The conflict between the Myanmar Armed Forces and the Arakan Army in Rakhine State and neighbouring areas of Chin State continues unabated, resulting in civilian casualties, damage to civilian infrastructure, and internal displacement of people. During the past week, some 60 houses were reportedly burnt down in the Auk Mee Let village of Paletwa Township in Chin State. There were no civilian casualties due to the incident, as residents had fled from their homes to safer areas earlier in April. Similar incidents have been reported since earlier this year, including a significant incident on 16 May in Let Kar village in Mrauk-U Township, where around 200 houses were reportedly set on fire. In both incidents in May, houses were reportedly burnt down by the parties to the conflict. Humanitarian needs across the camps and displacement sites remain severe. Despite broader limitations on humanitarian access, WFP was able to distribute rice for the first time to more than 2,900 internally displaced people in Nyaung Chaung displacement site in Kyauktaw last week, although water, sanitation and hygiene assistance by a partner organization was not permitted.
In the past week, over 10,000 people were displaced in three towns in Maguindanao Province, including 7,800 people who had to flee during the Eid al-Fitr celebration following a mortar explosion in a residential area and clashes between the military and an IS-affiliated group. UNICEF and UNHCR are providing support to the Ministry of Social Services and Development of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) in responding to the needs of displaced people in Maguindanao Province, many of whom have been repeatedly displaced over the past month. The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator issued a statement condemning the mortar attacks which violate international human rights and humanitarian law and urged the stop to indiscriminate use of weapons impacting civilian areas.
Humanitarian organizations are particularly concerned by the impact of COVID-19 on Afghan refugees residing in Pakistan, which hosts over 1.4 million registered Afghan refugees. The majority reside in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (58%) and Baluchistan (23%), where the lowest living standards and the highest poverty rates are recorded. UNHCR estimates that more than 70,000 of the refugees are Persons with Specific Needs (PWSN) including women and children at risk, single parents, older persons at risk, and persons with serious medical conditions.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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