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Conflict in Myanmar, floods in Afghanistan – under-reported and under-funded?

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While the situations in Syria, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Philippines rightly continue to command significant humanitarian attention, elsewhere other crises are emerging or escalating. The recent flash floods in Afghanistan and the conflict in Kachin, Myanmar may be affecting fewer people, but for those caught up in them the impact is devastating and the needs great. What’s going on in these under-reported situations?

The flash flooding in Afghanistan has affected more than 39,000 people in ten northern provinces following heavy rainfall on 24 and 25 April. Almost 16,000 of them have been displaced from their homes and 132 people are currently reported dead.

The conflict in Kachin was ranked as ECHO’s top forgotten emergency for 2013–2014. The latest round of armed violence between government forces and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) erupted on 10 April. The numbers of people displaced is unclear, but local aid groups put the figure at over 5,000 people in the first week – many of whom were already displaced by previous fighting.

So how are donors responding?

Does out-of- the news mean out-of-funds? This was the question put to us by the START network, a consortium of British based Humanitarian INGOs, which has recently launched its own fund to help fill exactly such funding gaps and enable rapid response.

At GHA we are partnering with the START network to help to inform their funding allocation decisions. When the START members issue a funding alert, we produce (within 12 hours) a rapid real-time overview of the humanitarian funding picture: recent funding, an overview of appeals and funds, and analysis of donor trends.

What did our analysis show?

In both countries, as there are no specific appeals for funding for these recent crises, we can’t measure the resources against the financial needs. But here’s the highlights of what we found out about the funding flows (you can find our full analysis of the funding situation in Myanmar here and Afghanistan here):

  • For the Afghanistan floods, in addition to the mobilisation of significant domestic and diaspora resources, Denmark has recently released $US74,000 and the US$2.6 million country based Emergency Relief Fund is likely to be the first pooled fund to respond to the crisis. The Common Humanitarian Fund (CHF) has also set aside funding of US$2 million to respond to recurrent seasonal flooding. Within the 2014 UN appeal of US$406 million for Afghanistan, US$133 million is for response to natural disasters.

  • In Myanmar, so far US$530,000 of the US$2.8 million Emergency Relief Fund has been allocated to Kachin State, of which US$309,285 has gone to education and US$221,783 to protection. In addition, we’ve heard that additional funding has been made available from Australia and the UK for the current crisis but not yet reported on OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service. These contributions are likely to be in the region of US$2 million each, but yet to be confirmed.

This analysis is intended not just for the START agencies but for all of you engaged in these crises – donors, humanitarian organisations, analysts, advocates and citizens.

That’s why we have posted them on our new crisis briefing website page, where we’ll continue to post future briefings. And do contact us if you have an interest in a particular country or countries and we’ll add you to our email list.