KEY DISPLACEMENT FIGURES
32,000 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
406,000 Estimated total internal displacement within Myanmar since 1 February 2021
776,000 Estimated internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Myanmar as of 1 December 2021
The month saw significant new displacement due to an alarming deterioration of the protection situation. A total of 405,700 displaced within Myanmar was recorded, as a result of armed conflict and unrest since 1 February 2021. This is an increase of 27% in just one month and the total now includes 217,900 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South-East Myanmar – 91,400 in Kayah State, 42,600 in Shan State (South), 74,600 in Kayin State, 7,100 in Mon State, 1,600 in Tanintharyi Region and 600 in Bago Region; 7,500 in Shan State (North). In addition, there are 33,800 IDPs in Chin State, 20,100 in Magway Region and 113,900 in Sagaing Region.
Clashes intensified in the South-East and there were reports of the killing of civilians including at least 35 people in one incident – among them four children and two staff members of the humanitarian organization, Save the Children – in Kayah State. Violence in Kayin State led to fresh displacement of 16,000 people, while people also fled clashes in Shan State (South).
In the South-East, the security situation has sharply deteriorated in Kayin and Kayah states with large scale displacement reported following clashes which started on 15 December in Lay Kay Kaw in southern Myawaddy Township and surrounding areas. A substantial proportion of Kayah State’s 300,000 population is now displaced, and thousands of families continue to live under makeshift tents along the Thailand-Myanmar border. Between 16 December 2021 to 17 January 2022, some 9,700 individuals sought safety in Tak and Mae Hong Son provinces in Thailand from the upsurge in violence in Kayin and Kayah. Of this number, some 1,200 individuals remain in one temporary safety area. Despite the gradual return of over 8,500 individuals, many of whom remain internally displaced in border areas, new refugees continue to cross to Thailand. UNHCR and inter-agency partners are advocating for the transfer of the remaining population to holding areas for more suitable temporary accommodation and improved humanitarian assistance.
In Kachin and Shan (North) states, the situation remains volatile with sporadic clashes reported in Kachin State between the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and Kachin Independence Army. In Shan State (North), clashes continue between the MAF and ethnic armed organizations (EAOs).
In the North-West: Tensions between local People's Defence Forces (PDF), the Chinland Defence Forces (CDF) and the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) remained high in Chin State, Sagaing and Magway regions, leading to increased displacement in Chin State and Sagaing Region. The largest increases were observed in southern Sagaing, where attacks on villages displaced thousands of people from Kale Township. Shortages of food, winter items, as well as fuel and medical supplies remain a concern for the displaced and the host communities, particularly in Chin State. Some 15,000 persons are estimated to remain of those that crossed into India since February 2021.
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, exacerbated by rising commodity prices and strict COVID-19 prevention measures. The tension between the Arakan Army and Tatmadaw continues in Rakhine State. Incidents of arson were reported in Rakhine and Rohingya villages in Mrauk-U, causing concern among communities about the potential for resumption of conflict. In Sittwe and Pauktaw IDP camps, a household verification exercise is conducted by authorities/Camp Management Committees going door to door and cross-checking or verifying the names and number of persons in household lists.