An estimated 151,000 people in southeastern parts of the country have been internally displaced by insecurity and armed conflict between various parties as of 31 May. In Kayah State, between 85,000 to 100,000 people are estimated to have been displaced by ongoing hostilities between the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and the Karenni Army as well as the Karenni People's Defence Force. Fighting in the area continues to escalate with airstrikes and indiscriminate shelling reported. The majority of the displaced people are concentrated in Demoso, Hpruso and Loikaw townships in Kayah State as well as Hsiseng and Pekon townships in southern Shan State, according to UNHCR. The displacement in Kayah State is in addition to 51,200 people who had been displaced in the south-east, over 47,300 people in Kayin State, with a further 3,900 in parts of Mon State and eastern Bago Region, since 1 February due to insecurity and clashes between the MAF and the Karen National Liberation Army. The humanitarian impact of hostilities in the region remains severe, with people displaced and those who remain in areas affected across the south-eastern parts of the country in urgent need of food, shelter, medicine, water as well as sanitation services. Humanitarian access to people in need is constrained by insecurity, road blockages, landmine risks and lengthy or unclear approval processes. As needs grow, the capacities of local partners are increasingly stretched and require additional financial support. Despite the challenges, operational partners are responding to needs where possible. During the reporting period, a small number of families displaced across several townships in Kayah State, Kayin State, and eastern parts of Bago Region received shelter and emergency kits, hygiene assistance, and basic medical supplies. The partners will continue to explore all possible options to respond to the needs of people displaced and everyone affected.
Tropical Cyclone Yaas made landfall over north Odisha on 26 May, bringing strong winds, heavy rainfall and storm surge of more than four meters which affected the Indian States of Odisha and West Bengal, and low-lying coastal areas in Bangladesh.
In India, an estimated 300,000 houses were destroyed or damaged as sea waters along the Bengal coast and rivers started swelling and breached embankments. In West Bengal, more than 4,600 villages were affected, and about 230,000 people are displaced across 14,000 relief camps. According to authorities in the neighboring state of Odisha, more than 128 villages have been severely affected across ten districts. UNICEF is supporting response efforts of the Governments of West Bengal and Odisha by providing assistance in the areas of health, water and sanitation, protection, nutrition, education, and COVID-19 risk communication.
In Bangladesh, tidal surge combined with the collapse of embankments flooded low-lying coastal areas in the districts of Satkhira, Khulna, Bhola, Patuakhali and Borguna, leaving at least four people dead, displacing about 15,000 people across 200 villages, and damaging or destroying thousands of houses, farm land and fish enclosures. WHO and UNICEF are working with local administrations and have medical teams and emergency medical supplies on standby. Several humanitarian partners are providing emergency supply in the form of drinking water and dry food.
Challenges in maintaining social distancing and limited availability of sanitation facilities in emergency shelters may complicate efforts to halt the surge in COVID-19 cases at a time when the region is battling with another wave of infections.
A weather disturbance east of Mindanao has intensified into a tropical storm labelled as TS Choi-wan (local name Dante) bringing heavy rains and flooding in the Davao and CARAGA regions. There are no exact figures yet on displacements, but local media report that rescue teams have evacuated families in various areas to safer ground over the weekend. TS Choi-wan is not expected to make landfall but will strengthen to a severe tropical storm in the next two days. Its outer rain bands could also affect the Visayas region and result in landslides and floods in highly susceptible areas.3
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.