Tue 25 Dec 2012
Filed under: International,News
The Australian government has pledged AUS $1 million (US $1.04 million) to the Humanitarian Multi Stakeholder Fund (HMSF), an emergency response scheme established in Burma [Myanmar] and managed by the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
The funds will join a pool of international donations reserved for providing emergency assistance in situations affecting water, sanitation and hygiene, health care, food, education, protection, livelihoods and agriculture.
The Australian funds are coordinated through the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
“The Australian Government is a strong supporter of effective and flexible humanitarian funding mechanisms, such as the HMSF,” said Mr. Michael Hassett, the Head of Development Assistance for AusAID in Myanmar, in a OCHA statement on December 24. “Such mechanisms are particularly important in Myanmar given the ongoing needs in border regions and its susceptibility to natural disasters. Australia is pleased to support the HMSF as it is an efficient way to ensure our support reaches those in need.”
Since its inception in 2007, the HMSF has disbursed funds to 16 humanitarian projects in 180 villages, reaching some 200,000 people, OCHA said. “These projects have provided life-saving activities in south-east Myanmar, Kachin and Northern Shan States. In November of this year, its coverage was expanded to include Rakhine State in view of the acute humanitarian needs resulting from inter-communal conflict.”
The HMSF is a pooled fund and its main donors in Burma are the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and now the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID).
Since its launch in Burma, contributions from donors amount to US $7 million, the statement said.