• To date in 2021, 1.25 million people in Myanmar have received WFP food, cash and nutrition assistance across urban and rural areas.
• Since May, WFP has supported over 800,000 vulnerable people in its large-scale urban food response in Yangon peri-urban areas.
• Significant funding shortfalls may hamper WFP’s ability to sustain ongoing life-saving operations while scaling up to support up to 3.3 million food -insecure people in Myanmar.
The situation in Myanmar remains complex and volatile: The triple impact of poverty, ongoing political unrest and economic crisis, compounded by a rapidly spreading third wave of COVID-19 transmissions since June, have exacerbated food insecurity in Myanmar. Lockdown measures and the spread of COVID-19 cases among WFP’s staff, partners and contractors, as well as in internally displaced people (IDP) camps, further constrain WFP’s ability to respond to life-saving needs. Heavy floods, particularly in the southeast and Rakhine State, in late July have further complicated humanitarian efforts.
Conflict-driven displacements hit a new high:
As of 9 August, UNHCR estimates that at least 191,100 people remain internally displaced across Myanmar since the military takeover. The humanitarian situation for many IDPs, in urgent need of food and other support, remains dire during the monsoon season. However, access remains largely limited due to security reasons and bureaucratic requirements.
The economic outlook is bleak: The World Bank estimates an 18 percent contraction in Myanmar’s economy in the 2021 fiscal year. In 2022, the poverty rate is likely to more than double compared to preCOVID levels in 2019, and up to 1 million more jobs could be lost.
The vulnerable bear the brunt of price volatility:
WFP’s latest market monitoring in June showed a continued increase in the price of fuel (48 percent), cooking oil (37 percent), and rice (13 percent) compared to pre-1 February. Overall, the cost of a basic food basket has increased by 16 percent . These are likely to have significantly worsened the precarious situation faced by many poor and food-insecure households.