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Myanmar: Yamethin Township upgrades five basic education schools

27 August 2015 - 10:04pm
Source: New Light of Myanmar Country: Myanmar

Mandalay, 27 Aug — A basic education school in Myaingthaya village in Yamethin Township became a Basic Education Middle School Branch on 25 August. A BEPS branch was also opened in Kyaukchaw village and Nyaungbintha village.

Another three basic education schools were upgraded to Basic Education Primary Schools in Thabyesan, Shwenattaung and Natyaydwin villages in Yamethin Township, Mandalay Region, on 24 August.

Mandalay Region Minister for Electricity and Industry U Kyaw Myint attended the opening ceremonies and donated funds to the schools. The upgrades of the school mean that children in the surrounding villages can attend both primary and middle school without needing to travel long distances.—Thiha Ko Ko (Mandalay)

Myanmar: Nutritional Promotion Week Campaign held in Yangon

27 August 2015 - 9:56pm
Source: New Light of Myanmar Country: Myanmar

Yangon, 27 Aug— The Nutritional Promotion Week Campaign on Thursday was launched at No. 4 Basic Education High School in Ahlon Township here with the aim promoting nutritional status of the population by educating and practising balanced diet.

After the ceremony, Vitamin A supplements was administered to preschool children. Then, healthcare providers distributed iron supplements and Vitamin B1 tablets for pregnant and breast-feeding mothers in the Township.— MNA

Myanmar: Thai medical team arrives in flood-hit delta region

27 August 2015 - 9:54pm
Source: New Light of Myanmar Country: Myanmar, Thailand

By Ko Moe

Yangon, 27 Aug— A medical team from Thailand arrived at Mindaladon airbase on Thursday morning and flew to Hinthada to provide healthcare assistance for flood victims in the delta region over the next week.

The team includes surgeons, pediatricians, specialists, GPs, nurses and 29 other health staff and it will work in cooperation with the Ministry of Health.

The team will treat patients at Kyatkun Station Hospital, Dabi Station Hospital as well as in Zalun, Myanaung, Laymyethna, Ingapu and Kyangin Townships.

Thailand’s Ambassador Mr Chainarong Keratiyutwong said that Thailand will soon provide rehabilitative care to victims of the flood. On 17 August, the Thai princess and members of the public sent donations to Myanmar’s flood victims, who number more than a million.—GNLM

Myanmar: UNICEF Myanmar Humanitarian Situation Report 5, 27 August 2015

27 August 2015 - 2:26pm
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Myanmar

Highlights

  • Despite a receding of floodwaters, the ongoing monsoon continues to risk further flooding and increase the vulnerability of people coping with the effects of the disaster.

  • Multi-Sector/Cluster Initial Rapid Assessment results have been compiled and the Inter-Agency Initial Flood Response Plan finalised.

  • 40% of flood-affected areas continue to have limited humanitarian access as a result of debris, broken roads and bridges.

  • UNICEF Myanmar’s total 2015 Humanitarian Action for Children appeal of $46.6 million includes US$23.3 million for protracted emergencies in Rakhine and Kachin, and US$23.3 million for the flood response.

Myanmar: Burma left to count cost of flood disaster

27 August 2015 - 12:59pm
Source: Democratic Voice of Burma Country: Myanmar

Recent monsoonal floods and landslides have taken a dreadful human toll, leaving at least 117 dead and 1.6 million people displaced, in twelve states and regions across Burma.

In addition, thousands of domestic animals and livestock were also killed in the natural disaster, combined with the widespread destruction of agricultural infrastructure, that has resulted in billions of kyat worth of damage.

Speaking to reporters in Naypyidaw on Wednesday, Dr Khin Zaw, permanent secretary of Burma’s Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development, said that nearly 20,000 farmyard animals, plus an additional 200,000 chickens were lost in the floodwaters and landslides which affected many parts of the country since June.

He said that, according to data from the Animal Husbandry and Veterinarian Department, a total of 5,701 cows; 134 mythuns (Chin cows); 3,005 buffaloes, 4,341 sheep and goats; 6,684 pigs; 3,983 ducks; 29 horses, and 218,706 chickens were killed in flood-related incidents.

In addition, 315 animal housings, 22,488 viss [1 viss = 1.63 kg] of animal feed, and 566 beehives were lost, he said, for a total value of some 5.416 billion kyat (US$4.33 million).

The government estimates that 604 miles of rural road and 824 bridges were destroyed across the country. The costs for repairing the roads alone will cost over 22 billion kyat, it said.

The ministry’s permanent secretary went on to say that over 28 billion kyat would be required to repair and compensate for damages to water supply, health, electricity, housing and rehabilitation.

He concluded, saying that all sums had been fully budgeted and funds requested through an emergency presidential fund.

President Thein Sein on 24 August 24 said the total cost of the devastation caused by this season’s floods would be in the vicinity of 165 billion kyat, or $132 million.

In its initial response plan released this week, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) called for a humanitarian response of $75.5 million to cover the needs of more than 580,000 people in six states and regions affected by the floods.

Burma’s National Natural Disaster Management Committee has identified Hakha in Chin State; Kale in Sagaing Division; Pwintbyu in Magwe Division; and Minbya and Mrauk-U in Arakan as the five most affected townships, where a total of 229,600 people were directly affected.

World: Confidential Security Report - January to March 2015

27 August 2015 - 12:05pm
Source: Insecurity Insight Country: Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands, South Africa, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Agency Reports and Open Source Data

Most of our knowledge about humanitarian security hot spots comes from publicly-reported events. This briefing summarizes confidential information from 10 agencies about a range of security events, from those that severely affect staff to those that affect agencies’ ability to deliver aid.

In addition this briefing contrasts hot spots dependingon their source, whether open sources or agency-reported sources. Open sources tend to report events with a high profile impact and from countries where insecurity is a concern. Agency reports reflect where agencies are present, the variety of incidents agencies experience, and the security management and programming approaches they adopt in a particular country.

Neither type of data is representative. A higher number of reported security incidents does not indicate more insecurity, nor does the absence of reported incidents guarantee a low risk. These differences may be due to the quality of reporting practices of country offices, aid agency presence or access to affected populations, or the numbers of aid workers in a country. Nevertheless, reported incidents are a clear indication of security concerns. Both sources are important in better understanding the complex puzzle of humanitarian insecurity.

Myanmar: ACT Alliance Appeal: Myanmar - MMR151 – Myanmar Flood Emergency Response

27 August 2015 - 7:05am
Source: ACT Alliance Country: Myanmar

Appeal Target: US$ 4,131,680

Balance Requested: US$ 4,070,485

Geneva, 27 August 2015

Dear Colleagues,

Torrential Rain starting from 16th July in the northern part of Myanmar and Cyclone Komen that made land in Bangladesh, triggered severe and widespread floods and landslides across twelve of the fourteen states and regions in Myanmar. As of 14th August, the National Natural Disaster Management Committee reported an affected population of 1,491,049 people, among which 328,461 households were displaced, and a death toll of 106 people.

So far the floods have caused over 1.29 million acres of farmland inundation and 773,000 acres were damaged. The loss of stored grains and livestock is expected to disrupt the planting season and impact long-term food security. 15,298 houses were totally destroyed. Railways, motor roads, bridges, schools,health facilities and religious buildings were damaged.

According to the Department of Meteorology and Hydrology, rain fall will continue to compound the problem with flood water from the northern part of Myanmar raising the potential of inundation in the delta area of the Ayeyarwady region. These are the worst floods seen in recent years and with continuous monsoon rains, the situation can worsen drastically. Many people require assistance with immediate needs including food, shelter, water and sanitation, as well as access to emergency healthcare.

The following ACT Forum Members participating in the Appeal are operational in the flood stricken areas and well equipped to respond: Christian Aid (CA), Church World Service (CWS), Dan Church Aid (DCA), Diakonia – Sweden, ICCO, Lutheran World Federation (LWF) and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA).

Myanmar: Rohingya IDPs Detained in Rangoon: Police

27 August 2015 - 6:53am
Source: Irrawaddy Country: Myanmar

By LAWI WENG / THE IRRAWADDY

RANGOON — Police in Rangoon Division’s Hmawbi Township have detained 10 Rohingya Muslims and the driver of the vehicle in which they were found riding, according to local law enforcement.

A police officer in Hmawbi Township told The Irrawaddy that local authorities were holding the internal migrants, but he declined to provide specifics of the case over the phone.

Citing a police source, a BBC Burmese radio report on Wednesday said each of the Rohingya paid a 1.2 million kyats (US$940) bribe to the Burma Army in order to smuggle them to Rangoon from two camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Arakan State’s Sittwe Township.

The 10 men and women were part of a larger group of 29 Rohingya, according to The Voice daily, with two other vehicles having thus far evaded authorities.

The Rohingya minority in Arakan State are subject to severe restrictions on movement, and more than 100,000 remain in IDP camps after deadly violence in 2012 between Arakanese Buddhists and Muslims drove them from their homes.

Meanwhile, 125 migrants were deported from western Burma to Bangladesh on Tuesday, as more than 100 people remain in shelters near the border, potentially awaiting the same fate, according to a local immigration official.

“We deported them at 2 pm yesterday after two country officers signed an agreement. There are even more, 101 people, remaining who are awaiting deportation,” Khin Soe, an immigration officer in Sittwe, told The Irrawaddy on Wednesday.

Two separate boats packed with refugees and economic migrants were discovered by the Burma Navy in May, seeing more than 900 people brought onto Burmese soil. Burmese immigration authorities have been holding the migrants at temporary shelters in Taung Pyo Let Wai village in Arakan State’s Maungdaw Township, where their nationalities are undergoing scrutiny.

The governments of the two countries have been cooperating in the process, which has seen hundreds of Bangladeshi nationals repatriated in several batches since the boats carrying them were brought to shore. At least 187 of the boats’ passengers were found to be from Burma.

Earlier this year, thousands of migrants from Bangladesh and refugees from Arakan State began washing up on the shores of other Southeast Asian nations after human traffickers abandoned them at sea. Those from Burma were predominantly Rohingya fleeing state-sanctioned persecution and hardscrabble IDP camp existences in the country’s western coastal state.

Myanmar: Initial Flood Response Plan For Myanmar (August to December 2015)

27 August 2015 - 6:25am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Myanmar

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Heavy rains have caused floods and landslides in several parts of Myanmar since June 2015. On 30 July, Cyclone Komen made landfall in Bangladesh, bringing strong winds and additional heavy rains to the country, which resulted in widespread flooding across 12 of the country’s 14 states and regions (Ayeyarwady, Bago, Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Magway, Mandalay, Mon, Rakhine, Sagaing, Shan Yangon).
On 31 July, the President declared Chin and Rakhine states, and Magway and Sagaing regions as natural disaster zones.

As of 20 August, the National Natural Disaster Management Committee (NNDMC) reported that 117 people were killed and over 1.6 million people have been displaced by floods and landslides since mid July.

This was used as a planning figure to develop the initial flood response plan. Population figures continue to change daily as people in some areas, where flood waters are receding, start to return to their homes, and people in other areas are newly affected by floods.

The NNDMC identified Hakha in Chin State, Kale in Sagaing Region, Pwintbyu in Magway Region, and Minbya and Mrauk-U in Rakhine as the five most affected townships where a total of 229,600 people were affected by the floods. According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation, over 1.4 million acres of farmlands have been inundated, with more than 800,000 acres destroyed, as of 25 August. Damage to crops and arable land will disrupt the planting season and pose a risk to long-term food security. While the water has receded in many areas, in particular in the northern part of the country, many roads and bridges were destroyed in the worst affected states and regions, and transportation remains a challenge for assessments and assistance delivery. Many roads in remote areas are covered in mud and debris. At the time of writing, rains continue across the country, especially in affected regions in the north.

Multi-sectoral Initial Rapid Assessments (MIRA) have been conducted in 317 locations of 34 townships in Ayeyarwady, Bago, Chin, Magway, Rakhine and Sagaing, covering close to 200,000 people. Other needs assessments were also carried out in areas not covered by the MIRA assessments in Chin and Rakhine states. According to the Rakhine State Government (RSG), Buthidaung, Kyauktaw, Minbya, Maungdaw and Mrauk-U townships are the most severely affected areas in Rakhine State. Preliminary findings indicate that floods and salt water have severely damaged the paddy fields. A major concern remains water contamination, as most villages use water ponds for drinking water and many ponds have been flooded and contaminated. Landslides on the way to Hakha Township in Chin State have been cleared and food supplies and assistance delivered but the situation remains critical. In Magway, two of the worst affected townships are Pwintbyu and Sidoktaya.

According to RRD, Kale is the hardest hit township in Sagaing, with some 85,000 people affected. In Ayeyarwady Region, over 504,000 people are currently affected or displaced by floods.

On 4 August, the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar welcomed international assistance for the flood response. Priority humanitarian needs include food, water and sanitation services, shelter and access to emergency health care. Livelihood support, health and education assistance and other interventions are also needed for the early recovery phase.

Myanmar: Flood Affected Rice Farmers Get Seeds

27 August 2015 - 4:50am
Source: UN Development Programme Country: Myanmar

[Yangon – August 21] The international development and humanitarian community joined hands to provide urgently needed rice seeds to farmers in Rakhine State and enable them to catch the small window of opportunity in the current planting season. Rakhine State is the worst hit by monsoonal floods that occurred all over Myanmar late in July and early August.

Nine tons of rice seeds have been made available and transported to Rakhine State by the United States Government, through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has provided additional funds to distribute these seeds to farmers in Mrauk U, Mimbya, and Myebon.

The rice seeds, which have been sourced from the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), a USAID funded programme, will be distributed by Relief International (RI) and International Rescue Committee (IRC) to approximately 1,600 flood-affected households in need. Both INGOs have programmes in Rakhine State and, since the beginning of the flooding, have made tireless efforts to provide support to the affected communities.

UNDP is leading the Early Recovery process and has developed an early recovery programme based on assessments and will soon start implementing it together with the Government of Myanmar and other partners to enable the people affected by the flood and landslides to recover their livelihoods. Anticipated recovery needs range from supporting communities to clean debris in the aftermath of the flood to the supply of agricultural inputs to resume rural livelihoods.

More than 1.6 million people have been critically affected by monsoonal floods and landslides during July and August. According to the Government, floods have inundated over 1.4 million acres of farmland, damaging over 773,884 acres of rice paddy and other crops. Rakhine State has been the most severely affected, followed by Sagaing, Magway, Ayeyarwady and Bago. According to the Government, over 123,000 acres of farmland have so far been partially replanted in flood affected areas out of 214,000 damaged.

Contact Information

Shobhna Decloitre
Communications Specialist
shobhna.decloitre@undp.org

Myanmar: Resilient communities of Myanmar face flood recovery with courage and dignity

27 August 2015 - 4:27am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Myanmar Country: Myanmar

(Yangon, 27 August 2015): Four weeks after devastating floods hit large swathes of Myanmar, many communities in the delta region are still under water. They can only be reached by boat, surviving on government and international support, as well as on donations that all walks of society have offered in a remarkable outpouring of solidarity and generosity.

During July and August, heavy flooding tragically took the lives of 121 people and caused more than 1.6 million people to flee their homes. According to the Government, the floods inundated over 1.4 million acres of farmland, damaging over 1 million acres of rice paddy and other crops. Twelve of Myanmar’s 14 states and regions were impacted. Six are critically affected, of which four were declared natural disaster zones by the Government.

Visiting the flooded areas in the Ayeyarwaddy delta this week, the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Director of the Crisis Response Unit Ms. Izumi Nakamitsu, was struck by the communities she visited.

Families had ingeniously constructed multiple layers of bamboo flooring to lift themselves out of the water as it rose, and rescued their livestock either into their homes or other safe havens. Many have lost their livelihoods and do not know how they will recover. Yet despite the magnitude of their losses and the uncertainties of the future, their demeanor conveyed courage and poise. “I have seen the devastation caused by the flooding and yet these people have maintained their dignity and shown their resilience. They can be assured of the UN’s continued support in recovery,” she said.

Since the beginning of the floods, the UN and its partners have worked with the government-led response to provide emergency relief to affected households. More than 403,000 people were reached with over 2,500 metric tonnes of life-saving food; 10,000 emergency shelters and more than 15,000 family kits were distributed. The response from local civil society was also overwhelming, with the Myanmar Red Cross Society mobilizing 300,000 volunteers, and all walks of society -- from businesses, celebrities and artistes, to taxi drivers, trishawmen and local neighborhood groups -- mobilizing donations in solidary with flood victims.

Lessons learned in the response to Cyclone Nargis saved many lives and government has responded well. As the country expands its flood recovery and reconstruction work, it is important to incorporate disaster risk reduction.

Accompanying Ms. Nakamitsu was the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Ms. Renata Dessallien, who noted, “Our efforts to help households rebuild their livelihoods, repair infrastructure and restore services, must be accompanied by measures to reduce people’s vulnerability to future disasters. Reforestation, embankment strengthening, water management and other disaster risk reducing measures need to be factored in now so that together we can help to build back better.”

Rapid needs assessments led by the UN in six disaster zone areas – Rakhine, Sagaing, Chin, Magway, Bago and Ayeyarwady have informed the formulation of an initial flood recovery plan. It highlights the continued need to support rural livelihoods, resume social services, rehabilitate community infrastructure and coordinate assistance. It will be updated after a month, as more assessment information comes in. The international community has mobilized US$ 24.4 million for the flood response to date, of which US$11.8 million is from UN managed funds.

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 11 August – 25 August 2015

27 August 2015 - 1:25am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Snapshot 11 August – 25 August 2015

Haiti: Insecurity has increased since legislative elections. Violence and intimidation were reported at many polling stations and a second round of voting is planned, following low voter turnout. Food security has deteriorated as a result of prolonged drought conditions since the beginning of 2015: poor households in Sud, Sud-Est, Nord-Est and Artibonite will remain in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) food security outcomes through December. Recent cholera rates are triple those of the comparable time period in 2014.

Chad: Between 21 July and 21 August, over 41,000 people were displaced in the Lake Region because of the escalating number of attacks related to the Boko Haram insurgency and rapid deterioration of the security situation. The conflict has displaced 75,000 people since January.

South Sudan: There are widespread reports of renewed clashes between government and rebels. Some humanitarian organisations have evacuated staff to safer areas. The conditions inside PoC camps continue to deteriorate following an influx of over 61,000 IDPs since 30 June. In Malakal PoC the number of diarrhoea cases arriving weekly has doubled and the number of malaria cases has tripled.

Updated: 25/08/2015. Next update 01/09/2015.

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

Myanmar: Myanmar: Flood Response Activities Reported to MIMU (as of 19 August 2015)

26 August 2015 - 8:29pm
Source: Myanmar Information Management Unit Country: Myanmar

Myanmar: Displaced Rohingya rocked by devastating floods

26 August 2015 - 4:24pm
Source: Al Jazeera Country: Myanmar

Monsoon storms have wreaked havoc on Myanmar's persecuted Rohingya Muslims.

Mark Fenn | 26 Aug 2015 12:55 GMT

The Rohingya have faced violence and isolation - and now devastating floods [Mark Fenn/Al Jazeera] Sittwe, Myanmar - Amid the mud and drizzle, Khin Maung Myint surveyed the scene from his single-room bamboo hut. With floodwaters reaching knee height in places, he worried about the damage inflicted on his ramshackle home by monsoonal storms.

Read the story on Al Jazeera

Myanmar: Myanmar: WFP Food Assistance Reaches More Than 400,000 Flood Victims

26 August 2015 - 1:41pm
Source: World Food Programme Country: Myanmar

YANGON - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has provided life-saving food to more than 408,000 flood affected people in Myanmar since emergency relief efforts began on 2 August, within 48 hours of the President’s declaration of a state of natural disaster.

“WFP has supported the Government of Myanmar to save lives with emergency food, including supporting many who are reachable only on foot, after floods and landslides destroyed roads across the country”, says WFP Country Director & Resident Representative Dom Scalpelli. “It is quite an achievement, and I would like to thank our funding and cooperating partners for their support.”

With the provision of free transport by the Government and local airlines (Air Bagan, Air KBZ, Golden Myanmar Airlines and Myanmar National Airlines), a total of more than 2,500 metric tons of food has been delivered to the flood-affected areas so far.

More than 1.7 million people in Myanmar have been affected by widespread flooding and landslides as a result of heavy monsoon rains since early August. This natural disaster has severely damaged infrastructure, crops, businesses, food stores, homes and community assets.

WFP, working with the Government, other United Nations organizations and NGOs, aims to have reached more than 440,000 people with food assistance in Bago, Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Magway, Mon, Rakhine and Sagaing by the beginning of September. People affected by the flooding receive a one-month ration of rice, pulses, cooking oil, and salt. In some cases, they also receive a week’s supply of high-energy biscuits.

The flood response could go on until July 2016. However, the rapid response has affected other WFP programmes in the country. Limited food stocks in Myanmar along with a funding shortfall, mean that in order to focus on the most vulnerable people – those affected by the floods -- some other programmes have been temporarily reduced or suspended.

WFP has had to temporarily suspend community assets creation and school feeding programmes, nutrition assistance for pregnant women and nursing mothers, and the provision of food for people living with HIV and TB. At the same time, rations for displaced people in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan States will be reduced. In August, internally displaced persons (IDPs) will receive a full ration of rice - but no pulses, cooking oil or salt. Malnourished children will not be affected by these temporary measures. They will continue to receive a full ration of fortified blended food.

WFP is appealing for additional resources to respond to the emergency. A total of US$12.3 million is now urgently required to meet flood needs. This is in addition to US$17 million required to meet the food needs of other, non-flood-related programmes in the country until the end of the year.

The flood relief efforts have so far been supported through new and previous contributions from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, European Union, Germany, Japan, Myanmar, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States as well as the Japan Association for WFP, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund and the private sector.

Find out more about WFP’s emergency operations in Myanmar here.

WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries.

Follow us on Twitter @wfp_asia @wfp_media

For more information please contact:

Damian Kean, WFP/Bangkok, Mob. +66 81 701 9208
Angeli Mendoza, WFP/Bangkok, Mob. +66 81 843 3915
Arsen Sahakyan, WFP/Yangon, Mob. +95 9 450061242

Myanmar: Flood-hit HIV patients blocked from medication

26 August 2015 - 7:57am
Source: Democratic Voice of Burma Country: Myanmar

The 1,615,000 people that remain severely affected by flooding and landslides that hit Burma in July and August include thousands of HIV/AIDs patients who have now lost access to antiretroviral therapy, according to an NGO suppling the medication.

Myanmar Positive Group, which supports some among Burma’s 210,000 strong population of HIV/AIDs sufferers, says the large-scale displacement of people has made it impossible to identify the whereabouts of patients. Flood-damaged roads and other transportation blocks also mean that some of those who require antiretroviral therapy to suppress the HIV disease have lost access to it.

“For now, we have access to areas in Irrawaddy, Sagaing, and Prome in Pegu, and are providing assistance to locals there by distributing drugs to patients at their doorsteps,” said Myanmar Postive Group chairperson Thawda Tun.

The natural disaster has left 384,905 cumulative households displaced, according to the United Nations on 20 August. Entire communities are sheltering in refuges set up by Naypyidaw’s Relief and Resettlement Department as well as in monasteries and neighbours’ homes.

Thawda Tun says that as people’s lives have been upturned,it has become difficult to locate HIV/AIDs sufferers whom they know to be in need.

“We have managed to supply about 70 percent of those in need, but for the remainder, we could not find some of them at their regular address. And they are not contactable by phone,” he said.

When the heavy monsoon first swept Burma, aid including antiretroviral medication was delivered by military-led relief operations. One week’s worth of the HIV therapy was delivered, but that has long since run out. Supplies are being stockpiled in larger towns, as Myanmar Positive waits until roads and bridges reopen. The group says it is ever-hoping that the disease will not build up a tolerance to the drug within individual patients, as is possible when those undergoing antiretroviral treatment go without their medicines.

“At this time, we have a sufficient drug supply for those in need but we are unable to distribute medications to all areas as some places are still inaccessible. Generally in larger towns we have a sufficient drug supply for those in need,” Thawda Tun said.

Myanmar: Humanitarian Response Plan 2015: Myanmar Quarterly Monitoring Report - Second Quarter (April – June 2015)

26 August 2015 - 7:52am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Myanmar

CHANGES IN CONTEXT (SINCE JANUARY 2015)

  • In Kachin and northern Shan states, the number of displaced people increased to over 100,000 due to resumption of conflict in some areas. The protracted nature of the displacement, compounded by disruption of cross-line missions in the first half of 2015, has led to renewed humanitarian needs and increased vulnerability. Increased advocacy with the Government for sustained access to areas beyond the Government control remains a priority for the second half of 2015.

  • In the Kokang Self-Administered Zone, conflict between the Myanmar army and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) continued but reportedly abated in some areas after MNDAA’s announcement of a unilateral ceasefire on 11 June. Some displaced people are reported to have returned but according to the Government, some 70,000 people still remained displaced at the end of June. The Government has indicated that the main humanitarian needs of returnees are food and shelter. The Government has identified three main areas as reception centres for returnees (Tar Shwe Htan, Par Sin Kyaw, Laukkaing) and continues to provide assistance, particularly food and NFIs.

  • In Rakhine State, over 130,000 people remain displaced as a result of the violence that erupted in 2012. Continued inter-communal tensions, as well as ongoing restrictions on the freedom of movement of Muslims and on their access to basic services such as health and education, continue to cause hardship. Restrictions on freedom of movement also make it difficult for people to resume livelihood activities. There were however some positive developments during the second quarter. The Rakhine State Government, with some support from the UN and other international organizations, has lead an exercise to facilitate the return (or in some cases relocation) of nearly 2,000 families (approximately 10,000 people) through provision of cash grants or building materials. IDPs who were until now living in long-houses have returned to their original plots and built their own individual temporary houses, or, for those not yet able to return to their places of origin, to relocate or build individual houses in their places of current displacement. During the second quarter there was a great deal of media coverage of the ongoing irregular migration through the Bay of Bengal of people from both Rakhine and Bangladesh. In May 2015, the Myanmar Navy rescued two boats with more than 900 people off the coast of Rakhine State and Ayeyarwaddy Region. While the verification process is going on, State authorities, with support from the UN and INGOs, have been providing assistance and facilitating the return of these people to their home.

  • In Meikhtila (Mandalay Region), most of the 3,300 people still displaced at the end of 2014 have now been resettled with support from the Union Government. All IDP camps in Meikhtila have now been closed.

World: Regional Initiative: Migration in Southeast Asia

26 August 2015 - 3:54am
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, World

Background

Migration and more broadly human mobility remains one of the biggest global challenges facing States and the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement today. Without sufficient legal and humanitarian protection, migrants are often “living at the margin of conventional health, social and legal systems”, more likely to face increased vulnerability and subject to abuse and exploitation. Millions of people from Southeast Asia will continue to leave their homes in search of better pay and work opportunities, fleeing conflicts, natural disasters, ethnic or communal violence. The rapidly growing magnitude and complexity of the migration phenomena requires urgent and coordinated action from the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, governments and humanitarian actors to ensure that the rights of migrants are protected and treated fairly and with dignity.

In line with the migration resolution adopted at the 31st International Conference, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement has officially committed to playing a greater role in the area of migration. Over the past years, the Southeast Asia Regional Delegation, along with National Societies in the region, has pushed forward the agenda to address the humanitarian concerns surrounding migration, focusing on rights and dignity, respect for diversity and social inclusion but also linking migration with climate change (including increased urbanization) and the challenge of building resilient communities.