Myanmar: 2017 Humanitarian Needs Overview



About 218,000 displaced people, of whom 78 percent are women and children, remain in camps or camp-like situations in Kachin, Shan and Rakhine. This includes 87,000 people in Kachin and 11,000 in Shan who were displaced as a result of the armed conflict that resumed in 2011 and that continues to displace people.

It also includes about 120,000 in Rakhine who were displaced as a result of the inter-communal tensions and violence that erupted in 2012. In addition, there are particularly vulnerable non-displaced people who continue to require special attention and/or support as a result of different factors including; amongst others, armed conflict, movement restrictions and severe malnutrition. To address these needs, combinations of different types of support may be needed from a range of actors involved in humanitarian, development, human rights and peace-building activities. Humanitarian action may be one of several components in a comprehensive approach to addressing the short, medium and long-term needs and human rights of vulnerable communities.


1 Meeting needs of displaced people and searching for durable solutions

Approximately 218,000 people – of whom 78 per cent are women and children – remain displaced as a result of the armed conflict that resumed in Kachin and Shan in 2011 and the inter-communal violence that started in Rakhine in 2012. Many IDPs living in camps or camp-like situations remain dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet basic needs. For some, this is a result of the continued movement restrictions, while for others it relates largely to limited livelihoods opportunities. In the camps, displaced people continue to live in over-crowded conditions in long-houses that were meant to be temporary.
For those people who have been given no option but to remain in camps, there is a need to ensure that they are able to live there in safety and with dignity. Meanwhile, priority must continue to be given to the search for durable solutions for displaced people and initiatives aimed at ending displacement and promoting self-reliance and early recovery.

2 Access to services and livelihoods for vulnerable people

In Kachin, Shan and Rakhine, there are vulnerable people (both displaced and non-displaced) who lack access to services and livelihoods as a result of factors such as armed conflict, inter-communal tensions, movement restrictions and restrictive policies or practices. In Rakhine, service provision remains unequal, largely as a result of new movement restrictions applicable to Muslims that were introduced in at least eight townships in 2012. This puts many people at risk, particularly those in need of urgent life-saving medical attention. Women and girls face particular challenges due to the risk of gender-based violence.
In the northern part of Rakhine, movement restrictions have also impacted the health and nutrition status of Muslims, with malnutrition rates above emergency thresholds in Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships. While restrictive policies and practices continue, humanitarian needs will persist, requiring continued support to ensure access to life-saving services.

3 Protection of civilians

In Kachin and Shan, protection concerns from ongoing internal armed conflict include continued displacement of civilians, violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, gender-based violence and grave violations against children.

Humanitarian access within and beyond the Government controlled areas dramatically deteriorated in 2016, reducing affected people’s access to humanitarian assistance as well as protection monitoring.
In Rakhine, statelessness, movement restrictions, lack of access to essential services (such as health and education), lack of access to civil documents, gender-based violence, human trafficking, family separation and physical insecurity remain serious protection concerns, compounded by discrimination, marginalization and segregation of the concerned population.

Many children in Rakhine have not been issued with birth certificates since the 1990s, further restricting their rights and increasing their vulnerability.

4 Strengthening national capacities and building resilience of communities affected by natural disasters

Myanmar is one of the countries at highest risk of natural disasters in South-East Asia.
There is a continued need for an integrated approach to strengthen the resilience of communities; to enhance national capacity to prepare for and respond to natural disasters and other emergencies; and to support the Government in meeting urgent humanitarian needs of people affected by natural disasters. The World Humanitarian Summit reaffirmed the need to reinforce national and local leadership; ensure local actors – in particular women’s groups and representatives – are consulted, supported and funded; ensure women, children, youth, persons with disabilities, older persons and other vulnerable groups benefit from targeted support; work with the private sector; use modern technology; and increase the use of cash-based programming where appropriate in the context.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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