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Pact mobilizes to provide critical assistance to Myanmar flood victimsAugust 5, 2015
International NGO’s unparalleled on-the-ground network already in many of hardest-hit areas
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Pact, one of the longest serving international organizations in Myanmar, is mobilizing to provide immediate aid to victims of the recent devastating floods.
At work in the country for nearly two decades, Pact has substantial operations across central Myanmar, and many of its 3,500 employees in the country are already on the ground in some of the hardest-hit areas. Pact is working as quickly as possible to move additional resources to affected villages. In addition to providing immediate humanitarian relief, Pact will assist with long-term recovery.
With the death toll still rising and widespread destruction of homes and farmland, hundreds of thousands of people are in critical need of assistance, and the Myanmar government has appealed for international aid.
Today, Pact set up a website to accept donations specifically for Myanmar’s flood recovery. But the international NGO is already rushing to provide urgently needed meals and fresh water.
“We still don’t have a full picture of the damage, but we know it is significant,” said Wynn Thane, Pact’s deputy country director in Myanmar. “Many people will need help in the coming months, and we’ll be here to provide it.”
Pact Global Microfinance Fund has designed an emergency food kit to support a family of five for approximately three days, which the organization is delivering through its existing network. More than 10,000 households in 130 villages in Sagaing and Magway already have been reached, with plans to provide assistance to tens of thousands more. Pact Global Microfinance, by far the largest microfinance institution in the country, is using its physical offices as storage and organizing points.
Meanwhile, Pact’s wide-reaching development arm in Myanmar – an implementing partner of the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Danish International Development Agency, Chevron and the Coca-Cola Foundation, among others – is mobilizing to offer victims instant food, non-food necessities and emergency kits in five heavily affected townships with a total of more than 100,000 people.
Once floodwaters recede and immediate humanitarian needs are met, Pact will shift its focus to long-term recovery, including helping the people of Myanmar replant agricultural fields and restart other vital businesses and income-generating activities. Roughly 1 million acres of farmland are estimated to have been damaged.
“It is imperative that rural communities take advantage of a small window of opportunity to replant crops to avoid lasting devastation,” said Fahmid Bhuiya, head of Pact Global Microfinance Fund.
Pact has been implementing health, water, livelihoods, community development, microfinance and food security programs in Myanmar since 1997, when few international NGOs were allowed to operate in the country. Pact now works in more than 80 townships across the country.
Pact has provided roughly 2 million people with improved access to health services during its tenure in Myanmar. In the past 12 months alone, Pact Global Microfinance Fund has disbursed more than $250 million in micro-loans, with a repayment rate of more than 99 percent.
The recent flooding is not the first natural disaster in Myanmar to which Pact has responded. After Cyclone Nargis in 2008, Pact provided access to safe drinking water, medical care, food and shelter to people in the hardest-hit areas. During the 2007 floods in the Irrawaddy Delta and Magway, Pact leveraged its staff and local networks to provide vital emergency response.
The latest updates on Pact’s response are here.
Eddie Byrd, director of communications + fundraising
Blakey Emmett, director of corporate engagement
About Pact – Pact, an international nongovernmental organization, is a promise of a better tomorrow for all those who are poor and marginalized. Working in partnership to develop local solutions that enable people to own their own future, Pact helps people and communities build their own capacity to generate income, improve access to quality health services, and gain lasting benefit from the sustainable use of the natural resources around them. At work in nearly 30 countries, Pact is building local promise with an integrated, adaptive approach that is shaping the future of international development. www.pactworld.org