IOM Mobilizes Rapid Response Teams, Funding to Aid Flood-Hit Communities in Myanmar

Posted: 
08/07/15

Myanmar - Heavy monsoon rains during the month of June, July and August, combined with Cyclone Komen, have triggered flash floods and landslides affecting over 330,000 people and leaving at least 88 people dead, according to Myanmar’s Relief and Resettlement Department. Affected areas include Sagaing, Kachin, Shan, Mandalay, Chin, Rakhine, Kayin, Mon, Bago, Magway, Ayeyarwady and Yangon.

On 31 July, Myanmar President U Thein Sein declared Chin and Rakhine States and Sagaing and Magway Regions natural disaster zones. Many areas in Chin State are now inaccessible due to landslides and destroyed bridges, making it impossible for aid workers to reach affected communities and assess the damage, the number of casualties and people’s immediate needs.

IOM has allocated USD 100,000 to kick start its emergency response activities and between 1-4 August launched assessment missions in Kachin, Mon, Rakhine and Kayin States. The IOM teams, working with government, UN and NGO partners, found large numbers of homes destroyed or damaged, either by heavy rain, floods or resulting landslides. The ongoing monsoon means that there is an urgent need for temporary shelter materials, including plastic sheeting.

“We urgently need to help the hundreds of thousands of people affected by this natural disaster. Firstly we need to address their immediate need for shelter, health, food and non-food relief items. In the longer term, they will also need help when they return to their communities, many of which have been devastated. Flooded agricultural land has jeopardized their livelihoods and key infrastructure has been destroyed,” said IOM Myanmar Chief of Mission Kieran Gorman-Best.

“The initial (USD 100,000) funding is allowing us to deploy emergency response teams, start procuring life-saving shelter and non-food relief items, and provide assistance in the field of camp coordination and camp management,” he added.

IOM is currently working with government, UN and NGO partners to provide food, water, medicines, mosquito nets and emergency shelter to collective centres hosting thousands of internally displaced people (IDPs) in Mon and Kayin States. It plans to scale up assistance in Rakhine, Magway, Chin, and Sagaing next week.

IOM teams are also taking part in multi-agency assessment missions and IOM will shortly roll out the first round of its Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).  The DTM is an IOM information management tool used in crisis situations worldwide to gather information on the status and location of IDPs, allowing national authorities and the international community to assess needs and target aid.

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

IOM helps distribute aid to flood victims in Myanmar. © IOM 2015