Myanmar - Irrawaddy-Delta‏: Good News Report - Monday, 2 June 2008

Our MASS DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD ITEMS is in full swing. The food insecurity in the Delta is continuing. In spite of regular deliveries by some organizations along the main roads, there are innumerable pockets of villages that are so remote that they never received any aid.

For food distribution, AMURT operates as a wellwisher (donor) through local individuals and community groups that we know and trust. We purchase the food items (rice, pulses, cooking oil, molasse and salt) in bulk quantities which are then rationed into family-size bags. These food packages are then passed on to our trusted local friends who do the distribution. Foreigners are still not allowed to go to the cyclone-hit delta areas.

Our priority is to tackle the villages that are logistically challenging to reach. Our distribution teams have to negotiate small side rivers within the Delta area to reach out to very poor communities. So far, we have been supplying food to the people in 4 districts townships (Kungyangon, Dedaye, Kyaiklat and Pyapon).

To date, our local distributors have transported by land and by sea approximately:
180 metric tons of relief items;
to 12 communities;
for 3,380 families, i.e. 18,000 + beneficiaries;
at a cost of 27,000 USD.
By God’s grace, they have never had any trouble at the military check-points. The trucks travel with many security guards - 17 in total - so the question of confiscation does not arise!

CHILD FRIENDLY SPACES (CFS): We are also looking into “child-friendly spaces” which will provide shelter for kids from 3-6 years through :
playgroup therapy;
trauma healing; and
supplementary feeding programs

These CFSes will be operated by local Myanmar organizations that have qualified staff and experience in child protection. Assessments have been made in several locations and MoUs will be signed with the various communities in which they are located. We hope that four to six CFSes will be up and running within the next 10 days!

TEMPORARY SCHOOLS: AMURT met with UNICEF last week and showed them the temporary school concepts developed from AMURT’s work in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The Chairperson of UNICEF proposed that AMURT sponsor 20 temporary schools (with our own funds) while UNICEF will provide funding for another 30 temporary schools with AMURT as the implementing partner. We are now finalizing the details of this agreement.

Our brand new office in Yangon opened yesterday! We are in the heart of the city and have a marvelous view from our window of the Sule Pagoda (see photo from our window!)


INTEGRATED DEVELOPMENT: The German charity Kindernothilfe (KNH) wants to start another pilot project with AMURT in Myanmar to rehabilitate a whole area consisting of several villages of one district and take care of all aspects such as
food and non-food-items
housing/reconstruction programs
water and sanitation programs
education programs
livelihood programs

With so many things ongoing and future possibilities ahead, we are hopeful that we will be able to do a lot of good work in Myanmar.