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Floods in Myanmar
Geneva, 20 August 2013
1. Brief description of the emergency and impact
As of 5 August 2013, the Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD) reports 23,884 people displaced by monsoon floods in several regions including Kayin, Mon, Tanintharyi and Rakhine States and the Ayeyawady Region. The flood has affected both rural and urban areas, forcing people to take shelter in temporary camps or moving to highlands in the surrounding areas. According to OCHA, about 33,000 people are affected in Kayin State alone. According to local organizations, people affected in remote villages have either decided against moving to camps or they are unable to do so. Access to such areas is almost impossible due to damaged infrastructure and a lack of means of transportation.
2. Why is an ACT response needed?
Kayin State, one of the worst affected areas, is a geographic focus area for ACT Myanmar Forum member Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in terms of its programme interventions. There are also partners of other ACT members operational in the country. While the camp population has been covered by other humanitarian agencies, the remote villages are by and large overlooked. Kayin Baptist Convention – partner agency of ACT members conducted a rapid assessment in such areas and identified the need for immediate food and non-food assistance, to be followed by recovery and linking relief and rehabilitation to development (LRRD) support.
3. National and international response
The displaced population is expected to return in a few days. Afterwards they will require rehabilitation support to get back on their feet after all the damage and loss. Repairs in infrastructure and damaged houses will be also needed. The World Food Program (WFP) made a joint assessment with the Government and identified the need for immediate, medium and long term support. World Vision, Malteser, Action Aid, ADRA and Swiss Development Cooperation have been supporting the emergency phase. UNHCR has supported Kayin State government for coordination with other agencies and to identify needs and gaps in non-food items (NFIs).
4. ACT Alliance response
The Church World Service (CWS) response team has already been activated for distribution of relief items and has with its local partners, Gold Myanmar and Htoo Pho Kapaw, started the process of distribution of food items in Kayin State. Water Guards (chlorine for sterilisation of water) are being requested by the partners. An assessment team from CWS partner, MNGO-CP (a network of Myanmar NGOs for contingency and emergency response) is planning to assess recovery needs in areas of Mon State where livelihood of affected people is a serious concern. The Kayin Baptist Convention – Christian Social Service and Development Department, a partner of Christian Aid (CA), along with DanchurchAid (DCA) and Diakonia plan to distribute relief items in Karen (Kayin) State. LWF is offering to assist the Relief and Resettlement Department in relief activities. The Emergency Assessment and Response Team, which includes ACT members Norwegian Church Aid (NCA), DCA and CA partners, Mae Tao Clinic and Back Pack Health Workers Team, have also been activated for response. A rapid needs assessment has been conducted and some initial food items have already been delivered, while mobile medical teams from several EART member organizations are currently being prepared to be dispatched to affected areas.
5. Planned activities
In initial stages, various ACT members responded directly to the emergency by supporting partners who were intervening. At the same time, ACT members were coordinating for a joint ACT response which will focus on rehabilitation and recovery, linking with development needs in the areas. ACT Forum Myanmar will launch a preliminary ACT Appeal very soon to this effect.
The challenge will be getting permission from the Kayin State Government and possibly permission from various Non-State actors in the region for International NGOs to proceed. However, our strength lies with local partners as they are based in the region and they have knowledge in dealing with different authorities. Thus, support to local partners is not expected to cause any delays.
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