Myanmar + 2 more

Myanmar Emergency Update (as of 1 February 2022)

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KEY DISPLACEMENT FIGURES

39,000 Estimated refugee movements to neighbouring countries since 1 February 2021

980,000 Refugees and asylum-seekers from Myanmar in neighbouring countries as of 31 December 2020

442,000 Estimated total internal displacement within Myanmar since 1 February 2021

812,000 Estimated internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Myanmar as of 31 January 2022

HIGHLIGHTS

Armed clashes have escalated during the reporting period in the North West and South East, with airstrikes and shelling resulting in civilian casualties and forced displacement. As of 31 January 2022, displacement figures reached a new high of 441,500 displaced since 1 February 2021. These include 232,500 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South-East Myanmar – 91,900 in Kayah State, 48,700 in Shan State (South-all towns except Kyethi, Laihka and Mongkaing), 81,400 in Kayin State, 7,100 in Mon State, 2,600 in Tanintharyi Region and 800 in Bago Region; 7,100 in Shan State (North). In addition, there are 136,300 IDPs in Sagaing Region, 33,800 in Chin State and 21,400 in Magway Region.

In the South-East, intense fighting - initially centred around Demoso Township, Kayah State - has triggered several waves of large-scale displacement with tens of thousands forced to flee their homes and seek refuge at places of worship, community centres, in host communities or in the jungle. The main needs are for food, healthcare services and winterization items to cope with the cold temperatures. Over 10,000 IDPs from Kayah State took refuge in Taunggyi Township, Shan State (South). Over 6,000 IDPs are now being sheltered by local host communities in overcrowded conditions. Thousands of people are still displaced by fighting in Lay Kay Kaw in the south of Myawady Township along the Myanmar-Thai border and are unable to return home. Over 9,700 individuals from Myanmar had fled the upsurge in violence in Kayin and Kayah States since 16 December into Tak and Mae Hong Song provinces in Thailand. According to the Royal Thai Government official sources, all of the individuals from Myanmar have voluntarily returned to Myanmar in various return movements.

In Kachin and Shan (North) states, the security situation remains tense and continues to pose significant challenges, such as restrictions on movements around displacement and affected sites. Access to basic services, including education for children is hindered. Nonetheless, a few returns from displacement sites to villages of origin have been observed in Kachin State. In Shan State (North), the numbers of IDPs increased in Mongkoe, Muse Township due to fighting. While some returns were recorded from Mongkaing Township of Shan State (South), there was also new displacement following inter-EAO conflict between the Restoration Council of Shan State (RCSS) and Shan State Progress Party (SSPP).

In the North-West, UNHCR protection monitoring revealed an increase of displacement in Sagaing Region due to ongoing clashes. Shortages of food, winter items, fuel and medical supplies continue to be reported. At least 3,000 people from 30 villages in Matupi Township in Chin State have been displaced by fighting. On 18 January, up to 1,000 villagers fled their homes to surrounding areas following attacks in Gangaw Township in Magway Region.

In Rakhine State, IDPs across Rakhine State, as well as non-displaced Rohingya communities, continue to face challenges in accessing basic services, livelihoods, and humanitarian assistance. Some return movements continue to be observed from areas of conflict, albeit small scale. Returns continue to be promoted by de facto authorities, including instances where village leaders in some displacement sites were instructed to encourage returns of IDPs. Recent privatization of land at IDP camp areas and land sales to private individuals in Sittwe and Pauktaw have led to an increase in IDP households having to reside in makeshift shelters. IDPs have also been asked to pay rent for use of land.

The privatization of land has also impacted the work of humanitarian agencies, where humanitarian infrastructure is under threat of relocation and demolition. The increase in military presence in Kyauktaw and Ponnagyung townships has raised concerns among communities, both Rakhine and Rohingya, fearing potential resumption of clashes. This fear also triggered some temporary displacement from Kyauktaw Township.

It is estimated that some 7,000 new arrivals have crossed into India from Myanmar in the past two weeks.