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ASEAN Concludes Cyclone Nargis Operations in Myanmar
Source: aseansec.org
Source Date: Friday, August 13, 2010
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: Myanmar
Created: Aug 16, 2010

The ASEAN Post-Nargis humanitarian effort in Myanmar came to an end on 31 July 2010 with the closure of the Coordinating Office of the ASEAN Humanitarian Task Force (AHTF) in Yangon.

Since it was set up in May 2008, the AHTF was instrumental in raising more than USD 600 million with the major contributions coming from Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, Norway, Thailand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Contributions also came from Belgium, China, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Kuwait, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sweden and Switzerland.

These funds have been crucial in addressing the needs of the Cyclone survivors to rebuild their lives better. Notable achievements include having some 623,000 children benefitting from educational humanitarian response and 575,000 children receiving essential learning material packs. The funds also led to 356 multi-purpose building cum-cyclone shelters being built and 3,800 ponds constructed. More than 1.5 million people received agriculture support, 172,960 fishing gears distributed and 422 health facilities have been rehabilitated under the purview of the AHTF.

The decision to officially end the operations of the AHTF was made by the ASEAN Foreign Ministers at the 43rd ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Ha Noi on 20 July 2010. This ASEAN-led coordinating mechanism in Myanmar was established by the Foreign Ministers at their special meeting in Singapore in May 2008 in the wake of Cyclone Nargis that made landfall in Myanmar on 2 and 3 May 2008.

The Secretary-General of ASEAN said that the ASEAN, through the AHTF office, had succeeded in facilitating trust and cooperation between the Government of Myanmar and the international community. “On behalf of ASEAN, I would like to thank all partners who contributed their collective support to helping post-Nargis survivors rebuild their lives,” he said.

With the completion of the Coordinating Office’s mandate, ASEAN hands over full responsibility to the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement (MoSWRR). As part of this process, the AHTF has transferred the majority of its assets to the MoSWRR to enhance its capacity to effectively continue the coordination efforts and mechanisms.

According to the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of ASEAN for Post-Nargis Recovery, Dr William Sabandar, further capacity building activities are planned in the succeeding months to ensure sustainability of monitoring systems and deliverables. “ASEAN will also convene a lessons learned conference at the end of August 2010,” he said at the closing ceremony.
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