IOM Launches Myanmar Flood Relief Appeal

Posted: 
08/14/15

Myanmar - IOM has launched an appeal for USD 8 million to help communities affected by massive flooding across large swathes of Myanmar.

IOM emergency teams, returning from the worst-affected areas, report that many communities remain cut off, with key infrastructure such as roads and  bridges washed away, schools and  health clinics severely damaged, water sources contaminated, and rice crops severely affected.                            

The Myanmar government’s Relief and Resettlement Department  says that over a million  people have been affected across Sagaing, Kachin, Shan, Mandalay, Chin, Rakhine, Kayin, Mon, Bago, Magway, Ayeyarwady and Yangon, with almost 15,200 homes destroyed.

“Many of those displaced were housed in temporary collective centres, such as schools and monasteries,” said Kieran Gorman-Best, Chief of Mission of IOM Myanmar.  “They are now starting to return home. IOM is scaling up its operations to ensure distribution of shelter and non-food relief items to the most vulnerable families when they get back to their communities.”

Heavy monsoon rains during the month of July, followed by Cyclone Komen, caused extensive flash floods and landslides in several parts of the country, resulting in at least 99 deaths.  On 31 July, Myanmar President U Thein Sein issued a statement declaring natural disaster zones in Chin and Rakhine States and in the Sagaing and Magway regions.

IOM this week received 500 family kits (including kitchen sets, blankets, mosquito nets and clothing), donated by the Australian government. These, alongside 1,000 shelter kits, are being rushed to flood affected communities. Further distributions are planned, with IOM currently procuring 10,000 shelter kits and other non-food relief items with support from the UN’s Central Emergency Fund (CERF). An airlift of emergency aid is expected in the coming days.

Last week IOM distributed 31,800 water bottles, 9,220 dry noodle packs, 7,000 biscuit packs, 26 shelter kits, clothes and medicine in Mon State, and 1,300 mosquito nets in Kayin State, in cooperation with the government, civil society, UN and NGO partners. IOM has deployed teams to Rakhine, Magway, Chin and Sagaing to track displacement and coordinate with national authorities.

Funds raised by IOM’s appeal will both respond to immediate needs and support longer-term recovery. Proposed activities include procurement and distribution of shelter and other relief items to the most vulnerable families; camp coordination and camp management; quick impact repairs to public infrastructure; assistance in home reconstruction through training and safe construction kits; and support in the water and sanitation area.

“As many people remain in areas which are flooded, it is essential that we continue to provide life-saving relief. We aim to help them not only return and recover, but also assist them to be ready for similar events in the future,” says Gorman-Best.

For more information please contact Kieran Gorman-Best at IOM Myanmar, Email: kgormanbest@iom.int, Tel. +95 94317 1025.

Aid for flood victims donated by Australia arrives in Yangon. © IOM 2015