Myanmar - ReliefWeb News
YANGON - The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) has provided life-saving food to more than 408,000 flood affected people in Myanmar since emergency relief efforts began on 2 August, within 48 hours of the President’s declaration of a state of natural disaster.
“WFP has supported the Government of Myanmar to save lives with emergency food, including supporting many who are reachable only on foot, after floods and landslides destroyed roads across the country”, says WFP Country Director & Resident Representative Dom Scalpelli. “It is quite an achievement, and I would like to thank our funding and cooperating partners for their support.”
With the provision of free transport by the Government and local airlines (Air Bagan, Air KBZ, Golden Myanmar Airlines and Myanmar National Airlines), a total of more than 2,500 metric tons of food has been delivered to the flood-affected areas so far.
More than 1.7 million people in Myanmar have been affected by widespread flooding and landslides as a result of heavy monsoon rains since early August. This natural disaster has severely damaged infrastructure, crops, businesses, food stores, homes and community assets.
WFP, working with the Government, other United Nations organizations and NGOs, aims to have reached more than 440,000 people with food assistance in Bago, Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Magway, Mon, Rakhine and Sagaing by the beginning of September. People affected by the flooding receive a one-month ration of rice, pulses, cooking oil, and salt. In some cases, they also receive a week’s supply of high-energy biscuits.
The flood response could go on until July 2016. However, the rapid response has affected other WFP programmes in the country. Limited food stocks in Myanmar along with a funding shortfall, mean that in order to focus on the most vulnerable people – those affected by the floods -- some other programmes have been temporarily reduced or suspended.
WFP has had to temporarily suspend community assets creation and school feeding programmes, nutrition assistance for pregnant women and nursing mothers, and the provision of food for people living with HIV and TB. At the same time, rations for displaced people in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan States will be reduced. In August, internally displaced persons (IDPs) will receive a full ration of rice - but no pulses, cooking oil or salt. Malnourished children will not be affected by these temporary measures. They will continue to receive a full ration of fortified blended food.
WFP is appealing for additional resources to respond to the emergency. A total of US$12.3 million is now urgently required to meet flood needs. This is in addition to US$17 million required to meet the food needs of other, non-flood-related programmes in the country until the end of the year.
The flood relief efforts have so far been supported through new and previous contributions from Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, European Union, Germany, Japan, Myanmar, New Zealand, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States as well as the Japan Association for WFP, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund and the private sector.
Find out more about WFP’s emergency operations in Myanmar here.
WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 75 countries.
Follow us on Twitter @wfp_asia @wfp_media
For more information please contact:
Damian Kean, WFP/Bangkok, Mob. +66 81 701 9208
Angeli Mendoza, WFP/Bangkok, Mob. +66 81 843 3915
Arsen Sahakyan, WFP/Yangon, Mob. +95 9 450061242
The 1,615,000 people that remain severely affected by flooding and landslides that hit Burma in July and August include thousands of HIV/AIDs patients who have now lost access to antiretroviral therapy, according to an NGO suppling the medication.
Myanmar Positive Group, which supports some among Burma’s 210,000 strong population of HIV/AIDs sufferers, says the large-scale displacement of people has made it impossible to identify the whereabouts of patients. Flood-damaged roads and other transportation blocks also mean that some of those who require antiretroviral therapy to suppress the HIV disease have lost access to it.
“For now, we have access to areas in Irrawaddy, Sagaing, and Prome in Pegu, and are providing assistance to locals there by distributing drugs to patients at their doorsteps,” said Myanmar Postive Group chairperson Thawda Tun.
The natural disaster has left 384,905 cumulative households displaced, according to the United Nations on 20 August. Entire communities are sheltering in refuges set up by Naypyidaw’s Relief and Resettlement Department as well as in monasteries and neighbours’ homes.
Thawda Tun says that as people’s lives have been upturned,it has become difficult to locate HIV/AIDs sufferers whom they know to be in need.
“We have managed to supply about 70 percent of those in need, but for the remainder, we could not find some of them at their regular address. And they are not contactable by phone,” he said.
When the heavy monsoon first swept Burma, aid including antiretroviral medication was delivered by military-led relief operations. One week’s worth of the HIV therapy was delivered, but that has long since run out. Supplies are being stockpiled in larger towns, as Myanmar Positive waits until roads and bridges reopen. The group says it is ever-hoping that the disease will not build up a tolerance to the drug within individual patients, as is possible when those undergoing antiretroviral treatment go without their medicines.
“At this time, we have a sufficient drug supply for those in need but we are unable to distribute medications to all areas as some places are still inaccessible. Generally in larger towns we have a sufficient drug supply for those in need,” Thawda Tun said.
Myanmar: Humanitarian Response Plan 2015: Myanmar Quarterly Monitoring Report - Second Quarter (April – June 2015)
CHANGES IN CONTEXT (SINCE JANUARY 2015)
In Kachin and northern Shan states, the number of displaced people increased to over 100,000 due to resumption of conflict in some areas. The protracted nature of the displacement, compounded by disruption of cross-line missions in the first half of 2015, has led to renewed humanitarian needs and increased vulnerability. Increased advocacy with the Government for sustained access to areas beyond the Government control remains a priority for the second half of 2015.
In the Kokang Self-Administered Zone, conflict between the Myanmar army and the Myanmar National Democratic Alliance Army (MNDAA) continued but reportedly abated in some areas after MNDAA’s announcement of a unilateral ceasefire on 11 June. Some displaced people are reported to have returned but according to the Government, some 70,000 people still remained displaced at the end of June. The Government has indicated that the main humanitarian needs of returnees are food and shelter. The Government has identified three main areas as reception centres for returnees (Tar Shwe Htan, Par Sin Kyaw, Laukkaing) and continues to provide assistance, particularly food and NFIs.
In Rakhine State, over 130,000 people remain displaced as a result of the violence that erupted in 2012. Continued inter-communal tensions, as well as ongoing restrictions on the freedom of movement of Muslims and on their access to basic services such as health and education, continue to cause hardship. Restrictions on freedom of movement also make it difficult for people to resume livelihood activities. There were however some positive developments during the second quarter. The Rakhine State Government, with some support from the UN and other international organizations, has lead an exercise to facilitate the return (or in some cases relocation) of nearly 2,000 families (approximately 10,000 people) through provision of cash grants or building materials. IDPs who were until now living in long-houses have returned to their original plots and built their own individual temporary houses, or, for those not yet able to return to their places of origin, to relocate or build individual houses in their places of current displacement. During the second quarter there was a great deal of media coverage of the ongoing irregular migration through the Bay of Bengal of people from both Rakhine and Bangladesh. In May 2015, the Myanmar Navy rescued two boats with more than 900 people off the coast of Rakhine State and Ayeyarwaddy Region. While the verification process is going on, State authorities, with support from the UN and INGOs, have been providing assistance and facilitating the return of these people to their home.
In Meikhtila (Mandalay Region), most of the 3,300 people still displaced at the end of 2014 have now been resettled with support from the Union Government. All IDP camps in Meikhtila have now been closed.
Migration and more broadly human mobility remains one of the biggest global challenges facing States and the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement today. Without sufficient legal and humanitarian protection, migrants are often “living at the margin of conventional health, social and legal systems”, more likely to face increased vulnerability and subject to abuse and exploitation. Millions of people from Southeast Asia will continue to leave their homes in search of better pay and work opportunities, fleeing conflicts, natural disasters, ethnic or communal violence. The rapidly growing magnitude and complexity of the migration phenomena requires urgent and coordinated action from the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, governments and humanitarian actors to ensure that the rights of migrants are protected and treated fairly and with dignity.
In line with the migration resolution adopted at the 31st International Conference, the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement has officially committed to playing a greater role in the area of migration. Over the past years, the Southeast Asia Regional Delegation, along with National Societies in the region, has pushed forward the agenda to address the humanitarian concerns surrounding migration, focusing on rights and dignity, respect for diversity and social inclusion but also linking migration with climate change (including increased urbanization) and the challenge of building resilient communities.
The President U Thein Sein visited Kalay in Sagaing Region over 21-23 August. He met with flood survivors in Paukkhon and Yayleu villages [right] to listen to their needs. He also inspected the progress of road repairs and drain dredging.
The Vice-President U Nyan Tun, as Chairman of the National Natural Disaster Management Committee (NNDMC), gave support and encouragement to flood survivors in the district of Thayawady, Bago on 15 August.
On 18 August, the Recovery Coordination Work Committee and the Early Recovery Network had a joint meeting and announced the Recovery Coordination Framework. It was agreed that a recovery needs assessment, covering data on loss and damage, would be conducted to guide planning.
The NNDMC has identified Hakha in Chin, Kale in Sagaing, Pwint Phyu in Magway and Myaukoo and Minbya in Rakhine as the five most-affected townships; this was according to the direct economic losses of these areas.
By Aung Hla Tun
NAYPYITAW, Aug 25 (Reuters) - Myanmar's powerful commander-in-chief has reiterated that the military will respect the outcome of the country's Nov. 8 election, seen as a crucial test of Myanmar's reform process.
Read the full article on Reuters - AlertNet.
Monghsat, 25 Aug — Monghsat District Department of Highways is rebuilding a bridge in Mongton Township, eastern Shan State, after it was damaged by heavy rains on 3 August.
The repaired bridge will be 80-foot-long and 18-foot-wide and located on Monghsat-Mongton-Punpakyem Road.
District’s deputy commissioner U Noe Wai inspected the construction works on 25 August and was briefed by senior engineer U Aung Nyo on the progress to date. “I’m pleased to hear that construction is on track and will be completed by the end of August,” said a bus driver from Doh Nyi Naung transport company.—District IPRD
Kawlin, 25 Aug — The flash floods that began in July caused more than 1,700 students in Kawlin Township to miss classes at basic education schools.
Sagaing Region Education Department has provided notebooks, textbooks and pencils to every each student, while the Basic Education Department distributed more than 400 desks and cash assistance to every school in the township. Departmental personnel from Nay Pyi Taw Council Area, Kawlin, Wuntho,
Pinlebu, Kyunhla, Lashio, Bago and Shwebo donated money, relief supplies and stationery to the Township Education Office.
Ko Ko Nyein (Kawlin)
Myanaung, 25 Aug — Township authorities have distributed 500 baskets of paddy seeds donated by Htoo Company to local farmers for cultivation on flood-affected farmlands in Myanaung Township.
The township administrator and officials also provided 200 baskets of paddy seeds donated by township departments to local farmers for their rehabilitation.
Department of Agriculture staff members are making field trips to rural areas in Myanaung Township to instruct local farmers on cultivation of paddy.
Heavy rains caused flooding at more than 54,000 acres of monsoon paddy in Myanaung Township in August.
Up to 23 August, local farmers have replanted 976 acres of out of more than 33,000 acres of damaged farmlands, according to the Township Farmland Management and Statistics Department.
Win Bo (Myanaung)
NyaungU, 25 Aug — While many regions and states in Myanmar have been inundated by water following flash floods in recent weeks, locals in NyaungU Township are struggling to overcome water shortages due to excess silt in nearby dams and lakes.
Chaungshay villagers have relied on the 800-foot-long, 400-foot-wide Aung Dam and another three lakes for many years now. However unless the north lake is dredged before the end of this rainy season, locals may face a water shortage next year, said Chaungshay village administrator U Aye Thar. “Last year the Township Irrigation Department dredged about 30 earthen lakes in many villages.
Our village is waiting for there to be enough budget funds to dredge the lake.”
Than Tin Aung
Nay Pyi Taw, 25 Aug—The Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release on 25 August that Myanmar officially handed over additional verified 125 Bangladesh nationals among the boat people rescued by Myanmar in May 2015. They were handed over to Bangladesh side at Myanmar and Bangladesh border after the flag meeting in Taung Pyo (Let Wè).
A team led by U Saw Naing, Deputy Director, Maungtaw District Immigration Officer from Myanmar handed over the 125 Bangladesh nationals to the Commanding Officer of No. 17 Border Guard Battalion of Cox’s Bazar and his team. Acting Police Lieutenant Colonel Kyaw Tay Za from Police Border Guard of Myanmar and Mr. Mahbubur Rahman, Consul from the Bangladesh Consulate in Sittway also observed the event. The No. 17 Border Guard Battalion of Cox’s Bazar brought the 125 persons back at 14:10 hrs to Bangladesh.
A total of verified Bangladesh nationals rescued from the two boats have been repatriated to their place of origin, Bangladesh, on five different occasions. Authorities in Bangladesh continue to verify the remaining persons from the two boats rescued. The remaining boat people will be handed over to the country of origin upon completion of the verification process.
Disaster Management Reference Handbook Series Overview
The Disaster Management Reference Handbook Series is intended to provide decision makers, planners, responders and disaster management practitioners with an overview of the disaster management structure, policies, laws, and plans for each country covered in the series.
Overviews of natural and man-made threats most likely to affect the country are discussed. The handbooks also provide basic country background information, including cultural, demographic, geographic, infrastructure and other basic country data. Endemic conditions such as poverty, water and sanitation, food security and other humanitarian issues are included. A basic overview of the health situation in the country and disease surveillance is also covered.
The handbooks include information on key national entities involved in disaster management, disaster response and preparation, and the military’s role in disaster relief is discussed.
Information on UN agencies, international NonGovernmental Organizations (NGOs), major local NGOs, and key U.S. agencies and programs in the country, are also provided. The overall aim is to provide a guide that brings together important information about disaster management and response for each country in an effort to provide a basic understanding for the reader.
Information in the handbooks are compiled and based primarily on trusted, reliable, publiclyavailable sources. Much of the information used is from U.S. or other government sources, UN sources, NGO websites, scholarly references, foreign government websites, and various media sources.
Whenever further information available may be relevant, a link to the original internet source is provided. Each handbook is a working document and will be updated periodically as new, significant information becomes available. Constructive feedback is requested to further refine this document.
We hope that you find these handbooks informative, reliable and useful in understanding disaster management and response for this country.
For comments, questions or to request additional printed copies of our Disaster Managment Reference Handbooks please contact the Center for Excellence at: (808) 472-0518.
Please visit our website (http://www.cfe-dmha.org) to view the latest electronic versions available.
How much water do you need to survive? How many people don't have access to water? And what does that mean, anyway? These aren't questions we usually ask ourselves, even if magazines or tube announcements constantly remind us to 'stay hydrated'. But it's World Water Week, and everyone is talking about water. Here are four top facts you need to know about water, and how ActionAid is helping communities gain access to it.
- Access to clean water and sanitation is a human right
The UN has declared that access to clean water is a human right. But it's more than that - water is at the basis of other fundamental human rights too, like access to food and to education.
ActionAid supports communities who are fighting for their rights to clean water, such as Samda's, in India. Our partners helped Samda and her community to put pressure on their local government to provide them with running drinking water. After six months of intense lobbying, the council provided the pipes, the material and the money for wages need to hire local people to build their own water distribution system.
- One in nine people don't have access to safe water
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), everyone should have 50 to 100 litres of water per day to meet their most basic needs. But 750 million people around the world don't have safe water available to them, people like Israa.
Israa (not her real name), 13, fled from Syria to Jordan with her family. She now lives in a small prefabricated unit in the Zaatari Refugee Camp with her parents and five brothers and sisters. She says: “The sun is very hot here. The toilets are bad, the water is horrible.” ActionAid is working with some of the most vulnerable refugees in the camp, providing urgently needed items like soap, shampoo and washing powder.
- More than half of primary schools in developing countries don't have adequate water facilities
Nearly two thirds of these primary schools lack adequate sanitation. For many girls, this means missing out on school when they have their period. Actress Emilia Fox recently visited Ethiopia with ActionAid. She went to Annaso school, which currently has shared toilets and no clean water.
"A lot of the girls felt embarrassed about using the mixed loo so many of them didn't attend school," she explains, "particularly when they were menstruating. It’s estimated that one in 10 girls in Africa will miss school when they are on their period." ActionAid is helping build a new school which will have separate toilet facilities for boys and girls to improve children's privacy and hygiene.
- Diarrhoea kills an estimated 842,000 people every year
That's approximately 2,300 people every single day globally. Diarrhoea is caused by inadequate drinking water, sanitation, and hand hygiene. Daw Maw, from Myanmar, knows the danger of dirty water all too well.
She lost one of her children when he was only nine months old due to a water-borne disease, all because her village doesn't have a clean water supply. ActionAid is supporting her community to deal with these challenges. Her dream is for her three surviving children is to go to university.
Water really can be the difference between life or death. By supporting our work providing water to communities you could help families living in refugee camps; you could help a child go to school; you could help save lives.
Torrential rains since July have triggered floods and landslides across 12 of Myanmar’s 14 states and regions, affecting more than one million people. Affected communities have lost their food stocks, livestock and critical agricultural inputs and infrastructure, including irrigation and drainage canals. Damage to crops and arable land could pose a risk to long-term food security.
FAO is conducting a needs assessment to support the Government’s early recovery and rehabilitation efforts to restore agriculture-based livelihoods. This includes identifying the most pressing needs of farmers, helping them replant their fields as soon as possible and preserving remaining livestock, which are vital sources of food and income for the affected population.
Myanmar: Destroyed homes, damaged fields and lost crops; villagers in Myanmar face an uncertain future
By Johanna Lassy-Mäntyvaara, IFRC
30 July was supposed to be an important day for Min Htun Maing, 29, a farmer from Kyaukka village, 18 miles from the township of Kale in Myanmar’s Sagaing region. Mi Htun had invited local monks to visit and bless his newly built house close to the Myittha river. He was about to move into the house with his wife and four-year-old daughter, and owning their own home was a dream come true for the young family after living several years together with Min Htun’s father.
Sadly that dream was ruined by the monsoon floods that have engulfed vast areas of Myanmar in recent weeks. Just two days before the special occasion, Kyaukka experienced its worst flooding in decades, which destroyed the houses of Min Htun, his father and a hundred other villagers. In the Kale area, a valley surrounded by mountains, 6,000 homes were damaged and 1,000 were completely destroyed. Large areas of farmland were left unusable and many farmers lost their crops in the middle of the harvesting season.
“The water level rose by a foot every hour reaching up to 20 feet. It stayed high for nine days and then started to go down very slowly, just about two inches per hour,” Min Htun recalls.
His family evacuated to a nearby hillside, taking along their important documents and most of their valuable belongings. They built a temporary shelter with tarpaulins donated by the Myanmar Red Cross Society. The government has said it will help villagers to relocate their houses further from the river, but this will take time.
Fortunately Min Htun was able to harvest part of his rice crop before the flooding swept across his fields. In addition to rice he also grows beans, which together make up his family´s livelihood. The loss of part of his rice crop has dented the family’s income making them dependent on donations until the next harvesting season.
For now, Min Htun is too preoccupied to dwell on his personal losses. He is helping the Red Cross distribute tents, shelter kits, tarpaulins and water purification tablets in his community. The shelter kits – which include items such as a spade, hoe, rope and saw – are warmly welcomed by families who want to clean their houses, construct a shelter or dig the thick mud from their rice fields once the rains ease.
Chaw Su, 30, says she will store the tools in her temporary shelter, hoping to use them next year when the harvesting season arrives. She was growing beans and sunflowers on the other side of the river where floodwaters still cover the farmland. As well as losing her crop, Chaw Su also lost a major part of her food stock when her two-storey house was destroyed. She is despondent about the future. “At the moment I do not feel hopeful of being able to re-build a similar house again,” she says.
Red Cross volunteer Ma Nyein Ei Nwe lives in a village near Kyaukka. She first started volunteering in the community two years ago after seeing how a group of Red Cross volunteers were helping to respond to a fire. As an experienced volunteer she has been helping to distribute shelter kits and she spends time walking around Kyaukka advising people on water purification. She also visits the local school to teach children how to wash their hands and keep up good hygiene to prevent any outbreaks of disease.
Support from the Red Cross is badly needed, and despite the widespread destruction in the village, people are continuing with their daily lives as best they can.
“Even though I cannot personally support people with many of the material things they need, I want to support them with my energy,” says Ma Nyein.
As one of more than 500 Red Cross volunteers deployed to support flood-affected areas across Myanmar, she is playing a vital role in helping people in her community get back on their feet in the wake of this disaster.
MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will offer $3 million assistance to Myanmar to support relief efforts following recent flooding which has caused widespread devastation across the country.
ADB will provide the grant from the Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund to meet priority needs and restore live-saving services to affected communities.
ADB will also consider mobilizing new resources and adjusting existing programs for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of damaged infrastructure and affected livelihoods. ADB’s efforts are geared to support the Government of Myanmar at both national and state/regional levels, based on damage and needs assessments and in close coordination with the development community.
“ADB is committed to assist Myanmar in these difficult times,” ADB President Takehiko Nakao said. “It is important to link the relief and early recovery phase with the longer term rehabilitation plans, and ADB will support Myanmar in this effort.”
In a letter to Myanmar’s President, U Thein Sein, earlier this month, Mr. Nakao extended his condolences to the country’s government and people for the loss of lives and livelihoods, and the destruction caused by the floods.
Heavy monsoon rains, exacerbated by Cyclone Komen in late July, caused severe flooding, landslides, and wind damage across most parts of the country. Over 1.6 million people are estimated to have been affected by the disaster, which has destroyed farmland, roads, railroads and bridges. The government has declared natural disaster zones in Chin and Rakhine states, as well as the regions of Magway and Sagaing.
ADB, based in Manila, is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region. In 2014, ADB assistance totaled $22.9 billion, including cofinancing of $9.2 billion.
Around 150 children in Monywa have been hospitalised since an outbreak of dengue haemorrhagic fever (DHF) hit the Sagaing Division city. To date, 15 have died this year, according to Monywa General Hospital.
Dr Nyunt Than, chief medical officer at the hospital, said on Monday that the institute’s children’s ward was only built to house 80 patients at a time, and was now struggling amid shortage of space.
“We have nearly 200 patients in the children’s ward alone, and are having difficulties with space,” he said. “However, it is important to detect the early warning signs of shock, so our patients must be kept under close watch by the hospital staff. It is uncomfortable for the children as they are all cramped in.”
The doctor said that adults were also suffering with DHF and that the number of patients between January and August this year has swollen to about four times that of the same period last year.
“In 2014, we recorded 393 patients with DHF, but this year we have had around 1,650 cases already,” he said, adding that in May, the hospital took in 121 patients with dengue; 565 in June; 880 in July; and 311 to date this month.
The Monywa doctor advised local residents to take prevention measures such as: keeping water containers sealed to prevent mosquitoes breeding; and seeking medical treatment immediately for any suspected DHF cases.
Meanwhile, he urged government authorities to spray pesticide in the outbreak areas.
We have delivered 1,000 locally-procured emergency shelter kits to Sittwe, Rakhine State with 800 arriving today (24/08). Local INGO & CSO partners will distribute them to affected communities this week;
Another delivery of 9,825 internationally procured shelter kits will arrive in Yangon on Wednesday (26/08) this week, to be distributed to affected areas of Chin, Magway, Sagaing, and Rakhine;
500 ‘family kits’ donated by DFAT/Australia were distributed in Rakhine State last week;
Preliminary Displacement Tracking Mechanisms (DTM) assessments have been completed in Kyauk Taw, Minbya, Mrauk-U in Rakhine State. The second round of DTM assessments for Maungdaw and Buthidaung in Rakhine State has finished with the report being finalised. The teams for the third round of DTM assessments for Chin State are now being mobilised and will start this week;
Proposal was submitted to ECHO for a EUR 1 million combined shelter and WASH project for Rakhine State. This was designed to complement the $1 million CERF allocation for shelter as well as the existing ECHO & OFDA DRR projects in Rakhine.