Myanmar: 2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview


About 241,000 displaced people – of which 77 per cent are women and children – remain in camps or camp-like situations in Kachin, Kayin, Shan and Rakhine states. This includes approximately 92,000 people in Kachin, 15,000 in Shan and 5,600 in Kayin who remain displaced as a result of the armed conflict. It also includes about 129,000 people in Rakhine who were displaced as a result of the violence in 2012. In addition, there are particularly vulnerable non-displaced people, including the youth, elderly and disabled people who continue to require special attention and/or support as a result of different factors including, amongst others, armed conflict, statelessness, movement restrictions and 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. This is particularly true in Rakhine State where the situation has changed dramatically in the past year following the armed attacks on police posts in northern Rakhine in August 2017 and subsequent security operations. People from all communities have been affected, resulting in complex needs which demand different responses. Humanitarian action is a vital component of a comprehensive approach that is needed to address 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 214,000 people – of which 77 per cent are women and children – remain displaced as a result of the armed conflict that resumed in Kachin and Shan in 2011 and as a result of violence in Rakhine since 2012, plus displaced people in Kayin. 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 continued restrictions on their freedom of movement while for others it relates largely to limited livelihoods opportunities.
In most camps, displaced people continue to live in over-crowded conditions in shelters that were meant to be temporary. Currently people in camps are living in undignified, overcrowded and unsafe conditions with no option to return to their places of origin or relocate elsewhere. Protracted displacement can have a negative impact on the individual and collective potential of young people. The search for sustainable, durable solutions and early recovery therefore remain key priorities.

2 Access to services and livelihoods for vulnerable people
In Kachin, Shan and Rakhine, there are vulnerable people who lack access to services and livelihoods as a result of factors such as armed conflict, discrimination, intercommunal tensions and movement restrictions (either imposed by authorities or self-imposed because of insecurity). In Rakhine, service provision has been severely interrupted by the violence in late 2017 and subsequent access restrictions, exacerbating existing needs and potentially creating new ones. Service provision in Rakhine remains unequal, largely as a result of inter-communal tensions and movement restrictions applicable to Muslims. This puts many people at risk, particularly elderly and disabled people, as well as those in need of urgent life-saving medical attention or treatment for severe malnutrition. Women and girls face particular challenges due to their vulnerability to gender-based violence, their roles in protecting children and families as well as their specific needs for sexual and reproductive health services. In many areas, food security and access to livelihoods is a concern. While there is a lack of uniform and safe access to services, humanitarian needs will persist, requiring continued support to address lifesaving needs.

3 Protection of civilians
In Kachin and Shan, protection concerns from ongoing internal armed conflict include new and multiple displacement of civilians, reports of violations of international humanitarian and human rights law, including – but not limited to – gender-based violence and grave violations against children. Humanitarian access, including most recently for national staff, has dramatically deteriorated, hampering the work of humanitarian organizations and reducing affected people’s access to humanitarian assistance and protection services. In Rakhine, a large number of people from all communities have been affected by the violence, burning of villages and massive displacement that resulted from the 25 August 2017 attacks and subsequent security operations in the northern part of the State. In central Rakhine, statelessness and the resulting lack of civil documentation, movement restrictions, lack of access to essential services (such as health and education), as well as other risks such as gender-based violence, human trafficking, family separation and physical insecurity, remain serious protection concerns, compounded by discrimination, and segregation.

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 monitor, 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 youth 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 wherever appropriate.

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