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Myanmar: Myanmar: Nam Hpak Ka Mare - Shelter/NFI/CCCM Cluster Camp Profiling: Kachin & Northern Shan States - Data collection Period: Apr - Jun 2016

22 August 2016 - 5:01am
Source: UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, Shelter Cluster Country: Myanmar

World: Workshop on Public Finance for Nutrition in Asia: Report of a regional workshop (Bangkok, Thailand, April 25-27, 2016)

22 August 2016 - 1:07am
Source: UN Children's Fund, Scaling Up Nutrition Country: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Indonesia, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Timor-Leste, Viet Nam, World

The report summarizes the technical content of the workshop, highlights key principles, lessons and way forward. The workshop was jointly organized by UNICEF and the SUN Movement Secretariat, aimed to accelerate the efforts of Asian countries in the SUN movement to increase the dialogue and alignment among sectors by reporting on multi-sectoral nutrition budgets and costs of multi-sectoral nutrition plans, addressing the issue of decentralized public finance, and contributing to making the investment case for nutrition. It also aimed to make a contribution to strengthening public finance management systems and procedures for improved nutrition.

Viet Nam: Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) – ECHO Daily Map | 19/08/2016 - VIETNAM, CHINA, LAO PDR, MYANMAR/BURMA – Tropical Cyclone DIANMU

20 August 2016 - 8:24am
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office Country: China, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam

SITUATION

• TC DIANMU made landfall on 18 August in Guangdong (China) as a Tropical Storm; then it reached northern Vietnam on 19 August morning.

• As of 19 August morning, media reported 40 000 people evacuated and 200 houses damaged in Hainan province (China), one dead and at least 360 people evacuated in northern Vietnam.

• Over the next 48 h it is forecasted to continue moving west over northern Vietnam, northern Lao PDR and Myanmar/Burma, weakening into a Tropical Depression. Heavy rain may affect northern Vietnam, northern Lao PDR, eastern, central and western Myanmar/Burma, and northern Thailand. Floods and landslides have already affected several areas of these countries over the last month.
Sources: GDACS, JTWC, NCHMF, CMA, NASA, Media S

Myanmar: Myanmar/Burma - Severe Weather (DMH, Myanmar Information Management Unit, Local Media, NOAA) (ECHO Daily Flash of 19 August 2016)

20 August 2016 - 6:12am
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office Country: Myanmar
  • Heavy rain has been affecting the country causing damage and casualties over the last week.

  • An estimated, 114 000 households have been affected, 477 000 people have been evacuated and 8 people have been killed in Kachin, Saigang, Bago and Yangon Regions. Relief camps for those displaced have been set up in Kachin State and Sagaing. Ayeyarwady, Bago and Yangon are still struggling to recover from flooding over the last month.

  • Over the next 48 h moderate to locally heavy rain is predicted in the affected areas.

China: Vietnam, China, LAO PDR, Myanmar - Tropical Cyclone DIANMU (GDACS, NCHMF, JTWC, CMA, Local Media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 19 August 2016)

20 August 2016 - 6:07am
Source: European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office Country: China, Lao People's Democratic Republic (the), Myanmar, Viet Nam
  • Tropical Cyclone DIANMU made landfall on 18 August early morning (UTC) in Guangdong (China) as a Tropical Storm continued moving east slightly strengthening. As of 19 August early morning (UTC), about 40 000 people are reported to have been evacuated and 200 houses have been damaged in Hainan province (China).

  • On 19 August at 0.00 UTC, its centre was located approx. 75 km south-east of Hai Phong city and 200 km south-east of the capital Hanoi. It had max. sustained winds speed of 74 km/h (tropical storm).

  • It is expected to make landfall again over the north coast of Vietnam on 19 August early morning (UTC) as a Tropical Storm. Over the next 24 h it is forecasted to continue moving east over land slightly strengthening but remaining a Tropical Storm. Heavy rain and strong are expected to affect Vietnam, Lao and Myanmar.

World: Aid in Danger - Aid workers reported assaulted or injured - between January 2015 and June 2016 (As of 16 August 2016)

19 August 2016 - 10:05am
Source: Insecurity Insight Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, World, Yemen, Zambia

In 2015, open sources reported 207 aid workers as assaulted or injured in 95 severe incidents. - During the first six months of 2016, 43 severe incidents reported 97 aid workers as assaulted or injured.
- 2 aid workers raped in South Sudan and Tanzania.
- 1 aid worker sexually assaulted in Zambia.

These data has been prepared by the Aid in Danger project by Insecurity Insight using the Security in Numbers Database. Reported events based on open source reporting between January 2015-June 2016, as of 16 August 2016. Data collection is ongoing and these numbers may change as new information is made available. More information www.insecurityinsight.ordaidindanger/

World: Aid in Danger: Aid workers reported killed, kidnapped, injured or assaulted between January 2015 and June 2016 (as of 16 August 2016)

19 August 2016 - 9:57am
Source: Insecurity Insight Country: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Liberia, Libya, Malaysia, Mali, Myanmar, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Syrian Arab Republic, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, United Republic of Tanzania, World, Yemen, Zambia

816 aid workers reported killed, kidnapped, injured or assaulted between January 2015 and June 2016

In 2015, open sources reported 515 aid workers killed (179), kidnapped (129) and assaulted or injured (207) in 234 severe incidents. During the first six months of 2016, open sources reported 301 aid workers killed (129), kidnapped (75) and assaulted or injured (97) in 122 severe incidents.

World: Aid in Danger - Infrastructure (January 2015 - June 2016) as of 16 August 2016

19 August 2016 - 9:37am
Source: Insecurity Insight Country: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Greece, Guinea, Kenya, Lebanon, Libya, Mali, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nauru, Nigeria, occupied Palestinian territory, Pakistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Sweden, Syrian Arab Republic, Ukraine, World, Yemen

Open sources reported damage to, loss of or the destruction of a wide range of humanitarian infrastructure on 160 occasions between January 2015 and June 2016.

In 2015, open sources reported damage to, loss of or the destruction of 114 aid infrastructure in 108 incidents. During the first six months of 2016, open sources reported damage to, loss of or the destruction of 61 aid infrastructures in 52 incidents. Infrastructure events report damage to, loss of or the destruction of assets, property or buildings of an aid agency through burglary, looting, raids, robbery, theft and military operations.

  • Ambulances and other Emergency Vehicles Compounds and Offices Convoys, Motorcycles and Vehicles
  • Equipment (computers, laptops, mobile phones, hard drives) and Warehouses
  • Fuel Barges Guesthouses and Residences
  • Health Clinics and Hospitals Loss of Supplies in Transit
  • Project Sites and Protection Sites

Myanmar: Myanmar: Population affected by floods (RRD information as of 17th August 2016)

19 August 2016 - 8:30am
Source: Myanmar Information Management Unit Country: Myanmar

Myanmar: Myanmar: Floods - Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) DREF n° MDRMM007

19 August 2016 - 5:41am
Source: International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies Country: Myanmar

A. Situation analysis

Description of the disaster

Though the monsoon started in early June 2016, the later floods brought by monsoon rains that have been pounding parts of Myanmar since late July have affected a number of townships in Sagaing, Mandalay, Bago, Ayeyawaddy, Magway and Yangon region and to some extent, Kachin State. According to the figures released by the Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD) on 9 August, at least 377,000 people have been displaced from their homes in the six states with Magway being the most affected area – where some 60,000 people have been displaced. Five people have died – two in Sagaing, two in Kachin and one in Yangon. Many schools remain closed across affected areas.

Flood waters are gradually moving south towards the Ayeyarwady Delta. Monsoon conditions persist and is moderate to strong over the Andaman sea and the Bay of Bengal, threatening further rainfall.
State and local governments are leading the response, sandbagging vulnerable areas along river banks and providing food, water, relief items, cash and some construction materials to affected people. The Emergency Operations Centre has not been activated at this stage and the response is mostly being managed at the State/Regional level using existing resources. The government is coordinating with the Red Cross and civil society organizations which are providing relief supplies including food, water and oral rehydration salts, as well as assistance with evacuations.

The Department of Meteorology and Hydrology has indicated that the swelling of rivers in upper Myanmar comes as the country enters what could be the peak month of the monsoon season.

Summary of the current response

Local authorities on state and regional level, the Union Government, as well as the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) and local civil society organizations have responded to the situation, carrying out rescue operations and providing food, water, blankets, clothes, medical care and other basic necessities to those affected. Populations have evacuated to higher ground and to temporary sites, including monasteries and schools.

MRCS volunteers in branches throughout the affected areas have been active and prepared to respond since the beginning of the disaster. The emergency response teams (ERTs) and the national disaster response teams (NDRTs) as well as emergency community volunteers were mobilized. They assisted in the evacuation of affected households to temporary sites and higher ground, in conjunction with local authorities and RRD. Warehouse preposition stock was checked (current stock so far: hygiene parcel – 473, jerry can – 196, drinking water (water bottle 1 liter) – 7,800, water purifier – 24,480 etc.). MRCS has launched its operational response plan aiming to cover five regions (Yangon may be included at a later stage upon further assessment) with 21 townships. MRCS is aiming to support up to 20 per cent of the affected population. However, the impact of subsequent rainfalls in the coming weeks may demand a greater response beyond MRCS’s capacity. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), on behalf of the MRCS, has requested for an initial support from the IFRC’s disaster relief emergency fund (DREF) to complement the MRCS current response plan to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of the affected population.

The MRCS Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) was activated for this response on 6 August, together with the Standard Operating Procedures for floods situations. The Emergency Task Force had its first meeting on 7 August to plan for the response. MRCS staff – from multiple departments but coordinated by the DM department - are working from the EOC in national headquarters (NHQ) in Yangon, supported by the IFRC country office. The EOC is not 24 hours operational but members of the Operation Response Team (ORT) and volunteers in Yangon are on shifts to coordinate information and response actions.

MRCS EOC is also keeping regular communication with government staff that normally belongs to the National EOC to ensure updated information. MRCS and IFRC are closely coordinating efforts with local authorities (especially RRD), UNOCHA and other UN agencies and other humanitarian organizations in the affected townships and at Yangon level.

Myanmar: Myanmar: Hpa-an Situation Update: Hlaingbwe Township, February to April 2016

19 August 2016 - 3:07am
Source: Karen Human Rights Group Country: Myanmar
This Situation Update describes events occurring in Hlaingbwe Township, Hpa-an District during the period between February and April 2016, including military activities, road construction, village life, and livelihood, health and education.
  • On February 25th 2016, five Tatmadaw army camps withdrew their battalions from Hlaingbwe Township and were replaced with the BGF’s battalions.

  • Since the KNU and Burma/Myanmar government signed the 2012 preliminary ceasefire agreement, more government primary schools have been built in the villages.

  • Civilians in Hlaingbwe Township were happy when U Htin Kyaw became president and his government began to rule the country; they hope that there will be change.

Situation Update | Hlaingbwe Township, Hpa-an District (February to April 2016)

The following Situation Update was received by KHRG in April 2016. It was written by a community member in Hpa-an District who has been trained by KHRG to monitor human rights conditions. It is presented below translated exactly as originally written, save for minor edits for clarity and security.[1] This report was received along with other information from Hpa-an District, including 15 photographs.[2]

Introduction

Now, the armed groups [based] in Lu Pleh [Hlaingbwe] Township, Hpa-an District area are [President] Thein Sein’s army [Tatmadaw], which has become [President] U Htin Kyaw’s army [Tatmadaw]. There is also DKBA [Democratic Karen Buddhist Army]’s[3] Poh Bee’s army, they operate in Meh T’Waw [village area] and Khoh Loh Kloh [Salween River] area. KNU [Karen Nation Union]’s army [KNLA – Karen National Liberation Army][4] operate on the [Thai-Burma] border in the Thoo Mweh Nee [Moei River] area. U Htin Kyaw’s army [Tatmadaw] operate in Hkler Day army camp[5], Klaw K’Tee army camp and Ma Ner Plaw [army camp].

The [Tatmadaw] army camps in Poo Loo Plaw, Hpaw Pah Hta, Htoh Doh, K’Ma Hkoh and T’Bluh Klah based by LIB[6] [Light Infantry Battalion] #338, LIB #339 and IB[7] [Infantry Battalion] #28 (which are under command of MOC[8] [Military Operation Command] #12) removed their armies to their army base in Hlaingbwe Town on February 25

th 2016. They replaced [the army camps] with the BGF [Border Guard Force]’s[9] Battalion #1015[10] and Battalion #1016’s soldiers, which are in BGF’s Cantonment Area #4. These BGF battalions placed around 10 to 15 soldiers in each camp for security, and among them the Tatmadaw soldiers placed one Lance Corporal or Corporal in each camp to monitor the camp.

There was only one town in Lu Pleh Township, named Lu Pleh Town by Hpa-an District [Burma/Myanmar government name: Hlaingbwe Town], but after KNU and Thein Sein’s government signed the [2012 preliminary] ceasefire[11], they [Burma/Myanmar government] established a new town named Klaw K’Tee Town [Burma/Myanmar government name: Shan Ywa Thint Town]. They also constructed a new vehicle road between Lu Pleh Town and Klaw K’Tee Town, and repaired the road from Klaw K’Tee Town to the [Thai-Burma] border, which is where Meh T’Ree and Meh T’Waw villages are. When the road was being constructed, it damaged some of the villagers’ farms’ water channels; however, villagers asked the road construction company to repair the farms’ water channels, and the company agreed and repaired them for them, so the villagers did not complain about the damage. They finished constructing all bridges in these areas [where a vehicle road is being constructed] in 2016. They started laying stones to construct the road to be travelable in both summer and raining seasons.

In the past, Thein Sein’s government had full authority and did everything [they planned]. Civilians did not trust them. Currently, civilians are waiting for U Htin Kyaw’s government to take the country’s government authority. Civilians were happy when U Htin Kyaw received the country’s authority and they hope that there will be change in Burma/Myanmar. However, civilians have not seen this new government conduct any campaign [about their plans] yet; the civilians want to see and want to hear [the new government’s plans].

Civilians’ situation

Civilians hope that there will be change in the country when U Htin Kyaw rules the country. From 2014 to 2015, the rice price was 3,000 kyat [US $2.52][12] per basket, [but] in 2016, the rice price is getting more expensive: it is 4,000 kyat to 5,000 kyat [US $3.36 to US $4.20] per basket. The temperature in 2016 is higher than the previous year.

Health situation

Regarding health in Lu Pleh Township, Hpa-an District, I have seen that Backpack health workers [Back Pack Health Worker Team] take responsibility [provide healthcare] in the village tracts[13],such as Hkler Day, Kwee Law Hploh, Daw K’Kya, Meh T’Moo and Klaw Kyaw. The other village tracts have village-level clinics but if the diseases are serious, they have to send [the patients] to [hospital] in Lu Pleh [Town] or to [hospital] in Hpa-an Town.

Education situation

In the past, there were a few schools in Lu Pleh township, Hpa-an district, but since the KNU and Thein Sein’s government began the [2012 preliminary] ceasefire, almost all villages have schools. Most of the schools are U Htin Kyaw’s [Burma/Myanmar] government schools and they are mostly primary schools. The schools teach up to fourth standard. There are [some] KNU schools too, which teach up to fourth standard. Students who finish Burma/Myanmar government primary schools have to go to study at Burma/Myanmar government high schools in Hlaingbwe Town to continue their studies, and students who finish KNU primary schools have to go to study at KNU high schools in Meh T’Ree village and Thoo Mgeh Nee area, along the Thai-Burma border, to continue their studies.

Religion situation

Most of the civilians in Lu Pleh Township, Hpa-an District are Buddhist. There are a few Baptist Christians, Anglican Christians and Seventh-day Adventist Christians.

Livelihood situation

Most of the civilians in Lu Pleh Township, Hpa-an District are farmers, working on hill farms and migrating for work in Thailand.

FOOTNOTES

[1] KHRG trains community members in southeast Burma/Myanmar to document individual human rights abuses using a standardised reporting format; conduct interviews with other villagers; and write general updates on the situation in areas with which they are familiar. When writing situation updates, community members are encouraged to summarise recent events, raise issues that they consider to be important, and present their opinions or perspective on abuse and other local dynamics in their area.

[2] In order to increase the transparency of KHRG methodology and more directly communicate the experiences and perspectives of villagers in southeast Burma/Myanmar, KHRG aims to make all field information received available on the KHRG website once it has been processed and translated, subject only to security considerations. For additional reports categorised by Type, Issue, Location and Year, please see the Related Readings component following each report on KHRG’s website.

[3] The Democratic Karen Buddhist Army (DKBA) was re-formed on January 16th 2016 as a splinter group from the Democratic Karen Benevolent Army (2010 – present). During fighting between the Tatmadaw and DKBA (Benevolent) throughout 2015, there was internal disagreement within the DKBA (Benevolent) which resulted in a number of commanders being dismissed in July 2015. These former commanders then issued a statement in January 2016 declaring the formation of a new splinter group. This organisation has phrased the formation of this group as the revival of the original DKBA (Buddhist) formed which was formed in 1994 until it was broken up in 2010 into the BGF and the still-active DKBA (Benevolent). The group is led by General Saw Kyaw Thet, the Chief of Staff is General Saw Kyaw Thet and the Vice Chief of Staff is General Saw Taing Shwe aka Bo Bi. The group is currently based in Myaing Gyi Ngu area in Hlaing Bwe Township, Karen State. This DKBA (Buddhist) (2016 – present) should not be confused with the DKBA (Benevolent) (2010 – present) from which it broke away in January 2016, or with the original DKBA (Buddhist) (1994 – present) which was broken up in 2010 into the BGF and the DKBA (Benevolent). Importantly, the DKBA (Buddhist) has not signed the preliminary or nationwide ceasefire with the Burma/Myanmar government whereas the DKBA (Benevolent) has signed both agreements. For more information on the DKBA and its relationship with other armed actors, see “Militias in Myanmar,” John Buchanan, The Asia Foundation, July 2016.

[4] The Karen National Liberation Army is the armed wing of the KNU.

[5] Army base or outpost, ranging from remote hill posts of ten soldiers to battalion headquarters of several hundred soldiers.

[6] A Tatmadaw Light Infantry Battalion (LIB) comprises 500 soldiers. However, most Light Infantry Battalions in the Tatmadaw are under-strength with less than 200 soldiers. LIBs are primarily used for offensive operations, but they are sometimes used for garrison duties.

[7] An Infantry Battalion (Tatmadaw) comprises 500 soldiers. However, most Infantry Battalions in the Tatmadaw are under-strength with less than 200 soldiers. They are primarily used for garrison duty but are sometimes used in offensive operations.

[8] Military Operations Command (MOC) is comprised of ten battalions for offensive operations. Most MOCs have three Tactical Operations Commands (TOCs) made up of three battalions each.

[9] Border Guard Force (BGF) battalions of the Tatmadaw were established in 2010, and they are composed mostly of soldiers from former non-state armed groups, such as older constellations of the DKBA, which have formalised ceasefire agreements with the Burma/Myanmar government and agreed to transform into battalions within the Tatmadaw. BGF battalions are assigned four digit battalion numbers, whereas regular Tatmadaw infantry battalions are assigned two digit battalion numbers and light infantry battalions are identified by two or three-digit battalion numbers. For more information, see “DKBA officially becomes Border Guard ForceDemocratic Voice of Burma, August 2010, and “Exploitation and recruitment under the DKBA in Pa’an District,” KHRG, June 2009.

[10] KHRG has received numerous reports of human rights violations by BGF Battalion #1015, including arbitrary killing of civilians, arbitrary taxation and demands, forced labour, as well as additional cases of land confiscation. For detailed information see, “Human rights violations by BGF Cantonment Area Commander Kya Aye in Paingkyon Township, Hpa-an District, February 2013 to July 2014,” KHRG, September 2014.

[11] On January 12th 2012, a preliminary ceasefire agreement was signed between the KNU and Burma/Myanmar government in Hpa-an. Negotiations for a longer-term peace plan are still under way. For updates on the peace process, see the KNU Stakeholder webpage on the Myanmar Peace Monitor website. For KHRG's analysis of changes in human rights conditions since the ceasefire, see Truce or Transition? Trends in human rights abuse and local response since the 2012 ceasefire, KHRG, May 2014. In March 2015, the seventh round of the negotiations for a national ceasefire between the Burma/Myanmar government and various ethnic armed actors began in Yangon, see “Seventh Round of Nationwide Ceasefire Negotiations,” Karen National Union Headquarters, March 18

th 2015. Following the negotiations, the KNU held a central standing committee emergency, see “KNU: Emergency Meeting Called To Discuss Nationwide Ceasefire Agreement And Ethnic Leaders’ Summit,” Karen News, April 22nd 2015.

[12] All conversion estimates for the kyat in this report are based on the August 16

th 2016 official market rate of 1190 kyats to US $1.

[13] A village tract is an administrative unit of between five and 20 villages in a local area, often centred on a large village.

Myanmar: Health care professionals, supplies sent to flood-hit-areas

18 August 2016 - 11:47pm
Source: The Global New Light of Myanmar Country: Myanmar

THE Regional Health department is currently providing health care to residents for diseases caused by water in flooding affected areas of Mandalay region, according to local official Dr.Win Naing.

Twelve townships out of 28 were flooded in Mandalay region. The water level had receded in 7 townships, but 5 townships remain flooded.

“Health staff are on stand-by to give treatment in flood-hit areas 24/7. Currently the staff are preventing the possible onset of water-borne diseases in receded areas.” said Dr. Win Naing.

“(Our team) gave urgent treatment to five children who were suffering from flu in Patheingyi Township.’ said Dr. Hnein Nwe Ni Aye. Regional authorities are currently dispersing powdered bleach to communities and training them in its use as an anti-bacterial agent.

Flooding has struck Tadar U, Nyaung U, Madaya, Amarapura, Singu, Thabeikkyin, Ngazun, Singaing, Myingyan,Taungtha, Patheingyi and Pyigyidagun. Flooding continues to effect Nyaung U, Thaung tha, pyigyidagun, Patheingyi and Ahmarapura.

Myanmar: Holdout Armed Ethnic Groups Ready to Join Myanmar Peace Conference

18 August 2016 - 8:53pm
Source: Radio Free Asia Country: Myanmar

Three of Myanmar’s armed ethnic groups issued a statement on Thursday saying that they are prepared to join in the government’s Panglong Peace Conference at the end of this month if they receive an invitation, a leader from one of the armies said.

The Arakan Army (AA), Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA), and Ta’ang National Liberation Army (TNLA) are all non-signatories to the nationwide cease-fire agreement (NCA) that eight other armed ethnic groups signed with the previous Myanmar government last October.

“I want to tell them we are ready to participate at the Aug. 31 conference if we are invited,” said Colonel Ta Phone Kyaw, general secretary of the TNLA.

The Union Peace Dialogue Joint Committee (UPDJC), headed by State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi who is spearheading the Panglong Conference, decided earlier this week that all armed ethnic groups could attend the event in the capital Naypyidaw.

The UPDJC, composed of armed ethnic groups that signed the NCA, political party representatives, and government representatives, is overseeing the drafting process of the framework for political dialogue. They had met to determine the agenda for the conference.

“Based on the decision of the UPDJC … to accept all armed ethnic groups at the conference, we understand that all [armies] including our three-member alliance will have the opportunity to attend,” Ta Phone Kyaw said.

So far, the AA, MNDAA and TNLA have not received an invitation, but they are hopeful that one will arrive in time for the peace negotiations, he said.

At an Aug. 9 meeting between the AA, MNDAA, TNLA and the government’s Peace Commission in the Mongla area in Shan state, retired General Khin Zaw Oo, who is a commission member, told the three groups they had to release a statement pledging to lay down their arms in order to attend the Panglong Conference.

But all three armies, which have been involved in recent skirmishes with the Myanmar military, refused to disarm.

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar’s de facto national leader, has made peace and national reconciliation between Myanmar’s armed ethnic groups and the government military a priority of the country’s National League for Democracy (NLD) government.

Panglong Conference organizers are inviting about 700 delegates from the Myanmar government, national military, and armed ethnic groups to the negotiations.

UNFC to meet Peace Commission

In the meantime, the Delegation for Political Negotiation (DPN) of the United Nationalities Federal Council (UNFC) will head to the commercial city Yangon on Friday for a meeting with Tin Myo Win, head of the government’s Peace Commission.

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 in Myanmar.

“Our main mission is to meet with Tin Myo Win as a follow-up to recent meetings concerning the peace process,” said Major General Gwan Maw, the DPN's deputy leader and a high-ranking officer in the Kachin Independence Army (KIA).

During their three-day meeting which begins Saturday, the DPN will discuss whether and how it should participate in the peace talks, he said.

UNFC leaders also held a two-day meeting in Chiang Mai to discuss whether they should attend the Panglong Conference.

In a related development, more than 3,000 people, including local politicians and national lawmakers, attended a rally on Thursday in Myitkyina, capital city of northern Myanmar’s Kachin state, to show their support for the Panglong Conference.

Ongoing clashes between armed ethnic soldiers and national army troops have occurred there as well as in northern Shan state.

“The civil war will end only if we can build a democratic federal union accepted by all,” Ko Ko, the emcee of the rally, told those who had gathered.

“We believe a democratic federal union can provide us real justice, the rule of law, and peaceful coexistence, so let’s give our full support to the conference,” he said.

Reported by Thiha Tun, Aung Moe Myint and Kyaw Myo Min for RFA’s Myanmar Service. Translated by Khin Maung Nyane. Written in English by Roseanne Gerin.

World: Organizations worldwide receive training in emergency preparedness

18 August 2016 - 5:07pm
Source: Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation Country: Bangladesh, Cambodia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Nepal, South Sudan, World

This week trainings of the project “ACT for Humanitarian Capacity Development” take place at the global office of ICCO in Utrecht, the Netherlands. From 16th till 19th of August, 20 humanitarians from disaster prone countries receive training in how to deal with disasters and emergencies. In this way, communities will be better prepared to cope with disasters like the drought in Ethiopia, floods in Bangladesh and the earthquake in Nepal.

Better prepared for drought, floods and earthquakes

The project’s overall aim is to build humanitarian capacity and to increase leadership of local organizations in the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Ethiopia, Uganda, Cambodia, Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh. These are disaster prone countries. In the project, humanitarians from these countries are being educated in disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness. After this week, they will at their turn give trainings in their home country to local people. With this approach, many people are reached and communities get better prepared to cope with disasters like the drought in Ethiopia, floods in Bangladesh and the earthquake in Nepal. Jeroen Jurriëns, Emergency Response Coordinator ICCO: “Lives can be saved if people in local communities know what to do before, during and after a disaster”.

Innovative approach: blended and online learning The project uses an innovative approach with blended and online learning. An online learning platform is the central entry point for all learning materials. Furthermore, the platform is used for sharing experiences and for peer learning processes. With eLearning Modules, developed by Wageningen University, the participants were able to prepare the training. Also, the 72 in-country trainings will be completely followed online. In this way the trainers from different countries can learn from each other.

Funding by EU Aid Volunteers Initiative The ACT for Humanitarian Capacity Development Project is funded by the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative from the European Commission. This initiative brings together volunteers and organizations from different countries. The project ACT for Humanitarian Capacity Development is implemented by a consortium consisting of 10 ACT Alliance members and 3 higher learning institutions in 2016 and 2017.

Myanmar: Rising to the challenge of camp management

18 August 2016 - 4:52pm
Source: Lutheran World Federation Country: Myanmar

“Committed to challenging work” with displaced people in Myanmar”

(LWI) - Managing a committee of camp managers is a complex job but one Nan Oo Hlaing handles with evenhandedness and calm.

She became a humanitarian worker in November 2013 after over 143,000 people were displaced during inter-communal conflict in 2012 in Rakhine state, west Myanmar.

Hlaing is the Camp Coordination and Camp Management Officer for The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Myanmar’s Rakhine project, which offers camp management skills, shelter, relief goods and livelihood support to over 42,000 internally displaced people (IDPs).

“I am proud to be a humanitarian worker as a person who is able to help people in need professionally, in a transparent and accountable way,” Hlaing says.

“I am committed and motivated to do challenging work with the IDPs in a conflict scenario. I have a passion to challenge myself to see how fully I can apply the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence in my work,” she says.

Leadership, governance, coordination - and problem solving

With the LWF team, Hlaing works to strengthen the camp management committee, which is made up of representatives of 11 IDP camps to ensure smooth day to day running of the camp.

“Being the leader in the team, I oversee the planning, implementation and monitoring of camp care and maintenance activities in collaboration with local government authorities.” An implementation strategy agreed by the IDPs, the government and humanitarian agencies involved in the camp management cluster undergirds her work.

With the team, Hlaing trains the camp committee in leadership, governance, coordination and problem solving. She’s in close contact with emergency services, keeps camp profiles up to date and works with government departments.

Hlaing is also on a national roster to train camp management agencies and is the gender focal point of the LWF Rakhine field office. She works hard to ensure women, people with disabilities, the elderly and youth are included in decision-making bodies.

“Women’s participation motivates me”

“It is really satisfying to see that the IDP women are aware of their right to raise specific problems or issues related to women,” she says.

“Women’s active participation gives me more motivation. It is also challenging to make the people and government authorities understand the importance of camp management committees, which is a new sector for IDP camps in the state.”

Despite the many difficulties such as lack of meaningful participation of women, illiteracy and gender-based violence in the community Hlaing says she doesn’t “ feel reluctant or unwilling to face the challenges of my work in order to improve the lives of IDPs.”

Taking a careful approach

She realizes the job calls for a sensitive approach. “To achieve this, I need to be better equipped to manage and to take a participatory approach to decision making. I need to apply the “do no harm” and “conflict sensitivity approach” to my work. I also need to lead the team in a complex political, cultural and religious setting,” she says.

Hlaing refers to one case following cyclone Komen last year, whereby the camp management committee did not initially accept LWF’s proposal to distribute much-needed relief goods in two camps where houses had been damaged. She consulted with the committee, camp residents and religious leaders about urgent need, lack of resources and ensuring equity. Eventually, they agreed to the distribution as planned, once they had understood that equity would be achieved.

Nan Oo Hlaing, LWF Camp Coordination and Camp Management Officer

Myanmar: Monsoon flooding in Myanmar

18 August 2016 - 4:09pm
Source: Church World Service Country: Myanmar
Situation

Monsoon flooding has displaced more than 422,000 people in Myanmar since late July. The flooding has affected eight states: Magway, Mandalay, Yangon, Kachin, Ayeyarwady, Mon, Bago and Sagaing. Flood waters are gradually moving south towards the Ayeyarwady River delta, where a dyke breached on August 7 in Ingapu Township, submerging about 1,500 acres of paddy fields.

CWS Response

State and regional governments are managing the flood response in coordination with the Myanmar Red Cross and other organizations. In some cases, families are receiving food, water, construction materials and grants. The CWS response will complement these efforts.

Fourteen villages in Maubin Township were already part of CWS community development programs when flooding began to affect them last month. More than 800 families in those communities have been affected. Many have fled to the local monastery or nearby river banks for higher ground and have set up temporary shelter. All need food and safe drinking water immediately.

CWS has begun to meet immediate needs by providing rice to about 1,000 people. CWS staff will track the situation in the coming weeks and will be ready to provide aid if the situation worsens and resources are available to do so.

How to Help

Financial contributions to support CWS emergency response efforts may be made online or may be sent to your denomination or to Church World Service, P.O. Box 968, Elkhart, IN 46515.

Church World Service is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.

Myanmar: Standing together as one humanity on World Humanitarian Day [EN/MY]

18 August 2016 - 11:59am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Myanmar

(Yangon, 19 August 2016): On World Humanitarian Day, aid workers in Myanmar are calling for solidarity with all people in humanitarian need around the country and across the globe.

“Today, the scale of human suffering is greater than at any time since the Second World War. Hundreds of thousands of people in Myanmar are affected by crisis, many living in displacement camps and host communities because of conflict and floods. World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to stand together as one humanity and to reflect on the scale of the humanitarian challenges facing Myanmar. We need to ensure that no one is left behind,” said Ms Renata Dessallien, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar.

World Humanitarian Day 2016 follows the historic World Humanitarian Summit held in May 2016 in Istanbul. Summit participants declared their support for a new Agenda for Humanity and made a collective commitment to deliver better for people in crisis. There was a clear message that this must involve improved investment in disaster preparedness and better integration of local organizations in humanitarian response.

“The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will deliver a key report to the General Assembly next month outlining the next steps on the Summit’s commitments. We look forward to local NGOs, International NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, the United Nations, and the Government working together to turn these commitments into concrete action that will improve the lives of vulnerable people in Myanmar,” said Daw Pansy Tun Thein, Director of the Local Resource Centre in Myanmar.

"The argument for localization in Myanmar is a strong one and international organizations here have already been applying this principle for some time. Local organizations are usually the first and last responders to any crisis, with deep roots in their communities and national staff who have an unmatched capacity to navigate the local context.

When floods strike or conflict breaks out, they are the backbone of the response, quickly mobilizing to support evacuations and provide relief. Working more closely with local organizations is the best way to ensure an efficient and timely humanitarian response that meets the needs of people in crisis," said Daw Pansy.

World Humanitarian Day is held on August 19 each year to commemorate the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad which claimed 22 lives. At a gathering in Yangon, United Nations Staff and humanitarian partners will mark the occasion with a minute’s silence for their heroic colleagues who have lost their lives in humanitarian service. This includes eight aid workers and volunteers in Myanmar who lost their lives during the August 2015 floods.

“Every day, aid workers save lives in conflicts and disasters, braving tremendous dangers and difficulties to deliver help to those who need it most. My heart goes out to the families of the aid workers who died in last year’s floods in Myanmar. They shared a humanitarian spirit which has again been on full display during the response to the current floods which have displaced close to half a million people across the country,” Ms Dessallien said.

To learn more about World Humanitarian Day visit: www.worldhumanitarianday.org

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Pierre Peron - Public Information Officer
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Yangon, Myanmar
Email: peronp@un.org Tel. (+95) 9 250 198 997
www.facebook.com/OCHAMyanmar
@ochamyanmar
Website: www.unocha.org/myanmar

Myanmar: Standing together as one humanity on World Humanitarian Day

18 August 2016 - 11:59am
Source: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Country: Myanmar

(Yangon, 19 August 2016): On World Humanitarian Day, aid workers in Myanmar are calling for solidarity with all people in humanitarian need around the country and across the globe.

“Today, the scale of human suffering is greater than at any time since the Second World War. Hundreds of thousands of people in Myanmar are affected by crisis, many living in displacement camps and host communities because of conflict and floods. World Humanitarian Day is an opportunity to stand together as one humanity and to reflect on the scale of the humanitarian challenges facing Myanmar. We need to ensure that no one is left behind,” said Ms Renata Dessallien, United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar.

World Humanitarian Day 2016 follows the historic World Humanitarian Summit held in May 2016 in Istanbul. Summit participants declared their support for a new Agenda for Humanity and made a collective commitment to deliver better for people in crisis. There was a clear message that this must involve improved investment in disaster preparedness and better integration of local organizations in humanitarian response.

“The United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will deliver a key report to the General Assembly next month outlining the next steps on the Summit’s commitments. We look forward to local NGOs, International NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, the United Nations, and the Government working together to turn these commitments into concrete action that will improve the lives of vulnerable people in Myanmar,” said Daw Pansy Tun Thein, Director of the Local Resource Centre in Myanmar.

"The argument for localization in Myanmar is a strong one and international organizations here have already been applying this principle for some time. Local organizations are usually the first and last responders to any crisis, with deep roots in their communities and national staff who have an unmatched capacity to navigate the local context.

When floods strike or conflict breaks out, they are the backbone of the response, quickly mobilizing to support evacuations and provide relief. Working more closely with local organizations is the best way to ensure an efficient and timely humanitarian response that meets the needs of people in crisis," said Daw Pansy.

World Humanitarian Day is held on August 19 each year to commemorate the 2003 bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad which claimed 22 lives. At a gathering in Yangon, United Nations Staff and humanitarian partners will mark the occasion with a minute’s silence for their heroic colleagues who have lost their lives in humanitarian service. This includes eight aid workers and volunteers in Myanmar who lost their lives during the August 2015 floods.

“Every day, aid workers save lives in conflicts and disasters, braving tremendous dangers and difficulties to deliver help to those who need it most. My heart goes out to the families of the aid workers who died in last year’s floods in Myanmar. They shared a humanitarian spirit which has again been on full display during the response to the current floods which have displaced close to half a million people across the country,” Ms Dessallien said.

To learn more about World Humanitarian Day visit: www.worldhumanitarianday.org

For further information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Pierre Peron - Public Information Officer
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Yangon, Myanmar
Email: peronp@un.org Tel. (+95) 9 250 198 997
www.facebook.com/OCHAMyanmar
@ochamyanmar
Website: www.unocha.org/myanmar