Humanitarian Coordinator calls for an additional $41 million to respond to increased needs in Rakhine state, Myanmar

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 21 Nov 2012

(Yangon/Geneva, 21 November 2012) UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Ashok Nigam, together with the Union Minister of Border Affairs, Lieutenant General Thein Htay today launched the Revised Rakhine Response Plan to meet urgent humanitarian needs in Rakhine State.

At the launch in Yangon, Mr. Nigam thanked the international community for their contribution to date and called for their continued support. The revised plan will provide critical humanitarian aid to all 115,000 people displaced as a result of inter-communal violence in Rakhine State, up until June 2013. A series of deadly communal clashes in June this year left some 75,000 people displaced and requiring urgent humanitarian aid. This was followed by more violence in October leading to another 36,000 displaced people. The situation in the camps is dire with a lack of basic services.

“A decisive response by donors with immediate funding will provide urgently needed life-saving aid such as emergency shelter, clean drinking water, food and healthcare. Tens of thousands of people are living in terrible conditions and they desperately need our help” he stressed.

The plan has been revised upwards, from US$ 32.5 million to $68 million, to address the overall needs until the middle of next year. The remaining $41 million is still urgently required to meet the funding gap.

The Humanitarian Coordinator thanked the Government of Myanmar for its leadership, openness and support for the humanitarian response. “The Government of Myanmar is providing leadership in promoting tolerance and harmony as the key to stability but I also urge all communities to ensure a safe and secure environment for humanitarian aid workers to reach all those in need,” Mr. Nigam said. Lieutenant General Thein Htay also expressed his concerns that the delivery of humanitarian aid was being threatened by community perceptions. “There is an urgent need to put serious measures in place as well as to engage with the community leaders to ensure a favourable environment for relief operations,” he said.

During the launch the UN and its NGO partners reiterated their commitment to the people of Myanmar and of Rakhine State stressing that humanitarian aid is provided in strict accordance with humanitarian principles of impartiality, neutrality and humanity.

“We are ready to work together with the Government and with the communities to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those who need humanitarian assistance in both communities, and to contribute to create a climate of mutual trust and understanding where tolerance and compassion towards the most unfortunate prevail,” said Mr. Nigam.

During the launch, the Humanitarian Coordinator told the donor community that humanitarian agencies are short of funds and materials and have over-extended response options by diverting stocks from elsewhere in the country.

The launch was held simultaneously in Geneva with Member States and the international humanitarian community. The Revised Rakhine Response Plan is available at www.reliefweb.int

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