Members of the international community have pledged their ongoing support for Myanmar in its recovery from the devastating floods that continue to affect large areas of the country.
International development partners including the United Nations, the European Union and USAID, as well as the governments of Japan, Australia, Denmark and India, promised their assistance at a coordination meeting of the National Disaster Management Committee hosted by the Ministry of National Planning and Economic Development on 14 August in Nay Pyi Taw.
Vice Chairwoman of the NDMC, Union Minister Dr Daw Myat Myat Ohn Khin, said the National Disaster Management Plan was adopted in 2014 and humanitarian assistance including cash had quickly been delivered to disaster-affected populations. She also welcomed feedback and inputs to the draft of early recovery plan drawn by the government and also collaborative efforts on social protection measures during the recovery process. Union Minister U Kyaw Lwin, Chairman of the Recovery Coordination Working Committee, on behalf of Vice President U Nyan Tun, presented a plan covering both early and long-term recovery activities, as well as capacity-building strategies to strengthen disaster-affected communities. Myanma Radio and Television gave a video presentation outlining the pressing need for emergency response and recovery plans. Dr Zaw Oo, the President’s Economic Advisor and Special Coordinator for the Recovery Plan, reported on the development of a framework for recovery coordination mechanisms.
Ms Renata Dessallien, Resident Coordinator for Humanitarian Affairs of the United Nations, praised the unity of Myanmar civil society and its engagement in the flood response. She promised continued support from the UN and the international humanitarian community.
Other UN bodies and development partners also participated in the discussions. UN Resident Representative Toily Kubernov stressed that recovery operations needed vertical coordination between different levels of government and swift funding allocation.
Mr Hideaki Matsuo from the embassy of Japan shared news of emergency cabinet meetings in Tokyo to allocate additional Japanese assistance.
Mr Chris Milligan, USAID mission director for Myanmar, also praised the ongoing relief operations as a sign of national unity. He said transparency, communication and capacity were the keys to recovery coordination.
Ms Isabel Faria de Almeida, head of operations at the European Union delegation in Myanmar, promised further humanitarian assistance and technical expertise would be mobilized in the worst-hit areas such as Chin State. She stressed the importance of livelihood, agriculture and livestock sectors recovery in flood affected areas.
Ambassador of Demark Mr. Peter Lysholt Hansen encouraged the government to prioritize the recovery where joint assessments are crucial to start sooner. He suggested that some funding available under multi donor trust funds can be adjusted to help the recovery process.
Ambassador of Australia Mr Nicholas Coppel acknowledged quick and prompt approval of the government of Myanmar to allow Australian military aircrafts to bring humanitarian supplies to the country and expressed his positive impression about the ongoing recovery efforts.
A representative from Indian embassy also recalled the cross border delivery of humanitarian assistance to northern Myanmar regions and assured joint commitment on disaster risk reduction.
Mr Gavin McGillivray of the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development suggested recovery operations should have the communities to reconstruct themselves while local economic recovery can be supported by the government.
Representatives from International Labor Organization, the Japan International Cooperation Agency and the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs also participated in the discussions.
As the conclusion remark, Dr. Kan Zaw of MNPED expressed his appreciation for advice and support from the development partners, as well as prompt and swift delivery of humanitarian assistance to the disaster-affected populations. He looks forward to strengthening coordination and collaboration on recovery efforts and concludes the meeting. On behalf of Vice President U Nyan Tun, Chairman of the National Disaster Management Committee, Union Ministers Dr. Daw Myat Myat Ohn Khin, U Kyaw Lwin and Dr. U Kan Zaw attended the meeting and presented the progress of relief and recovery efforts.