Rehabilitation is conducted with the community at every level. Here local women lay the first bricks of a new home in a village called Lin Tine. Photo © UN-HABITAT
Two years after Cyclone Nargis ravaged Myanmar claiming more than 140,000 lives and leaving some 2.4 million survivors in need of emergency food, housing and other assistance, the United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator said that just a quarter of the funds pledged had been received.
The Coordinator, Mr. Bishow Parajuli, told a news conference that the gap threatened the long-term revival of the area hit by the disaster.
“The United Nations and international and national non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been able to provide large-scale assistance to the people affected by the cyclone, complementing the Government’s efforts,” he said.
Cyclone Nargis struck the country on 2 and 3 May 2008 causing untold damage. The UN and its partners were able to provide nutrition support for nearly 39,000 children; water purification needs for 680,000 people; shelter assistance to more than 182,000 families; and livelihood support to more than 1.5 million people.
“But two years on, significant gaps threaten to slow down or even halt longer-term recovery efforts. Our work is far from done and the people still need help,” Mr. Parajuli said.
The three-year Post-Nargis Recovery and Preparedness Plan launched in February 2009 by the UN, the Government and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), called for funding amounting to USD 691 million. However, only about USD 180 million had so far been received.
According to recent assessments, 100,000 vulnerable families still need to rebuild their homes.
Some 180,000 people still face acute water shortage, and there is a great need for agricultural support and the creation of income – generating opportunities at the community level.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last month called on governments worldwide to invest more in disaster risk reduction measures, saying that lives can be saved and property destruction minimized with better planning, training and public education. For details click here.