In Myanmar, IsraAID staff are distributing food, water purification tablets and hygiene kits to people who have lost everything, after more than a month of record rains swallowed large sections of the country, creating a desperate humanitarian crisis.
In the middle of what was once the remote village of Shwenyeungvin, dozens of small boats and rafts start to make their way across the water to a single large boat where IsraAID staff are busy distributing food, water purification tablets and hygiene kits to over 500 people who have lost everything, and are now cut off from their home and livelihood.
As part of IsraAID’s NoOneLeftBehind humanitarian relief program, the distribution was held on a community member’s boat, next to the village school, as there is no more land for the villagers to gather on.
"We are mostly worried for our health. Our water source is covered and is now one with the river. We don’t have any clean water to drink. We are worried the community will become sick," shared the headmaster of the school, as she crosschecked the list of households and made sure each one received rations.
During the long boat ride to the area, the IsraAID noted how roads, paddy fields, forests, and homes have all become one raging river, after more than a month of record rains has swallowed large sections of the country, creating a desperate humanitarian crisis.
Over 1.6 million people have been affected by some of the worst flooding in memory, and 384,900 families are still displaced. 250,000 children are out of school, and 451,000 people are now food insecure. "All our rice paddy [fields] are ruined. We will have to plant again but now it it late. We don’t think we will have any crops for this year," fears Winmyant as he tries to think about how he will feed his family of 5.
In addition to providing emergency relief, IsraAID’s team on the ground has been coordinating its activities with the government and international community. IsraAID is responding to this crisis with the support of the American Jewish Committee (AJC), coordinating with all stakeholders to pinpoint those in need who have yet to receive aid.
In the coming weeks, IsraAID will expand its efforts to reach more affected villages and communities in flood affected regions with emergency aid, all while planning ahead for long-term efforts to assist families like Winmyant’s so they can go home and rebuild their lives.