Myanmar: 3rd press release of the tripartite core group

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The ASEAN-UN-Myanmar Tripartite Core Group (TCG) is an ASEAN-led mechanism to facilitate trust, confidence and cooperation between Myanmar and the international community in the urgent post-Cyclone Nargis humanitarian relief and recovery work.

Following the launching of a revised humanitarian appeal for US$482 million by Sir John Holmes, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator in New York on 10 July 2008, an informal donors meeting was held in Yangon on 11 July 2008. The meeting was attended by over 100 representatives from the Diplomatic Missions in Yangon, including Ambassadors, UN Agency Heads, INGOs and the Government representatives. The UN informed the international community in Myanmar of the revised humanitarian appeal and the urgent need for US$303 million to support sustained relief and early recovery efforts in helping the victims of Nargis in the delta.

During the occasion, Deputy Foreign Minister of Myanmar and TCG Chairman U Kyaw Thu, Singapore's Ambassador to Myanmar Robert Chua, and UN Resident Coordinator to Myanmar Bishow Parajuli, spoke and thanked the donors for their generous support and requested their continued generosity. They also stressed the urgency for new pledges to sustain continued relief and early recovery efforts. The UN also informed the meeting all the conditions set by the donors at the pledging conference on 25 May 2008 have been met. The government has been providing full access to relief workers and is doing everything to facilitate prompt movement of relief supplies to the people affected.

The TCG Chairman U Kyaw Thu attended the 4th meeting of the ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force (the TCG's parent body) in Singapore on 12 July 2008, together with Singapore's Ambassador to Myanmar Robert Chua, as the Senior ASEAN member of the TCG, and other ASEAN members of the TCG. The TCG Chairman updated the meeting on the progress of the TCG's work and affirmed the Myanmar government's support for the relief and recovery work of the TCG. The meeting noted the UN's revised Flash Appeal in New York on 10 July 2008, and reviewed the likely challenges that the TCG will address in the recovery and continuing relief phase in the coming months. In this context, TCG Chairman U Kyaw Thu said "At this minute, the TCG is leaning forward to recovery planning as mandated by the ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force. We contemplate to have this task to commence immediately after the UN issuance of the revised humanitarian appeal and the release of the PONJA report.' Ambassador Robert Chua noted that "the TCG will need to orient its facilitation efforts towards the needs of the cyclone victims and projects of the recovery phase, including the restoration of housing stock and water supply facilities, the building of storm shelters, and continued medical relief to prevent outbreaks of dengue and malaria in the present monsoon season."

The TCG held its 10th meeting in Yangon on 14 July 2008 and signed off the Report of the Post-Nargis Joint Assessment (PONJA) sponsored by the TCG. The PONJA Report will be launched on 21 July 2008 during the 41st ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Singapore, and concurrently in Yangon. The Report will set out the findings of the PONJA teams both on the current humanitarian situation in the cyclone-affected areas of Ayeyarwady (Irrawaddy) Delta and Yangon Division and on the damage and loss sustained. It is a joint, comprehensive and credible assessment conducted according to international standards, using tested methodologies developed by the UN and the World Bank. It is intended and the TCG expects it to fulfill the requirement for such an assessment expressed by the donor community at the ASEAN-UN International Pledging Conference held in Yangon on 25 May 2008. The TCG hopes that the donor community will respond generously to the needs described in the PONJA Report and help the cyclone victims to rebuild their livelihoods.

For additional information, please contact:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Yangon, the Union of Myanmar
ASEAN Department
Fax : +95 1 225106

Coordinating Office for ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force
Chatrium Hotel, Yangon
Tel : +95 1 544500 ext. 417
Fax: +95 1 549933

United Nations Information Center (UNIC)
No. 6, Natmauk Road, Yangon
Tel : +95 1 544186
Fax: +95 1 545634