CHANGES IN CONTEXT
In Rakhine State, approximately 120,000 people remain displaced in 39 camps or camp-likesettings as a result of the inter-communal violence that broke out in 2012. Prolonged displacement compounded by ongoing movement restrictions that constrain access to essential services continue to cause increased vulnerability and a high level of dependency on humanitarian assistance. Most facilities and structures, including shelters, in camps have been subjected to a third rainy season and therefore require significant care and maintenance to ensure that minimum standards are met. A joint assessment conducted by the Rakhine State Government and humanitarian partners in March 2016 in 21 camps of Sittwe, Pauktaw and Myebon townships indicated an urgent need for major renovation of over 60 per cent of the long-houses in the Sittwe camps and full rehabilitation of more than 80 per cent of three of the four assessed camps in Pauktaw Township. Significant renovation work is needed in one large camp that contains 89 long-houses in Myebon Township. Similarly, water and sanitation facilities are in need of renovation in many IDP camps across the state, with an estimated 20,000 IDPs facing acute water shortages according to the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Cluster. The water scarcity in Rakhine State is also compounded by the fact that many ponds were damaged during the 2015 floods. In view of the upcoming monsoon which will begin in June, urgent support is critically needed to carry out care and maintenance of shelters and other essential facilities in camps to ensure that thousands of the displaced people are protected from the elements and are able to live in dignified conditions.
In Kachin and Shan states, an estimated 96,000 people remain displaced as a result of the armed conflict that started in 2011. The protracted nature of displacement has not only caused renewed need for protection and assistance but also strained the capacity of host communities, with a growing number of newly displaced people being forced to seek shelter in camps. In the first quarter of 2016, armed conflict erupted primarily in Kyaukme, Nahmkan and Kutkai townships in Shan State and led to the additional displacement of over 7,300 people. Over 4,700 of these people had reportedly returned to their places of origin by the end of March. While their immediate needs were catered for primarily by state authorities and local partners, the UN and its partners also provided assistance including shelter, non-food-items, psychological support, health care and water/sanitation/ hygiene services in support of the government-led response. While humanitarian assistance is generally meeting material needs in most areas, protection monitoring and services, which require more regular access by international organizations, is inadequate. Ongoing insecurity, damage to infrastructure, presence of landmines and scarcity of resources also undermine the ability of humanitarian partners to ensure sustained delivery of assistance, especially in areas of active conflict in northern Shan State as well as in non-government areas of Kachin State.
In floods affected areas, of the approximately 11,000 people who were staying in evacuation sites in Chin State and Sagaing Region at the end of October 2015, over 7,000 people had been relocated as of March 2016. People being relocated to new sites or returning to their villages of origin have received new housing or materials from the Government. However, according to latest reports, some relocation sites still require water and sanitation facilities, increased access to education and health care, and other essential services. In Chin State, over 3,000 people remain in evacuation sites in Hakha and Tongzan townships, where they continue to receive assistance from the Government, the UN and partners. Support to ensure decent living conditions, functional services and income generation opportunities remains crucial in the planned relocation areas. Findings of a joint assessment on food security and agriculture sectors by FAO and WFP also highlighted that poor rural communities, especially in the hardest-hit-areas of Chin and Rakhine states, continue to face food shortages in 2016, prompting a continued need for assistance and livelihoods opportunities to ensure long-term recovery.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.