Displacement in Rakhine State, Situation Report No. 7
This report is produced by OCHA on behalf of the Humanitarian Coordinator. It covers the period from 27July to 15 August.
I. HIGHLIGHTS/KEY PRIORITIES
The Rakhine State Government estimates that over 68,500 IDPs are accommodated in 63 camps in Sittwe, Kyauktaw and Maungdaw Townships.
A response plan prepared by the UN and NGO partners estimates that US$32.5 million are required to provide assistance to some 80,000 vulnerable people until December 2012.
II. Situation Overview
Of the over 100,000 people affected at the beginning of the crisis, many have already returned home as the overall security situation is improving across the state. As of 11 August, the Rakhine State Government estimates that over 68,500 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are accommodated in 63 camps in Sittwe, Kyauktaw and Maungdaw Townships, of which nine camps in Sittwe are sheltering close to 60,000 IDPs.
Population movements continue with reports of new arrivals (approximately 3,000 IDPs) from a village on the outskirts of Sittwe in two camps near Sittwe Town due to lack of access to livelihoods and food. On 5-7 August, a new displacement of over 3,000 people was reported in Kyauktaw due to conflict between communities. According to the Rakhine State Government, since the beginning of the communal violence, a total of 87 people were killed and 120 injured with over 5,300 houses destroyed due to the violence.
The reports of security incidents over the last couple of weeks have substantially decreased. However, inter-communal tensions remain very high with reports of sporadic conflicts in some townships of the state. On 11 August, the Government reviewed the security situation across the state and changed the curfew hours from 6pm until 6am to 7pm until 5am in seven townships, including in Kyauktaw as a result of the recent violence. The Government reported that over 1,300 security personnel have been deployed to restore stability and address the security concerns expressed by both communities.
Safety and security of humanitarian workers continue to be of a major concern as several provocative statements have been made by organizations against communities and against UN and NGOs, fueling tensions and hampering assessments and delivery of relief support to the victims of the violence. The Government and the humanitarian community under the leadership of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator (RC/HC) have taken measures to address those issues including through joint visits to both affected communities, dialogue with community leaders and dissemination of information about the cooperation between the Government and humanitarian partners through various channels.
A number of high-level delegations visited Rakhine State during the reporting period. On 31 July and 1 August, a mission led by Union Minister for Border Affairs Lt-Gen Thein Htay and joined by ambassadors, diplomats as well as the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Myanmar, Mr. Tomas Ojea Quintana, visited camps in Sittwe and Maungdaw townships. UNOCHA’s Director of Operations, Mr. John Ging, accompanied by the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Myanmar, Mr. Ashok Nigam visited Sittwe and met with senior government officials, partners and the affected populations, calling for respect for humanitarian principles and international humanitarian law to enable aid agencies to access areas of conflict and help those in need.
On 10 August, a delegation led by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Turkey Mr. Ahmet Davutoglu was received in Sittwe by the Union Minister of Border Affairs and senior government officials. The delegation visited camps in Sittwe and met with the government officials, the UN RC/HC, representatives from UN agencies and partners. The Turkish Red Cross has an MoU with the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) to provide assistance to IDPs in the affected locations.
On 11 August, a delegation, which comprised former Vice President and current President of the Indonesian Red Cross Society (Palang Merah Indonesia) Jusuf Kalla and joined by Assistant Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs for the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ambassador Atta El- Manna Bakhit, the President of the Qatari Red Crescent Society Dr. Venkatesh Mannar, the Secretary General of the Indonesian Red Cross Society and the Indonesian Ambassador to Myanmar, visited Sittwe, highlighting the readiness to support relief efforts.
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