Instability that started in June 2011 across Kachin and northern Shan states has resulted in displacement, damage of infrastructure and loss of lives and livelihoods. Despite ongoing peace negotiations between parties to the conflict, incidents continue to be reported.
The number of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) has been steadily increasing since the beginning of the conflict to an estimated 65,000 IDPs in July 2012. These people sought refuge in camps, in public buildings, with host families or in the forest. In addition, an estimated 6,000 to 7,000 persons have reportedly sought refuge in China. The numbers of IDPs continue to fluctuate and in some locations, a small number of IDPs temporarily returned to their villages to attempt savaging some of their livelihood, leaving some of their family members in camps or with relatives. Available information indicates that these returns are not permanent or substantial in numbers, as IDPs continue to be concerned over ongoing tensions and instability as well as presence of landmines.
Whilst the Kachin State Government started a planning exercise encompassing return and recovery operations, the Union Government and the Kachin State Government have clearly stated that only those who wish to return should do so, and that assistance in camps must continue. The State Government indicated relief aid and recovery operations will require support from the aid community well into 2013.
Whilst partners continued providing a wide range of assistance to 24,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in and around fully accessible towns of Myitkyina, Waingmaw, Bhamo, Mansi, Momauk, Puta‐O and Shwegu, reaching all affected locations has been challengintsince the beginning of the conflict.
This limited ability to reach all those in need resulted in further suffering, as gaps and inequality in assistance is a fact of life for a significant portion of the affected people, despite assistance provided regularly by some, mostly local, partners.
The UN Humanitarian Coordinator (HC), on behalf of the humanitarian community, reiterated, since June 2011, the readiness of UN and NGOs in providing assistance to all those in need. As a result, the Government, in September 2011, invited all interested agencies to assist those displaced in a number of locations and carry out an independent needs assessment in Myitkyina, Waingmaw,
Bhamo, Mansi, Momauk and Shwegu. It further resulted in a UN mission and provision of assistance to some IDPs in hard‐to‐reach areas in December 2011.
Further efforts to access all affected areas in Kachin resulted in both parties allowing aid convoys to IDP locations in some hard‐to‐reach areas starting March 2012. Meanwhile, the security situation worsened and the convoys were put on hold at the end of April. The convoys, nevertheless, resumed in June and are ongoing. UN assistance has been directly provided to as many as 40,000 IDPs, including through ten UN supported convoys that have delivered food and household items to over 10,000 persons in 12 locations in areas affected by the conflict. However, sustained access for the provision of assistance for relief and eventually recovery operations is yet to be achieved. At present, up to 25,000 people have not been reached by UN assistance and they remain highly dependent on the dedicated efforts of the various communities and partners who are on the ground and who are not, however, able to cater for all needs. The UN and partners consistently continue to request full and unimpeded access to all the hard‐toreach locations.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.