The Interim Emergency Response Plan has been developed under the leadership of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) as an operational planning framework to enable prioritized emergency humanitarian response activities beyond the scope of the 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) that was launched in January 2021. The operational plan builds on efforts to date to respond to humanitarian needs arising since 1 February 2021, which have drawn on contingency stocks or reorientation of planned development assistance. The Interim Plan focuses on 1) urban and peri-urban townships in Yangon and Mandalay which have seen dramatic increases in humanitarian needs due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing situation since 1 February; 2) scaling up of emergency response in Kayah State, Chin State, and other areas where clashes have driven large-scale displacement in previously stable areas; and 3) flexible inter-agency rapid response in other areas when new emergency needs related to violence, insecurity, and displacement are identified.
The operating environment across the country has become more challenging in a number of respects. In particular, the volatile security situation and communications and banking disruptions are complicating activities countrywide. Responding in areas with limited pre-existing humanitarian capacity, which are the primary focus of this plan, creates specific challenges and risks that partners are working to address. The Interim Plan, therefore, emphasizes the importance of a cautious and iterative approach, as efforts continue to define needs more clearly, improve information collection and to optimize response approaches. As always, humanitarian response activities will be guided by the internationally recognized principles of neutrality, impartiality, independence, and humanity.
The Interim Plan emphasizes the importance of ensuring inclusive humanitarian response approaches tailored to the needs of particular groups, including women, girls, the elderly and persons with disabilities, who are being impacted by the current situation in different ways. It also highlights the centrality of protection and do-no-harm approaches as humanitarian operations extend into new areas.
The Interim Plan identifies $109 million in emergency humanitarian programming to be implemented until the end of 2021. These requirements are in addition to the $276.5 million requested through the 2021 HRP for ongoing humanitarian efforts in Kachin, northern Shan, Rakhine, southern Chin and Kayin states, and parts of eastern Bago Region. The HCT has emphasized that efforts to mobilize in new locations should not draw capacities or resources away from the conflict-affected settings targeted through the HRP and has noted that needs are growing in many of these locations. The HRP and the Interim Plan are therefore distinct but closely linked and will also be implemented in parallel with the development of complementary planning instruments providing, among other areas, for support for the continuity of Myanmar’s health system. If required, lifesaving activities in the areas covered by the Plan and other locations may need to be integrated into a more expansive 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan.