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Critical Funding Gap in Myanmar

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Say Tha Mar Gyi Camp, rural Sittwe, June 2013

Critical Funding Gap in Myanmar

Camp management has been identified as one of the biggest humanitarian challenges in Rakhine and Kachin State, Myanmar. For Kachin there is a need for US$500,000 for CCCM activities to ensure a minimum level of CCCM services for the rest of the year. For Rakhine State, at least 1 million USD is needed to cover critical, immediate needs over next six months. The UNHCR led combined Shelter/NFI/CCCM Cluster is worried that unless CCCM is adequately funded, the camps will quickly deteriorate over the rainy season and conditions will become intolerable. In some cases this is already happening.

In Rakhine State temporary shelter construction has sped up dramatically in the past six months to cater for the needs of approximately 140,000 displaced persons. Nearly 1,500 temporary shelters have already been built for the displaced population and this number is expected to be over 2,500 by the end of July. Each long house style temporary shelter houses eight families. Although there are currently 7,000 people for whom no shelter solution has been found, the Rakhine State Government is working together with local and international NGOs to fill this gap and complete all the planned shelters within the coming weeks.

Despite the excellent progress made on the construction of temporary shelters in Rakhine, Cluster members are concerned that without additional funding for camp management, overall living conditions will worsen. Cluster Coordinator Edward Benson is appealing for more money to be allocated to fill the critical funding gap for CCCM: "It cannot be in the interest of donors to have millions of US$ spent on shelters if the conditions with the camps are squalid" he explains. He goes on to stress that “well-functioning camps through the provision of CCCM services are also needed to help prepare for durable solutions, not least the collation and management of accurate camp data”. The construction of camps is a life-saving measure and failure to support these would certainly have resulted in the loss of lives. However, Cluster members are advocating that long-term, durable solutions to shelter and settlement should be found quickly to avoid the risk of long-term displacement.