K22 bil­lion spent on disas­ter re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion

The Myanmar Times - - News - HTOO THANT thanhtoo@mm­times.com

OF­FI­CIALS are ask­ing for more de­tails about the ex­pen­di­ture of more than K22 bil­lion (US$17 mil­lion) set aside for disas­ter re­lief over the past year. The funds were al­lot­ted in the wake of a sea­son of havoc caused by El Niño-re­lated droughts, floods and cy­clones that dev­as­tated large tracts of the coun­try dur­ing 2016.

Vice Pres­i­dent Henry Van Thio, chair of the Na­tional Nat­u­ral Disas­ter Man­age­ment Com­mit­tee, re­ported the ex­pen­di­ture at the Novem­ber 1 meet­ing of the com­mit­tee, but with­out pro­vid­ing de­tails of how much money was to be spent on what kind of re­lief and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, by which de­part­ments.

Daw Le’ Le’ Aye, di­rec­tor of the Min­istry of So­cial Wel­fare, Re­lief and Re­set­tle­ment, told The Myan­mar Times yes­ter­day that the min­istry was still await­ing the de­tails from the de­part­ments re­spon­si­ble for the ex­ten­sive re­lief ef­forts in many states and re­gions.

“The work in­volved was very wide­spread, so the min­istries con­cerned should each re­port on what they have done and what they will do. Un­til then, we don’t know,” she said.

More de­tails are ex­pected to be pro­vided by the Min­istry of Con­struc­tion and Ru­ral De­vel­op­ment De­part­ment with re­spect to re­pairs to roads and bridges, the Min­istry of Agri­cul­ture, Live­stock and Ir­ri­ga­tion for liveli­hood sup­port op­er­a­tions and the health and ed­u­ca­tion min­istries, among oth­ers, for re­cov­ery and re­con­struc­tion pro­cesses.

Daw Le’ Le’ Aye said her de­part­ment pro­vided emer­gency as­sis­tance at times of disas­ter. “We de­liver rice, sar­dines, beans and so on for up to seven days ini­tially, and up to a month if need be, as well as tem­po­rary tents,” she said.

‘The min­istries con­cerned should each re­port on what they have done and what they will do.’

Daw Le’ Le’ Aye

Min­istry of So­cial Wel­fare

The vice pres­i­dent urged that any funds dis­bursed had to be spent ef­fec­tively, and said a nat­u­ral disas­ter man­age­ment sys­tem should be set up in­clud­ing four steps – preven­tion, prepa­ra­tion, emer­gency re­sponse and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion – to re­spond when nat­u­ral dis­as­ters struck.

An Asia De­vel­op­ment Bank study has named Myan­mar as the sec­ond­most vul­ner­a­ble coun­try to dis­as­ters caused by cli­mate change and the ob­sta­cles to de­vel­op­ment caused by those dis­as­ters.

– Trans­la­tion by Win Thaw Tar

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