Emergency response to floods: Since early August, 474,490 people in 10 regions/ states across Myanmar were affected by torrential floods. In cooperation with the government counterparts and partners, WFP launched emergency flood response with rapid needs assessments and subsequent food distributions in the worst affected areas of Ayeyarwaddy, Bago, Mandalay and Magway Regions as well as Rakhine State. The assessment results indicated that 189,000 people were in need of immediate food assistance. By the second week of August, 155,000 people with limited market access received monthly food baskets, consisting of rice, pulses, cooking oil and salt and/or three-day ration of nutritious high energy biscuit snacks in ten townships of the affected areas. In Pathein Township of Ayeyarwaddy, 6,000 people were reached with cash transfers due to reliable access to functioning markets. In-kind food distributions would continue for additional 17,820 people in Pantanaw and Tharbaung Townships while 13,260 people in Pathein Township would be supported with cash-based transfers. Local authorities rendered warehousing facility and delivery service for WFP food in the affected areas. Funding requirements for the flood response, currently planned till endDecember, are anticipated at US$ 10 million with immediate shortfall of US$4 million. If funds are timely secured, WFP will continue uninterrupted provision of life-saving food and cash assistance as well as phase in community asset rehabilitation activities, targeting 3,000 people.
Small-scale flood response in Rakhine and Kachin: WFP accommodated food gaps for 45,000 people from 57 villages in Minbya Township affected by seasonal floods in Rakhine State in June. Information so far demonstrated a total of 93 villages were affected in Minbya and the remaining villages have been provided food by the government department and a local NGO.
Although preliminary findings suggested affected households had sufficient food supply and all displaced families have reportedly returned to their places of origin, WFP may assist flood-affected people in Kyauk Taw and Mrauk-U Townships through cash or food for asset rehabilitation activities, considering impact of damaged paddy farms. In Kachin State, WFP has received an official letter from the State Government to coordinate in providing food assistance to 119 school children, who have been displaced by the flood from La Chin Village of Tsawlaw Township to Myitkyina Town since May. WFP will assess food needs of school children. Previously, WFP provided one week provision of HEBs for 1,167 people from TsawLaw affected by floods in May.
Impeded humanitarian access: Since May, WFP’s food deliveries to areas of Kachin beyond Government control were halted by the government due to security concerns triggered by intensified fighting. The rations distributed in the five camps were sufficient for twothree months only; therefore a fresh delivery is urgent now in August. However, despite persistently reiterated requests by the UN senior leadership and other humanitarian partners in Myanmar, no access was granted by the government, putting at risk IDPs’ food and nutrition security. In northern Shan State, WFP’s regular food delivery from Lashio Township to Mansi Township was briefly hampered at military check points, after security controls had been tighten in the wake of isolated military skirmishes between ethnic armed groups in Man Tone Township during July. Since June WFP’s food delivery from Lashio Township of northern Shan to Wa Self-Administered Division was once again deterred due to heavy deployment of military forces in northern Shan State.
New displacement in northern Shan: In late July, 440 people from nine villages of Man Tone Township were displaced, fleeing from isolated skirmishes between the ethnic armed groups. Displaced families found refuge in two camps in Nam Tu Township. There were protection concerns among the newly displaced, including arbitrary arrest and insufficient shelter facilities. Initial information suggested food stocks were sufficient till the end of August. Nevertheless, the affected areas had agriculture-based economy with tea leaves and forestry production and in spite of July-August being the growing season, local communities could not access to agricultural farms. Moreover, agricultural assets, crops, food stocks and livestock were reported to be destroyed or killed. In light of these circumstances, next harvest season is expected to incur latent effects, and the communities may face resultant food insecurity.