Myanmar - ReliefWeb News
- Flood Three days of heavy rain overflowed rivers causing floods in 12 villages in 3 districts of North Konawe, Southeast Sulawesi. A total of 1,354 people were affected and displaced.
- Tornado A tornado accompanied by heavy rains hit the 4 districts of Binjai West,
Binjai City, Binjai Timur and North Binjai of North Sumatra. A total of 439 houses were damaged.
- Flood Four districts of East Java, namely Lumajang, Mojokerto, Terri, and Malang suffered from floods, flashfloods, river overflows and landslides caused by intense rains. These caused damages to agricultural lands, schools and bridges, among others. 270 families were affected.
- Flood A two-hour heavy rainfall caused a flashflood in Klang, Selangor. Around 500 houses were inundated and more people trapped in their vehicles when roads became impassable.
- Flood The township of Minkin, Sagaing Region suffered from floods that affected 70 households and displaced more than 260 people.
A coalition of Myanmar’s armed ethnic groups that have met with State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi to discuss preparations for peace negotiations in late August say a political framework is crucial for the government’s peace conference to be a success.
Aung San Suu Kyi, the country’s de facto national leader, has made peace and national reconciliation a key goal of her civilian-led administration, which came to power in April.
On Sunday, United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC)—a coalition of nine ethnic rebel groups that did not sign a national cease-fire agreement (NCA) with the previous government last October—met with Aung San Suu Kyi in her capacity as chairperson of the National Reconciliation and Peace Center in Yangon to talk about run-up to the 21st-Century Panglong Peace Conference.
The UNFC, which represents both groups that have signed the NCA and those that have not, is advocating for the formation of a federal union. It also is insisting that all rebel groups be included in the peace conference.
“If we can’t finish discussions on the framework, it will be impossible to hold the 21st-Century Panglong Peace Conference,” said UNFC general secretary Khu Do Reh at a press conference in Yangon. “That means that holding a successful peace conference hinges upon the framework discussions.”'Everybody is responsible'
The UNFC requested that Aung San Suu Kyi mediate negotiations between the Myanmar army and ethnic rebel groups so they agree on declaring a cease-fire at the same time, Khu Oo Yal said.
Aung San Suu Kyi promised that she would discuss the issue with the military, he said.
“What we’ve got to understand is that we all fought together for freedom,” Khu Oo Reh said. “Everybody is responsible for working towards development and peace in this country.”
Khu Oo Yal also said the nonsignatories will attend framework discussions for holding the Panglong Peace Conference, named after a similar meeting of ethnic groups spearheaded by Aung San Suu Kyi’s father, General Aung San, in 1947.
But his assassination a few months later prevented the agreements made during the conference from reaching fruition, and many ethnic groups then took up arms against the central government in wars that have ground on in some cases for more than five decades.
Armed ethnic groups will meet in Maija Yang—territory controlled by the Kachin Independence organization (KIO)—in northern Myanmar’s Kachin state on July 26-29 to discuss attending the Panglong Peace Conference and creating a federal union, Kho Oo Reh said.
The KIO is the political branch of wing of the Kachin Independence Army, which has not signed the NCA. The UNFC said it will invite Wa and Ming La ethnic groups to the meeting.
Seven letters sent
Tin Myo Win, the government’s peace envoy, has sent invitation letters to seven of the nonsignatory groups to participate in the political framework review meetings, said Hla Maung Shwe, secretary of the government’s peace conference preparatory subcommittee.
Thein Zaw, vice chairman of the government's Union Peace Making Work Committee, will soon meet with representatives from the Arakan Army (AA), Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA), and Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA)—the three groups excluded from the NCA because of ongoing hostilities with the Myanmar army—he said.
General Mutu Say Pho, leader of the Karen National Union (KNU), is urging the armed ethnic groups not to make too many demands during the peace negotiations and to work for reasonable results.
“Our needs and demands should be reasonable according to the country’s current situation, and we need to have practical results that all groups can accept,’ he said while delivering the opening speech at Monday’s meeting in Chaing Mai, Thailand, with groups that did not sign the NCA.
“We shouldn’t say that we will accept the result only if we get everything we want,” he said. “The result should be a reasonable one.”
Leaders from Chin National Front (CNF), All-Burma Students’ Democratic Front (ABSDF), Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA), Pa-Oh People's Liberation Organization (PPLO), Arakan Liberation Party (ALP), Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS), and Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) will attend the meeting.
The eight armed groups that signed the NCA are currently holding a two-day meeting in Chiang Mai, Thailand, to prepare for the Maija Yang summit.
Reported by Thiha Tun, Aung Theinkha and Aung Moe Myint of RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khet Mar. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.
Thousands in Myanmar lack basic identification. NRC’s One Stop Service provides them with the assistance they need.
In Myanmar, the lack of proper identification documents is a problem that affects more than 10 million people. According to the 2014 Union of Myanmar official census, more than 19,000 people in the Kayah state, with the majority coming from rural areas, lacked such documents. The accurate number is probably higher, as those living in areas dominated by Non State Actors did not participate in the census.
The need for civil documentation and information on basic rights is high, especially in areas affected by conflict and areas currently undergoing a peace process.
Tiresome bureaucratic process
Daw Ri Sue is a 56 year old farmer who lives in a conflict affected area where displacement has taken place for decades. She has nine children, only two of which are enrolled in school. She wanted to get a valid ID so that more services could be available to her and her family, and to allow her younger children to register in school.
Daw Ri Sue first attempted to get a valid ID at the Myanmar Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (MOLIP) office in Pruso Township. She went there after harvesting season, a time when farmers often manage to save up some extra money. However, due to the lack of counseling services, she was not aware of the existing procedures at the office and did not bring all the necessary family registration documents.
Due to additional transportation costs, providing sufficient and correct documentation is often a struggle for those living in remote areas. Following a tiresome and lengthy bureaucratic process, Daw Ri Sue was not able to receive a new ID.
Access to basic rights
Basic identification papers are often taken for granted, but these documents regulate access to vital basic services such as education, social welfare and land registration. They also permit individuals to engage with the public and partake in decision making.
The lack of identification documents increases the vulnerability of those already suffering from violence, such as women passing through check points or border crossings. In addition, legal identity documents are essential for achieving durable solutions for returning refugees and displaced persons.
Faced with these challenges, and in cooperation with MOLIP, NRC has facilitated the issuing of ID cards since 2012, through mobile One Stop Service (OSS) centers in South East Myanmar. Through OSS activities, NRC visits hard to reach rural areas to provide identification documents, counselling services and to give briefs on the legal rights of the ID card holders. The project targets conflict affected communities, prioritising the displaced and people at risk of statelessness.
NRC advocates for inclusiveness in the implementation of legal frameworks, as well as reforming current laws in line with international standards. Since 2012, more than 431,708 beneficiaries have received ID cards as a result of this service, with the support of donors such as the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Australian Department of Foreign Affaires and Trade (DFAT), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA) and the Swedish International Development and Cooperation Agency (SIDA).
Raising awareness among youth
When NRC set up a One Stop Service centre in Hoya village, about one hour by foot from Daw Ri Sue’s village, she told her elder children to apply. At this time, her children were busy working at the farm, but she knew that they would need ID cards to register for matriculation, so she went to the OSS by herself.
“Upon arrival, I attended an information session held by NRC on citizenship rights, the advantages of having civil documentation and the application process. On the same day, I was able to get an ID card, free of charge”, she says.
Recently, two of her children have also managed to collect their ID cards. Daw Ri Sue stresses the importance of having legal identity documents to access basic rights, and will urge the rest of her elder children to apply.
“Due to high levels of poverty, there are many children who have dropped out of school to financially support their families. They’re usually unaware of the value of basic documentation and the impact an ID card can have on their future prospects”, she says. She hopes that NRC’s information and counseling activities in Kayah will continue to raise awareness among the youth and improve their chances of a better life.
This article has been co-authored by Flora Ju.
Alert 2016! Report on conflicts, human rights and peacebuilding is a yearbook providing an analysis of the state of the world in terms of conflict and peacebuilding from four perspectives: armed conflicts, socio-political crises, peace processes and gender, peace and security.
By analysing the most significant events in 2015 and the nature, causes, dynamics, actors and consequences of the main flashpoints of armed conflict and sociopolitical crisis throughout the world, we are able to offer a regional comparison and identify global trends, making it possible to highlight areas of risk and provide early warnings for the future. Similarly, the report also identifies opportunities for peacebuilding and for reducing, preventing and resolving conflicts. In both cases, one of the main aims of this report is to place data, analyses and the identified warning signs and opportunities for peace in the hands of those actors responsible for making policy decisions or those who participate in peacefully resolving conflicts or in raising political, media and academic awareness of the many situations of political and social violence taking place around the world.
As regards methodology, the report is largely produced on the basis of the qualitative analysis of studies and data provided by numerous sources –the United Nations, international bodies, research centres, media outlets and NGOs, among others– as well as experience drawn from research on the ground.
Some of the most important conclusions and information contained in the report include:
Thirty-five armed conflicts were reported in 2015, most of them in Africa (13) and Asia (12), followed by the Middle East (six), Europe (three) and the Americas (one).
Two new armed conflicts were accounted for in 2015: in Burundi, due to the escalation of instability and political violence amidst a climate marked by popular demonstrations, repression of dissidents and an attempted coup d’état; and in the Philippines (Mindanao-BIFF) as the result of intensified clashes between the Philippine Armed Forces and the armed group BIFF.
At the end of 2015, only 34 of the 35 cases were active, since the situation in India (Assam) ceased to be considered an active armed conflict due to the decrease in violence, in keeping with a pattern of reduced hostilities in recent years.
Eleven conflicts reported a higher intensity during the year, with a death toll in many cases well above the threshold of 1,000 fatalities per year: Libya, Nigeria (Boko Haram), Somalia, South Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Ukraine, Egypt (Sinai), Iraq, Syria and Yemen (Houthis).
In 2015, many of the contexts of conflict (43%) reported dynamics and levels of violence similar to those of the previous year, while a decrease in the levels of confrontation was observed in nearly one third, including the case of India (Assam), which stopped being considered an armed conflict. A worsening of the situation was observed in another third of the cases, resulting from the intensification of hostilities and levels of violence. Though worse, this situation was not as bad as reported in 2014.
Beyond their multi-dimensional nature, the main causes of two thirds of the armed conflicts in 2015 (24 cases, equivalent to 69%) included opposition to the government (whether due to its internal or international policies) and the struggle to achieve or erode power, or opposition to the political, social or ideological system of the state. The underlying motivations of over half (19 cases, or 54%) included demands for self-determination or self-government and identity-related aspirations.
During 2015, armed conflicts around the world continued to have a serious impact on civilians. As detailed in the analysis of cases from each context, the consequences are not limited to mortal victims resulting from fighting, but also include massacres and summary executions, arbitrary detention, torture and many other forms of physical and psychological abuse, the forced displacement of populations, the use of sexual violence, the recruitment of children and many other forms of abuse against boys and girls, in addition to other dynamics.
Throughout 2015, the deliberate use of sexual violence as a weapon of war in contexts of armed conflict was observed by armed groups in countries like Iraq, Mali, CAR, DRC, Syria, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan.
Forced displacement was one of the most visible consequences of armed conflict in 2015, a period that confirmed the trend observed in previous years regarding a significant rise in the number of refugees and internally displaced people around the world.
At the end of 2015, UNHCR’s figures based on data corresponding to the first quarter of the year noted that the total number of displaced people and refugees reached 60 million people.
At the close of 2015, 37 weapons embargoes were being imposed on a total of 24 states and non-state armed groups by the UN, the EU, the Arab League and the OSCE. This was one more than the previous year due to the inclusion of Yemen.
Twenty armed conflicts and 52 active situations of tension were reported in 2015 in which neither the UN nor other regional organisations imposed weapons embargoes.
Eighty-three scenarios of socio-political crisis were reported around the world in 2015. The cases were primarily concentrated in Africa (36) and Asia (20), while the rest of the situations of tension took place in Europe (11), the Middle East (11) and the Americas (five).
The most serious socio-political crises in 2015 took place in Central Africa (LRA), Cameroon, Chad,
Kenya, Niger, Nigeria, Tunisia, Bangladesh, North Korea-South Korea, the Philippines (Mindanao),
India (Manipur), India-Pakistan, Pakistan, Armenia-Azerbaijan (Nagorno-Karabakh), Russia (Kabardino-Balkaria), Egypt, Israel-Syria-Lebanon and Lebanon.
In line with previous years, over half the sociopolitical crises were of an internal nature (43 cases), more than one fourth were internationalised internal tensions (22 cases) and a fifth were international (18 cases).
Regarding the evolution of the tensions, two fifths (34 cases) reported a worsening of the situation compared to 2014, while one third (29 cases) experience no significant change and one fourth improved to some extent (20 cases).
In line with data from previous years, the different main causes of 67% of the tensions included opposition to the internal or international policies implemented by the respective governments, which led to conflict to achieve or erode power, or opposition to the political, social or ideological system of the respective states.
Four peace negotiations were resolved satisfactorily during the year: CAR, Sudan (Darfur – SLM-MM),
Mali (CMA-Platform) and South Sudan.
Explorations were conducted in three conflicts for the purpose of opening a formal negotiating process: Colombia (ELN), Pakistan (Balochistan) and Syria.
Of these negotiations, 17.9% ran smoothly or were resolved (seven cases), 30.7% had significant difficulties (12 cases) and 43.6% failed (17 cases).
Seventy per cent of the active armed conflicts in 2015 for which data on gender equality are available took place in contexts with serious or very serious gender inequalities.
The refugee crisis in the EU was marked by the gender dimension and showed serious human rights violations against the population fleeing the wars.
In 2015, a high-level review was conducted on the 15 years of implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security.
Peace negotiations in Colombia, Cyprus and Afghanistan demonstrated the importance of the gender dimension in peace processes.
The report identifies five opportunities for peace for 2016: the restart of peace negotiations in Cyprus; the new political situation in Burkina Faso after the end of the transition process; the exploration of scenarios of peace in Thailand; the transition towards democracy and peace in Myanmar; and the positive impact of the introduction of the gender perspective in peace processes in terms of inclusiveness and sustainability.
The report highlights another 10 alarming scenarios ahead of 2016: the rise in violence and instability in Burundi, pushing the country to the brink of civil war; the risk for stability in Mali posed by the activities of jihadist groups; the prospects of rising violence and political upheaval in DRC; the fragility of the peace agreement in Sudan and the risks for its implementation; the polarisation of powers in the new political scenario in Venezuela; the impact of the lack of legitimacy of the Taliban leadership in the peace process in Afghanistan; the difficulties of the peace process in Mindanao; the risks of further drift in the conflict between Turkey and the PKK; the serious worsening of the situation in Yemen following the intensification of the dynamics of violence in the country; and the destabilising international effects of the jihadist threat.
PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Increased rainfall has eased the drought situation in most parts of Papua New Guinea, however, severe food and water insecurity persists in remote, isolated and inaccessible areas. Following an inter-agency food security verification exercise, an additional 46,000 people have been assessed as requiring food in Milne Bay province. This brings the current total of people in need of food assistance to 226,000 people. The Government, together with WFP and local churches, are working on a joint plan to respond to needs identified in Milne Bay.
226,000 people in need of food assistance
Monsoon rains since 1 July triggered flooding and landslides in several areas of Myanmar (Rakhine, Kachin, Chin, Sagaing, Magway and Bago) with more than 24,000 people displaced by the floods in Rakhine alone. As of 15 July, flood waters began receding in most areas allowing people to begin to return to their villages. In addition to emergency food and water deliveries, work to clean contaminated drinking water ponds has begun. Livelihoods support will also be required to facilitate recovery of the affected communities.
24,000 people displaced in Rakhine
On 16 July, prolonged and heavy rainfall that began on 14 July triggered flooding in North Konawe district, North Sulawesi province. Up to 2.5 metres of flood water submerged 730 houses and displaced some 1,350 people. Local disaster management authorities provided assistance to the affected communities. While the flood water has receded in the upland areas, the risk of additional floods remains as a result of continuing unseasonal rains.
1,350 people displaced
Heavy rains affecting southern Philippines continue to cause flooding in Maguindanao province.
As of 16 July, 17,000 families in seven municipalities have been affected with authorities providing assistance to the affected communities.
During the past week, an estimated 2,900 families across Mindanao have been affected by separate armed conflict incidents between the armed forces and members of the New People’s Army (Davao Oriental province), the Abu Sayyaf Group (Basilan province), and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (Maguindanao). While local authorities have been able to meet the immediate needs of those affected, insecurity continues to persist in these areas.
2,900 families affected by conflict
Yangon, Myanmar | AFP | Sunday 7/17/2016 - 10:07 GMT
Myanmar's de facto premier Aung San Suu Kyi held landmark talks with senior rebel leaders on Sunday, as she strives to seal a ceasefire with a patchwork of ethnic minority militias that have battled the national army for decades.
Suu Kyi has made peace a flagship policy of her newly installed civilian-led government which replaced decades of brutal junta rule earlier this year.
It is a tall order in a country where the military, which is loathed and deeply distrusted by many ethnic rebel groups, still retains significant control.
A number of key rebel factions have yet to sign up to a national ceasefire agreement, something Suu Kyi's government hopes Sunday's talks might change.
Zaw Htay, deputy director general of the president's office, told reporters the veteran democracy campaigner and her close associates were meeting with five leaders from the United Nationalities Federal Council.
The body represents both rebel groups that have signed up to the ceasefire agreement and those who have so far refused.
"It will be like meeting family," he told reporters ahead of the meeting.
Among those present was General N'Ban La, from the Kachin Independence Organisation, the political wing of one of Myanmar's most powerful rebel factions, which has yet to sign a ceasefire.
"It's a confidence building meeting, there can be many questions and answers from both sides," Hla Maung Shwe, a government advisor on the peace process told AFP.
Media were ushered out after filming the initial greetings ahead of the meeting in the commercial capital Yangon.
Myanmar has been scarred by ethnic conflicts ever since its independence in 1948, with minority groups battling for greater autonomy against a central government that they believed has long ignored and abused them.
Suu Kyi has vowed to overturn that painful legacy with plans to hold a major peace conference later this summer.
However, conflicts continue to rage in several areas between ethnic minority armed groups and the army, which operates beyond the reaches of civilian government, particularly in northern Kachin and eastern Shan states.
Some 240,000 people are displaced due to unrest and communal conflict across the country.
More than a dozen rebel factions also plan to hold their own talks later this month in Kachin, with Sunday's meeting seen as a crucial stepping stone towards persuading the hold-out groups to embrace the peace process.
Both Myanmar's military and rebel groups have a long history of rights violations linked to decades of conflict, including the use of child labour and drug trafficking.
Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy government has spoken out in favour greater federalism for Myanmar's ethnic minorities.
But her hands are partially tied.
Under Myanmar's junta-era constitution, the crucial interior, home and border ministries are still controlled by the army, giving the generals huge sway over whether the peace process is a success.
The Department of Meteorology and Hydrology Department has alerted people in high risk areas of floods as the Chindwin River has exceeded its danger level at Homalin yesterday and expected to rise the danger level at Phaungpyin today.
The weather bureau has urged the people living in the low-lying areas near the river to take precautionary measures.
The water level of the Chindwin River at Phaungpyin is observed as about 1 ½ feet below its danger level yesterday and it may reach its danger level today, said the flood warning issued by the DMH yesterday. Meanwhile, the water level of the river at Homalin has exceeded by about 3 inches above its danger level and it is expected to continue to rise about 2 feet next two days and remain above its danger level, according to the 12.30 hr observation yesterday.—GNLM
Government has launched a taskforce to prevent violent protests as part of a broader push to stop religious violence
By Wa Lone
YANGON, July 15 (Reuters) - Myanmar is cracking down on Buddhist extremism, aiming to curb ethnic and religious tension that saw two mosques destroyed and scores of Muslim residents fleeing their villages in recent weeks.
Read the full article here
R2P Monitor is a bimonthly bulletin applying the Responsibility to Protect lens to populations at risk of mass atrocities around the world. Issue 28 looks at developments in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Burma/Myanmar, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, South Sudan, Burundi, Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and Central African Republic.
Iraq: Big Heart Foundation donates US$ 150,000 to support Rohingya refugees and displaced people in Iraq
SHARJAH, 16th July, 2016 (WAM) -- The Big Heart Foundation, TBHF, a Sharjah-based global humanitarian charity dedicated to helping refugees and people in need worldwide, has donated US$ 150,000 (AED 550,000) to support Rohingya refugees in Malaysia and displaced people in Iraq.
Distributed by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, the funds will be used to help overcome the recipients’ challenging circumstances and difficult living conditions.
Approximately US$ 82,000 of the donation will go towards helping displaced people in Iraq, with US$ 68,000 given to assist Rohingya refugees in Malaysia. Coinciding with Eid Al Fitr, the organisers of THBF’s humanitarian contribution say that it is being given to help inspire optimism and hope in those who have been forced to leave their homes through conflict or persecution and to share with them the blessings of Eid.
"TBHF's cash donations are made in line with the vision of the wife of the Ruler of Sharjah, H.H. Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, Chairperson of the Big Heart Foundation, and UNHCR Eminent Advocate for Refugee Children, to improve the living conditions of refugees worldwide and enable them to lead a life of dignity. We sought through this donation to support these vulnerable people living under extremely difficult circumstances and to share the joy of Eid with them," said Mariam Al Hammadi, Director of Salam Ya Seghar, a TBHF initiative to improve the welfare of refugee children.
Speaking about Rohingya refugees in Malaysia, Al Hammadi said: "The Big Heart Foundation is committed to alleviating the suffering of Rohingya refugees who are living under extremely challenging conditions. This is not the first time that the foundation has made a donation towards them. In July 2015, The Big Heart Foundation donated AED 1 million to support UNHCR's efforts in assisting these displaced people, following the rise in the number of Rohingyas leaving Myanmar because of violence and persecution."
She continued: "Sheikha Jawaher has reiterated her commitment to closely following up the issue of Myanmar refugees, especially children, who according to UNHCR data account for 20 percent of the total refugees in Malaysia. She also underlined the need to reunite children who have been separated from their parents, in addition to urgently providing them with education and healthcare."
During the visit of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi to UNHCR's Harmony Refugee Learning Centre in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur in May, Her Highness pledged through the Big Heart Foundation and in coordination with UNHCR to explore new mechanisms and expand the scope of services provided to refugees, so as to ensure their fundamental rights.
With respect to Iraq, Al Hammadi highlighted that there are nearly 120,000 internally displaced persons living in 12 camps in Dohuk Governorate and cited reports that indicate that the capacity of these camps is not sufficient to host all the internally displaced people. She stated that outside of these camps, the majority of displaced persons are scattered in hundreds of informal slum dwellings that lack basic standards to provide for decent living, which only adds to the ordeal they have already endured.
In June 2015, Sheikha Jawaher launched TBHF to coincide with World Refugee Day. It followed the decision issued by her to transform what was then The Big Heart Campaign into a global humanitarian foundation. The move was aimed at redoubling efforts to help refugees and people in need worldwide, with the new foundation adding significantly to the UAE's rich portfolio and long record of humanitarian initiatives regionally and globally.
Myanmar: Myanmar to Receive US$200 Million in Financing for Post-Disaster Recovery and Reconstruction
WASHINGTON, July 14, 2016 — Communities hit hard by the floods and landslides that devastated areas of Myanmar in 2015 will receive assistance for resilient road reconstruction, livelihoods support, and recovery of the agriculture sector as part of the Flood and Landslide Emergency Recovery Project (FLERP). The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors approved US$200 million of financing for the project today.
The FLERP will focus on the worst-hit areas and villages in Ayeyarwady, Sagaing, Magway, Bago, Yangon, Chin and Rakhine states and regions. It will fund repairs to national and rural roads, and help introduce disaster- and climate-resilient approaches in the roads sector. The reconstruction of rural roads will help create work and training opportunities for local communities.
“After floods and landslides, the pressure to rebuild roads is tremendous and the World Bank’s support to rehabilitate roads is critical in getting people back to markets and schools,” said Daw Tin Moe Myint, Director of the Department of Rural Development at the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation. “Under the project, we will work on measures that strengthen climate resilience, so that roads are not washed away during the next disaster.”
The floods and landslides that occurred between July and September 2015 displaced over 1.6 million people and caused 132 fatalities across the country. The total economic losses from the disaster are estimated to equal 3.1 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014/2015, according to the results of the Government of Myanmar’s Post-Flood and Landslide Needs Assessment, carried out with assistance from development partners including the World Bank.
The transport sector was the worst hit by the floods and landslides, accounting for about 50 percent of the total damages in the public domain. Damages and losses in the agriculture sector have left a major impact on the people. Small businesses, individual families and farmers suffered the worst, with loss of income and livelihoods compounded by loss of assets and reduced access to social services.
The FLERP will support the recovery of the agriculture sector through the purchase of critical machinery and equipment, production inputs, and other goods to address the urgent needs of farmers and fishermen to recover and safeguard against vulnerability from future disasters.
“Repairing and improving roads will help improve access to schools and clinics, and open markets for residents of the flood-hit areas,” said Ulrich Zachau, the World Bank Country Director for Southeast Asia. “Road construction and maintenance will also offer local people job and income opportunities so that they don’t have to forego health or education spending, which is often the case after disasters.”
Kyaw Soe Lynn
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Myanmar: Myanmar: Vice President U Henry Van Thio holds talks on disaster management to aid Rakhine flood victims
Nay Pyi Taw, July 14
Vice President U Henry Van Thio, chairman of the National Natural Disaster Management Committee, held talks with members of the regional government and departmental officials on relief and resettlement works to aid flood victims in Rakhine State at the regional government building in Sittwe yesterday.
In his address at a donation ceremony for flood victims, the Vice President said that the government is committed to providing necessary assistance to flood victims as soon as possible, adding that his visit was to comfort the victims.
The government has focused on Rakhine State which has poor infrastructure and efforts are being made to improve the education, health and economic sectors of the State through cooperation and collaboration between subcommittees and the regional government, said the Vice President.
He went on to say that works are underway to establish industrial zones and a special economic zone in the State, calling on local people to work hard to grab opportunities.
The Vice President stressed the need for public participation for the success of democratic administration as only the people can shape the future of the country, pledging to strive to build a people-oriented government.
Next, the Union Minister Dr Win Myat Aye elaborated on disaster preparedness measures and pointed out that peace and stability are key to socio-economic development in Rakhine State.
In his address, the Union minister noted the Tatmadaw’s involvement in relief and rehabilitation operations.
Then, members of the regional government and departmental officials reported on situations in flooded areas, the provision of relief supplies to flood victims, requirements for rehabilitation efforts and works to be done for flood prevention.
In his concluding remarks, the Vice President highlighted the importance of short-term and long-term plans against disaster, assuring that Rakhine State will develop through cooperation between the people, the government and Tatmadaw.
The national natural disaster management committee will prioritise the outcomes of the meeting, he added.
During the cash and goods donation ceremony Union Minister Dr Win Myat Aye, Deputy Minister for Border Affairs Maj-Gen Than Htut and the permanent secretary of the Ministry of Health and Sports presented cash donations including K36 million for flood victims, K6 billion for the construction of cyclone shelters in Rakhine State and K43.4 million to improve the availability of potable water at IDP camps in Pauktaw Township as well as medicine.
By Libby Hogan
The murders of seven innocent villagers in Shan State last month and the impunity of the Burmese military cannot be swept under the carpet, says Shan human rights advocates in a statement released yesterday.
Following an exhaustive compilation of interviews with local witnesses, the Shan Human Rights Foundation (SHRF) said it is calling for an official investigation into the murders of seven villagers in Mong Yaw village, Lashio District.
Five of the deceased have been identified as Sai Ai Hsai, Sai Ai Maung, Sai Ai Lord, Naw Tint and Sai Hla. Two other locals were reportedly killed when soldiers shot at them for failing to stop on their motorcycle at an army checkpoint.
“ … This case has become more silent, but we would like the government to take bigger action,” said SHRF’s Sai Hor Hseng.
On 25 June, about 100 Burmese troops from Light Infantry Battalion 362 arrived at the village of Mong Yaw and stopped the traffic about 10 kilometres west of the village. Drivers were asked if they had seen any Shan soldiers, and if so, if they had guns. According to interviews with eyewitnesses, two persons on a motorcycle were shot dead when they did not stop for the soldiers.
Hearing the gunfire, other Burmese troops further along the road also began firing shots into the air and firing mortar shells, according to the SHRF statement. A drone with a camera was then launched by the Burmese soldiers to see if there were any ethnic armed groups in the area.
“This is the first time the use of drones has been reported to us, said Sai Hor Hseng. “However other groups say the military has been using them for a long time.”
The soldiers were then seen entering the surrounding fields and arresting villagers who were farming.
One woman who was arrested described watching one of the victims who was interrogated by the soldiers: “Ai Maung said he didn’t understand Burmese, as he was Ta’ang.” She said the soldiers then beat him with their rifle butts and tied up his hands.
At about 7.30pm, those detained at the roadblock were freed — except for five villagers who were last seen alive being led by the Burmese soldiers up a hill towards Loi Bu.
That night, relatives of the five detained villagers reported the case to the Mong Yaw township authorities but were told “it was getting dark”. The families did not want to search for their loved ones for fear of the Burmese soldiers, said the wife of one of the missing villagers.
On June 29, the villagers found the bodies of the five missing men.
Relatives of the deceased, together with an MP from the Shan Nationalities League for Democracy, then reportedly met with the deputy police chief of No. 2 police station in Lashio, who accepted the case.
Initially, the Burmese army denied responsibility for the killings. On 2 July, the Burmese military-owned Myawaddy newspaper reported that the seven bodies were found after government forces had been attacked by ethnic rebels. The report claimed that two corpses were found with a large sum of money and methamphetamine pills, and that the other five corpses were found with weapons.
The military stance on the murder case shifted on 3 July when Maj-Gen Kyaw Kyaw Soe, the Northeastern Deputy Regional commander from Lashio, visited Mon Yaw and gave each victim’s family 300,000 Kyats (US$255), but said it wasn’t “compensation” but instead a “personal donation out of pity.”
“They would also like to cover up this case and make it silent,” said Sai Hor Seng.
SHRF says it is urgently calling on the NLD-led government to take action and bring the perpetrators of these crimes to justice. They are also calling for the military-drafted constitution of 2008 to be reformed and the removal of the legislature which reserves 25 percent of the seats in all houses for unelected military representatives.
Sai Hor Seng said, “Unless the constitution changes and they remove the military personnel from on top of the ruling system, we won’t see democracy, we won’t see any real change.”
Heavy rain across much of Myanmar since 1 July has caused flooding and landslides in Rakhine, Sagaing and Kachin. Monsoon rains are expected to continue across many parts of the country in the coming days and some rivers remain above danger levels.
The Rakhine State Government reports that 24 306 people were displaced across the four most affected townships – Minbya (13 123), Ann (4 659), Mrauk-U (3 696 ) and Kyauktaw (2 828 people). As flood waters are now receding in these townships, people are now returning to their villages of origin. 580 schools have been affected across the State and to allow for cleaning, these schools will be closed for the next 2-3 days. Roads which had been blocked and/or damaged over the past week are gradually becoming passable as repairs are carried out.
The Rakhine State Government is leading the response through the General Administration Department. Township Administrators are working in close collaboration with partners to deliver assistance to affected people. Various agencies/INGOs are conducting assessments. The State Government and partners are responding with emergency deliveries of food, water, hygiene kits, tarpaulins, WASH supplies and pond cleaning support.
Globally, millions of vulnerable people are experiencing increased hunger and poverty due to droughts, floods, storms and extreme temperature fluctuations as a result of a climatic occurrence: El Niño. This phenomenon is not an individual weather event but a climate pattern which occurs every two to seven years and lasts 9-12 months. The 2015/2016 occurrence is one of the most severe in a half-century and the strongest El Niño since 1997/1998 which killed some 21,000 people and caused damage to infrastructure worth US$ 36 billion. The negative consequences of El Niño are foreseen to continue through 2017, particularly in Southern Africa where this event has followed multiple droughts compounding the already fragile situation. It is critical that an adequate and sustained response is implemented in order to safeguard decades of development gains. More than US$2 billion are required to support food security and agriculture programmes globally through 2017.
In June and October 2012, inter-communal violence across Rakhine State resulted in 8,6141 homes being destroyed, leaving thousands displaced and later resulting in restrictions on movement being imposed. Following the violence, the situation for displaced populations in Mrauk-U District was, on the whole, different from other conflict-affected areas of Rakhine. In these townships of Kyauktaw, Minbya and Mrauk-U, IDPs have been sheltered in temporary longhouses either in or near their villages. Launched in March 2015, the Rakhine State Government’s Resettlement Plan provides a pathway for many of these IDPs to return. Indeed many have now returned voluntarily to their villages, and some have been relocated to new sites over the course of the past year. This process is nearing completion across Mrauk-U District, which raises an important question as to how international assistance is delivered here in the future.
This assessment aims to inform that recalculation by comparing and contrasting the socio economic context and overall welfare of villages with IDPs and those without. Villages that have been directly affected by conflict have been receiving the majority of assistance while assistance to villages without IDPs has been more limited. In order to ensure that needs are not being overlooked, evaluating and comparing their contexts is vital.
This assessment is reliant on qualitative inputs that depict illustrative findings across a multitude of sectors. What is presented here is a broad snapshot of how these villages are fairing, the coping strategies they use, and the priorities they see for improving their lives going forward. While a key recommendation offered is the need for further research to deepen and add granular data to the analysis here, the following conclusions were drawn.
The core finding of this assessment is that all villages here are poor and have suffered from the broader economic stagnation of central Rakhine State over the past five years. While differences in the socio-economic contexts and welfare of villages exist, they are dependent more on the village’s ethnicity and, to a lesser extent, its geography than on whether or not it hosts IDPs. The economic decline of this district is first demonstrated by the significant negative shifts in livelihoods opportunities. The number of households reporting that they have no income or are engaged in migrant work/ dependent on remittances has increased significantly.
Reduced opportunities in fisheries and livestock rearing further underline the economic stagnation. The changes in livelihood opportunities for former IDP villages and non IDP Muslim villages have been similar and most likely point to the adverse effects stemming from the restrictions on movement imposed on the Muslim population. Livelihood challenges for Rakhine non-IDP villages are different, though also point to negative shifts in the economy, with those reliant on migration and remittances being much more commonplace.
Both ethnicities respond with pessimistic views of the future, foreseeing that the boys and girls in their villages would likely engage either in casual labor or migrant work. A significant minority of villages stated that the girls in the village will likely remain in the home engaging in housework – and this trend was higher in Muslim than in Rakhine villages.
The widespread poverty here is further underlined by all respondents identifying a lack of cash as the primary challenge to accessing social services and markets. Specifically, Muslim villages, both with and without IDPs, identify a lack of cash for transport as their primary challenge, rather than the restrictions on movement – a likely reflection of restrictions on movement here not being absolute, but can often be overcome with informal payments. The main expenditure for all communities is food, followed by healthcare and education. At the same time, reducing the intake of food is the most common coping strategy for Muslim villages, while Rakhine villagers turn to taking loans as their primary coping mechanism.
Access to emergency healthcare and birthing services is worst for Muslim non-IDP villages, followed by Muslim IDP villages – and is worryingly low for both of these groups. Access to these services is notably higher for Rakhine non-IDP villages but is still only around 50%. Most prevalent healthcare access challenge is a lack of cash for transport for Muslim villagers and a lack of cash for treatment for Rakhine communities. WASH facilities are more accessible for IDP villages, than for Muslim and Rakhine non-IDP villages, likely a reflection of international assistance. The differences in the availability of latrines across these realities also reflect the involvement of international organizations.
Rakhine villages have better education facilities in their villages as Muslim communities can no longer access many of the schools in the district. Muslim non IDPs seemingly have the poorest access to education facilities. Women largely feel safe in their own villages, though the location where they feel most unsafe is their access route to markets. Gender-based violence and child protection issues were reported in informant interviews but were not reflected in the survey component of this study – and is, therefore, an important focus area for further research.
The majority of social relationships between villages of different ethnicities here are improving, though respondents in Rakhine communities and former IDP villages were less likely to state improvements. In Kyauktaw and Mrauk-U the vast majority of respondents stated that relationships are improving; in Minbya that proportion was approximately 50%. Both types of Muslim communities, those with and without IDPs, state that they would like the government to prioritize the restoration of freedom of movement to improve their lives. An overwhelming proportion of Rakhine villages stated that they would like the government to prioritize job creation, and this community shows no interest in improving social relations with other communities.
Considering these conclusions, a set of recommendations has been developed pointing to a broadening of the international assistance agenda in Mrauk-U District. Any shift in assistance should be preceded by further thematic and specific geographical research, and the monitoring of protection challenges should be continued. Moreover, the political and inter communal dynamics that are at play need to be more carefully assessed and understood here, while the needs of the most vulnerable should be given particular attention if a broadened international assistance agenda is to be implemented.
The Annual Report meets DFID’s obligation to report on its activities and progress under the International Development (Reporting and Transparency) Act 2006. It includes information on DFID’s results achieved, spending, performance and efficiency.Accounts
DFID’s Accounts are prepared in accordance with the 2015-16 Government Financial Reporting Manual (FReM), issued by HM Treasury. The accounting policies contained in the FReM apply International Financial Reporting Standards as adapted or interpreted for the public sector context. DFID’s Accounts are similar in many respects to the annual accounts prepared by private sector businesses. They contain the primary financial statements recording the full costs of activities, DFID’s assets and liabilities as well as providing information on how resources have been used to meet objectives.
The format is tailored to central government accounting including, for example, financial comparisons against the Department’s resource-based estimates. Those not familiar with the format of the accounts might like to focus on the Financial Review within the Performance Report, which summarises the key areas of performance. The Financial Statements and certain sections of the Accountability Report are audited by the National Audit Office before they are presented to Parliament.Results headlines
By 2015–16, DFID had achieved the following results towards its commitments for 2011–15. Further information on results is set out on pages 15–19.
■ Wealth creation – supported 69.5 million people, including 36.4 million women, to gain access to financial services to help them work their way out of poverty (Exceeding DFID’s commitment of 50 million)
■ Poverty, vulnerability, nutrition and hunger – reached 30 million children under 5 and pregnant women through DFID’s nutrition-relevant programmes, of whom 12.1 million were women or girls (Exceeding DFID’s commitment of 20 million)
■ Education – supported 11.3 million children in primary and lower secondary education, of whom 5.3 million were girls (Exceeding DFID’s commitment of 11 million)
■ Health – supported 5.6 million births with skilled birth attendants (Exceeding DFID’s commitment of 2 million)
■ Water, sanitation and hygiene – supported 64.5 million people, of whom 22.6 million were women, to access clean water, better sanitation or improved hygiene conditions through DFID’s WASH programmes (Exceeding DFID’s commitment of 60 million)
■ Governance and security – supported freer and fairer elections in 13 countries in which 162.1 million people voted (Meeting DFID’s commitment of 13 countries)
■ Humanitarian assistance – reached over 13.4 million people with emergency food assistance, including 5.6 million women and girls
■ Climate change – supported 17.7 million people to cope with the effects of climate change Shown below are some of the latest available results delivered through the multilateral organisations that DFID supports.
■ Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, immunised 56 million children in 2014
■ Global Partnership for Education (GPE) trained 98,000 teachers between July 2014 and June 2015
■ UNICEF helped 10.4 million children in humanitarian situations to access basic education in 2014
■ The Asian Development Bank (ADB) provided 166,000 households with a new water supply in 2015
■ The World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA) provided 339 million people with essential health, nutrition and population services between 2013 and 2015
Further information on DFID’s work with multilaterals is included on pages 37–38.
Approximately a thousand people have been evacuated to safety from around 200 homes in Latpadaung, in Sagaing Division’s Salingyi Township, after flash floods caused the Chindwin River to overflow.
Residents from the villages of Tontaw, Ywarthit, Shwele and Aleywa were evacuated when their homes and ranches were inundated by floodwaters from the Chindwin, where water levels were about three feet above normal.
DVB reported yesterday that a red alert had been issued in the nearby town of Monywa where the Chindwin was expected to burst its banks any day.
The evacuees are now being provided temporary shelters along the main road connecting Salingyi and Nyaungbingyi, where they are awaiting assistance and supplies from the government, said a local village official.
Tontaw resident Myint Htay said the flooding was caused by the Wanbao Company, a Chinese copper mining firm with operations in the area. He said the mine was obstructing the natural flow of the river.
The controversial Latpadaung mine has been the scene of many protests. In November 2012, riot police brutally attacked Buddhist monks and villagers who were holding a sit-in rally, calling for the closure of the mine. A subsequent investigation chaired by then opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi concluded that mining operations should continue.
Some 400 kilometres further north on the Chindwin, in Paungbyin Township, residents of 14 homes were evacuated yesterday when erosion caused a riverbank to begin collapsing.
Many areas around Burma are currently affected by floods as monsoon rains blanket northern and western parts of the country.
In Arakan State, several homes were evacuated in Minbya Township when flash floods hit this week.
According to official data, in July alone, 13,123 people from 3,164 households in Minbya have been evacuated due to monsoonal floods.
Highlights 1-30 June 2016
Bangladesh: In June, IOM provided return assistance to two Bangladeshis returning from Thailand. There were no minors among these returnees. IOM provided food and onward transportation to the returnees. To date, IOM has provided return assistance to 2,679 Bangladeshis.
Indonesia: As of 30 June, there are a total of 265 migrants (261 Myanmar Muslims from Rakhine State and four Bangladeshis) in Indonesia. In June,
IOM organized a Basic Trauma Cardiac Life Support training for nurses working under the Department of Health in Langsa, Aceh Timur and Aceh Utara, as well as a Mental Health and Wellbeing workshop in Langsa for 95 representatives of local government, NGOs and the UN.
Thailand: IOM provided humanitarian assistance to 345 migrants (330 Myanmar Muslims from Rakhine State and 15 Bangladeshi migrants) in six Immigration Detention Centres, five Shelters for Children and Families and five Welfare Protection Centres for Victims of Trafficking in Thailand. Of the 345 migrants, 68 are female adults, 150 are male adults and 127 are children.
At least 5,543 persons who departed from Myanmar and Bangladesh managed to disembark in Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia,
Myanmar and Thailand, between 10 May and 30 July 2015. Embarkation recommenced on 20 September and at least 1,500 persons departed from Myanmar and Bangladesh from September to December 2015.
1,025 stranded Myanmar Muslims from Rakhine State and Bangladeshis remain in shelters and Immigration Detention Centres in Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. IOM continues to provide shelter support, non-food items, health screenings, WASH support and psychosocial support.
2,679 Bangladeshis who disembarked after 10 May in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand returned to Bangladesh under IOM’s AVR Programme and Government agreements.
12 JUILLET 2016 | NEW YORK - L’Organisation mondiale de la Santé (OMS) et ses partenaires lancent aujourd’hui 7 stratégies liées les unes aux autres pour réduire la violence à l’encontre des enfants. Toutes ces approches ont été testées et ont donné des résultats concrets. En les réunissant, l’OMS espère une baisse spectaculaire des cas de violence à l’encontre des enfants.
Au cours de l’année passée, jusqu’à un milliard d’enfants ont subi des violences physiques, psychologiques ou sexuelles, selon une étude récente publiée dans Pediatrics. L’homicide fait partie des 5 premières causes de mortalité chez l’adolescent. Un enfant sur 4 subit des violences physiques et près d’une fille sur 5 des violences sexuelles au moins une fois dans sa vie.
Les 7 stratégies présentées dans le programme «INSPIRE» sont les suivantes:
mise en œuvre et application des lois: lois limitant l’accès des jeunes aux armes à feu et aux autres armes (Afrique du Sud) ou celles interdisant aux parents d’infliger aux enfants des punitions violentes (nombreux pays européens);
normes et valeurs: en changeant les croyances et les comportements relatifs au genre (Afrique du Sud, États-Unis d’Amérique, Inde et Ouganda);
sûreté des environnements: en ciblant les «zones sensibles» et en développant l’environnement construit, par exemple en améliorant le logement (Colombie, États-Unis, Royaume-Uni);
appui aux parents et aux personnes ayant la charge d’enfants: en assurant par exemple des programmes de formation des parents (Afrique du Sud, États-Unis, Kenya, Libéria, Myanmar, Thaïlande);
revenus et renforcement économique: avec des microfinancements associés à une formation sur les normes relatives au genre (Afghanistan, Afrique du Sud, Côte d’Ivoire, États-Unis et Ouganda);
services de lutte et d’appui: comme des programmes de traitement à l’intention des délinquants juvéniles (nombreux pays européens et États-Unis);
éducation et savoir-faire pratiques: par exemple, instauration d’un environnement scolaire sûr et formation des enfants aux compétences pratiques et sociales (Afrique du Sud, Chine, Croatie, États-Unis et Ouganda).
«Les connaissances sur l’étendue et les effets néfastes des violences faites aux enfants se développent, de même que les données factuelles sur les stratégies efficaces de prévention», fait observer le Dr Étienne Krug, Directeur à l’OMS. «Nous devons désormais nous appuyer sur ces connaissances pour travailler collectivement afin de créer les environnements sûrs, stables et protecteurs mettant les enfants à l’abri des effets néfastes de la violence.»
Ce nouvel ensemble de stratégies a été produit en collaboration avec les Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) des États-Unis, l’UNICEF, Mettre fin à la violence envers les enfants, l’OPS, le PEPFAR, Together for Girls, l’ONUDC, l’USAID et la Banque mondiale. Il est publié aujourd’hui dans le cadre du lancement du partenariat mondial pour mettre fin à la violence à l’encontre des enfants.
Ce partenariat vise à réunir les gouvernements, les institutions des Nations Unies, la société civile, le secteur privé, les chercheurs et les milieux universitaires pour forger la volonté politique, promouvoir des solutions, accélérer l’action et renforcer la collaboration afin de prévenir les violences à l’encontre des enfants. L’OMS est un membre fondateur de ce partenariat et soutiendra l’action pour mettre en œuvre les stratégies dans les pays.
Cette initiative vise également à soutenir la réalisation des objectifs de développement durable, notamment la cible 16.2 des Objectifs de développement durable: «Mettre un terme à la maltraitance, à l’exploitation et à la traite, et à toutes les formes de violence et de torture dont sont victimes les enfants», ainsi que la mise en œuvre de la résolution WHA69.5 de l’Assemblée mondiale de la Santé intitulée «Plan d’action mondial de l’OMS visant à renforcer le rôle du système de santé dans une riposte nationale multisectorielle à la violence interpersonnelle, en particulier à l’égard des femmes et des filles et à l’égard des enfants».
Pour plus d’informations, veuillez contacter:
Paul Garwood Chargé de communication, OMS Téléphone: +41 22 791 1578 Portable: +41 79 603 7294 Courriel:firstname.lastname@example.org