SITUATION IN NUMBERS
1 January – 30 June 2018 863,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance (2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview - HNO), including
319,000 children in need of humanitarian assistance (37% of total people in need, 2018 HNO)
UNICEF Myanmar HAC Appeal 2018 US$ 31,780,000
Funds Received 2018 US$ 8,018,629
• During the first half of 2018, access to people in need in the conflict-affected areas of Rakhine State has increasingly improved. As of June, access for UNICEF and partners to all locations in central Rakhine is being granted on a regular basis, although the travel authorization process remains heavily bureaucratic.
While, access to several areas of northern Rakhine has improved, it is still not being granted to the full state. UNICEF is working with UNHCR, UNDP and other agencies to identify means to increase support to all people, especially children, in need.
• Meanwhile the last six months have seen increased fighting in Kachin and northern Shan which has led to an increase in displacement, to which UNICEF and partners are responding. UNICEF is also providing assistance to displacements in Chin and Kayin States.
• Despite these challenges, UNICEF has continued to provide humanitarian assistance across all sectors wherever possible, including through nutrition screening and treatment, immunization and other health care services, childfriendly spaces, education and water, sanitation and hygiene for approximately 170,000 children, women and men across Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States.
• UNICEF Myanmar has received generous funding support from several donors; however, as of 30 June a significant funding gap of US$18.3 million remains.
Without additional funds, combined with improved access especially in northern Rakhine, UNICEF and partners will not be able to address the essential needs across Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
The situation in Rakhine is relatively stable resulting in consistent access for UNICEF and our partners both to IDP camps and areas without displacement. Though a heavy bureaucratic process remains in place, all of UNICEF’s travel requests have been approved. UNICEF’s travel requests for northern Rakhine have also recently been approved allowing several Sittwe-based staff to go to Maungdaw for planning and monitoring purposes. Child protection, health and nutrition activities are ongoing through UNICEF’s partners and additional WASH and education construction/rehabilitation projects continue. With the increased access for staff as well as other UN agencies,
UNICEF is evaluating how to increase assistance to all children in need throughout Maungdaw District addressing both humanitarian and development needs. This is in conjunction with UNICEF’s support for the implementation of the UN’s Rakhine Strategic Framework, and in line with UNICEF’s “whole of Rakhine” approach.
In central Rakhine, UNICEF continues to sustain basic services for many of the 129,000 people in IDP camps, including those in the hard-to-reach areas of Pauktaw, Myebon and Kyauk Taw. Though travel authorizations are now being consistently granted, they must include daily activity plans—including for national staff. This lack of flexibility can make it hard to ensure quality of services at all times, as well as inhibit rapid response to issues of concern. Travel authorizations still take a minimum one week for approval and no deviation from the approved schedule is permitted which is especially limiting in the unpredictable monsoon season where access by road or boat may be interrupted.
With inter-agency colleagues, UNICEF is developing an action plan to make improvements to living conditions in IDP camps including urgently needed shelter, protection, and WASH support. Though improvements are required, without additional land allocations, access to livelihoods opportunities, and freedom of movement, camp communities will remain reliant on the humanitarian community for assistance. UNICEF’s priority activities will focus on improving sanitation for children and persons with disabilities as well as ensuring water quality and promoting improved hygiene practices.
As the monsoon season sets in, heavy rains in Rakhine caused flooding in camp and non-camp areas of Kyauk Taw, Mrauk-U, Kyauk Phyu and Minbya. Though there was initial displacement, the water has generally receded and families have returned to their homes. The Government of Myanmar’s Department of Rural Development (DRD) reported that 62 water ponds in Minbya were flooded and in need of cleaning prior to the peak of the rainy season when ponds are filled for the remainder of the year. In addition to immediate response activities, UN agencies and partners in Rakhine are preparing for the upcoming cyclone season and have worked with the government to develop mutually acceptable assessment forms and pre-cleared staff to travel in the event of a cyclone. These preparedness actions should allow for a more rapid, efficient and effective response.
Kachin and Shan
The situation in Kachin and northern Shan States continues to deteriorate with increased fighting in a number of areas leading to the displacement or re-displacement of approximately 20,000 people since January. Fighting between the Myanmar military and armed ethnic groups in both states has expanded into new areas. These new displacements are in addition to the over 100,000 people already in camps and settlements and in need of humanitarian assistance. While the general pattern of displacement in northern Shan State shows that many return to their homes when the fighting wanes, the numbers seeking shelter in camps and larger urban areas continues to grow. In some areas where the fighting has ceased in Kachin, families desire to return home but are unable to due to landmines and explosive remnants of war, concern for future fighting, or loss of land