Myanmar: heavy flooding triggers international aid response

5 Aug 15

Foreign governments and international donors are moving quickly to get much-needed help to Myanmar after it was hit by the worst floods for 100 years. 

Myanmar has called for international aid to strengthen relief efforts and help the flood victims.

The United Nations  said local authorities, central government, the military, the Myanmar Red Cross Society and local civil society organisations are responding to the flooding with support from the UN and other international organisations.

The Arakan National Party (ANP), which represents Rakhine State in Myanmar, is also looking to set up an emergency fund for flood victims in the area.

“We’re asking the central government to help immediately to solve the crisis with tremendous funding since the state government cannot do it alone,” said Khine Pyi Soe, the ANP’s vice president. “Moreover, we also urge all international aid organisations to coordinate with the government for help and rescue.”

Australia is providing AU$2m of humanitarian assistance aid and will work with Myanmar to decide on how the funding will be spent.

Meanwhile, the UK is to provide £500,000 in emergency funding. International Development minister Sandip Verma said this would support further relief activities and help existing programmes adapt to meet the needs of affected people, providing them with healthcare, shelter and water purification tablets.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and the British Government stands ready to assist the people of Burma during this terrible time,” she said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said America would announce an aid package soon, adding that the US embassy was working closely with Myanmar officials to determine priorities for aid.

Myanmar suffered heavy rain fall, winds and flooding on 30 July, which caused landslides in different parts of the country.

The country’s government has estimated that over 250,000 people have been affected, while 69 have been killed.

Myanmar is susceptible to natural disasters like floods, cyclones and earthquakes, and as such there is a need for more resources to scale up disaster preparedness. The heaviest affected areas are among the poorest states.

The country is populated by nearly 70% of people living on $2 per day, while 34% of the people in the country are children. 

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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