Yangon, August 23, 2018– In response to the widespread flooding triggered by heavy monsoon rains in Myanmar, the European Union is allocating €130 000 (more than MMK 206.5 million) in humanitarian aid funding to address the most pressing needs of the worst affected populations.
The aid will directly benefit 15 000 people in the worst-hit southern states of Bago, Kayin, and Mon.
This EU funding supports the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) in delivering multi-purpose cash grants to the most impacted families, enabling them to cover their immediate basic needs and sustain their livelihoods during displacement, and after return to their places or origin. As the risk of disease outbreaks usually increases in the aftermath of flooding, hygiene parcels and dignity kits are also being distributed, and health and hygiene promotion sessions are also provided to the affected communities. Priority is given to those most in need, including female-headed households, people with disabilities, and the elderly.
The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
More than 133 000 people were displaced after incessant monsoon rains, which started at the beginning of July, caused water levels to increase and triggered large-scale flooding that submerged vast swathes of Myanmar. Some 16 people were also reportedly killed. According to Myanmar’s Department for Disaster Management, the flooding affected seven of the country’s fifteen regions. Bago, Kayin and Mon states alone accounted for 98% of the people displaced.
With more rains expected in the country during the annual monsoon season, which normally lasts until at least the end of September, humanitarian experts from the European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Operations (ECHO) continue to closely monitor the situation.
The European Union together with its Member States is the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises. The European Commission through its European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO) helps over 120 million victims of conflicts and disasters every year. For more information, please visit ECHO's website.
The European Commission has signed a EUR 3 million humanitarian contribution agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Funds from the DREF are mainly allocated to “small-scale” disasters – those that do not give rise to a formal international appeal.
The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, it can request funds from the DREF. For small-scale disasters, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors. The contribution agreement between the IFRC and ECHO enables the latter to replenish the DREF for agreed operations (that fit in with its humanitarian mandate) up to a total of EUR 3 million.
For further information, please contact:
Pierre Prakash, Regional Information Officer for Asia and the Pacific, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO): Pierre.Prakash@echofield.eu