Strategic Response Plan for Myanmar 2014
Since 2011, the Government of Myanmar has made rapid progress on its reform agenda, particularly in the area of democratization and peace building. Meanwhile, humanitarian needs have significantly increased in some areas over the last two years, with the most urgent stemming from inter-communal violence in Rakhine State. Although efforts are being made to find durable solutions and prevent long-term displacement, tensions in Rakhine State remain high and there remains a risk of further violence and displacement in 2014. Humanitarian needs have also increased in Kachin and northern Shan states, where many people have been newly displaced by fighting over the last two years. Decades of armed conflict in the north as well as in the southeast of the country, combined with chronic under-development, have eroded the resilience of communities and increased the vulnerability of hundreds of thousands of people. The outlook here is more positive, however, as there has been significant progress towards achieving a nationwide ceasefire. Emergency preparedness also remains a big challenge as Myanmar is considered to be one of the countries at highest risk of natural disasters in South East Asia. There is a continued need for disaster risk reduction and activities aimed at strengthening national capacity to prepare for and respond to natural disasters.
The 2014 Strategic Response Plan for humanitarian action is one component of a much broader engagement by the United Nations and its partners in Myanmar that includes a wide range of peace-building, recovery and longer-term development activities. While humanitarian action will continue to be needed to address the needs of people who have been displaced or severely affected as a result of armed conflict, inter-communal violence and natural disasters, such activities need to be seen in the context of this broader engagement in Myanmar.
In 2014 the United Nations and its partners will continue to focus on assisting the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar toensure that all crisis-affected people in the country receive the assistance and protection they need, irrespective of their ethnicity, nationality, religion, gender or class, in accordance with humanitarian principles. Further efforts will also be made to support the Government in finding durable solutions for crisis-affected people and to support early recovery, so as to avoid long-term dependency on humanitarian aid.
The Strategic Response Plan focuses primarily on Rakhine and Kachin States where humanitarian needs and vulnerability of people remains at critical levels. At the same time, it takes note of humanitarian needs in other parts of the country including the southeast, Shan and Chin States, where there are high levels of human vulnerability as a result of protracted periods of armed conflict, exposure to natural disasters, chronic underdevelopment and other factors. The Strategic Response Plan also outlines activities aimed at strengthening preparedness to respond to natural disasters and other emergencies.
The Strategic Response Plan highlights the need for joint advocacy to ensure the rights of all crisis-affected people are respected. It stresses the need for humanitarian activities to be calibrated to ensure a conflict sensitive, “do no harm” approach. In this regard, it outlines the need to ensure strong community participation in all aspects of the programme cycle, from planning to implementation, monitoring and evaluation. A particular focus in 2014 will be that of improving communications with affected people.
With this plan, humanitarian action in Myanmar will be more strategic, targeted, measurable, and accountable than ever before.