SITUATION AT A GLANCE
1 MILLION People in Need of Humanitarian Assistance in Burma
UN – January 2021
104,475 IDPs in Burma’s Kachin and Northern Shan
UN – December 2020
130,000 IDPs—Originally Displaced in 2012—in Burma’s Rakhine IDP Sites
UN – January 2021
101,798 IDPs Displaced by Burmese Military— AA Conflict in Rakhine and Chin
UN – January 2021
871,924 Refugees in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar
UNHCR – January 2021
The Government of Bangladesh continues to relocate Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char despite concerns from the international community regarding humanitarian and protection conditions on the island.
Following the Burmese military coup d’état against the civilian government on February 1 and subsequent civilian protests, USG partners continue humanitarian operations.
Escalated hostilities between Burmese military forces and armed groups in Shan during December and January displace thousands of individuals.
Government of Bangladesh Continues Refugee Relocations to Bhasan Char
The Government of Bangladesh relocated thousands of Rohingya refugees to Bhasan Char—a floodprone silt island in the Bay of Bengal—between December 2020 and February 2021, according to humanitarian actors. More than 10,000 refugees were residing on the island as of mid-February following the most recent Government of Bangladesh-initiated relocations on February 14 and 15 that moved approximately 3,600 refugees from Cox’s Bazar District to the island, relief actors report. The Government of Bangladesh, which commenced the relocation of refugees to Bhasan Char in early December, had not permitted the UN to conduct an independent and comprehensive technical and protection assessment of the island as of mid-February. The U.S. Government (USG), alongside other donors and humanitarian partners, continues to advocate that any resettlements to Bhasan Char be fully voluntary, based on informed consent, and preceded by UN technical and protection assessments.
Humanitarian Operations Continue Following Burma Military Coup
Humanitarian operations in Burma continue largely unabated following the Burmese military coup d’état against the Burmese civilian government on February 1, during which soldiers detained senior civilian government officials—including State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi and President Win Myint—and announced a one-year state of emergency. While movement restrictions and intermittent, militaryimposed telecommunications disruptions resulted in the temporary pause of some humanitarian activities during the week of February 1, humanitarian organizations—including USG partners—had largely resumed programming supporting vulnerable households across Burma as of mid-February. In addition, mostly peaceful civilian protests in Yangon city following the change in state leadership have not disrupted humanitarian assistance. However, the ongoing civil disobedience movement has caused widespread closure of businesses, including banks, causing challenges for humanitarian agencies. The UN has released statements expressing concern regarding the coup, affirming its intent to continue lifesaving relief activities in Burma, and urging military authorities to allow for uninterrupted humanitarian access to vulnerable populations.
Clashes Displace Thousands of People in Shan from December to February
Escalated hostilities between the Burmese military and non-state armed groups (NSAGs) in northern Shan State since late December have displaced thousands of individuals and resulted in several civilian casualties, according to the UN. Conflict between the Shan State Army and the Ta’ang National Liberation Army displaced an estimated 3,900 people in Kyaukme and Namtu townships between December 27 and January 15, of whom 1,000 remained displaced in Kyaukme as of January 25. Fighting between the Burmese military and NSAGs, as well as among NSAGs, continued from early to midFebruary, resulting in the displacement of more than 2,000 people in Hsipaw, Kyaukme, and Namtu townships and at least three civilian casualties, the UN reports. This recent displacement is in addition to the approximately 9,800 people who remain in protracted displacement in Shan. In response to increased protection risks due to displacement, USAID/BHA partner the International Rescue Committee (IRC) provided information on gender-based violence (GBV) service availability to more than 400 women in Shan in December, in addition to psychosocial support services and GBV awareness sessions for vulnerable populations. In addition, State/PRM partner the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) distributed more than 300 non-food item kits—consisting of blankets, mosquito nets, and plastic mats—to vulnerable households in Shan during December. An estimated 1 million people will likely require humanitarian assistance across Burma during 2021, including approximately 336,000 displaced people who remain in camps or displacement sites in eastern Bago Region and Chin, Kachin, Kayin, Rakhine, and northern Shan states, according to the UN.