Myanmar

Myanmar: Floods - Emergency appeal operations update 3 (MDRMM006)

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Situation Report
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Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners actively involved in the operation: The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and a number of Partner National Societies are supporting MRCS in its response. Partner National Societies who have supported the response through the IFRC appeal are American Red Cross, Australian Red Cross, British Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross Society, Danish Red Cross, Finnish Red Cross, Japanese Red Cross Society, the Netherlands Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross, Red Cross of Monaco and Swedish Red Cross. Some Partner National Societies with in-country presence have also supported MRCS directly outside the IFRC appeal. In addition to providing support via the IFRC appeal, Danish Red Cross provided bilateral support to MRCS. The Qatar Red Crescent Society, Singapore Red Cross Society and the Thai Red Cross Society have extended bilateral support to MRCS.

The IFRC appeal operation has also been supported by various governments, some of which have directed the donations via their National Societies. Specifically, donations have been received from the governments of Canada, Denmark Finland, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Poland. Private donors in 96 countries – across Africa, Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and Middle East and North Africa – have made online contributions.

Other partner organizations actively involved in the operation:

  • Government ministries and agencies including the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD), Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Health and National Emergency Operations Centre

  • Technical/inter-agency standing committee clusters including Shelter/Non-Food Item/Camp Coordination and Camp Management, WASH and Health clusters

  • UN agencies including the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Activities (UN OCHA), UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UN Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), UN Population Fund (UNFPA) and World Food Programme (WFP)

  • Regional organizations, international organizations/NGOs including the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre), Danish Refugee Council, International Organization for Migration (IOM), Norwegian Refugee Council and Save the Children

Summary

This update provides an overview of the progress made during the first six months of the operation which was launched following floods that affected several parts of Myanmar in July and August 2015. The floods were wrought by heavy monsoon rains coupled with high winds and heavy rain from Cyclone Komen which passed nearby on 30 July 2015.

The flooding spread over a large area largely in the northwest, west, south and southwest of the country. According to government figures, 110 people died and over 9 million people were affected in 12 of the country’s states and regions, with the loss of homes, livelihoods, crops and food stocks. Over 1.4 million acres of farmland were inundated, with more than 841,000 acres destroyed. Over 15,000 homes were damaged and some 1.7 million people were temporarily displaced. The Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD) reported that the highest numbers of affected people were recorded in Ayeyarwady, Sagaing and Magway regions while Rakhine state had the highest number of destroyed homes. Many parts of mountainous Chin state were also badly affected by landslides.

People who had been displaced in almost all of the affected areas have since returned home. However, in parts of Hakha in Chin state, where homes were completely destroyed, there are still some people living in camps within urban areas as well as temporary shelters in their villages.

In response to the floods, the authorities, local civil society organizations, international non-governmental organizations (INGOs), UN agencies and the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) – supported by its International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement partners – responded. Since the launch of the operation, MRCS, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and the ICRC are working in a coordinated approach together with Partner National Societies.

First response

In the immediate aftermath of the floods, MRCS volunteers, including members of national disaster response teams (NDRT) and emergency response teams (ERT), played an active role in the various affected states and regions.

The volunteers helped to evacuate people, provided critical life-saving assistance and carried out assessments. In total, MRCS assisted the evacuation of more than 380,000 people from flood-hit areas.

Relief

In addition to the first response, MRCS volunteers and staff distributed relief items to affected families in evacuation centres and in affected communities, provided safe drinking water and water purification tablets. At the conclusion of the relief intervention, MRCS had reached over 90,000 people across all 12 affected regions with relief items.

Recovery

The Myanmar’s Recovery Coordination Committee, led by the Ministry of Construction, drafted a national recovery framework which is guiding the approach adopted by all actors, including MRCS. Recovery programming started in October 2015 and follows an integrated approach, with communities closely engaged, to ensure that the needs of affected people across sectors such as livelihoods, shelter, water, sanitation and health, are met.

The main focus of MRCS recovery activities to date has been on providing cash assistance to address a range of needs faced by the worstaffected households. Prior to cash distributions, 15 village recovery committees were formed in Sagaing and Chin states, and cash transfer training was conducted for staff and volunteers, including in community engagement and accountability. To date, 1,659 households (8,300 people) have received cash grants of between 500,000 Myanmar Kyats (MMK) (approximately CHF 398) and MMK 600,000 (approximately CHF 478). A second phase of cash grants is set to be delivered between March and April 2016 to an additional 630 households in Kalay and Tamu townships.

Other recovery interventions have included activities in water and sanitation, and health sectors. Community-based health and first aid (CBHFA) training, which included sessions on the main health risks facing affected communities, has been undertaken for 35 people. These 35 people, from branches and communities, will then deliver the same training to others in their villages, who will in turn share their knowledge with the wider community. Health-related information, education and communication (IEC) materials were also provided to community members alongside relief and cash distributions, reaching over 18,000 people.

On water and sanitation, latrine construction in Kalay, including in schools, has been commissioned and construction is underway.

With regards to National Society response capacity enhancement, two boats procured through the assistance of the Japanese Government were delivered to MRCS branches in Sagaing during February. The boats will allow MRCS to respond faster to the needs of communities in the event of future potential flooding.