6 August 2015 - Christian Aid has made an initial £50,000 available to help victims of widespread flooding in Myanmar as the government declares a state of emergency in four western regions.
The flooding comes after incessant rain over the past few weeks and has been compounded by wind and rain from Cyclone Komen, which passed close to the country at the weekend.
The worst affected areas are the regions of Magway and Sagaing, and Chin and Rakhine states. Further high-risk areas include the Ayeyarwaddy, Yangon and Southern Bago regions.
The latest figures from the Government’s Relief and Resettlement Department (GDI) report that 69 people have been killed and over 259,000, including 88,000 children, have been affected across 12 of Myanmar’s 14 states and regions since the onset of the rains in June.
Floods have inundated more than one million acres of farmland, damaging at least 520,000 acres of crop and arable land and disrupting the planting season, posing risks to longer-term food security.
Rajan Khosla, Christian Aid Myanmar country manager, said: “Information is only now starting to come in about the extensive damage in some areas. Electricity and phone lines, as well as transportation routes, have been cut, making it difficult for us to carry out the relief operations.”
Initially Christian Aid’s local partners, the Metta Development Foundation and Gender Development Initiative (GDI), are responding in Chin State and Magway region, two of the worst affected areas, providing food, clean drinking water and hygiene kits to 8,000 people.
Two towns in Chin state, Hakha and Falam, have been inaccessible due to landslides blocking the roads but reports indicate that food and medicines are needed urgently. Christian Aid partner GDI, with support from the government, will be using air force helicopters to carry relief materials to the people trapped there.
Christian Aid partners are carrying out further ongoing assessments across the four most affected areas.
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