An increasing number of Burundian refugees have returned to the country since July 2020. By end-2020 there were 120,000 assisted returns and 143,000 returnees are projected for 2021. Most of the returnees who arrived in 2020 are in the provinces of Makamba, Kirundo and Ruyigi, which lack the social and economic infrastructure for their reintegration. Returnees in 2021 will likely face challenges such as limited access to shelter, lack of access to livelihoods, and insufficient daily nutritional intake. 56% of returnees report consuming only one meal per day. Access to education is challenging, with children lacking birth certificates or the French language skills to easily integrate; resuming after long lapses in education; or needing to contribute to their family's livelihood. 52% of returnee children do not attend school. Protection needs are high, including while in-transit from other countries, and likely to persist upon return.
By the end of 2020, conflict in Cabo Delgado had displaced almost 670,000 people within Cabo Delgado and to Niassa and Nampula provinces. 580,000 were displaced in 2020 alone as violence intensified throughout the year. Nearly 950,000 people are facing Crisis (IPC Phase 3) and higher levels of acute food insecurity in the three provinces over January-March. Insecurity has disrupted markets, blocked supply routes, and increased food prices, while repeated displacement has destroyed livelihoods. The number of people facing acute food insecurity in Cabo Delgado is projected to increase from 666,000 to 770,000 in the April-September period. 227,000 people are projected to face Emergency (IPC Phase 4), representing a 60% increase over current numbers. Nine out of 55 health facilities in nine conflict-affected Cabo Delgado districts are non-operational and 686 health professionals have fled because of insecurity. Cholera cases are increasing, especially among displaced people who have limited access to clean water.
On 1 February, the Myanmar military staged a coup and ordered a year-long state of emergency under Sections 417 and 418(a) of the 2008 Constitution, alleging fraud in 8 November 2020 elections. Anti-coup protests, which began in major hotspots of Mandalay, Yangon, and the capital, Nay Pyi Taw, have gained considerable momentum countrywide. As protests become more organised they are met with increased levels of violence, including use of lethal weapons, arbitrary arrests and detention, night-time raids, internet blackouts, and a general crackdown on dissidents. As at 22 February, 684 politicians, activists, and protesters have been arrested or charged or sentenced, since 1 February, including 637 still in detention. As the country nears a standstill, prices for essential commodities such as rice, oil, and gas have increased. Cash transfers have been delayed, and concerns are emerging around workers’ ability to access their end-of-month pay cheque.