QRCS Delegation Explores Potential for More Humanitarian Services in Myanmar

Doha, A delegation of Qatar Red Crescent (QRCS) has conducted a visit to Myanmar to oversee its programmes in Rakhine State and discuss a plan for possible future programs in consultation with other humanitarian actors.

In light of the recent developments in Myanmar, and in particular in Rakhine State, a field visit was conducted by QRCS staff. The visit was based on QRCS’s commitment to reach those who are most in need regardless of their ethnic, religious, or social background. The visit also focused on assessing the current situation in Rakhine State and the available services and facilities, as well as identifying the existing needs, practices, perceptions, preferences, and drivers for provision of extra services. Moreover, the assessment included to what extent crucial health and WASH services are available and accessible to people in Rakhine State, both in and outside of the camps.

A resident in one of the camps in Rakhine State told the visiting delegation, “We live under a dire situation; we lack access to the most basic needs, and I feel trapped in my own country. I hope this agony will end one day”.

During the weeklong visit, the QRCS delegation met with all involved actors in the humanitarian and development sector including, but not limited to, Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS), different UN agencies like the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), and I/NGOs.

While in Sittwe, the capital city of Rakhine State, the delegation assessed the progress of the ongoing mobile health clinics, which has been supported by QRCS since 2013 and contributes to improving the IDPs’ access to health facilities.

The current health programme comprises different projects, which include, besides the mobile health clinics, building health facilities and providing training for community health workers and traditional birth attendants.

The aim of the livelihood project is to allow families to generate income, to improve the lives of the affected people. The most recent report by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) indicated that the contribution of QRCS benefited 576 households. These families witnessed an improvement in their financial conditions as the project provides the families with income-generating skills.

The livelihood project and the health facilities supported by QRCS address the humanitarian needs and requirements of the affected people in Rakhine State, who are facing humanitarian challenges, and provide them with access to lifesaving services. The field assessment visit confirmed the growing humanitarian needs and the importance of a continuous engagement to ensure that the needy communities are provided with support and services for a dignified life.

QRCS’s vision and mission in Myanmar combine both relief response and development services, which has been valued by the beneficiaries since the start of its operations back in 2012. The ongoing projects supported by QRCS address the needs of the displaced people in the health care, WASH, livelihood, and shelter sectors. In a year and a half, 80,000 people benefitted from the health projects, and 15,000 hygiene kits and 7,000 bed nets were distributed. In the WASH sector, QRCS established 1,800 toilets and drilled 120 water wells in 2013-2014. QRCS aims, where feasible, for more sustainable solutions to help the people in need through the implementation of its programmes in 2017 and beyond.

Source: Qatar News Agency