Government earmarks 20 billion kyats for flood relief fund


Residents walk down a road in Pathein City, capital of Ayeyarwady Region, Myanmar, 13 August 2016. Photo: Lynn Bo Bo/EPA

Soe Aung, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement, said that the government has earmarked 20 billion kyats for flood victims and over 17 billion kyat remains unspent.

At a press conference held at the social welfare, relief and resettlement office in Yangon, he told reporters that the financial statement as at 13 August was 38.465 million kyats for the relief, care and resettlement budget, 164.788 million kyats for domestic assistance, and 17,724.287 million kyats for the national natural disaster management fund.

“Union ministers saw newborn babies and babies under 3 months old when they visited flood-hit areas. These babies are suffering from malnutrition because their mothers became flood victims and had difficulties breastfeeding them. We gave financial assistance to these needy mothers from our domestic assistance budget.” he said.

The ministry said that at present 8 have been killed in recent floods and over 400,000 people affected, but these flood-hit areas were not declared a natural disaster emergency as they do not meet criteria mentioned in law. So the country cannot get international assistance for flood relief.

The Union Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Ministry told media, “We don’t yet need to declare a natural disaster emergency as we can still manage the situation effectively. The most important point is we are still able [ourselves] to manage this situation effectively in relation to all legal, judicial, executive and management matters.”

Currently, flood water had receded in Kachin State, Sagaing, Magwe and Bago Regions and there are no more flood relief camps there. Similarly, the number of relief camps in Mandalay has been reduced and flood victims are being relocated back to their original locations. The government is providing assistance to families of flood victims and businesses which were affected by the flooding, the ministry said.

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