaker Htu May cautioned that the commission should not make judgments based only on recent events in Rakhine incidents.

“They need to know the entire history,” she told RFA. “The latest incidents are very different from the previous ones. It should have a separate report.”

“The voices of the ethnic Rakhine people have not been heard in the media for so long,” she said. “The commission should know what we Rakhines have to say about what [people] are going through. That’s why I explained some of these things to the commission on their behalf.”

A statement issued by Htin Kyaw’s office said the parties discussed the importance of humanitarian aid for both communities, the need to promote interaction between the two groups, the need to release news to discount rumors and fake reports, the country’s 1982 Citizenship Rights Act, and economic development to improve living standards in Rakhine.

Annan also met with Aung San Suu Kyi and military commander-in-chief Senior General Min Aung Hlaing in Naypyidaw.

He will hold a press conference in the commercial capital Yangon on Tuesday, according to Global New Light of Myanmar.

Pressure from Malaysia

Meanwhile Myanmar continues to take heat for the crisis in Rakhine from Muslim-majority Malaysia where members of the local Rohingya community have held public protests against Aung San Suu Kyi’s failure to stop what they call “genocide.”

Following protests last week by Muslims in Malaysia, Indonesia and Bangladesh, Kyaw on Nov. 3 formed an investigative commission on Rakhine to examine the situation that led to the border guard station attacks and subsequent violence, as well as to verify allegations of rights abuses during security operations.

But on Sunday, Prime Minister Najib Razak and members of his cabinet joined another protest in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur, sparking a nationalist counterdemonstration in Yangon where nearly 100 monks and laypeople denounced him, the Myanmar Times reported.

Myanmar’s military chief Min Aung Hlaing told his Malaysian counterpart General Haji Zulkifeli Bin Mohd Zain on Monday that the armed forces had not committed any human rights violations in Rakhine,

He told Haji that investigations are under way to determine the truth of the allegations of executions, rape, and arson, and said that some local Rohingya Muslims have failed to abide by the regulations laid down in accordance with existing laws, according to a post on the Facebook page of Malaysia’s defense services office.

The two generals also agreed to exchange information between their military forces to fight terrorism, it said.

Ye Htut, former presidential spokesman and information minister under the previous Myanmar government’s administration, said Aung San Suu Kyi should use her influence and power with the international community to counter accusations that the military has committed human rights abuses against the Rohingya in Rakhine.

He issued a post on his Facebook page on Monday advising her to interact more with countries that belong to the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to engender more understanding of the realities that Myanmar faces in Rakhine.

He also accused Najib Razak of using the Rohingya issue to increase his political standing and support among conservative Malaysian Muslims as he fends off corruption allegations of involvement in taking billions of dollars of public money from a state investment fund.

The demonstrations prompted Myanmar’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed by Aung San Suu Kyi, to summon the Malaysia ambassador in Yangon, though he has yet to respond, said Aye Soe, the ministry’s deputy director general on Monday.

She said the ministry would issue a statement after meeting with the envoy.

Reported by Win Ko Ko Latt and Waiyan Moe Myint for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

World: 2016 CERF in Action: Global Displacement

5 December 2016 - 5:09pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Myanmar, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, World

Foreword

In 2016, the number of forcibly displaced people reached a historic level. More than 65 million people are internally displaced, refugees or asylum seekers and more people are displaced within countries and across borders every day due to conflict violence persecution and natural disasters. Nearly half of these people are children. More than half are internally displaced – an invisible majority.

The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) continues to be a critical enabler of effective, timely and life-saving humanitarian action, helping front-line partners on the ground to kick-start or reinforce emergency activities. As the humanitarian needs of displaced people have increased, CERF has responded by helping partners quickly provide shelter, protection, health care, food, water, sanitation and livelihoods support, as well as integrated services for displaced people. Over the past two years, close to 70 per cent of CERF’s total contributions have been to operations targeting displaced people and the communities hosting them.

Ten years after its creation, CERF has become an indispensable tool to support global humanitarian action. While the world’s humanitarian needs have dramatically increased, CERF’s resources have largely remained unchanged. Therefore, to ensure that CERF keeps pace with the escalating needs and remains an effective tool able to address the growing scale, complexity and range of crises, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has called for CERF’s funding level to be doubled to US$1 billion by 2018.

A $1 billion CERF is neither an ambition nor a convenient target; it is an absolute bare minimum for a world in which more than 130 million people require urgent humanitarian assistance and 24 people are forced from their homes every minute. A strong CERF able to deliver on its mandate is every Member State’s responsibility and a step forward to our commitment to leave no one behind.

Mr. Stephen O‘Brien
UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator

Myanmar: HCT Myanmar – Inter-Agency Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP) Plan (June 2016)

5 December 2016 - 1:02pm
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Myanmar

INTRODUCTION

Myanmar is prone to various natural hazards that include earthquakes, floods, cyclones, droughts, fires, tsunamis, some of which have the potential to impact large numbers of people. Historical data shows that there have been medium to large/scale natural disasters every few years.
Myanmar is currently ranked 9th out of 191 countries on the Index for Risk Management (INFORM) which assesses the risk of humanitarian crisis and disasters that could overwhelm national capacity to respond, and 2nd on the Global Climate Risk Index of countries most affected by extreme events from 1995 to 2014.

In 2015 Myanmar was hit by devastating floods and landslides affecting over 1.6 million people, totally destroying 38,000 houses and 315,000 heavily damaged, and inundating over 1.4 million acres of farmland, according to the Government figures.

In the event that large numbers of people are affected (such as was the case in 2008 following cyclone Nargis or the recent 2015 floods and landslides), the government may decide to request international assistance to support their efforts in responding to the disaster.

The humanitarian community in Myanmar, represented by the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT), therefore developed and regularly updates the inter-agency Emergency Response Preparedness (ERP) Plan to support the Government of the Union of Myanmar in preparing for, and responding to, any of the hazards that may affect the country.

The ERP approach seeks to improve effectiveness by reducing both time and effort, enhancing predictability through establishing predefined roles, responsibilities and coordination mechanisms. The Emergency Response Preparedness Plan (ERPP) has four main components: i) Risk Assessment, ii) Minimum Preparedness Actions, iii) Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), and iv) Contingency Plans for the initial emergency response. Besides these four elements, this ERP Plan also includes the updated MIRA package as well as the Scenario Plan for the scenario of a cyclone in Ayeyawaddy.
The overall goal of the ERP Plan is to mitigate the impact of disasters and save as many lives as possible from preventable causes. humanitarian crises.

It aims to ensure that effective and timely assistance is provided to people in need through effective coordination and communication on emergency preparedness and humanitarian response between members of the HCT in Myanmar. The approach has been developed in collaboration with the Government, to facilitate a coordinated and effective support to people affected by humanitarian crises.

Myanmar: Formation of Investigation Commission

5 December 2016 - 12:03pm
Source: Government of Myanmar Country: Myanmar

1. To probe into the background situations that led to violent attacks that occurred on 9 October and 12-13 of November in Maungtaw, Rakhine State and the truth about the incidents, and to investigate whether existing laws, rules and regulations were observed in taking measures to avoid similar incidents in the future before making recommendations.

The Investigation Committee has been formed with the following persons:

(a) U Myint Swe, Vice President 1, Chairman

(b) U Aung Kyi, Retired Union Minister, Member

(c) U Tun Myat, Retired UN Assistant Secretary-General, Member

(d) Dr Thet Thet Zin, Chairperson, Women Affairs Federation, Member

(e) Dr Aung Tun Thet, Retired UN Senior Advisor, Member

(f) U Nyunt Swe, Member, Myanmar National Human Rights Commission, Member

(g) U Saw Thalay Saw, Pyithu Hluttaw Representative, Member

(h) Daw Kyain Ngai Man, Amyotha Hluttaw Representative, Member

(i) Police Maj-Gen Zaw Win, Chief of Myanmar Police Force, Member

(j) U Aung Naing, Director-General Union Attorney-General Office, Member

(k) Dr Hla Maung, Retired Ambassador, Patron, Interfaith Friendship and Unity Organization, Member

(l) Dr Tha Nyan, General Secretary, Young Men’s Christian Association, Member

(m) U Zaw Myint Pe, Member, Pyidaungsu Hluttaw Legal Affairs and Special Cases Assessment Commission, Secretary

2. The investigation commission shall find out the truth for the following incidents and make recommendations and advice for stability of the area.

(a) Incidents of violent attacks in Maungtaw and their background situations and causes

(b) Deaths, injuries, destruction and other damage

(c) Measures taken for restoring stability and the rule of law

(d) Verification of outside allegations during area clearance operations

(e) Guarantee for security and human rights of the people

(f) Conflict prevention and humanitarian aids

(g) Measures to avoid similar incidents in the future

3. Security for the commission during its performance of duties shall be provided by the President’s Office and the Rakhine State Government.

4. The commission shall conduct the investigation in accordance with the Criminal Procedure and the Evidence Act. The commission has the right to question necessary individuals, ask for necessary documents and may visit necessary places.

5. The report of the investigation shall be directly submitted to the President by 31 January 2017.

Signed,

Htin Kyaw
President
Republic of the Union of Myanmar

Myanmar: Statement by the Spokesperson on the recent escalation of violence in Myanmar, 2 December 2016

5 December 2016 - 11:57am
Source: European Commission Country: Myanmar

Bruxelles, 02/12/2016 - 22:24 - UNIQUE ID: 161202_6
Statements by the Spokesperson

The announcement by the Government of Myanmar of the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into the recent violence in Rakhine State is a welcome one.

The announcement by the Government of Myanmar of the establishment of a Commission of Inquiry into the recent violence in Rakhine State is a welcome one. Its work must be objective and help prevent similar events in the future, including by ensuring accountability for all perpetrators of violence and hatred.

In the violent attacks against Border Guard Police posts in northern Rakhine State on 9 October 2016 and the ensuing security operations both civilians and security personnel were killed, and thousands of people were displaced and lost their livelihoods. Regular humanitarian assistance has been disrupted for many weeks, putting at risk over 150.000 vulnerable people. Reports indicate a marked deterioration of the human rights situation in northern Rakhine State.

The EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Stavros Lambrinidis, in meetings with the State Counsellor and the Commander-in-Chief of the Myanmar Armed Forces on 22-23 November 2016, reiterated the call for the immediate resumption of humanitarian activities and the setting up of an independent and credible investigation into both the attacks and the subsequent actions. As long as there is no access to the area, including by independent observers and the media, allegations and suspicions about the perpetration of severe human rights violations will continue. It remains vital that the Government implements its initiatives to address the underlying causes of the situation in Rakhine State.

The limited re-opening of humanitarian access to northern Rakhine State, following reassurances by State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi and other members of government, is a step in the right direction. We look forward to the swift improvement in access so that life-saving assistance can quickly and effectively reach all those in need.

Fear, the loss of livelihoods and shelter, and reported disproportionate use of force by the armed forces push many, particularly women and children, to seek refuge in Bangladesh. While recognising the long-standing solidarity and hospitality of the Government and the people of Bangladesh, it is important that those fleeing violence in Myanmar are not deported or turned back. By providing assistance and protection to them until the situation in northern Rakhine State has stabilised and their safe return can be ensured, the Bangladeshi authorities will continue to contribute to stability in the region.

Peace and national reconciliation in Myanmar remain critical. The escalating fighting in Kachin and northern Shan States over the recent months has resulted in casualties and the internal displacement of several thousand civilians. Humanitarian access to the conflict-affected areas has also been restricted, preventing aid from reaching affected communities. Continued fighting undermines trust and confidence in the peace process. The signing of the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement by eight ethnic armed groups and the holding of the "Union Peace Conference 21st Century Panglong" were important milestones on the path towards national reconciliation. Work must now focus on improving the inclusiveness of the process, including the participation of all armed groups, of women and of civil society. The European Union stands ready to explore further assistance in this context.

Myanmar: 2017 Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan: January - December 2017

5 December 2016 - 5:26am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Myanmar

FOREWORD BY THE HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR

A new democratically-elected Government, with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi as State Counsellor, took over in Myanmar in April 2016, ushering in a new period of optimism in the country and internationally. As the country continues its democratic transition and its political and economic reforms, it is encouraging to see progress being made on a many fronts. The Government moved quickly to convene a “21st Century Panglong” peace conference in line with its stated commitment to advancing the peace process. It also demonstrated its willingness to tackle some of the difficult unresolved issues in the country by establishing bodies such as the Advisory Commission on Rakhine, led by former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan.

Despite these positive developments, the country continues to face many challenges. About 218,000 people – of whom about 80 percent are women and children – remain internally displaced in camps and host villages in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine states as a result of conflict, violence and intercommunal tensions. Helping them to survive and live with dignity during their displacement, and finding longer term durable solutions for all of them, is a major challenge. On top of this, many people were newly displaced in Myanmar in 2016 and there are also many other conflict-affected vulnerable people who lack access to services and who continue to need protection and assistance. To compound this further, people in Myanmar remain highly vulnerable to natural disasters including cyclones, tropical storms and earthquakes. Myanmar is one of the most disaster prone countries in Asia.

The United Nations and its partners have jointly developed this Humanitarian Response Plan, in consultation with the Government, to guide and inform their activities in the country over the next year. It is based on information from many different sources, including the Government and national institutions, as well as assessments carried out by humanitarian organizations and other stakeholders.
The number of people targeted for assistance in this plan is 525,000, down from just over a million people in 2016.
The overall funding requested for the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan is US$150 million, down from US$190 million in 2016. This reflects the end of the humanitarian response to the 2015 floods, as well as efficiencies resulting from new modes of delivery in some cases and stronger links with ongoing development work.

In keeping with outcomes of this year’s World Humanitarian Summit, the 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan lays out a framework for implementing the UN Secretary-General’s ‘Agenda for Humanity’ in Myanmar. This includes a commitment from the Humanitarian Country Team to work more closely with the Government to build national capacity, particularly in disaster preparedness and response. It also includes strong support for localization efforts with a focus on the role of national and local civil society in humanitarian work. Emphasis is placed on the need to listen more closely to the needs of affected communities and to bridging humanitarian and development work, while maintaining full respect for humanitarian principles.

The 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan is part of a broader engagement by the United Nations and its partners to ensure that all people affected by conflict, violence, insecurity and/or natural disasters have access to the protection and assistance they need, with a particular focus on vulnerable people including women and children, the sick, the elderly and people with disabilities. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the Government, local authorities and with the broad range of humanitarian and development actors over the coming year to address these needs.

I would like to thank the donors and partners who continue to support our humanitarian work in Myanmar. I would also like to acknowledge the dedication and hard work of all our humanitarian colleagues – most of whom are national staff – who do so much to help people in need, while working in difficult and sometimes dangerous circumstances.

Renata Dessallien
United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator

World: Appel humanitaire international record de $22,2 milliards en 2017

5 December 2016 - 3:46am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Les appels et plans de réponse dans 33 pays visent à aider 93 millions de personnes

(Genève, 5 décembre 2016) : Le monde fait face aujourd’hui à une crise humanitaire sans précédent depuis la Deuxième Guerre mondiale: plus de 128 millions de personnes sont touchées par des conflits, des déplacements, des catastrophes naturelles et une profonde vulnérabilité. A travers une action stratégique et coordonnée, les organisations humanitaires visent en 2017 à fournir une aide d’urgence, de la protection et du soutien à près de 93 millions de personnes parmi les plus pauvres et marginalisées. Cela demandera un financement de $22,2 milliards de dollars américains – l’appel humanitaire le plus élevé jamais lancé.

« L’intensité des crises humanitaires aujourd’hui a atteint un niveau jamais vu depuis la création des Nations Unies. De mémoire vivante, jamais autant de personnes n’ont eu besoin de notre soutien et de notre solidarité pour survivre et vivre en sécurité et dans la dignité », a dit Stephen O’Brien, Secrétaire général adjoint des Nations Unies aux affaires humanitaires et Coordonnateur des secours d’urgence, en lançant l’appel humanitaire global 2017 à Genève, Suisse.

« Nos plans collectifs pour répondre aux besoins de ces personnes sont prêts. Ce sont des investissements efficaces et performants – la meilleure manière de venir en aide à ceux qui en ont besoin maintenant. Le financement de ces plans se traduira par une aide alimentaire vitale aux personnes qui sont sur le point de mourir de faim dans le bassin du Lac Tchad et au Soudan du Sud ; il fournira une protection aux personnes les plus vulnérables en Syrie, Irak et au Yémen ; et cela permettra de fournir une éducation aux enfants dont la scolarité a été perturbée par El Niño », a dit le chef de l’aide internationale.

L’appel humanitaire est le point culminant d’un effort global dans lequel des centaines d’organisations qui fournissent aide alimentaire, abris, soins médicaux, protection, éducation d’urgence, et toute autre forme d’assistance de base aux populations dans les régions touchées par les conflits et catastrophes se rassemblent pour évaluer les besoins et décider des stratégies de réponse collective. Au début de l’année 2017, les plans présentés de manière collective aux bailleurs de fonds internationaux aujourd’hui soutiendront des opérations humanitaires vitales dans 33 pays.

Les conflits en Syrie, au Yémen, au Soudan du Sud et au Nigéria sont parmi ceux qui engendrent le plus de besoins humanitaires en entraînant des nouveaux déplacements de populations à l’intérieur des pays et à travers les frontières. En même temps, l’impact des sécheresses, des inondations et des phénomènes climatiques extrêmes dans le sillon d’El Niño poussent les communautés vulnérables à la limite de la survie. La réponse à ces crises de longues durées a incité la communauté humanitaire à avoir comme ambition une manière plus efficace, plus rapide de fournir de l’aide, comme souligné lors du Sommet humanitaire mondial en mai de cette année.

Jusqu’ici en 2016, les bailleurs de fonds internationaux ont généreusement financé l’appel global à hauteur de 11,4 milliards de dollars, qui au cours de l’année a passé de 20,1 milliards à 22,1 milliards. Toutefois, cela couvre seulement 52 pourcent des besoins et les organisations humanitaires approchent la fin de cette année avec un déficit record de financement de 10,7 milliards de dollars – le plus important déficit rencontré jusqu’à présent.

« Les vies de millions de femmes, de filles, de garçons et d’hommes sont entre nos mains », a dit M. O’Brien. « En répondant de manière généreuse à cet appel et en étant efficace nous leur prouverons que nous ne les laisserons pas tomber ».

La documentation de l’appel humanitaire global de 2017 est disponible ici:

www.unocha.org/stateofaid

Note à la rédaction:

L’appel humanitaire 2017 se base sur les plans de réponse humanitaire en Afghanistan, Burundi, Cameroun, République centrafricaine, Tchad, République démocratique du Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopie, Haïti, Irak, Libye, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Nigéria, Territoire palestinien occupé, Somalie, Soudan du Sud, Soudan, Syrie, Ukraine and Yémen. D’autres appels couvrent le Burkina Faso, la Mauritanie et le Sénégal.

Le Burundi, le Nigéria, le Soudan du Sud et la Syrie sont des crises qui affectent des régions entières ainsi que leurs pays voisins et sont inclus dans des plans de réponses régionaux, ce qui ramène le nombre de pays compris dans l’appel à 33.

World: Record International Humanitarian Appeal Requires $22.2 Billion for 2017 [EN/AR]

5 December 2016 - 3:46am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Response plans and appeals in 33 countries aim to reach 93 million people in need

(Geneva, 5 December 2016) - The world is facing a state of humanitarian crisis not seen since the Second World War: more than 128 million people are affected by conflict, displacement, natural disasters and profound vulnerability. Through strategic and coordinated action, aid organizations around the world aim to deliver urgent relief, protection and support to nearly 93 million of the most vulnerable and marginalized people in 2017. This will require US$22.2 billion in funding – the highest consolidated humanitarian appeal ever launched.

“The scale of humanitarian crises today is greater than at any time since the United Nations was founded. Not in living memory have so many people needed our support and solidarity to survive and live in safety and dignity,” said Stephen O’Brien, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, launching the Global Humanitarian Overview 2017 in Geneva, Switzerland.

“Our collective plans to meet people’s needs are ready. They are effective and efficient investments - the best way to help those who need help now. Funding in support of the plans will translate into life-saving food assistance to people on the brink of starvation in the Lake Chad Basin and South Sudan; it will provide protection for the most vulnerable people in Syria, Iraq and Yemen; and it will enable education for children whose schooling is disrupted by El Niño,” said the international aid chief.

The humanitarian appeal is the culmination of a global effort to assess needs and decide collective response strategies by hundreds of organizations delivering food, shelter, health care, protection, emergency education and other basic assistance to people in conflict- and disaster-affected regions. At the start of 2017, the plans presented collectively to the international donor community today will support vital humanitarian operations in 33 countries.

Conflicts in Syria, Yemen, South Sudan and Nigeria are among the greatest drivers of humanitarian needs, fuelling new displacement within countries and across borders. At the same time, the impact of El Niño-triggered droughts, floods and extreme weather is pushing vulnerable communities to the brink of survival. Responding to these protracted crises has prompted the humanitarian community to strive for better, faster and more effective delivery of aid, as highlighted during the transformational World Humanitarian Summit in May this year.

So far in 2016, international donors have generously provided $11.4 billion to the current global appeal which, over the year, has risen from $20.1 billion to $22.1 billion. However, this represents only 52 per cent of the requirements and humanitarian organizations approach the end of this year with a funding gap of a record $10.7 billion - the largest gap ever.

“The lives of millions of women, girls, boys and men are in our hands,” Mr. O’Brien said. “By responding generously and delivering fully on this appeal we will prove to them that we will not let them down.”

The Global Humanitarian Overview 2017 documentation is available on www.unocha.org/stateofaid

Note to correspondents

The humanitarian appeal 2017 is based on Humanitarian Response Plans in Afghanistan, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen. Other appeals cover Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Senegal.

Burundi, Nigeria, South Sudan and Syria are crises that affect entire regions and their neighbouring countries are included in regional response plans, bringing the number of countries included to 33.

World: Global Humanitarian Overview 2017

5 December 2016 - 3:15am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Fiji, Haiti, Iraq, Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

Executive Summary

For 2017, humanitarian partners will require $22.2 billion to meet the needs of 92.8 million people in 33 countries. The initial appeal for 2016 stood at $20.1 billion to meet the needs of 87.6 million people in 37 countries. This is in stark contrast to the $2.7 billion called for in the first six inter-agency humanitarian appeals launched in 1992. The last quarter century has seen an overwhelming shift in frequency, scale and magnitude of humanitarian emergencies. Crises in Afghanistan, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Sudan have issued appeals almost every year. This has also been the case since the turn of the millennium for CAR, Chad, Iraq and the occupied Palestinian territory.

As 2017 approaches, these same countries and many others are immersed in conflict and urgently require a multidimensional response. In Afghanistan for example, needs are increasing due to massive displacement and protracted conflict. In Burundi, the political crisis continues to deepen and the number of people in need of urgent support has tripled to 3 million. About 1.2 million people, 80 per cent of them women and children, have fled from South Sudan, making this the largest refugee movement in Africa.

Aid organizations in Syria expect protection and humanitarian needs to grow exponentially if hostilities continue and no political solution is found. In the Lake Chad Basin, Boko Haram violence is causing instability and insecurity and there is little evidence that a political solution is forthcoming.

Humanitarian access is severely constrained and has grown in complexity in countries including Iraq, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen, preventing humanitarians from carrying out their work and leaving affected people without basic services and protection.

Mines, explosive remnants of war and improvised explosive devices impede humanitarian access and threaten the lives of vulnerable populations in conflict-affected regions. As Iraqis work to rebuild their lives as a result of the Mosul military campaign, mine clearance will be essential for their safe return, and to ensure that schools, hospitals and infrastructure function satisfactorily. Food insecurity and malnutrition will continue to drive humanitarian need. Across the Sahel, hundreds of thousands of households live in unacceptably precarious conditions. Food insecurity, acute malnutrition, disease and disasters are a reality for millions. Conflict in the region and in bordering countries has uprooted many people from their homes and livelihoods and forced them into dependency on external assistance. Where chronic vulnerabilities drive humanitarian needs, humanitarians are collaborating with development actors to bring about a “shift from delivering aid to ending needs”. In 2017, transitional Humanitarian Action Plans for Burkina Faso, Mauritania and Senegal will be strategically aligned with resilience and development frameworks.

At the World Humanitarian Summit the humanitarian community resolved to change the way it works in order to adapt to the changing operational context to meet the needs of affected people. Six countries will develop multi-year response plans in 2017 to allow partners to address needs arising from protracted crises more effectively. Multi-year planning and the Humanitarian Response Plans are designed to increase the chances for greater collective impact and accountability.

United Nations agencies and partners are relying especially on un-earmarked and multi-year donor support to ensure timely response. Low, delayed and unpredictable funding with strict allocation criteria have dire consequences. In Ukraine, for example, inadequate funding has resulted in major delays, interruptions and discontinuation of critical activities such as mobile health clinics and services in hard-to-reach areas. Maintaining transport links for humanitarian relief for vulnerable people in Mali has been seriously challenging in 2016. In Yemen, under funding, outstanding pledges and bureaucratic impediments limit the reach of humanitarian partners to save countless children dying from hunger. If sufficient funds are not secured for DRC, 4.3 million people will face heightened risk of morbidity or death due to malnutrition, food shortage and epidemics.

In 2017 urgent humanitarian assistance will be required in Ethiopia, Somalia, Haiti and Southern Africa due to the El Niño event and its successor, La Niña. In Southern Africa El Niño caused a $9.3 million tons cereal production deficit and led to severe water shortages. Here and elsewhere, failure to act upon the alarming crises outlined in this Global Humanitarian Overview 2017 could lead to a far wider humanitarian crisis with devastating repercussions to life, livelihoods and security.

World: Combler les lacunes dans les investissements pour la prévention du VIH

5 December 2016 - 12:04am
Source: UNAIDS Country: Brazil, Cameroon, Myanmar, Namibia, South Africa, World

Malgré les progrès accomplis contre le VIH au cours des 15 dernières années et la disponibilité de méthodes de prévention et de traitement qui ont fait leurs preuves, le nombre annuel de nouvelles infections à VIH chez les adultes est resté stable dans le monde, à un niveau estimé de 1,9 million par an depuis 2010. En outre, on observe une résurgence des nouvelles infections à VIH au sein des populations clés dans certaines régions du monde.

Des investissements inadéquats dans la prévention et des investissements non ciblés qui n'atteignent pas les populations et les zones les plus touchées comptent parmi les raisons de ces lacunes dans les investissements. Une analyse portant sur quatre pays dans diverses régions du monde et avec des types d'épidémie différents a révélé que le financement de programmes de prévention primaire du VIH efficaces et ciblés était faible : 6 % des investissements totaux contre le VIH au Brésil, 4 % au Cameroun, 15 % au Myanmar et 10 % en Afrique du Sud. Les fonds alloués aux pays pour la prévention primaire du VIH (qui exclut la transmission du VIH de la mère à l'enfant et les programmes de dépistage et de conseil sur le VIH basés sur le volontariat) par le Plan présidentiel américain d'aide d'urgence à la lutte contre le sida et le Fonds mondial de lutte contre le sida, la tuberculose et le paludisme ont représenté environ 15 % des dépenses totales pour la lutte contre le VIH.

Avec un financement de la prévention inférieur à celui du traitement, moins d'une personne sur cinq parmi les plus exposées au risque d'infection à VIH a accès aux programmes de prévention à l'heure actuelle. La modélisation réalisée par l'ONUSIDA a montré qu'investir environ un quart de toutes les ressources requises pour la riposte au sida dans les services de prévention du VIH serait suffisant pour rendre possible toute une série de programmes de prévention, notamment programmes de distribution de préservatifs, prophylaxie préexposition, circoncision masculine médicale volontaire, réduction des risques, programmes d'autonomisation des jeunes femmes et des filles, mobilisation et prestation d'ensembles de services essentiels pour et avec les populations clés.

Investir davantage dans la prévention permettra également de soutenir les programmes de traitement pour atteindre leurs objectifs. Les programmes de prévention, en particulier la fourniture d'informations sur le VIH, la distribution de préservatifs et la communication auprès des jeunes et des populations clés, constituent souvent le premier point d'entrée pour les individus vers le dépistage et le traitement du VIH. Les programmes de prévention communautaires pilotés par les pairs sont également fondamentaux pour réduire la stigmatisation et la discrimination. Dans le même temps, un accès étendu au traitement permet aux personnes plus exposées de faire des choix et les encourage à connaître leur statut vis-à-vis du VIH ; cette démarche ouvre ensuite la possibilité de retenir les personnes diagnostiquées séronégatives dans des programmes de prévention continue. Faire baisser le nombre de personnes qui contractent le VIH et auront besoin d'un traitement permet de pérenniser les programmes de traitement antirétroviral.

En décembre 2015, Michel Sidibé, Directeur exécutif de l'ONUSIDA, a lancé un appel en faveur de l'investissement d'un quart des ressources dans la prévention du VIH. En juin 2016, les États membres des Nations Unies se sont engagés, dans la Déclaration politique de 2016 sur la fin du sida, à s'assurer que les ressources financières dédiées à la prévention soient adéquates et représentent en moyenne au moins un quart des dépenses mondiales consacrées au sida.

Plusieurs pays ont déjà pris des mesures pour augmenter leur financement national destiné à la prévention du VIH, notamment la Namibie, qui s'est engagée à investir 30 % de son budget pour le VIH dans la prévention du VIH chez les adultes et les enfants.

Myanmar: Talks between Myanmar government and ethnic militias in Shan state break down

4 December 2016 - 10:08pm
Source: Radio Free Asia Country: Myanmar

Talks between four ethnic armed groups and Myanmar peace officials about recent clashes in northern Shan state broke down on Friday in the latest blow to the civilian administration’s efforts to forge peace and national reconciliation.

Government peace envoy Tin Myo Win and representatives from the government’s Peace Commission were set to hold talks with officers from the Northern Alliance—the Arakan Army (AA), Kachin Independence Army (KIA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA)—in Kunming, capital of southwestern China’s Yunnan province.

“The planned meeting has been cancelled because the negotiations were not successful,” Col. Ta Hpone Kyaw of the TNLA told RFA’s Myanmar Service. “Tin Myo Win has returned home, and we’ll be going back too.”

China’s foreign ministry had arranged for the two sides to meet, he said.

The country had deployed more soldiers and weapons along its border with Myanmar’s Shan state after the current round of hostilities began on Nov. 22. China has provided shelter and health services to about 3,000 Myanmar citizens who have fled the clashes, which have continued.

But while the Chinese and the Northern Alliance wanted all four ethnic militias to participate, Tin Myo Win said government representatives would meet separately with the groups, because even if a multilateral meeting were held, the KIA could not be included, Ta Hpone Kyaw said.

“The Peace Commission has no plans to meet all four groups,” Myanmar government spokesman Zaw Htay told RFA’s Myanmar Service earlier.

Representatives from the Mongla militia and United Wa State Army were also present, though they had met earlier with Tin Myo Win.

“We don’t know exactly why [we couldn’t all meet together],” Ta Hpone Kyaw said. “The Chinese side just told us there wouldn’t be any talks, and we were told that even if the talks were held, the Myanmar officials wanted to talk more about signing the [government’s] nationwide cease-fire agreement rather than the latest fighting in the border area.”

“I think they do not have enough authority to make any decisions,” he said.

The negotiating table

Myanmar’s civilian government, which came to power in April, has made peace and national reconciliation its primary goal so that the country can put decades of civil war behind it and move forward with its political and economic development.

Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi is spearheading efforts to bring ethnic militias to the negotiating table and have them sign a nationwide cease-fire agreement (NCA) that eight groups signed with the previous government in October 2015.

She held the 21st-Century Panglong Conference in late August to bring the parties to the negotiating table, though no agreement was reached.

The KIA has not signed the NCA, and the three other ethnic armies were excluded from the Oct. 2015 pact because of their ongoing hostilities with Myanmar’s armed forces. Leaders from the KIA’s political wing, however, joined the Panglong Conference in late August in what they called a show of goodwill.

The latest bout of hostilities in northern Shan state began when the Northern Alliance launched coordinated attacks on 10 government and military targets in the Muse township villages of Mong Ko and Pang Zai, the 105-mile border trade zone between Myanmar and China, and areas of Namkham and Kutkai townships.

The ethnic militias have said that they engaged in the limited war in response to offensives by national army soldiers in the long-restive area. More than 10 civilians have been killed and 40 have been injured, as the fighting continues.

On Friday, Defense Minister Lieutenant General Sein Win moved that the lower house of parliament consider naming the Northern Alliance a coalition a terrorist organization because of its killing and injuring civilians and damaging infrastructure and public property.

Lawmakers, however, rejected the motion.

So far, more than 10 civilians have been killed, 40 have been injured, and thousands have fled their homes for safer places.

Rakhine investigation commission formed

Northern Shan state meanwhile isn’t the only region posing a challenge to the administration’s goal of lasting peace.

Security forces in the northwestern part of Rakhine state are continuing their lockdown of the area following deadly attacks on three border guard posts in October that have been blamed on Rohingya Muslim militants.

Army soldiers have been accused of killing civilians, raping women and girls, burning down homes in Rohingya communities, and driving away tens of thousands of residents.

The office of President Htin Kyaw on Friday announced the formation of a 13-member investigative commission to examine the situation that led to the border guard station attacks and subsequent violence on Nov. 12-13 in Maungdaw as well as to verify the allegations of rights abuses during the security operations.

The commission, headed by Vice President Myint Swe, must submit a report of its investigation, including recommendations for the area’s stability, to the president by Jan. 31, 2017.

Meanwhile, former United Nations chief Kofi Annan, who is chairman of government-appointed commission looking into conflict resolution, humanitarian assistance, and development issues in the divided and impoverished state, faced protesters on Friday when he arrived in the state capital Sittwe for a visit.

He told reporters that the commission members will visit Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships in northwestern Rakhine on Saturday to see for themselves what has occurred there.

“We have not had any indication that there will be restrictions on us,” he said in response to a question. “Obviously, we are not going to be there for a very long time, but we’re going to try to see as much as possible and to relate to as many people on the ground as we can.”

Annan also said that he expects progress to be made with allowing humanitarian assistance into the area. So far, only Myanmar groups providing food and other necessities have been allowed into the security zone, while other international aid organizations have been kept out.

“Security action should not impede humanitarian assistance to those in need,” he said.

About 70 members of the Arakan National Party (ANP), which represents the interest of the ethnic Rakhine people in the state, lined the avenue from the airport into Sittwe on Friday to protest his visit, the second one he has made as head of the commission.

The ANC is demanding that the commission be dissolved, fearing that its three foreign members, including Annan, will automatically side with the Rohingya.

“The Rakhine state government has already said that it doesn’t recognize this commission, so why has it ignored their decision and is [now] moving forward?” Tun Hla of the ANP asked RFA. “That’s why we are protesting.”

Protest leader Aung Ko Moe noted that Annan used the term “Rohingya” at a news conference in Sittwe during his first visit to the state in September, which “encourages the Muslims and could lead to more problems.”

Most people in majority-Buddhist Myanmar refer to the stateless Rohingya as “Bengalis” because they consider them illegal immigrants from neighboring Bangladesh and discriminate against them, though many have lived in Myanmar for generations.

Annan and other members of his party met with state government officials and later held a closed-door meeting with town elders.

He plans to visit the conflict-ridden areas in Maungdaw township on Saturday. Almost 90 people have been killed in the crackdown and thousands of others have been forced to flee to Bangladesh.

‘Bigger fires of resentment’

Aung San Suu Kyi took the international community to task on Friday, accusing it of stirring up further animosity between Buddhists and Muslims in northwestern Rakhine.

“I would appreciate it so much if the international community would help us to maintain peace and stability, and to make progress in building better relations between the two communities, instead of always drumming up cause for bigger fires of resentment,” Aung San Suu Kyi told Singapore broadcaster Channel News Asia during her visit to the city-state.

“It doesn't help if everybody is just concentrating on the negative side of the situation, in spite of the fact that there were attacks against police outposts,” she said.

Reported by RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

Myanmar: The Rohingya Crisis: Regional Security Implications

4 December 2016 - 7:55pm
Source: Nanyang Technological Univ. Country: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand

By Jasminder Singh and Muhammad Haziq

Synopsis

After the border attacks in Maungdaw by Muslim militants, the Tatmadaw (Myanmar national army) has been accused of raping and killing Rohingya and burning their villages by the media and human rights groups. This has rekindled pro-Rohingya jihadist sentiments in the region as well as globally.

Commentary

ON 9 OCTOBER 2016, some 200 men crossed from Bangladesh into Myanmar’s Rakhine (Arakan) State by boat to attack three border guard posts in Maungdaw Township. According to the Myanmar government, the attackers killed nine policemen and took away more than 50 guns and thousands of bullets. Days later, YouTube videos revealed the emergence of the Bangladesh-based Harakah al-Yaqin militant group which is also known as the Faith Movement.

The videos showed militants armed with AK-47 rifles, inviting “Rohingya brothers around the world” to join the fight. Both Faith Movement and Aqa Mul Mujahidin (AMM) were linked to the attacks by online and government sources; they are new groups that probably evolved out of jihadist networks in neighbouring Bangladesh. Since the attacks, the Tatmadaw has been accused of human rights abuses and heavy-handed tactics.

Jihadists for Rohingya

As early as 10 October 2016, the New York Times reported that seven villagers were shot to death by Myanmar forces. Human Rights Watch has reported that the Tatmadaw has burned down 1,250 buildings. Reuters and Myanmar Times also reported that “Burmese soldiers” had raped Rohingya women in the affected areas. Without access given to international observers, media and humanitarian aid providers, it is impossible to corroborate these claims.

According to an article by Time on 21 November 2016, the Myanmar Government said that “Muslim terrorists burned down the buildings themselves in an attempt to frame the army for abuse and claim international assistance”. The United Nations has weighed in to call for an investigation into allegations of human rights abuses in Myanmar.

Aside from bringing the world’s attention to the alleged human rights abuses, the counter-insurgency in Arakan has attracted the attention of extremists and jihadists from South and Southeast Asia. Online extremists in Indonesia have expressed their desire to mount “jihad” on behalf of the Rohingya, with some supporters hoping that the ‘mujahidin’ will be able to smuggle into Myanmar. The Rohingya crisis has become a rallying cry for jihad and surpasses in gravity when contrasted with issues such as the alleged blasphemy by the governor of Jakarta, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama (“Ahok”). Some social media users in Indonesia have gone to the extent of declaring their readiness to be suicide bombers for the sake of the Rohingya. The Rohingya issue is fast developing into a security threat that would have an adverse impact on peace in the region.

Rohingya Crisis Triggering New Jihad

In May 2013, following the 2012 Rohingya refugee crisis, Indonesians like Chep Hermawan of Gerakan Reformis Islam (GARIS), Jakfar Shidiq of Front Pembela Islam (FPI) and Bernard Abdul Jabbar of Komite Advokasi Muslim Rohingya-Arakan (KAMRA) decided that the only solution to the alleged violence against the Rohingya is by conducting jihad. At the time, Jakfar claimed that a thousand Muslim youths were ready to enter Myanmar to defend the Rohingya. He also claimed that by Ramadhan that year, there would be enough money – 10 billion Indonesian rupiah – to purchase weapons to equip his thousand-man expeditionary force.

Chep Hermawan is also the man responsible for sending several Indonesians to Syria to join the so-called Islamic State (IS) terrorist group; they included Bahrumsyah, the leader of Katibah Nusantara in Syria. Also in 2013, two Rohingya leaders had travelled to Indonesia to meet hardline groups, apparently ‘shopping’ for “fighters, guns, cash and bomb-making instructors”, according to The Jakarta Post.

A similar jihadist flare-up is now developing in the wake of the latest atrocities reported. On 30 October, India Today reported that Pakistan-based militant groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), Jamatul Mujahidin and the Pakistani Taliban have given full assistance to the Rohingya militants. On 23 November 2016, Posmetro reported that Ehsanullah Ehsan, the spokesperson of Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, a faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) called on Myanmar youth to rise and carry out jihad, promising that his group’s training centre, expertise, trainers and personnel are all ready to support them. Ehsan stated that protests, marches and threats have little impact compared to terrorism.

Meanwhile, regional online extremists have begun pledging their support through profile pictures with the IS flag and a hashtag saying “Pray for P_A_R_I_S” which refers to the conflict areas of Palestine, Africa, Rohingya, Iraq and Syria. The Indonesian online jihadist community even furnished their Facebook pages with various Rohingya-related propaganda posts and pictures, including a map which provides a possible travel route for potential Indonesian jihadists to enter Myanmar via Aceh. In addition, Muhammad Wanndy, a Malaysian IS fighter linked to the Puchong grenade attack, called on his supporters to prove that they are not keyboard warriors by killing any Buddhist-Myanmar person they may find in Malaysia or Indonesia.

Strategic Failure

The Tatmadaw may not have expected that reports of their alleged human rights abuses would become fodder for jihadi recruitment. This emerging security threat towards Myanmar may ripple across the region. In August 2013, a bomb exploded in the Ekayana Buddhist Vihara in Jakarta, injuring three people: the bomb attack was in response to the sectarian conflict in Myanmar. In November that year, there was a failed plot to bomb the Myanmar embassy to avenge the killing of Rohingya Muslims.

It is not certain whether Tatmadaw’s alleged latest harsh measures were a result of its flawed threat assessment. Firstly, the details of the attack, particularly the amphibious border-crossing of the Faith Movement from Bangladesh to Myanmar, should point to foreign terrorist networks across the border, where the Bangladeshi government has been, according to the Indian Express, complacent in handling the emerging terrorist threat. The Faith Movement’s videos were uploaded almost immediately after the border attacks on their group’s YouTube and Islamic State (IS)- and Al-Qaeda(AQ)-affiliated Telegram channels.

Again, this points to the more affluent, tech-savvy extremist communities that are growing in South Asia. The Tatmadaw has inadvertently allowed the media to frame their counter-insurgency in a way that fuels jihadist propaganda, despite the Rohingya cause being featured in IS and AQ magazines earlier, before the crisis began. Considering that there may be significant foreign involvement in the emergence of the Faith Movement and AMM, defeating these jihadist groups which are thriving on the back of the Rohingya crisis alone may not be sufficient as more could easily be formed to replace them or to pick up from where they have left off.

Regional Security Considerations

Rather than appearing to be the antagonists, the Myanmar government and security forces would have done better by securing its borders, addressing Rohingya’s citizenship status and grievances, and working with the Rohingya as a strategic partner to alert the authorities of terrorist or insurgent activities. According to Myanmar’s Ministry of Information, interrogations revealed that the detainees were “forced to attend terrorist training” and “threatened to be killed” if they refuse. This further emphasises that there may have been an opportunity to win over the Rohingya.

Beyond security issues along the northern borders of Myanmar, Southeast Asian countries must be vigilant. Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand have significant Rohingya refugee populations. These countries must guard against the possible recruitment or radicalisation of the refugees. It would be unfortunate if these refugees, in their desperation, become members of terrorist organisations or commit terrorist acts in their host countries.

Beyond this, a long-term solution is urgently required to address the plight of the Rohingya minority. Their long-standing grievances and allegations of human rights abuses against them will have to be looked into. The alternative is more internal unrest, massive displacement of Rohingya, and foreign jihadist intervention.

Jasminder Singh is a Senior Analyst and Muhammad Haziq Jani a Research Analyst with the International Centre for Political Violence and Terrorism Research (ICPVTR), at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Myanmar: Fighting in northern Shan state forces 40 Households to take refuge in Naung Cho

3 December 2016 - 11:41pm
Source: Government of Myanmar Country: Myanmar

Due to the attacks that occurred in northern Shan state, a total of 102, including 46 male and 56 female from 40 households from Manglon township arrived at Ohmthee village in Naung Cho township on December 1.

State Hluttaw representative, U Myint Swe and officials met with those evacuees and encouraged them. Then township blood donors association and administration committee provided four bags of rice, including cooking oil and drinking water worth 420,000 kyats to those evacuees.

And Kanbawza bank manager Daw Nan Khan Yone and staff also provided the jackets worth 135,000 ks for 14 households who are taking refuge in Ohmtee village in Naung Cho.

Myanmar: IDPs in Muse provided with necessary aid

3 December 2016 - 11:35pm
Source: Government of Myanmar Country: Myanmar

The Shan state government provided necessary aid for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who fled their homes and are taking shelter in camps in Muse due to attacks by KIA,TNLA & MNDAA.

On December 1, IDPs at temporary camps were provided with foodstuffs and blankets by a delegation led by U Kain Mai and U Sai Kyaw Than, state Hluttaw representatives, and District administrator U Kyaw Kyaw Tun.

Officials delivered 15 bags of rice, 20 packages of noodle donated by state government and blankets and jackets donated by well-wishers to 44 people from St, Peter's Church in Homon ward, in Muse and another 135 people from Kachin Baptist Church in Swan Saw ward.

Those IDPs are from Pansang (Kyukok) and MoneKoe and are still in shelters due to attacks.

Myanmar: Japan grants US$532,304 for education, health and infrastructure sectors in Kachin and Rakhine States, Ayeyarwady and Magway regions

3 December 2016 - 10:26pm
Source: Government of Japan Country: Japan, Myanmar

H.E. Mr. Tateshi HIGUCHI, Ambassador of Japan to Myanmar, and Chairpersons of the various construction committees from the States and Regions concerned signed the grant contracts for four projects today. Under these contracts, Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) Scheme will provide a total of US$532,304 as follows:

  1. The Project for Construction of Kone Ma Hat Village Bridge in Bamaw Township, Kachin State (USD 121,957)

  2. The Project for Construction of Aung Pan Myaing Monastic Primary School in Nyaungdon Township, Ayeyarwady Region (USD 97,764)

  3. The Project for Construction of Pwintaut Village Basic Education Post Primary School in Sidoktaya Township, Magway Region (USD 111,714) and 4. The Project for Extension of Township Hospital and Upgrading of Medical Facilities in Rathedaung Township, Rakhine State (USD 200,869).

The grant contract signing for 3. Pwintaut Village Basic Education Post Primary School is to assist the one out of 493 flood affected schools requested by the Myanmar Government to the Japanese Government for the reconstruction and rehabilitation.

The wooden poles and beams of the existing bridge in Kone Ma Hat village has been gradually deteriorated and it is difficult for heavy trucks to cross the bridge. As a consequence, the villagers from the 3 surrounding villages cannot carry and transport their agricultural products to the Bamaw town. In order to address this challenge, the Japanese Government will support construction of a 60-feet-long, 14-feet-wide Reinforced Concrete Construction (R.C.C) bridge with approach road. The project will benefit 26,249 residents from 10 surrounding villages.

In Aung Pan Myaing Monastic Primary School, the students have to study in congested classrooms in the existing hall-type-building since the other temporary building was completely collapsed due to the cyclone occurred in August, 2015. In order to tackle this challenge, the Japanese Government will support constrution of a one-storey R.C.C building with 5 classrooms, full furniture and walkway. The project will benefit 120 students and 9 teachers of the school.

The existing school building built in 1982 in Pwintaut village was completely submerged by the flood occurred in August, 2015. Moreover, the whole village had been relocated to a higher ground and the students are studying in a monastic building since there is no school building in the new school compound. To solve this issue, the Japanese Government will support construction of a two-storey R.C.C building with 6 classrooms, full furniture, walkway and lavatories. The project will benefit 63 students and 8 teachers of the school.

The patient ward of Rathedaung Township Hospital has been crowded with in-patients as residents of the whole town and nearby villages are relying on the Hospital for medical services. There is not enough space to accommodate further patients who need medical care. The medical facilities have been used for more than 20 years, specifically the operation table is not able to adjust properly due to its aged and rusted condition. For this solution, the Japanese Government will support construction of a one-storey R.C.C 24-bedded patient ward, lavatories and 14 items of medical equipment. The project will benefit 168,400 residents of the town and villages.

The Government of Japan has assisted 783 various grass-roots projects in Myanmar under the GGP scheme since 1993: the number consisting of 373 education projects, 197 healthcare projects, 138 public welfare and environment projects, 40 infrastructure projects and 35 other projects. It is anticipated that these assistances will further strengthen the existing friendly relations between Japan and Myanmar.

Myanmar: Japan grants US$ 430,371 for four flood affected schools in Magway Region

3 December 2016 - 10:15pm
Source: Government of Japan Country: Japan, Myanmar

H.E. Mr. Tateshi HIGUCHI, Ambassador of Japan to Myanmar, and Chairpersons of the School Construction Committees from Magway Region signed the grant contracts for four projects today. Under these contracts, Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) Scheme will provide a total of US$ 430,371 as follows:

  1. The Project for Construction of Thanse Village Basic Education Branch Middle School in Sidoktaya Township, Magway Region (USD 89,663)

  2. The Project for Construction of Ngale Village Basic Education Post Primary School in Sidoktaya Township, Magway Region (USD 140,014)

  3. The Project for Construction of Awnn Village Basic Education Post Primary School in Sidoktaya Township, Magway Region (USD 93,806)

  4. The Project for Construction of No.1 Basic Education Post Primary School in Sidoktaya Township, Magway Region (USD 106,888)

The grant contract signings for the above all projects are to assist the four out of 493 flood affected schools requested by the Myanmar Government to the Japanese Government for the reconstruction and rehabilitation.

In Thanse Village Basic Education Branch Middle School, the flood occurred in July 2015 had surmerged the school buildings under 20 feet of water and the building 1 was completely damaged. Although the villagers temporarly built a low cost school building, the classrooms do not cover the existing number of students. In order to tackle the issue, the Japanese Government will support construction of a one-storey Reinforced Concrete Construction (R.C.C) building with 6 classrooms and full furniture. The project will benefit 193 students and 9 teachers of the school.

Similarly, the flood occurred in July 2015 hit the two existing buildings of Ngale Village Basic Education Post Primary School. The buildings were surmerged under 20 feet of water. As a consequence, the wooden structures of the buildings were decayed which are not suitable for study. Although the whole village had been relocated to a higher ground after the disaster, the students have to study in a congested temporary building. In order to address the issue, the Japanese Government will support construction of a two-storey R.C.C building with 8 classrooms, full furniture and lavatories. The project will benefit 120 students and 8 teachers of the school.

Awnn Village Basic Education Post Primary School, located beside the Mone Dam is also one of the schools damaged by the flood in July 2015. The heavy rainfall triggered the overflow of water from the dam. As a consequence, the Building 1 was completely damaged. Although the villagers tenporaly built a low cost school building, the classrooms do not cover the all number of students. To solve this issue, the Japanese Government will support construction of a one-storey R.C.C building with 4 classrooms and full furniture. The project will benefit 85 students and 7 teachers of the school.

Likewise, the building 1 of No.1 Basic Education Post Primary School was hit by the flood occurred in July 2015. Consequently, the concrete walls and wooden poles of the building had been deteriorated which is not safe for the sudents. However, the students have to keep studying there because of the lack of classrooms. For this solution, the Japanese Government will support construction of a two-storey R.C.C building with 6 classrooms and full furniture. The project will benefit 246 students and 10 teachers.

The Government of Japan has assisted 787 various grass-roots projects in Myanmar under the GGP scheme since 1993: the number consisting of 377 education projects, 197 healthcare projects, 138 public welfare and environment projects, 40 infrastructure projects and 35 other projects. It is anticipated that these assistances will further strengthen the existing friendly relations between Japan and Myanmar.

Myanmar: Japan grants US$499,391 for five schools flood affected construction in Sagaing Region and Shan State

3 December 2016 - 10:11pm
Source: Government of Japan Country: Japan, Myanmar

H.E. Mr. Tateshi HIGUCHI, Ambassador of Japan to Myanmar, and Chairpersons of the School Construction Committees from Sagaing Region and Shan State concerned signed the grant contracts for five projects today. Under these contracts, Japan’s Grant Assistance for Grassroots Human Security Projects (GGP) Scheme will provide a total of US$499,391 as follows:

  1. The Project for Construction of No.2 Basic Education Primary School in Ka Nan Village in Tamu Township, Sagaing Region (US$ 101,855);

  2. The Project for Construction of Nam Pyan Village Basic Education Primary School in Tachileik Township, Shan State (US$ 65,513) ;

  3. The Project for Construction of Ah Hlaw Village Basic Education Post Primary School in Tamu Township, Sagaing Region (US$94,446);

  4. The Project for Construction of Min Tha Mee Village Basic Education Branch Middle School in Tamu Township, Sagaing Region (US$140,419); and 5. The Project for Construction of Wan Mee Mai Village Basic Education Primary School in Tachileik Township, Shan State (US$97,158).

The grant contracts signing for the above 5 schools are to assist the ones out of 493 flood affected schools requested by the Myanmar Government to the Japanese Government for the reconstruction and rehabilitation.

The school building of No.2 Basic Education Primary School in Ka Nan Village, was completely collapsed due to the flood in 2015. Although the new school building was constructed in the new school compound, the number of classrooms is insufficient. Therefore, many of students have to study in a temporary building. In order to provide an appropriate educational environment for those students, the Japanese Government will support construction of a two storey Reinforced Concrete Construction (R.C.C) building with 6 classrooms with full furniture. The project will benefit 256 students of the school.

The school building and the lavatory in Nam Pyan Village Basic Education Primary School, were deteriorated and washed away by the river flooding in 2015. Therefore, all the students are studying outside under the eaves of monastery with exposure to wind and rain. In order to secure a proper educational environment for those students, the Japanese Government will support construction of a one storey R.C.C building with 4 classrooms with full furniture, toilets and water supply. The project will benefit 40 students of the school.

Ah Hlaw Village Basic Education Post Primary School had 2 high-floored school buildings, however they were completely submerged and deteriorated due to the flood in 2015. Although the new school building is constructed in the new school compound, many of students still have to study in congested classrooms due to the insufficient number of classrooms. In order to overcome this situation, the Japanese Government will support construction of a one storey R.C.C building with 4 classrooms with full furniture. The project will benefit 94 students of the school.

The 4 school buildings in Min Tha Mee Village Basic Education Branch Middle School, were completely collapsed due to the flood in 2015. Although the new school building is constructed in the new school compound, more than one hundred students are studying in a temporary building without partitions due to the insufficient number of classrooms. In order to address this challenge, the Japanese Government will support construction of a two storey R.C.C building with 8 classrooms, full furniture, toilets and water supply. The project will benefit 326 students of the school.

The school building and the lavatory in Wan Mee Mai Village Basic Education Primary School, were deteriorated by the river flooding in 2015. Therefore, all the students are studying in the church with exposure to wind and rain without doors and walls. In order to provide an appropriate educational environment with students, the Japanese Government will support construction of a one storey R.C.C building with 5 classrooms, full furniture, walkway, toilets and water supply. The project will benefit 42 students of the school.

The Government of Japan has assisted 791 various grass-roots projects in Myanmar under the GGP scheme since 1993: the number consisting of 381 education projects, 197 healthcare projects, 138 public welfare and environment projects, 40 infrastructure projects and 35 other projects. It is anticipated that these assistances will further strengthen the existing friendly relations between Japan and Myanmar.

Myanmar: Mothers Embrace a New Approach to Nutrition Through Maternal Cash Transfers in Burma

3 December 2016 - 9:51pm
Source: Government of the United States of America Country: Myanmar

Six-month-old Sue Latt Nwe is an energetic infant, sharing her thoughts in squeals and shouts. Despite the birth deformity in her right hand, she’s getting a healthy start in life thanks to the Tat Lan Programme, a project focused on reducing child stunting in Rakhine State, a western region of Burma.

The project, supported by Feed the Future and other development partners through the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund, provides cash transfers to improve the health and diets of pregnant women and women with young children during the critical first 1000 days of a child’s life.

The Rakhine pilot has been remarkably successful: mothers in the program deliver heavier and healthier babies, exclusive breastfeeding among mothers in the intervention group has doubled, and stunting rates decreased by five percent. The Fund is introducing similar projects in the Delta and the Dry Zone in Burma.

Sue Latt’s mother, Aye Aye Nwe, has embraced the approach. When she became pregnant, Aye Aye started receiving a monthly cash transfer of about $11 U.S. dollars to ensure she was well-nourished. After her daughter was born, the stipend made it possible for her to afford nutritious food for Sue Latt. These first 1,000 days are the most critical for Sue Latt's growth and development and the most opportune time to prevent stunting.

Aye Aye also belongs to a village Mother-to-Mother Support Group, where she regularly joins other women to discuss how to best care for themselves and their children. In many villages in Burma, some traditions—such as not allowing new mothers to eat anything other than rice and salt for the first month after birth, and feeding newborns powdered rice mixed with breastmilk—contribute to the high rates of childhood stunting. The support groups aim to change that by teaching new and expectant mothers about the importance of a varied and nutritious diet and encouraging them to access health services.

Mar Mar Soe, a support group leader who works closely with 16 women from her community, can see the difference already. Lately, she’s been talking to mothers about the importance of colostrum, or first milk. Rich in protein and vitamin A, colostrum also contains antibodies that help build a baby’s immunity and prevent jaundice. Than Than Win, a mother of 2, now knows first-hand about the importance of feeding colostrum to her newborn and breastfeeding exclusively for the first six months. She fed her first baby rice mixed with breast milk because it’s the local tradition, but after learning about the difference first milk makes, she’s taken a different course with her second child.

Looking at the children in this support group, there is no doubt the cash transfer and the newfound knowledge have made a difference. The babies are well fed and full of vitality, and the mothers feel empowered to make healthier decisions for themselves and their families. For Aye Aye, the group is also a source of confidence. “Before the meeting I didn’t dare talk to other mothers, but when I realized I knew the answers to the tutor’s questions, my confidence grew. After my baby was born I could afford a chicken egg with rice. My baby is exclusively breastfed and when she is really hungry, I let her feed more to stimulate my milk supply.” What’s more, she’s now saving money to see a specialist about Sue Latt’s hand.

A longer version of this story originally appeared on the Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund website.

Myanmar: An NGO Perspective on the Response to the Humanitarian Crisis in Myanmar - September 26 – October 7, 2016

2 December 2016 - 4:31pm
Source: InterAction, International Council of Voluntary Agencies Country: Myanmar

Background

About 217,000 displaced people, of whom about 80 % are women and children, remain in camps or camp-like situations in Kachin, Shan, and Rakhine. This includes 87,000 people in Kachin and 11,000 in Shan who were displaced as a result of the armed conflict that resumed in 2011 and that continues to displace people. It also includes about 120,000 in Rakhine who were displaced as a result of the inter-communal tensions and violence that erupted in 2012.

In addition, there are particularly vulnerable non-displaced people who continue to require special attention and/or support as a result of different factors including, amongst others, armed conflict, movement restrictions and severe malnutrition. To address these needs, combinations of different types of support may be needed from a range of actors involved in humanitarian, development, human rights and peace-building activities. Humanitarian action may be one of several components in a comprehensive approach to addressing the short, medium and long-term needs and human rights of vulnerable communities.

In Rakhine, inter-communal tensions, as well as constraints on freedom of movement and restrictive policies and practices, continue to affect both displaced people in camps and people living in surrounding communities, as well as the large population in northern Rakhine State. Many Muslim women and men, girls and boys do not have adequate access to healthcare, education and other basic services due to ongoing restrictions on their freedom of movement. In northern Rakhine, rates of malnutrition are above World Health Organization (WHO) emergency thresholds.

Elsewhere in Rakhine, while a government-led project supported the return or relocation of about 25,000 people in 2015-16, some 120,000 IDPs remain confined in camps where they are largely dependent on humanitarian aid. The protracted situation continues to expose people to the dangers of risky migration. In Kachin and Shan, armed conflict has continued, causing pockets of new and secondary displacement and putting many civilians at risk, with allegations of continued human rights violations. As a result, about 98,000 people are still displaced and many people are living in fear. Landmines and explosive remnants of war also continue to pose threat to civilians. Flash floods in some parts of Myanmar in July and August 2016 exacerbated many of these existing vulnerabilities.

Aside of the humanitarian situation, the landmark election of November 2015 ushered in a new chapter in Myanmar’s democratic journey toward political and economical reforms. The peace process is also at an important juncture, with a new process of political dialogue starting up as a result of the nationwide ceasefire agreement that was signed by the government with eight ethnic armed groups in October 2015.

As the country continues its democratic transition and its political and economic reforms, the humanitarian and development communities must be ready to adapt their strategies and activities in line with the rapidly evolving situation.