Myanmar: WFP Launches Emergency Flood Response
Published on 4 November 2011

Daw Than Shein, a WFP beneficiary whose home and belongings were washed away by flooding. Copyright: WFP/Khin Moe Aye

Following the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Two in October, WFP was requested to assist the flood-affected populations of Magway Division in central Myanmar. Within days of the storm making landfall, WFP had launched an emergency response and was assisting 30,000 people with a mixed food basket of rice, pulses, oil and salt.

“I feel both happy and sad” explained Daw Than Shein, aged 52 with wary smile.

“Why, a-daw (aunt)?”  asked WFP's Su Su.

“I am happy when I see many people and agencies come this far to ease our troubles, but I am also sad when I think about my family’s future after our house was destroyed by the flooding”.

Daw Than Shein and her family come from Sai Khan village, 15 kilometres from Seik Phyu township. The village is near Yaw Creek, which provides fertile alluvial soil every year. Daw Than Shein works as a farmer and grows onions and chickpeas,  as well as raising livestock including chickens and goats.

“I am not rich, but our 11 family members have enough food. We are all working except my two grandchildren and the elderly family members,” she said.

In October, the flash floods caused by Tropical Storm Two swept away all her belongings including her house, 40 goats, her chickens, and her valuable onion stock and chickpea seeds for the next planting season. Daw Than Shein also injured her back when the house collapsed, making the family’s relocation to higher ground even more troublesome.


The family took shelter in an unused car, parked in the compound of a local monastery. The truck was abandoned because of a broken engine but Daw Than Shein’s family have converted it into a temporary home for four of the family members, including two of the children. The rest of the family sleep nearby on bamboo mats.

Just days after the flooding struck, Daw Than Shein and her family received a one-month food ration from WFP, as well as clothes and household items from private donors. “I will never forget WFP for providing us with food during this very difficult time,” she explained, smiling, but with a tear in her eye.

WFP Offices
About the author

Edward Johnson

Reporting Officer

After working in headquarters, Myanmar and London, Edward is currently the operational information management and emergency preparedness officer in Yemen.