Change to food assistance: Since early 2016, distinct changes in type and level of WFP’s relief assistance have ushered in Kachin IDP camps. Firstly, cash-based transfer was introduced in order to enable IDPs to diversify their food choices. In this regard, 27,600 IDPs have transitioned to cash based transfers. Based on a recent market assessment, WFP intends to employ combined cash and food (rice only) transfer modality for the remaining 8,000 IDPs currently receiving regular food baskets. Secondly, level of assistance was adjusted in line with improved food security status of IDP households. Based on a retargeting exercise implemented through participatory approach, provision of assistance was reduced by 30 percent for the IDP households, who were identified as less vulnerable on account of having access to additional income sources. Meanwhile the most vulnerable families, such as unaccompanied elderly people, disabled persons, female-headed households and others continue to receive a full ration. Nutrition support for pregnant and lactating women as well as malnourished children under 5 will remain unaffected by these changes. Furthermore, some IDP households, who have already relocated to the resettled areas, established by the State government, will be assisted with cash provision for the initial three months. These changes will not be applied to IDPs in areas beyond government’s control (NGCA). In May, WFP delivered two-three month food rations for over 8,400 IDPs in five IDP locations. Delivery to Laiza has been postponed due to volatile security situation.
IDP prioritisation in Shan: Since fighting resumed in Kachin in 2011, WFP has been uninterruptedly assisting 9,800 people displaced to five townships in northern Shan State as well as Mansi Township in Kachin State, which is currently covered by WFP’s Lashio area office due to its geographical proximity. In May, WFP conducted prioritisation exercise in 23 IDP sites to substantiate and prioritise the most disadvantaged IDP families as per vulnerability criteria and wealth ranking. Results demonstrated 44 percent of current population receiving WFP’s relief assistance already had access to additional income sources and hence, assistance would be discontinued for 25 percent of total IDPs, who were found better-off in four IDP sites. In addition, assistance for 19 percent of total in the rest of the sites would be reduced by 50 percent.
New displacements in Shan: By end of May, nearly 68 percent of more than 11,000 persons, displaced by sporadic skirmishes during early and mid-2016, returned to their places of origin. WFP will discontinue unconditional relief assistance to resettled households from June onwards. Moreover, WFP will cease provision of assistance to over 1,600 people, who originate from host communities or non-affected areas and intentionally move into the camps to get humanitarian assistance. Therefore, only 900 genuine IDPs remaining in Nam Kham and Kut Kai Townships will continue receiving relief assistance.
WFP’s ongoing response in Kokang: Since the onset of armed conflicts in Kokang, WFP has been providing relief assistance to Kokang IDPs in northern Shan and Wa. As access became possible in August 2015 in Kokang itself, WFP assisted 6,000 people, who were gradually advancing from southern to northern part, where security situation remained precarious. As a result, WFP’s relief operations in the southern Kokang were scaled down. Currently, WFP provides assistance to over 4,800 IDPs in Chin Shwe Haw and Laukkaing Townships. However, relief assistance is considered no longer needed for nearly 2,800 people from June-July onwards. Meanwhile, WFP will continue supporting 5,455 returnees in the northern part, and retargeting will be conducted after three months.
Small-scale localised floods: Along with monsoon season, heavy rains set in the country, causing floods in Rakhine State and Sagaing Region. On 10-11 June, WFP conducted a rapid assessment in two flood affected townships in Sagaing Region to explore immediate food needs. More than 25,000 people were affected and insignificant number of livestock was reported being killed. Medicinal drugs as well as household assets were also destroyed. Nevertheless, food stocks in the assessed areas were found sufficient, while affected families were additionally receiving public donations for meals. Therefore, no urgent need for food assistance was identified. In Rakhine State, preliminary findings showed that more than 9,300 people were affected and 213 houses were destroyed. Public donation of rice and staple foods was sufficient for one month and WFP might assess further food needs afterwards.