EU supports people affected by floods in Myanmar and Bangladesh

bangladesh_floods_3column00_nospace_landscapeThe European Commission is providing emergency support to Myanmar and Bangladesh following floods and mudslides which affected thousands of people in both countries. Myanmar will receive €1 million and Bangladesh €500,000.

Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Commissioner Christos Stylianides said: “The EU stands by the people affected by the floods both in Myanmar and Bangladesh. With more rain on its way, the key priority now is to make sure people are safe – and then to help them rebuild their livelihoods. Our new humanitarian funding will provide immediate help to those in need through our partners on the ground.”

The aid will be targeted at providing essential support such as food assistance and nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation. This is a first funding decision and further support could be allocated depending on needs on the ground.


Situation in Myanmar

Myanmar has been experiencing heavy torrential rains since the end of June, associated with the Southwest Monsoon system which marks the start of the rainy season and lasts until October. The most affected regions are: Sagaing Region, Kachin and Shan States. Thousands have been displaced and have lost crops and other livelihood assets, along with their homes. Drinking water ponds and wells have been contaminated and infrastructure such as bridges and roads have been flooded or destroyed. To aggravate the situation further, the tropical cyclone ‘Komen’ hit Rakhine State between 30 July and 01 August, bringing more rainfall, severe winds and a storm surge in its wake. Reports indicate that 69 people lost their lives, with some 259, 000 people affected across 12 of Myanmar’s 14 regions since June 2015.

Situation in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has also seen heavy floods and landslides as a result of pre-monsoon heavy rains occurring during the last week of June in the districts of Chittagong, Bandarban and Cox’s Bazar in the south-east of Bangladesh. A second period of heavy rain from 22 – 27 July caused new floods, landslides and further displacements. The tropical cyclone Komen has also crossed the same districts leaving more than 320 000 people displaced in cyclone shelters in Cox’s Bazar and Chittagong.

In addition to the emergency funding, the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated at the request of the government of Myanmar. The European Commission’s Emergency Response Co-ordination Centre (ERCC), which is the operational centre of the Mechanism, is liaising with Member States with a view to mobilizing assistance and expertise from Europe. The ERCC and the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) Myanmar office is monitoring the situation and is in close contact with humanitarians partners on the ground. Bangladesh has not yet asked for the activation of the Mechanism. The EU stands ready to help if asked.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates the co-operation in disaster response among 33 European states (28 member states, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Iceland, Montenegro, Norway and Serbia). These participating states pool the resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries all over the world. The European Commission manages the Mechanism through the ERCC.


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Category: A Frontpage, Bangladesh, Disasters, EU, European Commission, Myanmar, World

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