Yangon, 3 October 2016 – In response to widespread flooding that has hit several parts of Myanmar since late July, the European Union (EU) is providing 200 000 EUR (more than 280,000,000 MMK) in humanitarian funding to assist the most affected communities. This aid will directly address the urgent needs of 50 000 individuals who have been heavily impacted across 21 townships in the five worst-hit regions of the country, namely Ayeyawaddy, Bago, Magway, Mandalay and Sagaing. The emergency relief action, which began on 1 September, is scheduled to run until the end of November.
With the funding, the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) is delivering hygiene parcels, water purification tablets and jerry cans to the affected population. Unconditional cash grants are also being provided for the most vulnerable, particularly agricultural daily labourers who are now out of work and small land holders whose crops have been destroyed.
This funding is part of the EU’s global contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
Myanmar started experiencing a series of torrential rains in early June as the annual monsoon season began. The incessant downpours caused large-scale flooding in numerous areas throughout central and northern regions. According to the latest data released by the Relief and Resettlement Department (RRD), close to half a million people were displaced across the country, with the central region of Magway being the hardest-hit. The floods have also resulted in the contamination of water resources such as ponds and wells in many localities. In some places river erosion has forced many families to move from their homes.
With the rains expected to persist at least until the end of the month, the European Union's humanitarian experts closely monitor the situation.
The European Union together with its Member States is the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity towards people in need around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises. The European Union through its humanitarian aid and civil protection department helps over 120 million victims of conflicts and disasters every year. For more information, please visit the website.
For 2016, the European Commission has signed a €3 million humanitarian contribution agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Funds from the DREF are mainly allocated to “small-scale” disasters – those that do not give rise to a formal international appeal.
The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, it can request funds from the DREF. For small-scale disasters, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors. The contribution agreement between the IFRC and ECHO enables the latter to replenish the DREF for agreed operations (that fit in with its humanitarian mandate) up to a total of €3 million.
For further information, please contact:
Pierre Prakash, Regional Information Officer for Asia and the Pacific, European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO): +66 89 811 54 81, Pierre.Prakash@echofield.eu