Myanmar: Post-Nargis Periodic Review lV

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Two years after Cyclone Nargis struck the Ayeyarwady and Yangon Divisions of Myanmar, sweeping across over 50 townships and hitting Yangon, the country's Review (PR IV) examines the status of households in the most affected area.

In this context, PR IV details the present status of households and the progress or lack of progress made by the households towards recovery. Where information allows, this assessment compares the current situation to that before the Cyclone. The assessment relies on the responses of 1,400 sampled households living in the most devastated areas, the Ayeyarwady and Yangon Divisions. The results are presented in three interlinked chapters: Healthy Lives, Productive Lives, and Protected Lives.

The PR IV is the fourth in a series of assessments conducted with households in the affected areas following the Cyclone. PR I was published six months after Cyclone Nargis and was based on an assessment conducted between 29 October and 19 November 2008. The PR I used refined indicators and analysis methods from the Village Tract Assessment carried out in June 2008. The following year, the PR II was released in July 2009, and was based on data collected between 7 May and 2 June 2009. PR III was printed in January 2010 and presented data that had been collected between 21 October and 19 November 2009.

Within days of the Cyclone's landfall, the humanitarian services to meet immediate needs; later recovery efforts addressed medium and longer-term requirements. Life stabilised and improvements occurred since the first Periodic Review in November 2008.

Households need for health care services stabilised by November 2009. Maternal and infant health care, child nutrition and adequate treatment of drinking water improved incrementally with each successive assessment. Food security improved, although areas of weakness remained at the time of the PR IV assessment. Crop producing households largely farmed about the same acreage in the most recent season as in the previous season.

These signs of stabilization and improvement notwithstanding, ownership of critical livelihoods assets remained below pre-Cyclone Nargis levels. Most households lived in weaker dwellings in May 2010 than before Cyclone Nargis, and available housing was highly vulnerable to severe storms.

However, despite intensive humanitarian work the devastation of Cyclone Nargis is still felt two years on, particularly by households that had their dwellings completely destroyed by the Cyclone. These households fared worse as a result of the Cyclone; their ability to produce crops and undertake other livelihoods have been limited, they are less likely to have enough food, more likely to be living in poorer quality housing and their children are less likely to be in school.