Resilience and Disaster Risk Reduction

A man working on the boats in the river to go for fishing. Photo by: Oxfam

Myanmar is one of the most disaster risk prone countries in the world. Each year, people in Myanmar continue to be at risk of cyclones and flooding as well as droughts in the central Dry Zone of the country. Ongoing conflicts in Kachin and Rakhine also have serious consequences for communities’ livelihoods and ability to access vital services like health and education. Building people’s resilience is core to reducing the impact of conflict or disasters when they occur. To do this, Oxfam integrates resilience and disaster risk reduction into our work in Myanmar through supporting communities and local organisations to be better prepared to respond to acute disasters and conflicts. In Rakhine Oxfam is working directly with local partner CERA and communities to better understand the risks posed by conflict and natural disasters, and develop mitigation and resilience strategies to reduce these risks – informed and led by the people themselves. The role of women in mitigating disasters and conflict has proven to be critical. Women are more likely to suffer a heavy impact from disasters and conflict when they occur, but they are often excluded from initiatives that help people prepare for these events. Core to Oxfam and partners’ work is supporting the role of women leaders within village resilience and response planning for natural disasters and conflict.