January 5, 2009
On May 2, 2008, massive Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar (Burma) causing extensive damage in the country’s largest city of Yangon (Rangoon) and throughout the Irrawaddy Delta. Members of Action By Churches Together (ACT) International have been working with and through local implementing partners to deliver timely assistance to as many people as possible.
Action by Churches Together (ACT) International is a global alliance of churches and related agencies working to save lives and support communities in emergencies worldwide. The Primate’s World Relief and Development Fund is a member of ACT.
While basic needs of food and shelter have been met for many affected people, there still are many urgent needs. These include access to water and harvesting tools, solid livelihood supports, school kits and financial support for students.
Access to water is a growing concern as Myanmar enters its dry season. With temperatures in the Delta increasing, access to water will be essential. In addition, the area is key for rice production. The destruction of seed reserves for the next planting season has threatened the food supply for the entire country. It is estimated that as much as 40 percent of the sown paddy acreage could be lost.
ACT appeal ASMY81 for Cyclone Nargis relief and recovery will come to a close at the end of April 2009. No further funding is needed for this appeal as most members’ programs are closed or about to close at the end of December 2008.
ACT appeal ASMY82 is contributing to the huge rehabilitation efforts required to support the people in already poor and highly vulnerable areas of the country. The appeal was issued initially to include only ACT member Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH) implementing a 12-month program through a local partner organization. This program will provide housing for 850 households in 36 villages, strengthen disaster preparedness through the construction of 10 community cyclone shelters, and promote knowledge exchange with partners
The ASMY82 appeal is being revised to include ACT members Church World Service (CWS) and Lutheran World Federation (LWF). CWS is proposing assistance in the area of agricultural livelihoods recovery and food security and LWF is planning to provide improved access to potable water, assist communities in rebuilding schools and build multi-purpose community center facilities. They will also focus on reducing disaster risk and poverty related vulnerabilities through empowering the socially and economically marginalized people and developing an effective responsive capacity within the communities.
Regular coordination among ACT members and implementing partners continues to take place.