Myanmar

Since the year 2000, Myanmar’s coastal state of Rakhine has been hit by a cyclone once every two to three years. In July 2015, Cyclone Komen displaced thousands from their homes and destroyed much of the season’s rice crop in northern parts of the state. The state’s vulnerability to disasters is further exacerbated by poverty, local sectarian tensions, and one of the highest poverty rates in the country.

REACH was deployed to Myanmar in March 2015 to provide assessment capacity vis-à-vis disaster risk reduction (DRR) activities, as well as support to the humanitarian coordination structures in country.

REACH conducted a study on knowledge, attitudes and practices related to disaster preparedness across Maungdaw, Sittwe, Pauktaw, Minbya and Myebon townships in northern Rakhine. The objective of the study was to better understand how people in the state prepare for and respond to natural disasters, in order to inform DRR activities conducted by aid agencies and government authorities in the region. The research took place under the Program for Improved Disaster Management and Resilience Against Natural Disasters (IDM-RAND), which is funded by the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), led by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and comprises of ACTED, the Asian Disaster Preparedness Centre, and Swanyee Development Foundation.

Rakhine state also has some of the lowest education indicators in Myanmar with low rates of enrollment and attendance. In this context, REACH conducted an education assessment, with an overall objective to inform medium-term education sector programming, planning and advocacy strategies in Rakhine state. To this end, the assessment sought to identify key educational gaps and key capabilities/ entry points for sector support, and to identify key factors and cross-cutting issues affecting utilisation of education services at both school and community level in 9 identified townships. The assessment was conducted between August and October 2015, in partnership with education sector partners Plan International, Save the Children International, Lutheran World Federation, and UNICEF.

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Rakhine State Myanmar- Land Cover Analysis, July 2015