IDPs in camps in Rakhine State urgently need repairs to their shelters ahead of the rainy season
Dry season water shortages in Rakhine State
Thousands displaced following renewed clashes in northern Shan State in February and March
Majority of people in flood evacuation sites have now been resettled, but over 3,000 remain displaced
Major assessment by FAO and WFP shows that food security and livelihoods are still at risk following 2015 floods
Putting ‘Protection’ at the heart of humanitarian action in Myanmar
number of IDPs in Kachin and Shan states 100,000
number of IDPs in Rakhine State 120,000
Rakhine: IDP shelters need urgent repair
Many IDP shelters in Rakhine in need of rehabilitation or major repairs
About 120,000 people remain displaced in 39 camps or camp-like settings across Rakhine State as a result of the inter-communal violence that broke out in 2012. While some repair and maintenance work occurred in 2014 and 2015, many of the long-houses that were built in 2013 as a temporary measure to last for two years are now in very poor condition. They have weathered three monsoon seasons, as well as Cyclone Komen, which made landfall in southern Bangladesh, close to Rakhine State, in July 2015. The next rainy season is two months away. Ensuring that people are protected from the elements and that they are able to live in dignified conditions is an increasingly critical need. This is particularly the case in Pauktaw and Myebon townships, where many shelters will have to be almost entirely rebuilt, with only 5 per cent of the original building structure being salvageable. Water and sanitation infrastructure is also in need of repair and maintenance in many IDP camps.
In March 2016, the Rakhine State Government, Shelter Cluster Lead UNHCR, the Norwegian Refugee Council, Lutheran World Federation (LWF), the Danish Refugee Council (DRC) and OCHA conducted a joint assessment of IDP camps in Sittwe, Pauktaw and Myebon townships. The 21 camps in these three townships account for over 90 per cent of all remaining IDPs across the state. Needs were categorized between full rehabilitation (requiring an almost total rebuild), major repair (requiring 60 per cent to be repaired), and minor repair (requiring 20 per cent to be repaired). The assessment found that in Sittwe Township of the 1,600 eight-unit structures, more than 60 per cent are in need of major repairs. In Pauktaw Township, the situation is worse: 80 per cent of the 298 eight-unit structures in three of the four camps need full rehabilitation. This is indicative of the more exposed location of these camps. The fourth camp in Pauktaw had significant shelter repair and maintenance in 2015. Significant work is also required in the one large camp in Myebon Township, which contains 89 long-houses.
Additional funds urgently needed
Based on these detailed assessments, the combined financial needs to complete rehabilitation and repairs stands at US$3.2 million. UNHCR as Cluster Lead and LWFhave committed $1.1 million and $0.5 million respectively, leaving a remaining gap of $1.6 million. Efforts to address this shortfall continue. To date, it is not known what the Rakhine State Government may be able to contribute. The funding currently available is being prioritized for Pauktaw and Meybon townships where the needs are most urgent, with the balance to be spent in some of the camps in Sittwe Township. Implementation will either be directly by UNHCR and LWF or by cluster partners, notably DRC.
If the $1.6 million funding gap is not closed, thousands of displaced people, including small children and elderly people who are already living in precarious conditions, will be exposed to another rainy season without the necessary shelter repairs being undertaken. This includes 36,000 people in Sittwe Township in temporary shelters that are in need of major repair and 2,500 people in temporary shelters that are in need of full rehabilitation.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.