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Funding shortfall hits Nargis survivors

A young child grasps a bowl of food in Myanmar's Ayeyarwady Delta
(Stacey Winston/ECHO)

A lack of funding is still posing a serious problem for recovery efforts to help the survivors of Cylone Nargis, the UN says, despite fresh pledges from donors.

 

At a Post-Nargis and Regional Partnership Conference, held on 25 November in Bangkok, donors pledged more than US$88 million for an appeal for $103 million to cover critical recovery needs – part of the earlier Post-Nargis Recovery and Preparedness Plan (PONREPP) released in December 2008 by the Tripartite Core Group, comprising the Myanmar government, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the UN.

 

The original appeal called for $691 million for a three-year recovery plan from 2009 to 2011.

 

“There was very good support and excellent response from the donors – there was a good acknowledgement of the recognition of the need,” said Bishow Parajuli, the UN Resident Representative and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar.

 

However, “what must be underlined is that the $103 million is only for needs identified until July 2010, and moreover this need doesn’t include many other critical elements”, he told IRIN.



Nargis struck Myanmar in May 2008, killing at least 140,000 people and affecting another 2.4 million, mostly in the Ayeyarwady and Yangon divisions. Damage was estimated at more than $4 billion.



Recovery threatened

 

Thierry Delbreuve, head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Myanmar, said there had been a sharp drop in contributions to recovery activities in the Ayeyarwady Delta.

 

“Pledges were made this year but very little has trickled down so far,” he told IRIN, adding that there was also a need for funding for general humanitarian assistance outside the delta in areas such as Chin state and the border regions.

 

Of Of Kan Seik's 193 homes, 192 were destroyed by Nargis, leaving residents such as 35-year-old Daw Thin Thin Kyi and her three children no choice but to rebuild with whatever they could find around them

Contributor/IRIN
Of Of Kan Seik's 193 homes, 192 were destroyed by Nargis, leaving residents such as 35-year-old Daw Thin Thin Kyi and her three children no choice but to rebuild with whatever they could find around them...
http://www.irinnews.org/photo.aspx
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Shelter issues and land rights frustrate resettlement
Of Of Kan Seik's 193 homes, 192 were destroyed by Nargis, leaving residents such as 35-year-old Daw Thin Thin Kyi and her three children no choice but to rebuild with whatever they could find around them...


Photo: Contributor/IRIN
Shelter remains a key challenge for many Nargis survivors

Before the 25 November announcement, only $120 million of the $691 million had been committed, with $64 million received, according to the UN.

 

Parajuli warned that a lack of funding would stop recovery activities.

 

“It is a big challenge,” he said. “Several NGOs and UN agencies have started cutting down staff because of a lack of funding. If there is no new funding, some of the critical activities could be stopped.”

 

With money just trickling in for the PONREPP, the TCG decided in October to launch an appeal for the $103 million to address critical gaps in education, health, livelihoods, shelter, and water, sanitation and hygiene until July 2010.

 

The money will be used to provide 17,800 new houses, 40 new schools and 16 cyclone shelters, as well as livelihood programmes, water and sanitation facilities, education facilities and health services, ASEAN said.

 

Delbreuve said support for the restoration of livelihoods was crucial, with indebtedness growing among survivors who had borrowed money to rebuild their homes. However, he said shelter was the most important need identified for now.

 

“Only 10,000 individual shelters delivered by humanitarian agencies can be considered truly durable with cyclone-resistant features,” Delbreuve told IRIN.

 

“There is still an overall gap of 178,000 households that require urgent shelter assistance and have been waiting for support from the humanitarian community for over a year,” he said.

 

ey/ds/mw


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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