Myanmar: Tropical Cyclone Nargis - May 2008
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Debarati Guha-Sapir, professor, Francesco Checchi, professor
Science must prevail
The Humanitarian News Digest is a monthly compilation of links to reports, web stories, press releases, and other public products published online by organizations with humanitarian operations in Myanmar. The content and views expressed in these publications do not necessarily reflect the views of OCHA.
- Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Updating early warning systems to keep pace with the fast increase in extreme weather events is vital in the struggle to prevent disasters and save lives
By Achim Steiner and Mami Mizutori
(Yangon, 2 May 2018): “Ten years ago today, Myanmar was devastated by cyclone Nargis – by far the worst natural disaster in the country’s history. The cyclone made landfall near Hainggyikyun in Ayeyarwady Region on 2 May 2008, with wind speeds of up to 200 kilometres per hour, accompanied by heavy rain and storm surges of up to 12 metres in certain areas. The cyclone left approximately 140,000 people dead or unaccounted for, with close to 2.4 million people affected in 37 townships in Ayeyarwady and Yangon regions.
On May 2, 2008, Cyclone Nargis struck Myanmar’s Ayeyarwady Delta and swept across the region toward Yangon. By the time the storm had passed, it had killed over 140,000 people, tearing apart families, destroying homes, and shattering livelihoods. In the months and years following Nargis, communities, supported by the national and international aid community, worked to rebuild their lives and repair the devastation that the cyclone had caused. Homes were rebuilt, paddy field walls repaired, and new fishing boats purchased.
Drought, earthquakes, floods, typhoons, volcanoes, and civil unrest, compounded by limited government response capacity in some countries, present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region. Between FY 2008 and FY 2017, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a range of natural and complex emergencies in the region.
François Grünewald and Véronique de Geoffroy
Myanmar occupies a special place among the different contexts where localisation has had a major influence on the way aid practices have evolved. It was the focus of one of the case studies during the research project, “More than the Money: Localisation in Practice”, that Groupe URD carried out for Trócaire.
New publication launched: Local Humanitarian Action in Practice – Case Studies and Reflections of Local Humanitarian Actors
A ceremony was held yesterday afternoon at the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement meeting hall where Bangladesh donated US$530,000 to construct storm shelters in Rakhine State. Union Minister for Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Dr Win Myat Aye accepted the donation and presented a document of honour to the Bangladesh ambassador to Myanmar.
In his speech of appreciation, the Union Minister said Myanmar is a country where storm shelters and life-saving high grounds are a necessity.
This publication is an initiative of the Regional Consultative Group (RCG) on Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination for Asia and the Pacific. The RCG seeks to not only link the region with the Global Consultative Group on Humanitarian Civil-Military Coordination, but also to provide a learning platform for good practice. This publication focuses on Asia and the five priority countries in this region that are highly vulnerable to large-scale natural disasters: Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nepal, and the Philippines.
South East Asia is particularly prone to natural disasters: a situation which is compounded by the fact that more than half the countries in the region are low or lower income. In addition, three countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar) are considered least developed.
Recurrent earthquakes, floods, typhoons, and volcanoes present significant challenges to vulnerable populations in the East Asia and the Pacific (EAP) region. Some countries also face civil unrest and associated humanitarian impacts, as well as limited government capacity to respond to disasters. Between FY 2007 and FY 2016, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/ OFDA) and USAID’s Office of Food for Peace (USAID/ FFP) provided humanitarian assistance in response to a diverse range of natural and complex emergencies in the region.
There is agreement in the scientific community that the global food system will experience unprecedented pressure in the coming decades – demographic changes, urban growth, environmental degradation, increasing disaster risk, food price volatility, and climate change will all affect food security patterns.
Melanie Hilton, Yee Mon Maung and Virginie Le Masson
This case study is one of four commissioned by BRACED to assess the links between resilience and gender in partners’ projects. It documents approaches used to promote gender equality within the BRACED Myanmar Alliance, as well as the latent challenges and opportunities in this process.
Myanmar regularly experiences cyclones, storm surges, floods, landslides, earthquakes, drought and forest fires. Over the last 10 years, Myanmar has been impacted by two major earthquakes, three severe cyclones, floods and other smaller-scale hazards. OCHA works closely with the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement and humanitarian partners to ensure a more systematic, inclusive and coordinated approach to disaster management, preparedness and response.