2020 IN REVIEW
MYANMAR HUMANITARIAN FUND AT A GLANCE
Humanitarian situation in 2020
The humanitarian situation in Myanmar remained complex over the reporting period. By the end of 2020, the active conflict in Rakhine and parts of Chin states resulted in a cumulative displacement of over 97,000 people in 194 sites. Despite an absence of largescale clashes in Kachin State since mid-2018, close to 96,000 people remained in displacement sites set up after fighting broke out in 2011, of whom roughly 40,000 were in areas controlled by non-state armed actors. The volatile security situation in northern Shan also continued to drive small-scale short-term displacement, with over 8,700 people temporarily displaced over the course of the year. In parts of Kayin State and Bago Region in the southeast, military operations generated additional internal displacement from December, with latest reports indicating up to 5,300 people displaced due the clashes. According to the 2021 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO), by the end of 2020, more than one million people in Myanmar were in need of some form of humanitarian aid, due to armed conflict, vulnerability to natural hazards, inter-communal tensions or other factors.
The outbreak of COVID-19 and subsequent control measures established by the Government created additional challenges in humanitarian settings across the country, and increased the humanitarian caseload, due to urgent humanitarian needs of returning migrants. The rapid increase in locally transmitted COVID-19 cases across the country from mid-August 2020 has further complicated an already challenging humanitarian situation, with Rakhine State emerging as a key epicenter, in addition to Yangon Region, which has seen the largest number of cases. The Government has also put in place strict measures on international and domestic travel and cumbersome processes to obtain visas and entry permits.
People in need
Some 336,000 displaced people (of whom 29 per cent are women, 20 per cent are girls and 21 per cent are boys) remain in camps or displacement sites in Kachin, northern Shan, Rakhine, southern Chin, eastern Bago and Kayin. In addition, an estimated 470,000 non-displaced stateless persons in Rakhine remain in need of various forms of humanitarian support due to significantly reduced access to livelihoods and critical services including education and healthcare caused by movement restrictions, inter-communal tensions and other factors. Other vulnerable persons are the members of host communities, other conflict-affected populations, and persons in the process of pursuing durable solutions to internal displacement.
Severity of needs
While the drivers and underlying factors triggering humanitarian needs have had an impact on all crisis-affected people to varying degrees in Kachin, northern Shan, Rakhine, southern Chin, Kayin and eastern Bago states, specific population groups and locations have been more severely affected than others and this has been factored into the needs analysis process and consequent humanitarian response.
Among the four population groups, internally displaced and stateless persons (in Rakhine) are in general experiencing the highest levels of inter-sectoral needs, with women, girls and other at-risk population groups being disproportionately affected within these categories. There is also a strong correlation between severity of need and levels of armed conflict.
Security and access constraints
The humanitarian crisis was further compounded by the insecure operating environment. A combination of access related constraints continued to impede the ability of humanitarian partners to reach people in need in a timely manner. Following global trends for the containment of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government established strict measures resulting in an extended disruption of humanitarian assistance in Rakhine State in particular. This is in addition to the pre-existing humanitarian access challenges, which remained largely in place, including due to security risks, bureaucratic impediments, blanket bans on eight townships in Rakhine over the course of the year, in addition to continued challenges with access to mobile Internet data in eight townships in Rakhine and Paletwa of Chin states.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.