This regular update, covering humanitarian developments from 24 August to 30 September, is produced by OCHA Myanmar in collaboration with the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group, UNHCR and WFP. The next update will be issued towards the end of October 2021.
- The humanitarian situation in several townships in Sagaing and Magway regions is deteriorating with an estimated 63,000 people temporarily displaced in Sagaing between 4 and 13 September and more than 12,000 currently displaced in Magway, according to local partners.
- In Chin State, clashes between the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and local People’s Defense Force (PDF) escalated, particularly around Thantlang. As of 13 September, close to 12,000 people remain displaced in several townships and neighbouring regions.
- The security situation in south-eastern Myanmar continued to deteriorate throughout September, particularly in Kayah State and the bordering townships of southern Shan. An estimated 142,000 people remain displaced, mostly in Kayah State, due to clashes and insecurity since 1 February.
- Despite access, security and other operational constraints, WFP and partners have started to overcome challenges in food and cash distributions in conflict-affected areas and elsewhere.
- An estimated 34,000 people have fled across Shan State since the beginning of 2021; close to 13,380 remain displaced.
- Across the country, access to vulnerable people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance and protection services remains significantly restricted due to escalating armed clashes, overall insecurity and COVID-related restrictions.
- As of 27 September, less than half of the US$276.5 million requested under the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), and only 15 per cent of the US$109 million requested under the Interim Emergency Response Plan have been funded, according to the FTS.
DIRE HUMANITARIAN SITUATION AND DISPLACEMENT IN SAGAING AND MAGWAY: The humanitarian situation in Sagaing and Magway regions of central Myanmar remains dire, with armed clashes reported between the MAF and local PDFs with security incidents recorded in several townships since early April. On 16 September, airstrikes were reported for the first time in Sagaing, targeting local PDFs in Chaung-U Township and resulting in civilian deaths. The ongoing hostilities have caused thousands of people to flee their homes and destruction of property. Houses have been burnt in both regions. It remains difficult to determine the full humanitarian impact, including the exact number of people cumulatively displaced, the number of civilian casualties and the damage to civilian property because humanitarian partners have not been granted access to the regions with travel authorizations pending.
In Sagaing Region, the conflict has affected about 18 townships. The most affected areas include Kani, Myaung, Tabayin, Shwebo and Yinmarbin. According to partners, an estimated 63,600 people were displaced from many villages in 11 townships in September. Some 45,000 of this group were temporarily displaced from 8 townships between 4 and 13 September and about 18,600 people in 3 townships were temporarily displaced between 7 and 10 September. In Magway Region, armed clashes and security incidents have reportedly affected several townships, mostly in Gangaw, Myaing, Pauk and Saw. More than 12,000 people fled to nearby safer villages and into the forest, according to local sources. About half of them are newly displaced from four villages in Gangaw and from one village in Saw township due to clashes in early September. Around 4,900 remain displaced in Saw and another 1,100 remain displaced in Pauk townships since mid-May and mid-June respectively, having fled from neighbouring Chin State due to MAF-PDF clashes.
Since 15-25 September, 10 townships in Sagaing and 4 townships in Magway have experienced blackouts of mobile internet and Wi-Fi services. In addition, three Sagaing townships – Kawlin, Pinlebu and Wuntho – have also been experiencing loss of mobile telecommunications since 25 September. There have been further reports of Mytel Telecom towers across Sagaing Region and other areas being destroyed. The internet blackout across those townships has deprived affected populations of access to timely information, access to mobile banking and remote health care, as well as communication channels for online learning being used while schools have been closed.