Myanmar is vulnerable to a wide range of natural hazards such as floods, earthquakes and cyclones. In 2008, Cyclone Nargis killed nearly 140,000 people and affected 2.4 million people, in 2010 Cyclone Giri affected 183,000 people and in July 2015, heavy monsoon rains, flooding and landslides triggered by Cyclone Komen affected 1.6 million people and damaged 1.4 million acres of farmland. Natural disasters are a fact of life in Myanmar; and poor families, especially in rural areas, are ill-equipped to withstand the forces of nature that come with a major cyclone, flood and earthquake.
Over the past four years, the country has also been plagued by several ethnic conflicts and natural disasters, resulting in the displacement of vulnerable populations, causing them to lose access to basic services such as food markets, employment, education and health services.
What we do:
Save the Children has played a key role in all major humanitarian crises in Myanmar. In Cyclone Nargis, Save the Children was responsible for nearly 10% of the total raised by the international community, establishing a large-scale response that reached 40% of all the children severely affected. Since then, we have supported affected populations in Cyclone Giri, Kachin Conflict, Rakhine Conflict, and Kayin Floods as one of the leading responders. In 2014, over 210,307 people received assistance from our humanitarian programmes.
Most recently, Save the Children responded to the needs of the affected population after monsoon rain and heavy rain triggered by Cyclone Komen inundated large swathes of Myanmar, displacing 1.6 million people. Four states and regions were declared as natural disaster zones by the government as a result, including Chin State, Rakhine State, Magway Region and Sagaing Region. Save the Children is one of the leading responders, supporting affected families with life-saving food, water, hygiene and household items, providing the tools and technical expertise to repair latrines and water sources, and setting up child-friendly spaces so children have a safe space to play, learn and recover from the disaster. The response has so far reached over 60,000 people including 26,000 children.
Our holistic approach to humanitarian programming means children and their families receive an integrated package of services that includes resumption of schools, safe spaces for children to play, nutrition interventions, food distributions, household and hygiene items, shelter, clean water and sanitation facilities.