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(YANGON, MYANMAR) - LIFE-SAVING supplies are currently being delivered to some of the hardest-hit communities in Rakhine State after heavy monsoon rains and Cyclone Komen caused large-scale flooding in Myanmar, says child-rights organisation Plan International.
However, major needs remain in communities that have been left isolated by floodwaters. Plan International has started providing clean drinking water, hygiene kits, aqua tabs and tarpaulins to almost 17,500 people in Minbya Township.
More than 590,000 people have been affected across the country, including 200,000 children. Eighty-nine people have died, and more than 217,000 acres of farmland have been destroyed.
According to Max Baldwin, Emergency Response Manager for Plan International Myanmar:
“Water and sanitation, child protection, food distribution and education are our immediate priorities. Children are highly vulnerable after a natural disaster, and we are working closely with other international organisations to ensure aid is getting out.”
Plan International’s assessments have found that 100% of drinking water ponds have been contaminated in places such as Minbya Township in Rakhine state. Communities are now heavily reliant on humanitarian organisations to supply them with clean drinking water and filtration systems.
Plan International Myanmar is coordinating the distribution of hygiene kits and aqua tabs that will help prevent the spread of diseases in 22 villages.
“Over the coming days, we plan to deploy additional staff to flood-affected areas as part of Plan International’s long-term commitment to helping communities in Rakhine recover from these devastating floods,” said Baldwin.
“We need to ensure that children feel safe and protected in times of crisis. We are focused on providing not just emergency supplies, but investing in these communities to ensure they recover as quickly as possible.”
In Rakhine State power remains out and schools are closed. Families have started returning to their homes and assessing the damage the flood has caused.
Agriculture is the primary source of income and farmers have started drying out rice in the hope that some of their crop can be salvaged.
Approximately 4,751 houses, 37 schools, 31 bridges have been destroyed in Rakhine state alone.
Plan International has been working in Rakhine State since 2013. The state is the second poorest in the country and is home to the highest unemployment levels and lowest literacy rates in Myanmar.
Children remain at the centre of Plan International’s emergency response, which will focus on ensuring all children are safe and schools are re-built so that their lives can return to normal.
Spokespeople from Plan International are available for comment and interview requests. For further details, please contact:
Yangon: Jessica Lawson, Regional Communications Specialist
Mobile: +95 92 5399 5981
Bangkok: Mike Bruce, Regional Communications Manager (Acting)
Mobile: +66 (0) 818 219 770
London: Angela Singh, Global Press Officer
Mobile: +44 (0) 7773 636 180