Myanmar

Myanmar: Emergency shelter cluster bi-weekly situation report, 23 Oct 2008

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Overall Situation

- With increasing amounts of data from the Delta it is clear that shelter is an increasing priority. It is estimated that at least 100,000 of the 450,000 destroyed houses belonged to vulnerable families. Most of these vulnerable families are living in shelters that are the most basic of emergency shelters and well below SPHERE standards. Tarps distributed thee months ago are already deteriorating and more durable solutions are urgently required.

- A weather window (dry season) means that we have until April until make significant impact on shelter construction.

- The Delta is an extremely challenging environment and the total lack of roads means that all construction of shelter will be more expensive and take time.

- Full advantage must be taken of the coming 6 months or else there is a serious risk of a second humanitarian crisis when the wet season arrives in April 2009.

Overall Achievements and Future Planning

- Over 700,000 plastic sheets distributed by the cluster, covering 70% of the estimate affected households. 79,749 tool kits have also been distributed, along with 396,183 blankets, 828,095 mosquito nets, 421,968 jerry cans and 181,799 kitchen sets.

- Shelter organisations continue to provide some NFIs but these activities are being wound down.

- New activities currently being set up will mainly focus on the distribution of building materials and some training to owners and artisans.

- Assessments currently underway will help assist prioritisation processes.

- Vulnerable families need more support than kit- shelters and 50,000+ families will need shelters with a minimum life of 24 months to be constructed with them.

- The private sector has made significant contributions to shelter.

Challenges

- There are less than 10 significant agencies/INGOs in the delta to support shelter construction and this is spreading their efforts extremely thin.

- Agencies are planning to leave Myanmar by December due to lack of funding and they are already losing specialist technical staff.

- There are local NGO/CBOs but capacity is very limited.

Coordination

- The Shelter Cluster has spent the past month collecting information from the Delta in order to raise awareness of the appalling emergency shelter conditions.

- Support for coordination and information management at the various hubs is being strengthened by regular visits from Yangon staff - to ensure two way information flow and follw-up

- The shelter cluster has reassessed technical specifications (technical Working Group) in order to limit poor design and to ensure equity from the responding agencies.

Funding

There is an urgent need for a 'humanitarian plus' and early recovery response to shelter provision. $20mn is urgently required in the next six months.