Relief operations in Myanmar’s Rakhine state receive boost from UN emergency fund

Women in Thea Chaung camp, Rakhine State, Myanmar, prepare a meal. Photo: UNOCHA/ Nicole Lawrence

26 April 2013 – The United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has made available $5 million in additional funding to provide life-saving assistance to some 69,000 people displaced by the violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state.

This is the third allocation of funds from CERF for urgent humanitarian operations in Rakhine state following inter-communal violence that erupted there in June and October 2012, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

The violence led to large-scale internal displacement and a marked increase in people fleeing by boat from the region, OCHA Myanmar said in a news release. “The violence caused not only displacement, but also a loss of life, livelihoods and property.”

Currently, the UN estimates there are more than 140,000 people displaced throughout the state.

“Thanks to CERF’s immediate funding, humanitarian agencies are able to respond in a decisive manner to provide urgent life-saving aid such as emergency shelter, improved sanitation, water facilities, and healthcare. However, additional funding is still needed to meet all the needs,” said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar, Ashok Nigam.

The latest allocation brings the total CERF disbursement for the humanitarian situation in Rakhine to more than $15 million since June 2012. The $5 million will go towards the activities of four UN agencies and their humanitarian partners so they can carry out activities in health, shelter, water and sanitation. It is especially timely, as UN agencies prepare to step up operations ahead of the monsoon rains in June.

Since its launch in 2006, CERF has provided $76 million in response to disasters and underfunded emergencies in Myanmar, with Rakhine state receiving $37 million.

CERF enables the fast delivery of life-saving assistance to people affected by natural disasters and other crises worldwide. It is funded by voluntary contributions from Member States, non-governmental organizations, regional governments, the private sector and individual donors.


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