UNICEF Myanmar Humanitarian Situation Report #7 (July 2019)

Report
from UN Children's Fund
Published on 16 Aug 2019

Highlights

  • Approximately 300,000 children under five in Kayin State, Mon State and Bago Region were reached with two rounds of polio vaccination during second and third week of July after an outbreak of vaccine-derived polio virus in Hpa-pun township, Kayin State.
    UNICEF supported the outbreak response with immunization, epidemiological & social investigation, planning, monitoring and implementation assistance especially in hard to reach & inaccessible areas of 12 townships.

  • Heavy monsoon rains continue to cause flooding in a number of states and regions across the country. In July, Kachin State had nearly 23,000 people displaced to 79 evacuation sites across six townships due to the floods, and 40 schools have temporarily closed affecting nearly 6,000 children.

  • Education and Emergency partners in central Rakhine State reported that 98 percent of the textbooks were delivered to IDP children enrolled in temporary learning spaces (TLSs) have been received from the Ministry of Education and distributed; this is a significant improvement over the previous school years in which only 60-85 percent of children were covered, and provision and distribution took four to five months.

Situation in Numbers

  • 460,788 # of children in need of humanitarian assistance (HNO 2019)

    • Kachin: 71,150
    • Kayin: 4,475
    • Rakhine: 364,767
    • Shan: 20,396
  • 941,351 # of people in need (HNO 2019)

UNICEF Appeal 2019: US$ 59 million

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Kayin State

An outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived polio virus type 1 (cVDPV1) in Hpa-pun township, Kayin State was confirmed through the Ministry of Health and Sports (MoHS) on 12 July; there are three confirmed cVDPV1 cases to date. To respond to this outbreak and prevent further cases, two rounds of polio vaccination were conducted during 7-9 July and 21-23 July 2019 with bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV) in 12 townships in Kayin State and in the nearby Mon State and Bago Region. The target population is approximately 300,000 children under five years and in Hpa-pun Township, where the three confirmed cases originated, children under 15 years. The MoHS is also planning a larger vaccination campaign in August 2019 covering 98 townships targeting estimated 1.2 million children under five.

Kachin and Shan States

On July 1, the Myanmar military, or Tatmadaw, extended the unilateral ceasefire for the second time to 31st August 2019. The ceasefire, while a positive step forward and one which has slightly eased humanitarian access in some of the government-controlled areas of Kachin State, has not alleviated the challenge of access to non-government-controlled areas (NGCA) in the east. The total number of displaced in Kachin State remains over 97,000 in 136 camps or camp-like settings with nearly 40,000 people in NGCA. Kachin State received heavy rains, flooding and some landslides; at its peak in mid-July, nearly 23,000 people were in 79 evacuation sites across six townships. The flooding also forced 40 schools to temporarily close affecting nearly 6,000 children. While the flood waters have receded, and most people having returned to their homes, there are still 670 flood-displaced people at 10 evacuation sites in fourtownships. In Shan State, access has slightly improved for humanitarian agencies, however security concerns and intermittent fighting between armed ethnic organizations continues.

Rakhine State

The intensity of fighting between the Tatmadaw and the Arakan Army (AA) has slightly decreased with the heavy rains of the monsoon season, however the security situation remains volatile across all affected townships with ongoing clashes and a slight expansion of the conflict-affected areas. More than 26,000 people remain displaced at nearly 100 displacement sites across the state. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that until the first week of July, partial access was granted to humanitarian and development partners resulting in limited assistance reaching at least 80,000 people in Kyauktaw, Ponnagyun and Mrauk-U townships. UNICEF and other humanitarian partners have increasingly limited access to many areas affected by the current conflict, most recently Minbya township where the Rakhine State Government (RSG) has expanded travel authorizations.

The internet blockade imposed by the Myanmar Government in June 2019 continues in eight townships in Rakhine State, adversely affecting humanitarian communications. In addition, phone connectivity has been intermittently cut off in five townships, usually coinciding with clashes in those areas. The Pyithu Hluttaw, or House of Representatives, voted down a motion to restore internet access in mid-July. As a result, reporting from field-based or community-based staff is increasingly difficult with many having to travel to an urban area or Sittwe itself to share information on the situation, needs, and response opportunities.

Chin State

In Chin State, fighting between the Tatmadaw and AA subsided. However, agencies are concerned about food insecurity due to a restriction of rice transport into Paletwa, as there is a concern by the government that bags of rice are being taken by the AA. The restriction on movement of goods, and the limitations on movements due to the curfew are disrupting livelihoods which could, if sustained, lead to longer-term concerns within the affected communities. To alleviate the impact of the transport restrictions on the communities, the Union Minister of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement provided nearly 237 Million Kyats—approximately $157,000—to the Chin State Government to buy food and non-food items for 483 IDP households and transport it from Sittwe, Rakhine State to Paletwa Township. In addition to market disruptions, over 100 schools are closed due to insecurity. Many IDP students are attending the school in Mee Sar, however space and school supplies are insufficient.