The Irrawaddy

Government Accepts Asean Offer of Flood Aid

YANGON—Myanmar’s minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement said the country would accept humanitarian assistance from Asean in response to an open letter from the secretary of the regional grouping stating that it was ready to provide relief assistance to Myanmar after massive floods swept through several regions and states.

Secretary Lim Jock Hoi said in the letter addressed to Daw Aung San Suu Kyi that the Asean Coordination Centre for Humanitarian Assistance (AHA) and the Asean Secretariat in Jakarta stood ready to support the Myanmar government in its disaster response and humanitarian aid efforts.

Since early last month, floods have hit nine states and regions, killing12 people and displacing almost 150,000.

Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement Minister Dr Win Myat Aye told The Irrawaddy on Friday that Myanmar accepted the offer, which he said had been made in the spirit of Asean solidarity.

“The AHA will send assistance. Ambassadors from other Asean countries called me personally to offer their support,” he said.

On Friday, the AHA Centre handed over 12,000 portable solar lanterns as part of its initial batch of relief assistance to U Win Shwe, director of the Yangon Department of Disaster Management, under the Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement.

Last year, the center provided humanitarian aid to displaced people in Rakhine State. Earlier this year, it provided technical assistance to help extinguish the landfill fire in Yangon.

Myanmar’s International Cooperation Minister Kyaw Tin is currently attending the Asean Foreign Ministers meeting in Singapore.