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ASEAN to Accelerate Aid Delivery to Cylone-Nargis Affected Population

By ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force  •  March 8, 2010

ASEAN will accelerate aid delivery to Myanmar’s Cyclone-Nargis affected population and hand over the coordination structure for post-Nargis recovery efforts to the Government of Myanmar as it prepares to complete its humanitarian operations in the country in July 2010. The decision was made at the 7th Meeting of the ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force (AHTF) held in Ha Noi today.

In his opening statement, Secretary-General of ASEAN and Chairman of the AHTF, Dr Surin Pitsuwan, said, “While the AHTF will end its operations in Myanmar in July 2010, the recovery process for many survivors of Cyclone Nargis will take many years. The newly-launched Periodic Review III observes that many gaps are still not met, in sectors such as shelter, livelihoods, and water and sanitation. It is, therefore, critical that ASEAN accelerates the delivery of assistance to quickly address the pressing needs of the people.”

“At the same time, we must prepare to transfer the coordinating role of assistance to the relevant ministries of Myanmar to ensure sustainability of recovery as AHTF will end in July 2010,” he added.

In November 2009, ASEAN, together with the humanitarian community, appealed for additional USD 103 million to address the pressing needs faced by Cyclone Nargis survivors. As of 28 February 2010, the total pledges had increased to USD 91.3 million, and a total of USD 38.57 million had been received by either trust fund mechanism or implementing partners.

Included in the transfer of coordination function are post-Nargis data on funding, expenditure, status of programme activities, and monitoring tools such as the Periodic Review and Social Impacts Monitoring. At the same time, ASEAN will continue supporting Myanmar to implement the Myanmar Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction (MAPDRR).

Dr Surin also stressed the need to document the lessons learnt from its humanitarian operation in Myanmar and to continue its coordination role between now and July 2010 to alleviate the suffering of Nargis-affected communities and ensure a smooth handing over to Myanmar.

“ASEAN’s post-Nargis experience can be replicated elsewhere in the ASEAN region and be disseminated to strengthen the implementation of ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER) and the establishment of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance on Disaster Management (AHA Centre),” he further said.

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The ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force for the Victims of Cyclone Nargis was established by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers of ASEAN on 19 May 2008. The Task Force consists of senior-level representatives from the ten ASEAN countries. Under this ASEAN-led mechanism, a Yangon-based Tripartite Core Group comprising representatives from the Government of Myanmar, ASEAN and the United Nations was set up on 31 May 2008. The Task Force also has an Advisory Group consisting of representatives from neighbouring countries to Myanmar, the United Nations, the international community, Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the INGOs, World Bank and the Asian Development Bank.

The Tripartite Core Group (TCG) was officially established on 31 May 2008. It comprises high-level representatives from the United Nations, Government of the Union of Myanmar and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.

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Contact details:

Mai Phuong Tang
Communication Officer and Stakeholder Relations Coordinator
ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force
Coordinating Office in Yangon
Tel: +95 950 999 78
mai.aseanhtf@gmail.com

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This post is in: Press Release

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