We build resilience in three ways

People on the street in Mandalay, Myanmar.

1.

Strengthen rather than replace the capacity and resilience of local organisations

Organisational strengthening training to ensure that local organisations are empowered to deliver effective, sustainable humanitarian assistance and have the necessary mechanisms to build a resilient Myanmar. The training is tailored to the needs of each CSO partner, and covers topics ranging from protection and safeguarding policies, human resource management, financial management and reporting, to monitoring, evaluation, and learning. These partners develop and implement their own organisational development strategies, with our support.

Specialised humanitarian and resilience training to strengthen the technical humanitarian skills of local community bodies and boost their emergency response potential. When disaster strikes, it is local actors in Myanmar who have the in-depth knowledge of local groups and operating conditions, as well as key relationships with local authorities, making them the most appropriate first responders. We work extensively through CSOs as catalysts for disaster action. When they choose to take our specialised resilience and humanitarian training, they acquire skills on disaster preparedness and response, climate change programming, cash programming, nutrition, WASH and protection.   

At a market in Shan state, Myamar. © Ye Zaw

2.

Include resilience building activities in all our work

Building the resilience of crisis-affected populations is weaved in all our work, even in projects that have a focus on meeting immediate, acute humanitarian needs. For example, we are progressively replacing food distributions with cash, to provide IDPs with greater flexibility and choice and increase self-reliance. We are planning to provide longer-term (one year versus three months) cash assistance to IDPs who choose to voluntarily return and resettle in safer communities. We are also transferring the ownership and responsibility for some of the aid delivery to the affected communities. For example, in Kachin and Northern Shan, one of our partners built the capacity of camps committees, enabling IDPs to take over food distribution and WASH activities in 25 camps during the COVID-19 pandemic.

© Niels Steeman/Pixabay

3.

Promote community-led disaster risk reduction and climate change initiatives

Myanmar is considered one of the highest ranked countries in vulnerability to climate change, both when it comes to rapid onset disasters such as cyclones and floods and for slow onset impacts such as drought, salinity and rising sea levels. In Rakhine, we are supporting nine civil society grant partners who are implementing climate change initiatives in their communities as part of disaster risk reduction.

On climate mitigation, we are funding local partners who are working with communities in Rakhine to restore degraded mangroves. Once fully grown, these mangroves will act as a barrier to the effects of climate change by protecting the shoreline from erosion and mitigating the impacts of storm surge, whilst also providing habitat for fish. The communities are establishing small-scale mangrove plantations and securing land tenure through advocacy with the local government, who are very supportive of the programme.

Build a network with strong local roots

Respond to changing needs

Share knowledge on working in protracted crisis

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