Recent political reforms in Myanmar have led to ceasefires between several state and non-state armed groups, but conflicts still continue in Shan and Kachin States due to several reasons, including a disagreement on the terms on which to enter the National Ceasefire Agreement. In Kachin and Northern Shan State it is estimated that there are 98,000 IDPs and thousands more affected by the fighting between the army forces and various Ethnic Armed Groups. These groups have also remained in camp like settings since 2012.
In addition, inter-communal that continued from June 2012 to October 2016 led to the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people and loss of lives and livelihoods in Rakhine State. Most of Rakhine’s Muslim community still reside in camp settings which are in a perpetual cycle of repair and maintenance, and conditions inside are extremely poor. An uneasy peace can now be observed, but many people remain in camp-like settings with no further durable solution in sight. Families, who were not directly affected by the violence, have had restricted access to education, food, and medical services, which has attracted them to the IDPs camps with potential for further displacement. The displaced population is estimated at over 140,000 IDPs in both Rakhine and other parts of the country.
The low development indicators and the complex humanitarian situation in Rakhine contribute significantly to the vulnerability of local communities and thus, as seen after cyclone Giri, to the prevalence of dangerous migration patterns. Among the groups most vulnerable to the risks associated with natural disasters are casual labourers, fishermen, small farmers, widows and women, and persons with a disability. Many lose their income-generating assets and are forced to borrow money at high interest rates from predatory lenders, or migrate out of Rakhine State, leaving behind women and children to cope with further risks including displacement in an unfamiliar location, human trafficking, related exploitation, and GBV more generally.
Finally, Myanmar is vulnerable to a wide range of natural disasters, with cyclones, tropical storms and flooding a recurring phenomenon in the country’s coastal regions as was evident in 2015 whenTropical Cyclone Komen hit the country. Further, the whole country is at risk of earthquakes, droughts and fire, while the country’s mountainous regions are also exposed to landslide risks. As such IOM is trying to focus on disaster preparedness and working with communities to build capacity to cope with future potential disasters.
In 2017, IOM’s approach will focus on displacement monitoring, operations, rapid humanitarian assistance and services, emergency logistics and health while bridging the transition from emergency response to recovery. Disaster Risk Reductions initiatives will also look into strengthening current policies and capacities to enable communities and government to respond sudden onset disasters. The mission will also further explore the possibility to establish emergency stockpiles, focusing on shelter and NFIs based on IOM's global NFI catalogue.
IOM has been very active in the field of camp management, information management, coordination, and community mobilization. IOM as an agency is increasingly involved in Disaster Risk Management (DRM) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) initiatives across the country. IOM is acting as the lead of an OFDA-funded DRR consortium in Rakhine state and has planned input in CCCM capacity building activities with a focus on natural disasters under a DRR consortium led by UNHABITAT. IOM, UNHCR and IFRC have also been discussing the country level cluster lead roles in the event of new natural disaster or conflict situation. As the Global CCCM cluster lead for natural disasters, IOM has extensive experience in leading camp management and camp coordination and conducting activities based on building camp management capacities.
Note: the projects below are in line with the Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan (January - December 2017).
Overall Targeted Beneficiaries: 936,500 beneficiaries
Contact Information: Mr. Kieran Gorman-Best, Chief of Mission, Kgormanbest@iom.int], Emergency and Transition Coordinator, Mr. Kieran Gorman-Best. Website: https://www.iom.int/countries/myanmar Tel: +95 1 2100588, +95 973236699
IOM Offices: Country Office: Yangon; Sub-Offices: Bogalae, Hpa-An, Lashio, Loikaw, Kale, Mawlamyine, Mawlamyinegyun, Myawaddy, Myitkyina, Naypyitaw, Sittwe. IOM presence in Hakha and Muse
International Staff: 19
National Staff: 718
- Under the shelter recovery and DRR strengthening intervention, a total of 2,757 households were supported through reconstruction, repair and retrofitting of their homes as well as local carpenters being trained in safer reconstruction principles. Furthermore, a total of some 12,787 households benefited from livelihoods support.
- IOM’s Disaster Tracking Matrix (DTM) was rolled out in Rakhine State to analyze and better understand their current socio-economic situation, access to services, interaction with others, livelihoods and general welfare of resettled/relocated IDPs as well as their neighbouring villages in Minbya and Mrauk U.
- In Rakhine, local carpenters were identified from centrally located villages and invited to a pilot training. 104 carpenters from 30 target villages have been trained. IOM engineers facilitated the training in which the trainees learned about structural and technical challenges related to safe shelter construction practices.Community awareness training sessions on 'How to Build Safer Buildings' were implemented with 729 attendees attending across 17 villages.
- IOM organized 4-day training-of-trainers on psychosocial support inviting 25 participants from 6 CBOs providing relief to the survivors of the natural disaster in the 5 target townships.
- IOM implemented WASH hardware inputs (e.g. water-points) with sustainability in mind with water point maintenance committees and/or the village management committee setup during the implementation of the water point rehabilitations. These committees from the 71 villages were provided with basic maintenance training.
- 4,710 people in 61 villages were given hygiene promotion sessions in the target villages. 71 ponds, 35 boreholes,1 spring catchment, 4 wells serving a total of 27,050 beneficiaries were assisted. In addition each of the 8 ponds in Minbya downtown serves a minimum of 250 people each serving an additional 2,000 beneficiaries from surrounding villages as well.
- Twelve flights were received starting from 8 August 2016; a total of 1,658 irregular migrants have been voluntarily returned under the leadership of the Ministry of Labour, Immigration, and Population with the strong support of other relevant government counterpart Ministries, with the close support from IOM.
- At the Transit Centre IOM supported in the areas of screening, post arrival health assistance, NFI provision, WASH support, transportation assistance and other general management support.