CHANGES IN CONTEXT
In Kachin and Shan states, over 94,000 people remain displaced as a result of the armed conflict that started in 2011. The protracted nature of displacement has caused renewed need for protection as well as material assistance and also strained the capacity of host communities. This situation is further compounded by an additional displacement of approximately 12,000 people in the first half of 2016 due to conflicts between ethnic armed groups and with the Myanmar army primarily in northern Shan State. However, displacement in northern Shan State is often temporary, as many of the displaced decide to return after fairly short periods of time. Over 9,000 newlydisplaced people had reportedly returned to their places of origin by the end of June. The remaining 3,000, mostly sheltering in monasteries, host communities and existing camps, remain in need of emergency assistance and protection due to ongoing volatile situation. The immediate needs of these newly-displaced are being covered by state authorities, Myanmar Red Cross Society, local NGOs and local communities, with support from INGOs and the UN agencies.
While humanitarian assistance has been delivered regularly to IDPs in all accessible locations, a considerable challenge remains, especially in areas of active conflict in northern Shan State as well as in non-government areas of Kachin State (where over 40,000 people - approximately 40 per cent of the total caseload - are located), due to a lack of sustained access. Over recent months, a significant deterioration in access of international organizations to these areas has been observed as travel of staff and some aid deliveries, which were previously permitted, to non-government areas have not been allowed to proceed. Limited access continues to undermine the quantity/quality and sustainability of assistance provided to IDPs in these hard-to-reach areas, further exhausting their coping mechanisms after five years of displacement. While local partners remain the center of humanitarian response in Kachin/Shan and have been able to deliver aid to remote areas inaccessible to UN and international partners, international humanitarian assistance continues to be required to complement and enhance local efforts, given the growing humanitarian needs resulting from protracted displacement and renewed conflicts.
In Rakhine State, the inter-communal violence in 2012 led to the displacement of approximately 145,000 people. Of these, about 25,000 IDPs were assisted to return or resettle by the end of 2015 with the Government’s individual housing support. As of June, some 120,000 IDPs remain in 39 camps or camplike settings across Rakhine State. Prolonged displacement compounded by ongoing movement restrictions that constrain access to essential services, including formal education, healthcare and livelihoods, continues to cause increased vulnerability and a high level of dependency on humanitarian assistance.
The response capacity of authorities and partners was further strained by the demands for additional aid resulting from a series of incidents in first half of 2016. In April, fighting between the Government Army and the Arakan Army has displaced approximately 1,900 people in Buthidaung, Rathedaung and Kyaktaw townships. While the displacement is expected to be a shot-term, conditions are not yet conducive for returns due to ongoing tensions, according to the Government. Meanwhile, their immediate needs are being catered for by the government and local partners, with support from UN/INGOs. In May, a fire incident in a Muslim IDP camp in rural Sittwe affected 448 families (over 2,000 people) who were then moved back in mid-June to the long houses with support from the Government and partners. In June, over 1,000 people were affected by the flooding primarily in Thandwe, Minbya and Taungup townships. The State Government, with support from UN and partners, responded to the most immediate needs of the affected people, including food, emergency shelters, non-food-items (NFIs) and water.
In areas affected by flooding in 2015, of the approximately 6,000 people who were staying in evacuation sites in Chin State and Sagaing Region as of January 2016, almost all had been relocated as of June. People being relocated to new sites or returning to their villages of origin have received new housing or materials from the Government. In Chin State, over 1,700 people remain in seven evacuation sites in Hakha and Tongzan townships while in Sagaing region previous evacuation sites have been closed and over 3,500 people relocated to new settlements. The situation of the remaining households in evacuation sites in Hakha remains complex as those families did not own the houses affected by the landslides, but were tenants. The Government has provided land to those families in new relocation areas but not housing or materials. Humanitarian assistance has ceased for the people staying in evacuation sites in Hakha while some food and livelihoods support is being provided by humanitarian organizations and private donors to families remaining in sites in Tonzang.
Heavy rains in June 2016 caused flooding in five states/ regions. The Relief and Resettlement Department estimated that by the end of June more than 26,000 people had been affected, over 5,000 houses inundated and 281 houses destroyed in Bago, Sagaing and Ayeyarwady Regions, and Rakhine and Chin states. A total of 14 deaths were reported from different sources. In some flood-affected areas, basic infrastructure, including roads, bridges, wells and communal buildings, were damaged. In Rakhine, partners reported that water and sanitation facilities in two IDP camps in Kyaukpyu and Ramree were inundated. No damage to agricultural farms and crops were reported. Urgent needs, including foods and non-food items, were supported by the Government.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.