FOREWORD BY THE HUMANITARIAN COORDINATOR
The landmark election of November 2015 ushers in a new chapter in Myanmar’s democratic journey. The peace process is also at an important juncture, with a new process of political dialogue starting up as a result of the nationwide ceasefire agreement that was signed by the Government with eight ethnic armed groups in October 2015. As the country continues its democratic transition and its political and economic reforms, the humanitarian and development community must be ready to adapt its strategies and activities in line with the rapidly evolving situation.
Myanmar continues to face many humanitarian needs. With close to a quarter of a million displaced people in camps in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states, and with many other women and men, girls and boys, young people and elderly people vulnerable as a result of ongoing conflict or restrictions on their freedom of movement, it is clear that there are still big challenges ahead. The devastating floods in 2015 also reminded us of Myanmar’s vulnerability to natural disasters and we must make it a priority to strengthen disaster risk reduction, to enhance the resilience of communities, and to help Myanmar prepare for and respond to new emergencies.
While humanitarian assistance is needed, we know that humanitarian aid alone is not enough. In protracted crises, an approach is needed that considers development, peacebuilding and human rights issues as well as humanitarian needs, and to ensure coherence between these approaches. A more comprehensive international response, driven by a robust political engagement to help the Government and people of Myanmar address the root causes of crises, find durable solutions for displaced people, and avoid long-term dependency on humanitarian aid, is at the heart of a current effort by the international community at country level.
The 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan is part of a broader engagement by the United Nations and its partners in Myanmar to ensure that civilians are protected, to help build peace and to support recovery and longer-term development. This plan represents a light revision of the 2015 plan. It is based on the Humanitarian Needs Overview that was carried out by the Humanitarian Country Team in November 2015. A more thorough review of humanitarian needs and approaches will be carried out in 2016 once the new Government is in place.
United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.