Myanmar: TCG launches three-year recovery plan for cyclone Nargis affected communities

News and Press Release
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Bangkok, 9 February 2009

The Post-Nargis Response and Preparedness Plan (PONREPP), launched today in Bangkok, sets out a three-year framework to guide recovery efforts following the devastating impact of Cyclone Nargis, which hit Myanmar's Delta region on 2 and 3 May 2008. The cyclone caused unprecedented destruction, with 140,000 people dead or missing and 2.4 million people severely affected, comparable to the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.

Since the cyclone, the Government and people of Myanmar together with the humanitarian community have made sustained efforts to help the communities of the Delta rebuild their lives. Covering the period from January 2009 through December 2011, the PONREPP provides a platform for the transition from emergency relief and early recovery towards medium-term recovery and for guiding those efforts across eight operational sectors. The recovery needs amounts to USD 691 million over the next three years. This figure must be seen as indicative, to be refined based on actual implementation rates and eventual reviews of PONREPP.

"The close collaboration between the Government and the international community over the last nine months has been vital to the relief and early recovery efforts. PONREPP results from that collaboration, having been commissioned by the Tripartite Core Group (TCG) which has guided and facilitated the post-cyclone relief and recovery efforts, as well as promoting complementarities between the Government's reconstruction plan and the PONREPP," said TCG Chairman and Chairman of the Civil Service Selection and Training Board, U Kyaw Thu.

"The PONREPP proposes a strategy that will be community-based and community-driven, while also strengthening aid coordination, management, and tracking to promote maximum aid effectiveness," said the Thai Ambassador Bansarn Bunnag, Senior ASEAN member of the TCG.

Also drawing on the findings of the Periodic Review and the Social Impact Monitoring study undertaken by TCG in late 2008, the PONREPP examines the causes of the population's vulnerabilities in order to identify priorities for the mid-term recovery effort. These include the rapid re-establishment of adequate livelihoods to reactivate economic life and prevent deeper debt cycles that have begun to affect many farmers, fishermen, laborers and small enterprises. It underlines the importance of cash grants and micro-credit as components of recovery assistance. It highlights the urgent need to continue the construction of improved household and community shelters, as well as disaster risk reduction initiatives before the onset of the next cyclone season in May 2009.

"The recovery strategy further aims at restoring the local education and health systems, through the repair of damaged and destroyed schools and health facilities, and improving household and community facilities and access to safe water and sanitation. It addresses the specific needs of children, women, elderly and the disabled, as well as issues such as psychosocial support and return, resettlement and re-integration," said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Bishow Parajuli.

In a message delivered on behalf UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP, Dr Noeleen Heyzer, said; "I'm very happy that the TCG and the wider international donor community have successfully developed the PONREPP which will serve as an important platform for a medium term recovery plan for Myanmar."

The UN Revised Appeal, covering relief and early recovery needs up to April 2009, has as of now been met by 65% (USD 309 million) of the USD 477 million required, according to OCHA's Financial Tracking Services (FTS). Agriculture is currently the least funded sector with only 28 per cent of the requirements covered.