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World: Polio this week as of 27 January 2016

28 January 2016 - 12:10pm
Source: Global Polio Eradication Initiative Country: Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Guinea, Iraq, Kenya, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Liberia, Madagascar, Myanmar, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen

There are eleven weeks to go until the globally synchronized switch from the trivalent to bivalent oral polio vaccine, an important milestone in achieving a polio-free world. Read more here.

The WHO Executive Board is meeting this week, reviewing the report on polio eradication.

On 21 January, Syria passed two years without a reported case of polio despite the conflict which has affected the delivery of health services, including childhood vaccinations.

World: Oportunidades de paz y escenarios de riesgo para 2016

28 January 2016 - 2:26am
Source: School for a Culture of Peace Country: Afghanistan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cyprus, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mali, Myanmar, Philippines, South Sudan, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World, Yemen

Escenarios de riesgo y oportunidades de paz para 2016.

Josep Maria Royo, Investigador de la Escola de Cultura de Pau, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Blog Paz en Construcción El País.

Según un informe de la Escola de Cultura de Pau, de cara a 2016 existen algunos escenarios de riesgo y diversas oportunidades de paz que pueden posibilitar, a corto o medio de plazo, la construcción de la paz o bien conllevar un incremento de la violencia y la inestabilidad, por lo que es imprescindible aumentar el acompañamiento para consolidar los procesos de paz en unos casos, o por otra parte, aumentar la presión en otros para que la situación de inestabilidad actual no se deteriore aún más si cabe.

Oportunidades de paz

Chipre. El reinicio las negociaciones de paz en 2015 y la confluencia de factores vinculados al proceso –compromiso del liderazgo local; acompañamiento internacional; movilización pro-diálogo de actores no gubernamentales de ambas comunidades de la isla; y resultados tangibles, incluyendo medidas de confianza de peso; entre otros– supone una ventana de oportunidad histórica para la consecución de un acuerdo definitivo, a pesar de los obstáculos coyunturales y de fondo.

Burkina Faso. El país ha puesto fin a la fase de transición abierta tras la caída del régimen de Blaise Compaoré mediante la celebración de las elecciones presidenciales y parlamentarias que habían sido pospuestas tras el fracasado golpe de Estado de septiembre de 2015. Los comicios han devuelto al pueblo burkinés el control de las instituciones políticas tras 18 meses de Gobierno interino, representando para la sociedad burkinesa el comienzo de un nuevo periodo democrático.

Myanmar. Los resultados de las elecciones generales, que han otorgado una abrumadora mayoría al partido opositor NLD de Aung San Suu Kyi y que conducirán a la formación de un nuevo Gobierno sin tutela militar, unidos a la firma de un acuerdo de alto el fuego con ocho organizaciones insurgentes, permiten augurar avances en el camino hacia la democracia y la paz en el país durante 2016.

Tailandia. Durante el 2015 se reanudaron las conversaciones exploratorias entre la junta militar y Mara Patani, una organización que agrupa a los principales grupos armados que operan en el sur del país. La unificación de las demandas por parte del movimiento insurgente y el reconocimiento por parte del Estado de que hace falta el diálogo para resolver el conflicto armado suponen dos condiciones necesarias para la creación de confianza entre las partes.

Procesos de paz. Investigaciones recientes demuestran que los procesos de paz inclusivos desde una perspectiva de género y con la sociedad civil son más sostenibles y tienen más posibilidades de resultar en la firma de acuerdos de paz que aquellos que no lo son. Además, la presencia de mujeres podría contribuir también a la redacción de acuerdos en los que se integren cuestiones de igualdad.

Escenarios de riesgo

Burundi. En los últimos años se ha producido un deterioro significativo de la gobernabilidad en el país. El creciente autoritarismo y la controvertida candidatura del presidente Pierre Nkurunziza junto al clima de violencia política y las violaciones de los derechos humanos son diferentes elementos que revelan la gravedad de la situación y que han situado al país en los últimos meses al borde del conflicto armado.

Malí. En junio del 2015 se logró un acuerdo de paz entre el Gobierno y los movimientos rebeldes árabe-tuareg que operan en la región septentrional, después de tres años y medio de conflicto armado. Sin embargo, la exclusión de los movimientos yihadistas de las negociaciones y la ineficacia de las medidas de securitización para contener su presencia, representan serios obstáculos para lograr el fin de la violencia, pudiendo incluso poner en riesgo la implementación de los acuerdos de paz.

República Democrática del Congo. La proximidad del nuevo ciclo electoral está derivando en una escalada de la violencia política y de la inestabilidad general como consecuencia de los intentos del presidente Kabila para posponer las elecciones presidenciales y así prolongar su mandato, a lo que se unen los fracasos de la operación militar contra las FDLR y de amnistía y retorno del grupo armado M23, que podrían suponer la reactivación del conflicto.

Sudán del Sur. Tras la firma de la paz después de 20 meses de cruenta guerra civil, la falta de apropiación del acuerdo por parte de las partes enfrentadas, las decisiones unilaterales del Gobierno en materias que deberían ser competencias del nuevo Gobierno de Transición aun por crear, las violaciones reiteradas al alto el fuego, así como el surgimiento de nuevos actores armados, están poniendo en serio riesgo las perspectivas de paz en el país.

Venezuela. El contundente triunfo en las elecciones parlamentarias de la oposición ha abierto en el país un nuevo escenario político marcado por la polarización de fuerzas entre el poder Ejecutivo y el Legislativo. Esta nueva situación política, que tras 15 años modifica sustancialmente el poder del chavismo, puede favorecer nuevas tensiones y disputas entre el Gobierno y las fuerzas opositoras que podrían convulsionar aun más la política nacional, ampliar la fragmentación social y propiciar brotes de violencia.

Afganistán. El proceso de negociación entre los talibán y el Gobierno afgano ha sufrido un parón por la crisis interna del movimiento talibán. La división en torno al liderazgo perjudica el futuro de las negociaciones. La apuesta de Ashraf Ghani por dialogar a pesar del aumento de la violencia y de tender la mano a Pakistán, que sigue dando santuario a la cúpula talibán, debilita aún más al ya frágil Gobierno afgano. Asimismo, aunque Pakistán debe formar parte del acuerdo, su deseo de controlar el proceso está enfrentando más a las partes.

Filipinas. Las dificultades y retrasos por parte del Congreso para aprobar la Bangsamoro Basic Law, una suerte de estatuto de autonomía que regula la nueva entidad autónoma de Bangsamoro y concreta los contenidos del histórico acuerdo de paz que firmaron el Gobierno y el MILF en 2014, han provocado una parálisis en el proceso de paz y hacen temer por una fractura interna del MILF y una reanudación de la violencia en Mindanao.

Turquía. El conflicto entre Turquía y el PKK se deterioró gravemente en 2015 de la mano de factores como la urbanización de la guerra, la “sirianización” de la cuestión kurda de Turquía y la irrupción de ISIS en suelo turco, el deterioro del clima social, la regresión democrática y los interrogantes sobre opciones sostenibles de diálogo. Estas dinámicas podrían agravarse en 2016 si no se ponen en marcha urgentemente medidas de confianza y de desescalada de la violencia.

Yemen.La violencia en el país escaló significativamente a partir de marzo de 2015, cuando una coalición internacional liderada por Arabia Saudita decidió intervenir para frenar el avance de las milicias al-houthistas, que a principios de año habían forzado la caída del gobierno. De cara a 2016, la situación amenaza con agravarse dada la creciente complejidad del conflicto armado, el severo impacto de la violencia en la población civil y los obstáculos para una salida política al conflicto.

Amenaza yihadista. ISIS se ha consolidado como un nuevo modelo para el yihadismo internacional y competidor de al-Qaeda, demostrando una mayor capacidad para actuar con una proyección global. Múltiples factores pueden favorecer un aumento de la violencia yihadista en el futuro, entre ellos una intensificación en la pugna entre ISIS y al-Qaeda, una mayor incidencia de acciones armadas de milicianos retornados o “lobos solitarios” y los posibles efectos adversos de la respuesta internacional a ISIS.

Myanmar: Myanmar president hails 'triumph' of democratic transition

27 January 2016 - 11:54pm
Source: Agence France-Presse Country: Myanmar

Naypyidaw, Myanmar | AFP | Thursday 1/28/2016 - 05:31 GMT

President Thein Sein hailed the "triumph" of Myanmar's transition of power Thursday, in a last address to a military-dominated parliament before it makes way for a historic new legislature led by Aung San Suu Kyi's pro-democracy party.

The Southeast Asian nation, choked for decades under junta rule, is on the cusp of a remarkable political transition after Suu Kyi's National League for Democracy (NLD) thundered to victory in November elections.

Myanmar's people are hoping her government can reboot a country eviscerated by army rule that battered the economy and repressed dissent.

"Even though there were difficulties and challenges, we were able to bring a democratic transformation eventually," Thein Sein said addressing the military-stacked legislature for the last time.

"This is a triumph for all Myanmar's people," he added.

"As everyone knows, for over five decades we were far away from a multi-party democratic system," he said.

Thein Sein, who under drawn-out handover rules retains his post until the end of March, has been a key player in Myanmar's astonishing reform process so far.

He was among a host of military figures who shed their uniforms to form a government in 2011.

Initially that government was viewed with suspicion as a civilian front for the army's continued domination of the country from behind the scenes.

While the army retains major clout -- a quarter of parliamentary seats are ringfenced for unelected soldiers -- sweeping political and economic reforms since 2011 have surprised the international community and encouraged a flood of foreign investment.

They also culminated in November's polls which passed peacefully and fairly and saw Suu Kyi's party scoop nearly 80 percent of elected seats in the national parliament.

-'Better foundation?'-

Suu Kyi, 70, now has the weight of the nation's expectations on her shoulders, after a decades long struggle against junta repression.

Observers say the former political prisoner is seeking to find ways to placate a twitchy military, which maintains huge political and economic sway.

The Nobel laureate faces a formidable challenge in an impoverished nation, blighted by corruption and torn by ethnic minority civil wars and religious divisions.

She is barred from the presidency by the junta-era constitution that many believe was designed specifically to exclude her, but has vowed to rule through a proxy, who is yet to be named in public.

The new NLD MPs, many of whom are political novices from a diverse range of professions, will take their seats on February 1 following the final day of a lame duck session by the outgoing parliament on Friday.

Thein Sein's party was all but annihilated in the legislature, but the outgoing leader said he had not launched the reforms in order to hold on to power.

"During the last five years we have built a better foundation for the next government, who won the 2015 election. I did not do this with the expectation of being a second term president," he said.

He listed a fragile peace process, better access to health care and education and greater freedom of information as his main reforms.

Both he and powerful army chief Min Aung Hlaing have pledged to support the transition towards democracy in the face of Suu Kyi's popular mandate.

A flurry of political plays have dominated the days leading up to the handover, leaving analysts struggling to decipher their meaning in a country where decision-making has long been made in secret.

zaw-klm/apj/psr

© 1994-2016 Agence France-Presse

World: Gender and resilience: from theory to practice - Working paper

27 January 2016 - 7:30am
Source: Overseas Development Institute Country: Burkina Faso, Chad, Myanmar, Sudan, Uganda, World

Working and discussion papers January 2016

Virginie Le Masson, Maggie Opondo, Ubah Abdi, Patricia Nangiro, Melanie Hilton, Yee Mon Maung, Sophie Rigg, Emma Lovell and Florence Pichon

One year into the implementation of the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme, this working paper reflects on progress in linking gender equality and resilience within development projects. It draws on the preliminary paper ‘Gender and Resilience’ also produced by BRACED's Knowledge Manager in 2015, which examined how non-government organisations (NGOs) who are funded under the BRACED programme have integrated gender dimensions of resilience to climate change and disasters in the design of their project activities.

This follow up paper builds on three case studies of BRACED projects in Myanmar, Burkina Faso and Uganda to reflect further on the realities, challenges and successes of early implementation of their activities. The three case studies have been written by practitioners and reflect on their own gender-sensitive practices. Their experiences are compared in this paper with the aim to inform other organisations implementing resilience-based programmes on the lessons and promising practices to mainstream gender equality.

The working paper and accompanying case studies can be found on the ODI Website.

Myanmar: Six months on from the floods that devasted parts of Myanmar

27 January 2016 - 6:34am
Source: UN Population Fund Country: Myanmar

It is now six months since the severe flooding in 12 of Myanmar’s 14 States and Regions affected approximately 1.7 million of the country’s population. UNFPA reflects on its initial response, lessons learned and the recovery response that is now being rolled out.

Volunteers from UNFPA’s supported Youth Information Corners (YIC) programme, the Myanmar Red Cross Society and other organizations were at the forefront of the response to the floods. They distributed over 12,000 Dignity Kits throughout flood affected areas, often in challenging conditions and at a time when their own homes had been destroyed.

In terms of service delivery, nearly 12,000 men and women received RH care including services, referrals and information. Among them, 1,151 pregnant women received ante-natal care services at health facilities, static, mobile clinics and in temporary shelters. In terms of non-food item distribution, a total of 160 emergency reproductive health kits were distributed, including 7,400 clean delivery kits and 24 kits for health service providers to support women affected by sexual violence.

UNFPA delivered and supported extensive training across the country on the Minimum Initial Service Package for RH, a series of crucial actions required to respond to reproductive health needs at the onset of every humanitarian crisis. It also provided training on the clinical management of rape survivors. In addition, UNFPA held awareness raising sessions for local organizations, community leaders, women’s groups, service providers, the Department of Social Welfare and Marie Stopes International in GBV case management and the provision of psychosocial support (PSS) to women, girls and men in Chin, Magway, Nay Pyi Taw and Rakhine.

UNFPA found that there was a demand from local organizations, including women’s organizations, to build their understanding of gender equality and GBV as well as to receive training to provide PSS. UNFPA worked closely with these organizations providing GBV case management and PSS training. The result is a network of case workers who can be called upon to respond promptly to provide both safe referrals for GBV and PSS in any future disaster. The recovery response includes the mentoring and capacity building of this network for preparedness purposes. GBV continues to remain a protection concern and it is expected that the register of GBV case workers that UNFPA has established will continue to play a critical role in the recovery period.

The flood response interventions were made possible with the support of the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Timely and efficient coordination by UN OCHA helped save the lives of women and girls. UNFPA is linking the response efforts with relief and recovery efforts by shifting away from the provision of basic to comprehensive reproductive health services. This includes provision of family planning services and an emphasis on the strengthening of reproductive health systems. Although the floods are no longer front page news, the recovery efforts will continue.

World: World Report 2016 - Events of 2015

27 January 2016 - 4:42am
Source: Human Rights Watch Country: Bolivia (Plurinational State of), Cambodia, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Morocco, Myanmar, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of), World

World Report 2016: ‘Politics of Fear’ Threatens Rights

Terror Attacks, Refugee Crisis, and Broad Global Crackdown

(Istanbul, January 27, 2016) – The politics of fear led governments around the globe to roll back human rights during 2015, Human Rights Watch said today in its World Report 2016.

In the 659-page World Report 2016, its 26th edition, Human Rights Watch reviews human rights practices in more than 90 countries. In his introductory essay, Executive Director Kenneth Roth writes that the spread of terrorist attacks beyond the Middle East and the huge flows of refugees spawned by repression and conflict led many governments to curtail rights in misguided efforts to protect their security. At the same time, authoritarian governments throughout the world, fearful of peaceful dissent that is often magnified by social media, embarked on the most intense crackdown on independent groups in recent times.

“Fear of terrorist attacks and mass refugee flows are driving many Western governments to roll back human rights protections,” Roth said. “These backward steps threaten the rights of all without any demonstrated effectiveness in protecting ordinary people.”

Significant refugee flows to Europe, spurred largely by the Syrian conflict, coupled with broadening attacks on civilians in the name of the extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS), have led to growing fear-mongering and Islamophobia, Human Rights Watch said. But as European governments close borders, they are reviving old patterns of shirking responsibility for refugees by passing the problem to countries on Europe’s periphery that are less equipped to house or protect refugees. The emphasis on the potential threat posed by refugees is also distracting European governments from addressing their homegrown terrorist threats and the steps needed to avoid social marginalization of disaffected populations.

Policymakers in the United States have used the terrorism threat to try to reverse recent modest restrictions on intelligence agencies’ ability to engage in mass surveillance, while the United Kingdom and France have sought to expand monitoring powers. That would significantly undermine privacy rights without any demonstrated increase in the ability to curb terrorism. Indeed, in a number of recent attacks in Europe, the perpetrators were known to law enforcement authorities, but the police were too overwhelmed to follow up, suggesting that what’s needed is not more mass data but more capacity to pursue targeted leads, Human Rights Watch said.

“The tarring of entire immigrant or minority communities, wrong in itself, is also dangerous,” Roth said. “Vilifying whole communities for the actions of a few generates precisely the kind of division and animosity that terrorist recruiters love to exploit.”

Europe’s response to the influx of refugees has also been counterproductive. The effect of leaving most asylum seekers little choice but to risk their lives on rickety boats at sea to reach Europe has created a chaotic situation that would-be terrorists can easily exploit.

“Creating a safe and orderly way for refugees to make their way to Europe would reduce lives lost at sea while helping immigration officials to screen out security risks, increasing security for everyone,” Roth said.

Popular movements launched by civil society organizations with the aid of social media left many authoritarian governments running scared. The precedents of the Arab uprisings, Hong Kong’s “umbrella protests,” and Ukraine’s Maidan movement sparked a determination among many autocrats to prevent people from banding together to make their voices heard.

Abusive governments have tried to smother civic groups by enacting laws that restrict their activities and cut off their needed international funding. Russia and China are among the worst offenders. Repression of this intensity – including shuttering critical groups in Russia and arresting rights lawyers and activists in China – has not been seen in decades, Human Rights Watch said. Turkey’s ruling party has presided over an intense crackdown, targeting activists and media critical of the government.

Ethiopia and India, often using nationalistic rhetoric, have restricted foreign funding to fend off independent monitoring of government rights violations. Bolivia, Cambodia, Ecuador, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Morocco, Sudan, and Venezuela have enacted vague and overly broad laws to rein in activists and undermine independent groups’ ability to operate. Western governments have been slow to speak out against these global threats.

Despite these enormous threats to rights, 2015 also brought positive developments. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, who are often subject to abusive laws and violent attacks, made great strides towards equality with the legalization of same-sex marriage in Ireland, Mexico, and the US, and the decriminalization of homosexuality in Mozambique. At the United Nations Human Rights Council, a statement by 72 countries affirmed a commitment to end violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Landmark elections in Burma passed off peacefully in November, and Nigerians also celebrated the peaceful transfer of power to the opposition. In September, the UN adopted 17 ambitious development goals that for the first time are universal and grounded in human rights; they include goals to achieve gender equality and to provide access to justice for all. At the UN climate summit in Paris, governments agreed for the first time to “respect, promote and consider” human rights in their response to climate change, especially with regards to indigenous people, women, children, migrants, and others in vulnerable situations.

The failure of punitive approaches to drug use has prompted increased dialogue and steps towards decriminalization in many places, including Canada, Chile, Croatia, Colombia, Jamaica, Jordan, Ireland, Tunisia, and the US. And victims cheered the trial of Hissene Habre, the former Chad dictator prosecuted in Senegal for crimes against humanity during his rule in the 1980s – the first trial of a former head of state by the courts of another country.

“The wisdom enshrined in international human rights law provides indispensable guidance to governments that seek to keep their nation safe and serve their people most effectively,” Roth said. “We abandon it at our peril.”

World: Humanitarian Action for Children 2016 - East Asia and the Pacific

27 January 2016 - 1:04am
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Cambodia, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Viet Nam, World

2016 Requirements: US$4,209,600

East Asia and the Pacific is one of the most hazard-prone regions in the world. In recent years, a series of disasters and conflicts have affected the well-being and protection of vulnerable populations, particularly children. The combination of climate change, deforestation, population growth, urbanization and the unfolding El Niño phenomenon suggests that more frequent and intense disasters are likely to have a greater impact on a larger number of people in 2016. El Niño, which developed in 2015, has already affected a number of countries and is predicted to reach maximum strength in 2016. El Niño has led to irregular rainfall patterns, resulting in drought and severe flooding, particularly in Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Thailand, Vietnam and the Pacific sub-region. As outlined in the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) 2015-2030, emergency preparedness and community resilience are therefore key priorities.In addition, internal armed conflicts and ethnic violence in Myanmar and the Philippines have resulted in the internal and/or cross-border displacement of hundreds of thousands of people, including children. 2 The impact of these humanitarian crises has heavily strained families, communities and social systems, with children and women among the most vulnerable.

Regional humanitarian strategy

In response to monsoon-related floods, typhoons/cyclones, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and the unfolding El Niño phenomenon, the East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) will continue to provide support in line with the Core Commitments for Children in Humanitarian Action, particularly in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), nutrition, education and child protection. In line with its focus on equity, UNICEF will reach out to the most vulnerable children and their families, including boys and girls with disabilities, migrant households and ethnic minorities, to fulfil their basic rights in humanitarian action. Through the Regional Office and the 14 country offices, UNICEF will complement government emergency preparedness and response efforts in a tailor-made fashion that will focus on service delivery and/or technical cooperation, depending and building on existing government capacities. Acknowledging that various national governments have gained considerable capacity in emergency response, UNICEF increasingly relies on regional support mechanisms with quality assurance to service multiple countries by pooling resources. Building on the Sendai Framework, as well as the World Humanitarian Summit regional consultations, UNICEF will work on all aspects of DRR, including both natural hazards and conflicts, to reduce the vulnerability of children and build community resilience. In particular, technical support provided to governments via country offices will focus on enhancing emergency preparedness and response through the operationalization of child-centred risk assessment, preparedness systems and humanitarian performance monitoring, with further alignment of humanitarian and development programmes.
With monsoons occurring annually, UNICEF remains focused on increasing investment in preparedness to reduce loss of life and avoid human suffering. UNICEF will also continue to strengthen humanitarian partnerships with regional and sub-regional actors, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the Secretariat for the Pacific Community, the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) Regional Network, ASEAN Safe Schools Initiative and climate change adaptation initiatives for WASH, in close collaboration with governments in the region. Finally, UNICEF will continue to build regional knowledge management capacity by documenting best practices and lessons learned in emergency preparedness and response and supporting in-depth studies and research on emerging topics in humanitarian action, such as cash transfer in emergencies.

Results in 2015

As of 31 October 2015, UNICEF had received 11 per cent (US$400,000) of the US$3,594,000 2015 appeal, in addition to US$2.36 million carried forward from 2014. These funds allowed the East Asia and the Pacific Regional Office (EAPRO) to deliver efficient and effective responses to humanitarian crises and further invest in emergency preparedness and DRR, which enabled stronger support to partners and country offices. This included regional support to the response to Cyclone Pam in the Pacific in March 2015. EAPRO enhanced regional and country level capacity in emergency preparedness/DRR and response through regional workshops dedicated to risk assessment and preparedness. Regional debates on the Sendai Framework and the World Humanitarian Summit were facilitated among emergency focal points in all country offices to strengthen regional partnership and share lessons among countries. An innovative partnership with the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency enhanced capacity for UNICEF DRR and emergency preparedness activities in Cambodia, the Pacific sub-region and the Regional Office through the deployment of surge staff. Country offices in Cambodia, Malaysia and Timor-Leste benefited from regional support during emergency preparedness and response trainings with simulation exercises. China, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea received sector-specific technical support, including for drought assessments related to El Niño. In addition, the Regional Rapid Roster Mechanism (RRRM) continued to enhance its capacities and now comprises 80 staff from various sectors that have been trained in emergency response. Although various governments in the region have developed considerable capacity in emergency response, many have requested sector-specific humanitarian support from UNICEF to complement their relief efforts. To this end, the RRRM supported country offices in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Myanmar and the Pacific sub-region for cyclone, flood and drought emergency responses.

Viet Nam: Vietnam participated in satellite network to track natural disasters

27 January 2016 - 12:01am
Source: Government of Viet Nam Country: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Viet Nam

Vietnam will be one of the eight Asian countries in collaboration with Japan's Hokkaido and Tohoku Universities to launch a group of miniature satellites which will monitor weather patterns and storms across Asia.

Accordingly, Kokaido and Tohoku University in Japan fund a project which will see several 20-inch cube-shaped satellites, each of which weighs 110 pounds and comes in at 5% the size of a tyical satellite, sent into orbit. These devices will then photograph the earth's surface from a height of 300 to 500 kilometers, relaying information back to emergency responders in the event of a natural disaster. If successful, this satellite network will deliver weather information much faster than current methods.

Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam are participating the project. It is expected that Japan will send 25 of these satellites to the International Space Station (ISS), prepping them before they're launched into orbit by Kibo, Japan's module on the ISS.

Thanh Bình

Myanmar: Humanitarian Action for Children 2016 - Myanmar

26 January 2016 - 3:09pm
Source: UN Children's Fund Country: Myanmar

Total affected population: 563,500
Total affected children (under 18): 263,200
Total people to be reached in 2016: 276,000
Total children to be reached in 2016: 230,000

2016 programme targets

Nutrition

  • 5,500 children aged 6 to 59 months and 1,500 children aged 5 to 9 years with SAM admitted to therapeutic care

  • 22,500 children aged 6 to 59 months and 10,000 pregnant or lactating women received micronutrient supplementation

  • 7,000 pregnant or lactating women accessed IYCF counselling

Health

  • 33,650 conflict-affected children aged 9 to 18 months received measles immunization

WASH

  • 60,000 people gained equitable access to sufficient and safe drinking and domestic water 


  • 60,000 people gained equitable access to safe and sustainable sanitation facilities

  • 60,000 gained basic knowledge of diarrheal disease transmission and prevention 


Child protection

  • 120,000 children covered by child protection case management services

Education

  • 41,000 emergency-affected children accessed primary and pre-primary learning opportunities

  • 8,100 adolescents accessed middle school or non-formal post primary learning opportunities

While Myanmar undergoes a political transition, ongoing and unresolved conflict in Kachin and northern Shan and inter-communal violence in Rakhine continue to affect children. Thousands of new displacements and access challenges are impacting humanitarian action, as well as efforts to regularly provide and monitor assistance and promote longerterm solutions. More than 240,000 people remain displaced in Rakhine, Kachin and northern Shan, and a further 308,000 lack access to essential services.

In Rakhine, restrictions on movement and limited access to services have forced increasing numbers of people to resort to risky sea migrations. In addition, major flooding devastated large areas of Myanmar in August 2015, displacing 1.7 million people, including an estimated 572,000 children. Although most of those affected have now returned to their villages, children continue to experience limited access to basic education and heightened risk of protection violations.

Humanitarian strategy

UNICEF will continue to provide humanitarian relief to all vulnerable communities, including host communities in remote areas of Rakhine, Kachin and northern Shan. This will include nutritional support to children and women affected by crisis and conflict, focusing on treatment of severe acute malnutrition (SAM), multimicronutrient supplementation and promotion of appropriate infant and young child feeding (IYCF) practices. UNICEF will improve access to health and immunization services for conflict-affected children aged 9 to 18 months in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan by expanding health service coverage in collaboration with partners. UNICEF and partners will work to empower internally displaced persons (IDPs) to manage their own water and sanitation facilities and provide better state-level monitoring of water safety and water security. Formal education and essential life-skills education will be aligned through support to child-friendly temporary learning spaces, volunteer teacher trainings and capacity building of school committees. UNICEF will mitigate child protection risks, including through psychosocial support; counter-trafficking programming; mine-risk education and mine-victim assistance; adolescent engagement; monitoring of grave violations; and reintegration of children released from armed forces and groups. UNICEF will continue to chair the Country Task Force on Monitoring and Reporting for grave violations against children in armed conflict, while promoting durable solutions, risk reduction and resiliencebuilding approaches.

Results from 2015

As of 31 October 2015, UNICEF had received 44 per cent (US$20.7 million) of the US$46.6 million 2015 appeal, in addition to US$1.7 million carried forward from 2014. This included US$5.6 million for Kachin and Rakhine and US$3.4 million for the flood response. UNICEF and partners focused on delivering conflict-sensitive emergency assistance, strengthening resilience and providing key services to crisis-affected populations. As part of the nutrition response, 9,440 severely malnourished children were admitted for therapeutic care, including 7,370 children in Rakhine; and 74,485 children and more than 10,000 women received micronutrient support. More than 240,000 people gained access to safe water through the construction, maintenance and upgrading of water points and the promotion of low-cost water treatment solutions. More than 30,000 children under 2 years were immunized against measles. Almost 37,500 primary and pre-primary school-aged children and more than 6,400 adolescents gained access to learning opportunities through temporary learning spaces/non-formal education centres, early childhood care and development centres and the rehabilitation of schools, as well as through the provision of teaching and learning resources. The quality of education was improved through the training of over 500 volunteer teachers and nearly 1,000 parents. Case management and psychosocial support services are now available to over 70,500 conflict-affected or displaced children. UNICEF also facilitated the release of 93 children from the armed forces in 2015.

World: Global Emergency Overview Snapshot 20–26 January 2016

26 January 2016 - 9:48am
Source: Assessment Capacities Project Country: Afghanistan, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Madagascar, Mali, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen, Zimbabwe

Burundi: As the security situation continues to deteriorate, the UN Security Council has expressed concern over possible mass atrocities and ethnic violence. Clashes continues in several areas of the country. Burundian refugees in DRC expressed fears over possible cross-border attacks by government forces.

Sudan: Fighting in Jebel Marra has intensified between government forces and one of Darfur’s main armed groups: heavy artillery gunfire and bombings have been ongoing for nearly two weeks. Local media report that up to 100,000 people have fled their homes. Most people are reported to be hiding in caves in the mountains. Road closures imposed by armed groups are preventing people from reaching IDP camps.

DRC: Over 300 people have been admitted for treatment for acute watery diarrhoea in Ikela health zone in Tshuapa, which has caused at least 18 deaths. The local hospital is running out of medicine. Fizi health zone, in Sud-Kivu, has been reporting a rapid increase in cholera cases since mid-December, which could spread quickly through Burundian refugee camps. Relations between Burundian refugees and host communities in Uvira, Sud-Kivu are worsening as fighters from the Burundian National Forces of Liberation (FNL) have reportedly entered the territory.

Updated: 26/01/2016. Next update: 02/02/2016.

See the Crisis Overview 2015: Humanitarian Trends and Risks 2016, ACAPS' overview of long-term trends in humanitarian needs for major crises, and scenarios outlining their potential evolution in 2016.

Global Emergency Overview Web Interface

Myanmar: Myanmar: Snapshot of displacement and population movement in 2015 (as of 25 Jan 2016) [EN/MY]

25 January 2016 - 6:34am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Bangladesh, China, Myanmar

Key displacement and population movement in 2015

Boat crisis: Around 30,000 people estimated to have departed from Bangladesh and Myanmar via the Bay of Bengal in 2015. Over 1,000 people rescued o the coast of Myanmar in 2015.

Floods: 1.7 million people temporarily displaced by floods and landslides in June-August 2015.
Most quickly returned. 9,000 people still in evacuation sites at the end of 2015.

Kokang: Up to 70,000 people fled to China following an outbreak of fighting in February 2015. Most displaced people subsequently returned. 4,000 people still displaced at the end of 2015.

Kachin and northern Shan: Over 10,000 people newly displaced by conflict during 2015.
Most subsequently returned. Around 4,000 remained displaced at the end of 2015.

Southern Shan:
Over 6,000 people displaced following an outbreak of armed conflict on 6 October 2015. Most subsequently returned.

Almost 2,000 remained displaced at the end of 2015.

Myanmar: Myanmar: Snapshot of displacement and population movement in 2015 (as of 25 Jan 2016)

25 January 2016 - 6:34am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Bangladesh, China, Myanmar

Key displacement and population movement in 2015

Boat crisis: Around 30,000 people estimated to have departed from Bangladesh and Myanmar via the Bay of Bengal in 2015. Over 1,000 people rescued o the coast of Myanmar in 2015.

Floods: 1.7 million people temporarily displaced by floods and landslides in June-August 2015.
Most quickly returned. 9,000 people still in evacuation sites at the end of 2015.

Kokang: Up to 70,000 people fled to China following an outbreak of fighting in February 2015. Most displaced people subsequently returned. 4,000 people still displaced at the end of 2015.

Kachin and northern Shan: Over 10,000 people newly displaced by conflict during 2015.
Most subsequently returned. Around 4,000 remained displaced at the end of 2015.

Southern Shan:
Over 6,000 people displaced following an outbreak of armed conict on 6 October 2015. Most subsequently returned.
Almost 2,000 remained displaced at the end of 2015.

Bangladesh: WFP Bangladesh | Brief Reporting period: 01 October – 31 December 2015

25 January 2016 - 5:00am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Bangladesh, Myanmar

Summary of WFP assistance

WFP partners with the Government of Bangladesh to reduce extreme poverty, enhance food security and nutrition as well as reduce vulnerability to recurrent shocks. The Country Programme is designed to improve the long-term food security of ultra-poor households and the nutritional situation of women and children in the poorest and most food insecure rural areas and urban slums. WFP intends to assist more than 4 million people in 15 prioritised districts over five years. The Country Programme consists of four components that are aligned with the Government's national priorities: (i) improving maternal and child nutrition; (ii) increasing school attendance and school attentiveness through school feeding; (iii) enhancing resilience to natural disasters and the effects of climate change; and (iv) strengthening Government safety nets.

WFP is also working to improve the food security and nutritional status of over 33,000 refugees from Myanmar through three activities: (i) general food assistance through biometrically coded electronic vouchers; (ii) supplementary feeding; and (iii) school feeding.

In response to an urgent need for humanitarian assistance following a devastating flood in south-eastern Bangladesh in July 2015, WFP provided immediate food assistance and unconditional mobile phone cash transfers to poor flood affected women and their families. The operation ended in October 2015.

WFP leads the Logistics Cluster, co-leads the Food Security Cluster with FAO and is an active contributor in most other humanitarian clusters in Bangladesh. WFP also co-chairs the Local Consultative Group on Disaster and Emergency Response (DER) with the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.

The Country Office has started a strategic review on food security and nutrition focusing on Sustainable Development Goal 2 and leading to the development of a new Country Strategic Plan by the end of 2016. It seeks to identify key challenges Bangladesh faces in achieving zero hunger, to assess resourcing within the arena of food security and nutrition, and identify priority actions.

Indonesia: Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (19 - 25 January 2016)

25 January 2016 - 3:25am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Indonesia, Micronesia (Federated States of), Myanmar, Philippines

INDONESIA

Between 19 and 23 Jan, local authorities reported floods in Sumatra (Jambi and South Sumatra provinces), Java (Central Java and East Java provinces), and Sulawesi (South Sulawesi and North Sulawesi provinces). Following torrential rains, landslides killed three people in Kerinci District, Jambi Province on 20 Jan and one person in Manado Regency, North Sulawesi Province on 21 Jan. This flooding inundated at least 4,900 houses. Local authorities have provided emergency assistance.

Four people killed

4,900 houses inundadated

Following an increase to Alert Level III on 13 Jan, Mount Egon in East Nusa Tenggara has erupted several times. Local authorities have prohibited any activities within three kilometers of the crater, displacing 927 people, who are temporarily relocated to three locations in Mapitara Sub-District. A further 501 people are still to be relocated.

927 people displaced

MICRONESIA

Many parts of Micronesia are entering a period of moderate to severe drought as El Niño impacts continue to be felt. Lower than normal rainfall during the coming months will cause drought to develop in the Mariana Islands and parts of Chuuk state. Drought is already affecting Palau and Yap State. A dry trade-wind pattern will also cause increasingly dry conditions across the Marshall Islands. Below normal rainfall is expected across the region until later in the year.

MYANMAR

Armed clashes reportedly broke out between the Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) and Reunification Council of Shan State/Shan State Army (RCSS/SSA) in northern Shan State on 17 Jan, and have not ended.

According to the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) and local partners, 95 people are displaced and staying in monasteries in Mogoke Town. MRCS, local organizations and community leaders have provided initial assistance. Meanwhile local CSOs, NGOs and the UN provided food, water, warm clothes and shelters to 300 people displaced by similar fighting in Manton Township which occurred on 11 and 12 Jan.

95 people displaced

PHILIPPINES

A lack of rainfall, likely caused by El Niño, strains agriculture and water access in Zamboanga City. The City’s Agriculturist Office reported that, as of 13 Jan, the damage to crops has reached $216,000. Over 500 hectares of land planted with rice, corn, assorted vegetables and bananas has been lost with no chance of recovery. In North Cotabato, authorities declared a state of calamity because of damage to crops amounting to US$5 million.

Myanmar: Myanmar: Humanitarian Bulletin, Issue 7 | November - December 2015

25 January 2016 - 3:18am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Myanmar

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Around 100,000 people were newly displaced in Kachin and Shan states in 2015; about 90 per cent have since returned home.

  • Almost 2,000 people remain displaced following armed conflict in southern Shan.

  • Six months on, humanitarian access to IDPs in the Sumprabum area of Kachin, remains restricted.

  • Cash grants are helping flood affected families in Rakhine recover.

  • Providing reproductive healthcare after the floods.

  • 146 children released from Myanmar army in 2015.

FIGURES

# of IDPs in Kachin and Shan states 100,000

# of IDPS in Rakhine State 140,000

FUNDING

$ 190 million requested (US$) for 2015 Humanitarian Response Plan

50% funded $67.5 million Requested for Floods Response Plan

73 % funded

$186.9 million total humanitarian funding received for Myanmar

100,000 temporarily displaced by conflict in Kachin and Shan in 2015

New displacement is often temporary and is difficult to monitor In addition to the 100,000 conflict-affected people who have been living in camps in Kachin and northern Shan since 2011, around 100,000 people were temporarily displaced as a result of armed conflict in the two states in 2015. This includes the conflict in the Kokang Self-Administered Zone that broke out in February 2015, which resulted in over 13,000 people, primarily migrant workers, fleeing to other areas within Myanmar and up to 70,000 fleeing across the border into China. Most of these people subsequently returned, leaving only about 4,000 people still in China by the end of the year, according to local civil society estimates. It also includes over 10,000 people who were newly displaced in Kachin and northern Shan, in places like Hpakan, Sumprabum, Mohnyin, Mansi, Namhkan, Namtit, Muse and Kutkai, of whom over 6,000 subsequently returned to their places of origin, leaving over 4,000 still in displacement sites at the end of 2015. Over 6,000 people were also displaced in southern Shan as a result of fighting that broke out between the Myanmar Military and Shan State Army North (SSA-N) forces in Mongshu Township in early October. Most of these people subsequently returned, leaving less than 2,000 people still in IDP sites by the end of 2015.

New conflict-related displacement in Kachin and Shan states is often temporary, as the figures show. About 90 per cent of those reported to have been newly displaced in 2015 returned to their homes within days, weeks or months of being displaced, leaving only around 10 per cent of these people still in displacement sites at the end of 2015. New conflict-related displacement is difficult to monitor as it often occurs in areas where international organizations have limited access and sometimes it is the same people who are displaced multiple times. The figures reported here may therefore not reflect all displacements, returns and/or incidents in 2015, but provide a general overview of the situation.

Myanmar: Burma: Political Prisoner Amnesty Falls Short

22 January 2016 - 9:49pm
Source: Human Rights Watch Country: Myanmar

Fresh Arrests, Sentencing, and Trials of Students Mar Releases

(New York, January 23, 2016) ­– Yesterday’s limited release of political prisoners in Burma leaves many others in prison and is undermined by the ongoing arrests and imprisonment of activists, with hundreds still facing trial, Human Rights Watch said today. Burma’s international supporters should demand the release of all remaining political prisoners and an end to politically motivated arrests and trials.

On January 22, 2016, 52 political prisoners were released from five prisons nationwide. Those released include three convicted of religious defamation in late 2014 for allegedly insulting an image of a Buddha in a bar advertisement. New Zealand citizen Phil Blackwood and his Burmese business partners Ko Tun Thurein and Ko Htut Ko Ko Lwin were sentenced to two and half years hard labor. Other political prisoners released include land rights activists involved in protests at the Letpadaung copper mine and in Rangoon. Approximately 100 political prisoners remain in prison.

“Yesterday’s limited release of prisoners should be followed by freeing all remaining prisoners and a commitment to drop all ongoing politically motivated charges against peaceful activists and critics,” said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “President Thein Sein will leave office soon. He could leave a lasting legacy by fulfilling his stated commitment to release all political prisoners. Otherwise, he will be seen as little more than a transitional figure who was not committed to a real change in Burma’s political culture.”

Human Rights Watch expressed concern that social worker Patrick Khum Jaa Lee was found guilty of defamation under the Telecommunications Law yesterday and sentenced to six months in prison. He was arrested on October 14, 2015, for allegedly mocking Burma’s military leader in a Facebook post. His case follows that of Chaw Sandi Tun, who was sentenced to six months in prison on December 28, also for a Facebook post allegedly mocking the military leader. Another activist, poet Maung Saungkha, is facing trial for posting a poem on Facebook that mentioned he had tattooed a picture of the president on his penis.

In another worrying development, on January 19, 2016, the former Buddhist monk U Gambira, a leader of the 2007 anti-government protest movement, was arrested in Mandalay and charged with immigration offenses. He will face court on February 3 in what many believe is a politically motivated charge in retribution for Gambira’s past political activities. Gambira has previously spent more than four years in prison. He was arrested in late 2007, severely tortured in prison, and released in a general amnesty in January 2012.

Other activists who were expected to be freed in a long hoped for amnesty but remain in prison include nearly 50 students charged with unlawful procession, rioting, and assault on police officers in connection with an incident in March 2015 during a demonstration against the national education bill, which was violently broken up by a police baton charge.

“Amnesties that are followed by the arrest and sentencing of more government critics cannot be called progress ­– and instead smack of making room in jails for new political prisoners,” Adams said. “This revolving door of political prisoner releases and convictions needs to stop.”

Human Rights Watch called on the incoming National League for Democracy government, which won more than 77 percent of parliamentary seats in the November 8, 2015 elections, to make a public commitment to prioritize the immediate and unconditional release of remaining political prisoners, and to amend or repeal all laws that do not comply with international human rights standards and are used to target activists and government critics.

For more Human Rights Watch reporting on Burma, please visit: https://www.hrw.org/asia/burma

Myanmar: New Resource Centre To Provide Better Insight On Food Security [EN/MY]

22 January 2016 - 8:22am
Source: World Food Programme Country: Myanmar

YANGON – A new resource centre in Sittwe promises to help the Government and development organizations to better understand the extent of food insecurity, both in Rakhine State and across the country.

The centre, built and equipped with the support of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), was established to help Government and development staff in the region learn how to collect and analyse data, as well as to inform efforts to fight hunger and poverty.

“Reliable, evidence-based data and information is critical in making decisions for fighting poverty and hunger, reducing food insecurity and fostering long-term development,” said Dom Scalpelli, WFP Myanmar Resident Representative and Country Director. “We are pleased to work closely with the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Rural Development, under the food security and poverty reduction framework, to enhance national capacity in improving national food security monitoring. Their leadership has been remarkable.”

The Sittwe centre is the latest of nine such facilities now established in Myanmar and networked to a central information hub in Nay Pyi Taw. Since 2013, the Government and WFP have established seven other centres in Chin, Kachin, Magway, Mandalay, Sagaing and Shan. Besides helping the Government to research and understand patterns of hunger and food insecurity, the centres host workshops and provide trainings in areas such as survey design, data collection and data analysis. WFP provided computers, analytical software, Global Positioning System (GPS) devices and other resources that help to process development data.

The centres were funded through the multi-donor Livelihoods and Food Security Trust Fund in support of the coordinated effort by WFP and the Ministry.

WFP and the Ministry is currently in a process of developing a first food security and poverty atlas for Myanmar. The atlas will support the Government in developing its poverty alleviation strategies and will also inform various actors on their programme design to assist the most vulnerable and food insecure people in Myanmar. Since the first centre was built, WFP has trained almost 300 people, including Government officials and Food Security Information Network partners at local level, in how to conduct food security surveys, mobile data collection and computerized data analysis.

In Myanmar, WFP provides food and cash assistance to the most food insecure and vulnerable people through relief, nutrition, community assets creation, school feeding and HIV/TB programmes. WFP currently requires US$51 million to meet overall food assistance needs in Myanmar until the end of 2016.

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 80 countries.

WFP’s work in Myanmar is made possible thanks to contributions from Australia, Canada, China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, the EU, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Japan Association for WFP, New Zealand, Norway, the Republic of Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, UN CERF and the United States of America, as well as support from the Government of Myanmar and private sector donors.

For more information please contact:
Ayuka Ibe, Head of Unit
Partnerships, Communications and Reports Unit, WFP Myanmar
Email: ayuka.ibe@wfp.org
Tel. +95 01 2305971-6, Ext: 2403

May Myat Swe, Reports and Communications Officer (for queries in Myanmar)
Partnerships, Communications and Reports Unit, WFP Myanmar
Email: maymyat.swe@wfp.org
Tel. +95 01 2305971-6, Ext: 2424

World: Post COP 21 Paris: Now What? - Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 140, December 2015

22 January 2016 - 6:29am
Source: All India Disaster Mitigation Institute Country: India, Myanmar, World

Post COP 21 Paris: Now What?

Southasiadisasters.net issue no. 140, December 2015:

Worth of Any Agreement is in its Implementation. And this issue exactly does so.

The negotiations at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris have yielded a historic agreement that promises to shape not only the global strategy for cutting emissions, but also the way we live on this planet.
In bringing together competing interests and disparate voices from the developing and developed nations of the world, the COP 21 agreement provides an unprecedented opportunity for pursuing the imperative of climate justice through united and meaningful action.
This issue's contents includes: (i) COP21 Paris: Now What?; (ii) Renewable Energy for Climate Justice; (iii) Flexibility and Foresight for Meaningful Action; (iv) Climate Finance for Effective Adaptation; (v) Historic, but Room for more Ambition; (vi) Sunita Narain Highlights the Hits and Misses of Paris Climate Deal; (vii) CDKN on Paris Agreement; (viii) A Climate Agreement for a Resilient World; (ix) Unicef Seeks Ambitious Action on Climate Change; (x) Let’s Lead in Zero Emission; (xi) Climate Compatible Development: Synergies with the SDGs; (xii) Pressing the Wrong Climate Button; (xiii) Integrating of Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation in Myanmar; (xiiii) Resilient Odisha: Addressing Changing Climate and Disaster Risks at the Local Level; (xiv) Synergized Standard Operating Procedures for Hazardous Weather Events; (xv) Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation; and (xvi) COP21: Resources for New Climate Agreement.
This issue’s covered COP 21 Paris Statement by H.E. Mr. Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India; H.E. Mr. Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan; H.E. Mr. Maithripala Sirisena, President of Sri Lanka; and Mr. Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, India.

Some of the best thinkers, researchers, experts, and activists, including Mihir R. Bhatt with AIDMI Team; Sam Bickersteth, Chief Executive, CDKN, UK; Margareta Wahlström, UNISDR; Anthony Lake, Executive Director, Unicef; Sunita Narain, Down to Earth, India; and Ela R. Bhatt, SEWA, India; Christopher Webb, Deputy CEO, and, Helen Picot, CDKN; Sudhirendar Sharma, Director, The Ecological Foundation, New Delhi, India; Jana Junghardt, DRR Advisor, Caritas Switzerland; Seema Mohanty, State Project Officer, UNDP India; James Weyman, Former Project Manager, and Olavo Rasquinho, Former Typhoon Committee Secretary; and Rajashree Purohit, Program Officer, Catholic Relief Services, Bhubaneswar, India.

Theme: Climate Change, COP 21 Paris, Disaster Risk Reduction, Governance.

Myanmar: Arakan Govt to Resettle Villagers Displaced by Conflict

20 January 2016 - 9:52pm
Source: Irrawaddy Country: Myanmar

By MOE MYINT

RANGOON — The Arakan State government plans to relocate 32 households displaced by recent conflict in Mrauk-U Township, according to a state official.

Hla Thein, of the state government’s public relations department, said on Tuesday that the state will provide materials, labor and farmland, and that the resettlement project is expected to be complete before a new government is sworn in later this year.

The official said the location for the new homes has not yet been chosen, but that the process has been and will remain consultative with affected villagers.

“We asked them about their wishes, and they agreed to our suggestion,” Hla Thein said.

The displaced villagers are currently taking shelter in a monastery in Kyiyar Pyin village. They are among an estimated 200 civilians who fled their homes after conflict broke out between the Arakan Army and the Burma Army in late December.

An administrator from Kyiyar Pyin, Tin Aye Maung, told The Irrawaddy on Tuesday that Arakan State Chief Minister Mya Aung visited the village recently to meet with the refugees and assess their willingness to relocate.

“Some people accepted their offer, but others wanted to go back to their original homes,” Tin Aye Maung said.

Conflict appears to have abated in the restive area, though the commander of the Arakan Army said recently that tensions remain high and clashes could erupt “at any time.”

Fighting between the Arakan Army and government troops broke out on Dec. 27, lasting for about three weeks. The Burma Army has since said that intends to “annihilate” the ethnic “insurgents.”

The Arakan Army is not recognized by the government as a legitimate non-state armed group, and has been excluded from the ongoing peace process between the government and other ethnic armed organizations.

Myanmar: Infographic of Myanmar's Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement

19 January 2016 - 11:50pm
Source: Radio Free Asia Country: Myanmar

In 2011, President Thein Sein’s government persuaded 16 major nonstate armed groups to come together for peace negotiations, but only eight of those groups signed a cease-fire agreement last October. Fighting flared up again in numerous hot spots in late 2015.

View the Infographic: Groups the Have Signed or Not Signed the Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement (NCA)