Australia pledges $1 million for Myanmar Emergency Response Fund

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 24 Dec 2012

(Yangon/New York, 24 December): Rapid and flexible in-country funding for emergency assistance such as water, sanitation and hygiene, health care, food, education, protection, livelihoods and agriculture has been pledged by the Australian Government, through the Australian Agency for International Development, AusAID.

With a pledge of AU$1 million, Australia joins other generous donors such as the United Kingdom and Sweden in support of the Humanitarian Multi Stakeholder Fund (HMSF), an Emergency Response Fund established in Myanmar and managed by OCHA. The HMSF is a rapid and flexible funding mechanism available in country to respond to short-term emergency needs of vulnerable communities in difficult to reach areas.

“The Australian Government is a strong supporter of effective and flexible humanitarian funding mechanisms, such as the HMSF. Such mechanisms are particularly important in Myanmar given the ongoing needs in border regions and its susceptibility to natural disasters. Australia is pleased to support the HMSF as it is an efficient way to ensure our support reaches those in need.” said Mr. Michael Hassett, Head of Development Assistance for AusAID in Myanmar.

Since its inception in 2007, the HMSF has disbursed funds to 16 humanitarian projects in 180 villages, reaching some 200,000 people. These projects have provided life saving activities in south-east Myanmar, Kachin and Northern Shan States. In November of this year, its coverage was expanded to include Rakhine State in view of the acute humanitarian needs resulting from inter-communal conflict.

The HMSF is a pooled fund and its main donors in Myanmar are the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and now the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID). Since its launch in Myanmar, contributions from donors amount to US$7 million.

Twelve other HMSF funds are accessible in Afghanistan, Colombia, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, Pakistan, Syria, Yemen, and Zimbabwe which all are managed by OCHA.

For further information, please call:

Stewart Davies, OCHA Myanmar, davies1@un.org, Cell +95 98 602 835

Jens Laerke, OCHA Geneva, laerke@un.org, Cell +41 79 472 9750

Amanda Pitt, OCHA NY, pitta@un.org, Tel. +1 212 963 4129, Cell +1 917 442 1810

OCHA press releases are available at www.unocha.org or www.reliefweb.int.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.