UN and Myanmar seek additional $41 million to help those affected by violence in Rakhine state

Children in Thea Chaung IDP Camp, Rakhine State, Myanmar. Photo: OCHA

21 November 2012 – The United Nations and Myanmar are seeking an additional $41 million as part of a revised response plan to provide urgent humanitarian relief for some 115,000 people who have been displaced by inter-communal violence in the state of Rakhine and are lacking basic services.

“A decisive response by donors with immediate funding will provide urgently needed life-saving aid such as emergency shelter, clean drinking water, food and healthcare,” said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar, Ashok Nigam, at the launch of the revised response plan in the city of Yangon.

“Tens of thousands of people are living in terrible conditions and they desperately need our help” he stressed at the launch of the plan in Yangon,” he added.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the response plan had originally sought $32.5 million to cover the period of July-December 2012, before its revision to $67.6 million to cover the period of July 2012-June 2013. So far, it has received $27 million.

The funds will go towards provide humanitarian aid up until June next year.

The north of Rakhine state has been the site of inter-communal violence over recent months. The violence first began in June, with clashes between ethnic Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims, which eventually led the Government to declare a state of emergency there.

That bout of violence reportedly left at least a dozen civilians dead and hundreds of homes destroyed, while internally displacing some 75,000 people. Since then, at least 89 people have been killed and 36,000 displaced in the wake of a renewed upsurge in violence, beginning in late September, which also left more than 5,300 houses and religious buildings destroyed, according to UN estimates.

During the launch of the revised response plan, the UN and its civil society partners reiterated their commitment to the people of Myanmar and of Rakhine, stressing that humanitarian aid is provided in strict accordance with humanitarian principles of impartiality, neutrality and humanity.

“We are ready to work together with the Government and with the communities to ensure that humanitarian aid reaches those who need humanitarian assistance in both communities, and to contribute to create a climate of mutual trust and understanding where tolerance and compassion towards the most unfortunate prevail,” said Mr. Nigam.

The UN official also thanked the Government of Myanmar for its openness and support for the humanitarian response.


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