During the month of April, increased fighting in Kachin State displaced an estimated 5000 civilians.
Access to people in need in conflict-affected areas remains extremely challenging.
Between 24-26 April, UNICEF delivered 3,601 hygiene kits benefitting over 20,600 people in Muslim, Rakhine and Hindu communities in Maungdaw District.
UNICEF is working with interagency colleagues to update the preparedness and response planning for the upcoming cyclone season with a focus on Rakhine State.
UNICEF Myanmar received generous funding support from Denmark, Japan and the United States; however, significant funding gap of US$ 19 million remains. Without additional funds, UNICEF will not be able to address the essential needs of children, women and men across parts of Rakhine, Kachin and Shan States.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
319,000 children in need of humanitarian assistance (37% of total people in need)
863,000 people in need (2018 Humanitarian Needs Overview)
UNICEF Myanmar HAC Appeal 2018 US$ 31,780,000
Funds Received 2018 US$ 7,342,864
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
UNICEF remains concerned about the conditions of crowded IDP camps in central Rakhine where 129,000 people remain reliant on humanitarian assistance. UNICEF clusters/sectors are working with the CCCM/Shelter/NFI clusters to identify actions that—with appropriate funding—can be quickly taken to improve living conditions in IDP camps. The camps, erected in 2012, were constructed based on technical guidelines provided by the Government of Myanmar. Agencies note that space allotments in camps are inadequate, leading to overcrowding of houses, people, and social service points. Current concerns include the need for rehabilitation or reconstruction of shelters, access pathways within the camps, and improvements to WASH and education facilities. Addressing some of the identified challenges will require additional allocations of land by the government as the current space is not sufficient for implementation of the proposed solutions. However, improved access to livelihoods opportunities for IDPs, as well as increased access for humanitarian service providers, would also lead to improvement in camp conditions.
In Maungdaw District—comprised of Maungdaw and Buthidaung townships—accurate figures of the population of Rakhine and ethnic minorities are still unavailable. UNICEF does not have access or permission from the Government of Myanmar to conduct basic needs assessments. Access constraints for UNICEF —particularly international staff—remain the biggest hurdle to assessments, implementation, and programme monitoring. Currently, travel authorization—which takes approximately two weeks to process—when granted, is valid for only a two-week period. The constant reapplication process, in addition to significant requests for information on activities, hampers effective response activities. Working through local partners, UNICEF continues to provide basic health, nutrition, WASH and child protection services in Maungdaw District where possible.
Kachin and Shan
Throughout April, armed clashes between the Myanmar military forces and Kachin Independence Army (KIA) escalated affecting Tanai, Hpakant, Sumprabum, Moegaung and Momauk townships as well as Laiza. Intense fighting continued with aerial bombings and use of heavy artillery. UNICEF field staff estimate that an additional 3,500 people have been displaced including over 1,000 people who are sheltering in a nearby forest. Local organizations including church groups, civil society groups and NGOs are advocating with the Kachin State Government and Myanmar military for evacuation of trapped and displaced people. Access to active conflict areas remains extremely difficult for UNICEF staff and international partners, as well as Myanmar NGOs. Outside the areas of active conflict, national staff and national partners have access and provide basic humanitarian services to those most in need.
UNICEF also remains extremely concerned about the situation in northern Shan State.
Armed clashes in March and April were reported in Namtu, Hseinni, Kutkai and Manton with additional landmine cases reported in Kyaukme and Hsipaw townships. Furthermore, there has been a recent increase in military presence in Kokang, Special Administrative Zone. In Shan, displacement patterns show many people flee areas of fighting for several days seeking shelter in monasteries, churches or neighbouring villages and return home within a period of weeks. Throughout Shan, the Government and local partners have been providing support to those displaced. Should the fighting be sustained and lead to prolonged displacement, additional assistance will likely be required. Access to newlyaffected areas remains restricted due to insecurity.