Myanmar - ReliefWeb News
Myanmar: German Federal Foreign Office Funds Prostheses Assistance to Landmine Victims in Eastern Myanmar/Burma
The German Federal Foreign Office (GFFO) has granted 163.984,03 EUR to facilitate DCA’s implementation of a project that seeks to improve the livelihoods of landmine victims and people living with disabilities in remote areas of Myanmar/Burma.
Myanmar/Burma is one of the countries in the world with most landmine victims annually. Years of mine laying have produced a large number of victims of which the large majority are civilian. The grant from GFFO will allow for the continuation of DCA’s activities in the country, through a project that is aimed at improving the life conditions of landmine victims and other people living with disabilities by providing prostheses and orthotic devises.
In Myanmar/Burma, assistance for civilian amputees is often non-existent or very limited due to the remoteness of the villages, poor infrastructure and the inability of the duty bearer to respond effectively. Since July 2012, with GFFO funding, DCA has therefore initiated a programme to assist mine victims and other amputees in eastern Myanmar in cooperation with DCA’s local partner The Leprosy Mission Myanmar (TLMM). Instead of mine victims and other amputees/disabled having to struggle with infrastructure, inclement weather, etc. to get to a prosthetic clinic, TLMM brings the prosthetic clinic to the mine victims. In addition, the project is linked to another concurrently running GFFO project to build on synergies in the area. The Johanniter, implementing through The Karen Development Network (KDN) will provide a range of other services to mine victims. TLMM and KDN will refer victims discovered during the projects to each other. The project will through this cooperation work to facilitate mine victims and other disabled people’s rehabilitation into society and fostering a renewed sense of self-worth through skills development and vocational training as well as providing micro-finance facilities.
The previous GFFO Agreement has allowed TLMM to build up on the job experience in prosthesis manufacture and the physiotherapy techniques required. This current project aims to capitalise on these experiences, increasing manufacturing productivity and efficiency and thereby strengthening the ability to achieve the project’s objectives.
The project will be implemented during the period of November 2014 to November 2015.
New Thameelay, Myanmar | AFP | Wednesday 12/10/2014 - 07:24 GMT
by Hla-Hla HTAY
Left destitute after the army said they were squatting, hundreds of families have found themselves caught in a bizarre tug of war involving Myanmar's ruling party and an armed ethic group in a case that highlights the country's acute land challenges.
When military officials with loudhailers told Aye Aye Win and her neighbours that their village near the central Bago mountains was about to be razed, the bulldozers were already at their doors.
"We were so frightened," she told AFP, choking back tears as she recounted the day in March when the army declared the village of Thameelay illegal.
Land is among the most contentious issues in Myanmar as reforms and the end of most Western sanctions fuel a scramble for territory in the resource-rich nation.
The problem is widespread in the country, where the state legally owns all land and the army stands accused of rampant land grabbing.
A commission set up to deal with disputes has struggled to resolve even a small fraction of the tens of thousands of complaints that have flooded in.
Homeless and helpless, Aye Aye Win and over a thousand others from a cluster of 10 local hamlets soon found themselves buffeted between some of Myanmar's most powerful forces -- from the military to the clergy, political heavyweights and armed ethnic groups.
In the face of bureaucratic inertia, aggrieved ordinary people across the nation are taking matters into their own hands.
Farmers barge through barricades to plough their former fields, displaced villagers confront businessmen and placard-wielding protesters flock to towns and cities in rallies that flare across the country on a weekly basis.
Hundreds of protesters have been arrested this year alone.
But Aye Aye Win and her neighbours were afraid.
"They told us they would take legal action against us if we complained," said the 52-year-old as she sat surrounded by her extended family and a few salvaged possessions in her new home -- a one room bamboo hut in a field on the fringes of Yangon.
Many from Thameelay ended up in a monastery in the remote Bago countryside.
But they could not stay long.
Authorities again demanded they move on and it was then, as their plight filtered into national news, that two unlikely organisations stepped in to offer help -- the military-backed ruling party and the Democratic Karen Buddhist Association (DKBA) armed group.
The DKBA, former rebels in eastern Karen State who struck a deal to join forces with the previous-junta government, appeared eager to show their magnanimity.
They arrived in 12-wheeler trucks brandishing promises of lush land plots in the insurgency-wracked jungles near the Thai border.
Some 200 families took them up on the offer.
Villager Than Htwe told AFP that life with the fighters, who have never released a motive for their uncharacteristic act, was not quite as advertised.
After a gruelling four-day journey to the frontier region, the villagers were met with suspicion and restrictions.
"We were basically locked up as soon as we arrived," said Than Htwe, 42.
His family of three decided to cut their losses and return to central Myanmar where relatives, including Aye Aye Win, had chosen to throw their lot in with the ruling Union Solidarity and Development Party.
The USDP, the well-funded vehicle for Myanmar's former generals to relaunch themselves as civilian politicians, had bought 12 acres of barren farmland for around $200,000 and created new Thameelay village from the scrub along the lonely highway north of the commercial hub Yangon.
Around 200 stilted huts now stretch across the field in neat rows reminiscent of the country's many displacement camps.
"We gave them a lease saying that they can live here and pass it on to their children. But they cannot sell their plot," said USDP village leader Myint Myint San.
There are plans for a factory, promises of government loans and a new village hall has recently been completed.
During controversial 2010 elections the USDP was accused of various vote-winning tactics, including half-building roads and promising to finish the work only after they were elected.
In next year’s crucial polls the party will face a greater test -- competition from Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition, which is running in its first general elections since its 1990 victory, which was ignored by the junta.
"People do not need to be USDP members to stay here," Myint Myint San told AFP when asked about the party's motivation for its largesse.
"But everyone here was already in the party before they came."
Some 70 percent of Myanmar’s population -- mainly the rural poor -- rely on the land for their living.
The government is drawing up a new land use policy that will underpin fresh legislation as part of reforms since the end of outright military rule in 2011.
But researchers at the Transnational Institute think tank have warned that the proposals look to please large investors, potentially to the detriment of small farmers.
Khine Maung Yi, a member of a parliamentary commission on the issue said land appropriation remains a chronic problem, even as the government struggles to return property taken under the junta.
Of 26,371 letters of complaint received, only some 9,000 had been forwarded to the relevant departments as of September. But most of these have yet to be dealt with.
"The amount of seized land returned is still just tiny," he told AFP.
© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse
GENEVA, December 10 (UNHCR) – The UN refugee agency on Wednesday warned that the international community was losing its focus on saving lives amid confusion among coastal nations and regional blocs over how to respond to the growing number of people making risky sea journeys in search of asylum or migration.
With preparations under way for the opening today in Geneva of UNHCR's 2014 High Commissioner's Dialogue – an informal policy discussion forum whose focus this year is "Protection at Sea" – UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said some governments were increasingly seeing keeping foreigners out as being a higher priority than upholding asylum.
"This is a mistake, and precisely the wrong reaction for an era in which record numbers of people are fleeing wars," Guterres said. "Security and immigration management are concerns for any country, but policies must be designed in a way that human lives do not end up becoming collateral damage."
The clandestine nature of these sea crossings makes reliable comparisons with previous years difficult, but available data points to 2014 being a record high. According to estimates from coastal authorities and information from confirmed interdictions and other monitoring, at least 348,000 people have risked such journeys worldwide since the start of January. Historically, a principal driver has been migration, but this year the number of asylum-seekers involved has grown.
Europe, facing conflicts to its south (Libya), east (Ukraine) and south-east (Syria/Iraq) is seeing the largest number of sea arrivals. Although not all are people needing asylum, more than 207,000 people have crossed the Mediterranean since the start of January – almost three times the previous known high of about 70,000 in 2011, when the Libyan civil war was in full swing. For the first time, people from refugee-producing countries (mainly Syria and Eritrea) have in 2014 become a major component in this tragic flow, accounting for almost 50 per cent of the total.
In addition to the Mediterranean, there are at least three other major sea routes in use today both by migrants and people fleeing conflict or persecution. In the Horn of Africa region 82,680 people crossed the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea in the first 11 months of this year en route mainly from Ethiopia and Somalia to Yemen or onwards to Saudi Arabia and the countries of the Persian Gulf.
In Southeast Asia, an estimated 54,000 people have undertaken sea crossings so far in 2014, most of them departing from Bangladesh or Myanmar and heading to Thailand, Malaysia or Indonesia. In the Caribbean, at least 4,775 people are known to have taken to boats in the first 11 months, hoping to flee poverty or in search of asylum.
And many die or fall victim to international organized crime in the process of making these journeys. Worldwide, UNHCR has received information of 4,272 reported deaths this year. This includes 3,419 on the Mediterranean – making it the deadliest route of all. In Southeast Asia, an estimated 540 people have died in their attempts to cross the Bay of Bengal.
In the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, at least 242 lives had been lost by December 8, while in the Caribbean the reported number of dead or missing as of the start of December was 71. People smuggling networks are meanwhile flourishing, operating with impunity in areas of instability or conflict, and profiting from human desperation.
Guterres said that by focusing on isolated elements to a problem that by its nature is multi-layered and transnational – often involving routes that stretch across multiple borders and over thousands of kilometres – governments were finding themselves unable to either stem the flow or stop people dying along the journey.
"You can't stop a person who is fleeing for their life by deterrence, without escalating the dangers even more," said Guterres. "The real root causes have to be addressed, and this means looking at why people are fleeing, what prevents them from seeking asylum by safer means, and what can be done to crack down on the criminal networks that prosper from this, while at the same time protecting their victims. It also means having proper systems to deal with arrivals and distinguish real refugees from those who are not."
This year's High Commissioner's Dialogue gathers representatives of governments, non-governmental organizations, coast guard and, academics as well as representatives from partner international organizations. It is being held in Geneva's Palais des Nations over today and Thursday.
By CALUM STUART
A new report has accused the Burmese military of increasing its presence in Karenni State, contrary to regional ceasefire agreements.
Friday’s report from the Karenni Civil Society Network (KCSN) states that the Tatmadaw (the Burmese government military forces) has been “reinforcing its troops, expanding outposts, storing supplies and ammunition, and confiscating and staking off land for the army.”
Burma had agreed to limit its military presence in the region under a 2012 ceasefire agreement with the Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP) and other armed ethnic groups who have been fighting for independence.
“In a lot of areas we have land confiscations by the military, so it’s very, very difficult for the peace process and the ceasefire to continue,” said Khu Mi Reh, a KCSN coordinator.
“Some of the people in the communities want humanitarian aid, but we need to look at the political situation because this now is not genuine peace,” he told DVB on Monday. “If we want to provide humanitarian aid to the community we need to generate a peace between the government and the armed groups.”
The KNPP and other armed ethnic groups have been fighting the government since Burma became an independent country in 1948. A ceasefire was announced in 2012 during Burma’s transition from military to civilian government, though the report comes at a time of renewed attention of the military’s influence in Burma.
The report highlights the Burmese army confiscating 3,000 acres of land to build the No.14 military training school, in an area which “had been used by farmers for generations by local people”.
“The local people demanded that the building be stopped, but their pleas fell on deaf ears and construction of the training school was completed. Now there have already been two trainings held at the school for commanders from the front lines, soldiers and militia,” the report says. This is one example of where the Burmese military and the local population have been at odds, it says, and lists the affect on everyday lives such as the fear of landmines which have been placed around the area.
“Some do not risk going out for the landmines,” said Mi Reh, expanding on how Burmese troops deliberately interfere with the lives of locals on a regular basis. “They say: ‘If you want to use this road you must pay’. But there’s no reason to pay the military: they don’t control this road. But they [demand] money for the roads, and if they go to the farms they ask a lot of questions from the people – like ‘Where are you going?’ and ‘What are you doing?’.
“The people never received services, like health or education, from the government,” said Mi Reh. “Most of the people are just farming and trying to support their families and their children. We just want the government to create a genuine peace and trust, and provide the humanitarian aid.”
· In 2014, the monsoon rains were late across most of East Asia, leading to delays in the start of the growing season. Improved rainfall from August onwards, allowed for a good recovery across most of the region.
· Though most countries avoided significant impacts on national aggregate crop production, DPRK suffered from a very poor rainfall season with significant reductions in agricultural production.
· Elsewhere, localised impacts are noted in Pakistan, India, Vietnam, China, Myanmar.
· Drier than average conditions affected pastoralist and subsistence agriculture in Thar and Sindh in SE Pakistan.
· In India, eastern China, Vietnam and Myanmar, rainfall anomalies are not expected to significantly affect national crop production.
Snapshot 3–9 December
Philippines: Category 5 Typhoon Hagupit, locally known as Ruby, made landfall on 6 December over the town of Dolores in Eastern Samar province (Eastern Philippines). At least 49 of 81 provinces are potentially at high risk. The typhoon is moving very slowly, potentially subjecting each community in the path of the typhoon to high winds and torrential rainfall for much longer. 1.1 million people are affected.
Sierra Leone: 537 new Ebola cases were recorded 23–30 November: 202 in Freetown, with high transmission persisting in Port Loko and the Western Area. Transmission also persists in Bombali, Tonkolili, Bo, Kono, Moyamba, Kambia and Koinadugu. 7,798 Ebola cases, including 1,742 deaths, have been reported in Sierra Leone so far.
DRC: Authorities in North Kivu have moved to close down 60 IDP camps for security reasons, saying that arms were hidden in them. The closure of the Kiwanja camp in Beni, hosting 2,300 displaced people, was ordered on 3 December. Nearly 89,000 people are in need of assistance due to fighting in Beni territory.
Updated: 09/12/2014. Next update: 16/12/2014
World: Documenting the United States’ Commitment to Conventional Weapons Destruction: To Walk the Earth in Safety
New Report Showcases U.S. Global Leadership in Landmine Clearance and Conventional Weapons Destruction
The Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs has released the 13th Edition of To Walk the Earth in Safety, a report summarizing the accomplishments of the U.S. Conventional Weapons Destruction Program. For more than 20 years, the United States has led the international donor community in promoting peace and security worldwide by partnering with nations to address humanitarian hazards from landmines and unexploded ordnance in post-conflict countries, as well as to reduce the availability of excess, loosely-secured, or otherwise at-risk weapons and ordnance.
In fiscal year 2013, the Department of State provided more than $142 million in conventional weapons destruction assistance in 49 countries. Among the report’s highlights are increased engagement in addressing U.S.-origin unexploded ordnance in Southeast Asia and the South Pacific; efforts to strengthen African countries’ capabilities to counter illicit arms proliferation. This year, the United States will not produce or acquire anti-personnel munitions that are not compliant with the Ottawa Convention, and would diligently pursue solutions that would ultimately allow us to accede to the Convention.
For more information, or to request a printed copy of To Walk the Earth in Safety, please contact the Bureau of Political-Military Affairs Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, at email@example.com, and follow us on Twitter @StateDeptPM.
The European Union (EU) has announced it has allocated EUR 688 million (USD 900 million) to Myanmar under its bilateral cooperation programme over the period 2014-2020 to reinforce its support to the country's multiple transition. The funds will help to develop rural areas and agriculture; improve food and nutrition security; support education; improve governance and the rule of law; and contribute to peacebuilding.
Neven Mimica, Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development said that:
"This programme will serve as the multiannual indicative framework for our cooperation over the next seven years and reflects the new partnership the EU and Myanmar have been building since 2011. It underlines EU's full commitment to support sustainable development and poverty reduction in the country for the benefit of all people living in Myanmar. The four focal areas of the EU’s cooperation will be Rural Development including agriculture, food and nutrition security; Education; Governance/Rule of Law/State Capacity Building; and Peacebuilding support. It is the result of extensive consultations with representatives from all parts of society in Myanmar, including at the EU-Myanmar Task Force in November 2013, and is in line with the Government's own development objectives.
In addition to the bilateral cooperation outlined in this programme, Myanmar will continue receiving support under other EU thematic and regional instruments and programmes. These cover a wide range of issues, including democracy and human rights, civil society, environment and climate change, human development, sustainable energy as well as trade".
Sustainable rural development is essential to achieve the eradication of poverty in rural areas of Myanmar. Therefore, the EU plans to finance actions up to EUR 241 million in the area of 'Rural development, agriculture and food and nutrition security'. We will provide support to address the challenges in the sector and the high levels of undernutrition, through supporting climate smart and nutrition sensitive agricultural production and value chains, increased resilience to natural disasters, improved natural resource management, better infrastructure and strengthened capacity.
The 'Education' sector in Myanmar will receive up to EUR 241 million. The EU will provide support for increased access to, and completion of, quality and equitable education; a strengthened education system and improved links between education and labour market needs.
In support of democratic and institutional reforms, up to EUR 96 million has been allocated to the sector 'Governance, Rule of law and State capacity-building'. The EU prioritises capacity development of institutions to improve public service delivery to the people of Myanmar. A key element is our support to the organisation of credible, transparent and inclusive elections in 2015 and beyond.
A sustainable transition requires national reconciliation. To help promote lasting peace, security and stability in Myanmar, up to EUR 103 million has been committed to 'Peacebuilding Support'. It includes support to the monitoring of a nationwide ceasefire, an inclusive political dialogue, security sector reform and mechanisms to accompany the transition. In addition, the focus will be on improving inter-communal relations and socio-economic recovery in conflict-affected communities.
With this support over the next 7 years, the EU will build on its on-going initiatives and continue to promote peace, inclusive growth, sustainable development and democratic governance for the benefit of all people in Myanmar.
FOR FURTHER DETAILS:
Catherine Ray: +32 498 96 99 21 - +32 2 296 99 21 - Catherine.Ray@ec.europa.eu - @CatherineEUspox
Maja Kocijancic: +32 498 984 425 - +32 2 298 65 70 - Maja.Kocijancic@ec.europa.eu - @MajaEUspox
Eamonn Prendergast: +32 460 75 32 93 - Eamonn.Prendergast@ec.europa.eu
ZARB Sharon +32 229 92256 - +32 460 792256 - Sharon.ZARB@ec.europa.eu
World: L'ONU et ses partenaires lancent un appel de fonds humanitaire de 16,4 milliards de dollars pour 2015
8 décembre 2014 – L'ONU et ses partenaires humanitaires ont lancé lundi un appel de fonds de 16,4 milliards de dollars auprès des donateurs pour venir en aide à au moins 57,5 millions de personnes vulnérables à travers le monde l'an prochain.
« Plus de 80% des personnes que nous voulons aider se trouvent dans des pays affectés par des conflits où la brutalité et la violence ont un impact dévastateur sur leur vie », a déclaré la Secrétaire générale adjointe des Nations Unies aux affaires humanitaires, Valerie Amos.
« Nous allons continuer à mettre les gens au centre de nos efforts et faire tout notre possible pour répondre rapidement et efficacement », a-t-elle ajouté. « Mais l'ampleur des besoins augmente plus rapidement que notre capacité à y répondre. »
En 2014, il y a eu une forte hausse du nombre de personnes touchées par des conflits et des millions d'entre elles ont été contraintes de fuir et sont devenues dépendantes de l'aide humanitaire pour leur survie.
Les crises en République centrafricaine, en Iraq, au Soudan du Sud et en Syrie resteront les priorités humanitaires de l'année prochaine. Ces crises représentent plus de 70% des besoins de financement mentionnés ce lundi.
Les autres grandes crises couvertes par l'appel de fonds humanitaire sont l'Afghanistan, la République démocratique du Congo, le Myanmar, le Territoire palestinien occupé, la Somalie, le Soudan, l'Ukraine et le Yémen.
« Les besoins d'aujourd'hui sont à des niveaux sans précédent, et sans davantage de soutien, il n'est tout simplement pas possible de répondre aux crises humanitaires que nous observons », a déclaré le Haut-Commissaire des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés, António Guterres.
Les bailleurs de fonds internationaux ont déboursé 9,4 milliards de dollars en 2014 mais cela ne représentait que la moitié de ce qu'avait demandé la communauté humanitaire.
« Chaque année, nous demandons à nos donateurs de faire plus, et ils le font. Mais les crises deviennent plus complexes et durent plus longtemps, l'écart entre les besoins et les ressources augmente », a dit Mme Amos. « Si nous ne collectons pas l'argent nécessaire, cela signifie que nous serons en mesure d'aider moins d'enfants, de femmes et d'hommes. »
Geneva, Switzerland | AFP | lundi 08/12/2014 - 14:53 GMT
Les agences humanitaires des Nations Unies veulent aider 57,7 millions de personnes en 2015, un chiffre record qui met en difficulté leurs capacités et elles ont besoin pour cela de 16,14 milliards de dollars, selon l'appel pour l'aide humanitaire lancé lundi à Genève.
"L'augmentation croissante des besoins dépasse notre capacité de réponse", a souligné Valerie Amos, secrétaire générale adjointe pour les affaires humanitaires et la coordination des secours d'urgence.
Elle a par ailleurs annoncé que l'appel d'urgence lancé la semaine dernière par le Programme alimentaire mondial (PAM) pour éviter la suspension de l'aide alimentaire aux réfugiés syriens a été couvert pour décembre. Il était demandé 64 millions de dollars, or plus de 80 millions ont été recueillis à ce jour, a-t-elle dit.
"Les besoins ont atteint des niveaux sans précédents et, sans davantage de soutien, il n'est simplement pas possible de faire face à ces situations humanitaires qui surgissent, région après région et conflit après conflit", a affirmé Antonio Guterres, le Haut Commissaire pour les réfugiés.
Pour aider ces quelque 58 millions de personnes, considérées comme les plus vulnérables, les agences onusiennes ont besoin de 16,14 milliards de dollars (13,6 milliards d'euros), un chiffre qui ne comprend pas l'aide pour les 9 pays de la région du Sahel et pour Djibouti en cours d'évaluation qui sera communiquée en février.
La crise syrienne, qui dure depuis 2011, va absorber près de la moitié de l'aide, entre celle fournie à l'intérieur du pays (12,2 millions de personnes concernées) et l'aide pour les réfugiés et les communautés (6 millions de personnes dont 3,2 millions de réfugiés) qui les accueillent dans la pays limitrophes.
Le Sud-Soudan est la seconde priorité de cette aide avec 1,8 milliard de dollars prévus.
Les autres crises majeures sont la République Centrafricaine, l'Afghanistan, la République démocratique du Congo, la Birmanie, les Territoires Palestiniens occupés, la Somalie, le Soudan, l'Ukraine et le Yémen.
Pour 2014, les agences de l'ONU avaient évalué leurs besoins financiers à 17,9 milliards de dollars, un chiffre record qui n'a été couvert à ce jour qu'à hauteur de 52% par les donateurs.
World: Under-Secretary-General Valerie Amos remarks to the press at the launch of the global humanitarian appeal 2015
The number of people affected by conflicts and natural disasters around the world has reached record levels.
Just a year ago, UN agencies and partners asked for $12.9 billion to assist 52 million people who we considered to be the most vulnerable and most in need of protection.
Over the course of this year, the number of people affected by conflict and disaster has risen sharply. At the end of November, we estimated that there were 102 million people who were in need of assistance. Of those we targeted the most vulnerable 76 million of them. So the numbers went up from the beginning of the year when we were going to help 52 million to 76 million by the end of the year. As a result of this, we revised our appeal upwards, asking for $17.9 billion to help people in 31 countries. So again, a rise from $12.9 billion at the beginning of the year to $17.9 billion now.
In the plans that we are launching today, a combined 78 million people are considered in need of humanitarian assistance and we aim to respond to the urgent needs of 57 million of them. This does not include the nine countries in the Sahel and Djibouti; we will launch those appeals in February. We require $16.4 billion to meet the needs in the appeals that we are launching today.
If we look at this year, we have received so far $9.4 billion in funding. With that money, we helped to avert a famine in South Sudan; we delivered food aid to millions of Syrians every month; we provided medical supplies to a million Iraqis and food to 930,000 people in the Central African Republic. That is just some examples of what we were able to do.
Each year, we ask our donors for more and more funding for our appeals. But as needs rise, the resources gap is widening.
Responding to people’s suffering must be a shared responsibility and there must be a determined collective effort through 2015 to close the growing gap between needs and resources.
Syria, South Sudan, Iraq and the Central African Republic will remain the top priorities for humanitarian actors next year. These four crises alone account for over 70 per cent of the funding requirements we are asking for today.
But there are many other emergencies that demand our attention, for example Afghanistan, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar and Yemen. And if you think about what is happening in these countries you will see that these are not second order crises. This is why we say that we are facing needs at an unprecedented level.
The people in these countries - and who this appeal intends to help - have experienced unimaginable suffering. Millions have been displaced within their own countries and across borders. High Commissioner António Guterres will speak about the plight particularly of refugees and the impact of those refugee flows on the countries which receive them. Thank you.
The gap between humanitarian needs and the resources available to meet them continues to grow.
This document sets out inter-agency appeals requesting $16.4 billion to assist 57.5 million people in 22 countries in 2015.
In 2014, three major crises with significant regional impact – Central African Republic, South Sudan and Syria – dominated humanitarian response efforts. These, in addition to Iraq, are the highest level (L3) crises declared by the humanitarian community. They will continue to require significant humanitarian assistance in 2015.
Due to the conflict in Syria, essential infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed. 191,000 people were killed and more than 12.2 million people require urgent assistance, including over five million children.
Some 7.6 million people are internally displaced and another 3.2 million are refugees in neighbouring countries. Whilst the search continues for a political solution to the crisis, humanitarian organizations will do all they can to reach as many people as possible with life-saving assistance.
In 2014, conflict and insecurity in Iraq displaced over 2.1 million people across the country. Some 5.2 million people are in need of aid, 2.2 million of them in areas under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), where humanitarian agencies have little or no humanitarian access. The outbreak of violence in South Sudan forced 1.9 million people to flee their homes in 2014. Close to 500,000 of these have sought refuge in neighbouring countries and 1.4 million are internally displaced. 1.5 million people are severely food insecure.
In CAR, outbreaks of violence have prompted large-scale displacements of people and spikes in humanitarian needs. A quarter of the population (over one million people) has either been displaced by the conflict within CAR or has been forced to flee across the borders.
In addition to the L3 emergencies, long term crises caused by conflict, violence and natural disasters, including droughts and floods, mean that millions of people across the world will need humanitarian assistance in 2015 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Sudan,
Afghanistan, Ukraine, Myanmar and elsewhere.
Haiti and the Philippines are the only two countries in the appeals for 2014 which are no longer included in the global appeal for 2015. In Haiti, the Government, together with the UN and its partners, is preparing a Transitional Appeal (2015-2016) guiding both humanitarian action and resilience-building. In the Philippines, the Government announced the end of the humanitarian phase of the Haiyan response on 4 July 2014.
As needs increase, humanitarian organizations continue to look at ways to become more effective and efficient.
Improved needs assessment and analysis, strategic planning and prioritization helped humanitarian organizations target their resources on the most vulnerable. Humanitarian country teams are taking a more holistic and integrated approach to address needs, for instance by looking at the humanitarian and development resources available and aligning the two. This is the approach used in oPt and Somalia. In countries where conflict or lack of infrastructure is increasing delivery costs, humanitarian organizations are pre-positioning items or extending cash programming.
And in countries of protracted crisis with a complex mix of humanitarian and development challenges, country teams are distinguishing between acute, urgent humanitarian needs and chronic needs that require longer term solutions.
And they recognize that strengthening the link between emergency preparedness, response and development is key to building the resilience of people affected by crisis and supporting governments in preparing to deal with future shocks. In Somalia and Iraq, for example, humanitarian country teams have developed multi-year plans. Putting people and their needs at the heart of humanitarian response involves continuous communication with communities affected by crisis. This is supported by recent technological developments, such as the KoBo Toolbox.
Significant efforts are being made to ensure that the specific needs of women, children and other vulnerable groups are integrated into humanitarian response efforts. For example, in South Sudan camp coordinators and local NGO staff hold regular discussions with displaced people in camps to identify cases of harassment and sexual violence. As a result responses tailored to address these protection concerns have been incorporated in programmes.
World: UN and partners launch $16.4 billion humanitarian appeal to bring aid to 57 million people in 2015 [EN/FR]
(Geneva, 8 December 2014): Humanitarian organizations aim to help at least 57.5 million of the most vulnerable people in the world with assistance in 2015 and require US$16.4 billion to do so. “Over 80 percent of those we intend to help are in countries mired in conflict where brutality and violence have had a devastating impact on their lives,” said Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary- General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, as she launched the 2015 global humanitarian appeal. “We will continue to put people at the centre of our relief efforts and do everything we can to respond quickly and effectively,” she said, “but the rising scale of need is outpacing our capacity to respond”.
In 2014, there was a sharp rise in the number of people affected by conflict and millions were forced to flee and became dependent on humanitarian aid for their survival. The crises in Central African Republic, Iraq, South Sudan and Syria will remain top humanitarian priorities next year. Combined with the impact in their regions, these crises account for over 70 percent of the funding requirements launched today.
For Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic the associated regional impact is included in regional response plans.
The other major crises covered by the appeal are Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, Sudan, Ukraine and Yemen. "This is not business as usual in the humanitarian world," said António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. "Today's needs are at unprecedented levels, and without more support there simply is no way to respond to the humanitarian situations we're seeing in region after region and in conflict after conflict."
In February next year the strategic response plans covering requirements in West Africa’s Sahel region and Djibouti will be launched. This will increase the number of people to be reached and the financial requirements for 2015.
International donors provided $9.4 billion in funding in 2014 but that was only half of what the aid community requested and there were large differences in the levels of funding provided for specific countries. "Every year we ask our donors to do more - and they do. But as crises become more complex and go on longer, the gap between needs and resources grows. I hope we can close it in 2015 because if we don't raise the money it means that we are able to help fewer children, women and men with medicine, food and shelter; the basics they need to survive,” said Ms. Amos.
Note to the editor The humanitarian appeal 2015 is based on strategic response plans and strategies in 12 major crises: Afghanistan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, Myanmar, occupied Palestinian territory, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Ukraine and Yemen. Syria, South Sudan and the Central African Republic are all crises that affect entire regions and their neighbouring countries are included in regional response plans raising the number of countries covered by the plans to 22.
World: The Asia-Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN): Supporting the common goal of a malaria-free Asia-Pacific
RBM Partners Launch Report Highlighting Progress toward Malaria Elimination in the Asia-Pacific
8 December 2014: - A new report highlighting the approach, goals and achievements of the Asia-Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN) was launched the past week during the 27th Board Meeting of the Roll Back Malaria (RBM) Partnership in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Asia-Pacific Malaria Elimination Network (APMEN): Supporting the common goal of a malaria-free Asia-Pacific comes just weeks after the November 2014 commitment of regional Heads of State during the 9th East Asia Summit (EAS) in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, to eliminate malaria from the region by 2030. In the report, authors highlight the leadership and local ownership needed to achieve such ambitious targets and identify the added value of innovative approaches the APMEN network model provides to complement existing efforts and further drive socio-economic development.
With 22 malaria-endemic countries in the Asia-Pacific, the region is home to over 2 billion people at risk of infection and accounts for approximately 32 million cases of malaria infection and 47,000 associated deaths each year. While a scale-up of interventions has averted over 80 million cases, and more than 100,000 deaths since 2000, the Asia-Pacific region continues to carry the second highest malaria burden outside of Africa. India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea bear the largest burden of the disease, accounting for 89% of all malaria cases in the region.
“Malaria elimination is vital to the continued development of the Asia-Pacific, not only helping to surpass threats like drug resistance and saving lives, but increasing school attendance, unlocking productivity and growing markets,” said Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, Executive Director of RBM.
View the report
Opium production in the Golden Triangle continues at high levels, threatening regional integration
Bangkok (Thailand) 8 December 2014 – Opium poppy cultivation in Myanmar and Lao PDR rose to 63,800 hectares (ha) in 2014 compared to 61,200 ha in 2013, increasing for the eighth consecutive year and nearly triple the amount harvested in 2006, according to a new UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report released today.
The UNODC report, Southeast Asia Opium Survey 2014 – Lao PDR, Myanmar, says that Myanmar remains Southeast Asia’s top opium producer – and the world’s second largest after Afghanistan. Together, Myanmar and Lao PDR produced an estimated 762 tonnes (mt) of opium, most of which – using smuggled precursor chemicals like acetyl anhydride – was refined into a estimated 76 mt of heroin and then trafficked to markets in neighbouring countries and outside the region.
“This two-way trade of chemicals going in and heroin coming out of the Golden Triangle is a significant challenge to stability and the rule of law,” said Mr. Jeremy Douglas, UNODC Regional Representative, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. “The region’s large demand for heroin provides profitable incentives for transnational crime groups. Not only by bringing in the chemicals needed to make heroin, but in particular by trafficking and distributing the drug to markets in China, Southeast Asia and other parts of the world.”
Shan State in the north of Myanmar, which hosts a number of conflict areas and insurgent groups, remains the center of Myanmar’s opium and heroin activities, accounting for 89 per cent of opium poppy cultivation in the Golden Triangle. In Lao PDR, the UNODC survey confirms opium poppy cultivation in the three northern provinces of Phongsali, Xiangkhoang and Houaphan.
The report also noted that Malaysia has become a transshipment hub for opium from Afghanistan, and Cambodia a transit country for heroin shipped to Australia.
UNODC pointed out that economic surveys of farmers in poppy-growing villages show that money generated from poppy cultivation is essential for villagers threatened with food insecurity and poverty.
“The link between poverty, lack of alternative economic options and opportunities, and poppy cultivation is clear,” said Mr. Cheikh Toure, UNODC Lao PDR Country Manager. “Opium farmers are not bad people. They are poor, food insecure people, usually living far from centres and markets where they could sell other products. They need viable alternatives to growing poppy.”
UNODC also warned that the opium business and trade threatens well intentioned regional integration and development plans.
“We need to act. The Golden Triangle is the geographic centre of the Greater Mekong Sub-region, and plans are well underway to expand transport connections and relax trade barriers and border controls, including around opium producing areas. The organized networks that benefit from Southeast Asia’s illicit drug trade are very well positioned to take advantage of regional integration,” Mr. Douglas said.
Link to full report: http://bit.ly/15PGwW3
John Bleho, Media and Communications Specialist
UNODC Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific
firstname.lastname@example.org M: +66.81.750.0539 Twitter: @johnbleho Skype: john.bleho
UNODC Regional Office for Southeast Asia and the Pacific
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Written by Tin Zar Aung
France is committed to providing 100 million euro (US$123.8million) in aid for Myanmar’s rural development, environmental conservation, health, culture and education, according to Mrs Annick Girardin, France’s Minister of State for Development and Francophony.
Mrs Giradin was speaking to the media at the French embassy in Yangon on December 4 during her official visit to Myanmar.
The aid commitment includes soft loans to Myanmar, through the French development agency; Agence Française deDéveloppement, and follows 29 million euro ($40million) in 2013-14 fiscal year assistance, 90 percent of it spent on HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis control.
The minister said France has its eye on Myanmar’s reform process.
“Everybody knows the year of 2015 is very important. France is watching to see if the 2015 elections in Myanmar will be successful,” she said.
In reply to a question from Mizzima on the attitude of France to perceived delays in Myanmar’s reform process, she said, “We would like to put emphasis on the betterment of the democratisation process that has been taking place in the country, without being critical.”
She stressed that national reconciliation plays a pivotal role in Myanmar’s peace-making process, in addition to the election issue.
During her stay in Myanmar from December 4 to 6, the minister visited the National Health Laboratory and signed an agreement on cooperation in technology. She met students from the Institut Français de Birmanie and visited the Myanmar Journalism Institute, partly funded by France.
On December 5, she will deliver the opening address at the Women’s Forum Myanmar-ASEAN 2014 in Nay Pyi Taw.
She is also set to visit Dala in the Yangon Region to view the work of French non-governmental organisations.
By YEN SNAING & NANG SENG NOM / THE IRRAWADDY
RANGOON — Camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) near Laiza, the headquarters of the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), are facing a shortage of food supplies amid reported restrictions on UN and NGOs’ humanitarian aid deliveries.
Kachin IDPs have seen food stocks dwindle in recent weeks as humanitarian aid has been blocked by the Burmese government, according to Doi Be Za, chair of the KIO’s IDPs and Refugees Relief Committee.
Doi Be Za, who is also a member of the KIO central committee, said: “The UN and NGOs told us that they will come in October. To date, they have not arrived. Now we are surviving with the help of local donors. The government has suspended the UN and NGOs’ permission to come to Laiza, citing security reasons.”
It was not immediately clear if aid deliveries were being denied in relation to an incident on Nov. 19 in which a KIO military academy near Laiza was shelled by the Burma Army, killing 23 cadets.
There are more than 20 IDP camps under KIO management, with an estimated total population of 50,000 people living in them, according to Doi Be Za’s committee.
“The UN told us that they would come in early November but they didn’t come,” said Mary Tawn, head of the humanitarian NGO Wunpawng Ningtoi, based in Mai Ja Yang, Kachin State. “The government has closed the road for security reasons. Now, in the Laiza refugee camps, there is a shortage of basic groceries like rice, oil, salt and peas.”
With IDP camps that in some cases are more than three years old, deteriorating conditions are beginning to take their toll on inhabitants. Some IDPs in Panwar, at a camp more than 10,000 feet above sea level known as Border Post 8, struggle to keep water from freezing and face other difficulties associated with the rugged frontier, Mary Tawn said.
Doi Be Za said as winter approaches, humanitarian aid groups face increasing difficulties in sending rations to Border Posts 6, 7 and 8, which are along the China Border. He said the IDPs are in urgent need of warm clothes, and are also fearful because their camps are sited in close proximity to Burma Army bases.
The UN estimates that more than 100,000 people have been displaced since fighting resumed between the KIO’s armed wing, the Kachin Independence Army (KIA), and government forces in 2011. They are living in temporary camps across Kachin State, some of which are administered by the government and others managed by the KIO.