Myanmar Humanitarian Update No. 25 | 30 December 2022

December 30th, 2022  •  Author:   United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs  •  5 minute read
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This regular update, covering humanitarian developments up to 26 December, is produced by OCHA Myanmar in collaboration with the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group and UN agencies. Response figures are based on self-reporting by organizations to clusters. The next humanitarian update will be issued at the end of January 2023.

HIGHLIGHTS & KEY MESSAGES

• Almost two years since the 2021 military takeover, the people of Myanmar continue to suffer amid hostilities and a crippling economic crisis that is being compounded by inflation.

• More than 1.5 million people remain displaced across the country due to insecurity and violence. This is more than double the number a year ago with displaced people now living in undignified conditions and in desperate need in hardto-reach locations.

• Conflict, contamination with landmines and explosive hazards, tight security, access restrictions, and threats against aid workers, particularly in the Northwest and Southeast, are on the rise, endangering lives and hampering humanitarian operations.

• The informal ceasefire between the Arakan Army (AA) and the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) in Rakhine and southern Chin continues to hold but remains very fragile.

• Humanitarian and protection needs are mounting, forcing people to adopt negative coping mechanisms to survive.
Women and girls are disproportionately being disproportionately affected.

• The humanitarian community is deeply concerned about the impact of new administrative rules around NGO registration which will further shrink operating space.

• Humanitarians continue to address the emerging needs of affected and displaced people where access is possible, reaching almost four million people in need with critical lifesaving assistance in the year to September.

• As 2022 draws to a close, the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) remains drastically underfunded with only 35 per cent, leaving a gap of US$536 million (FTS). A dramatic increase in funding and an expansion of access will be critical for the humanitarian community to reach the 4.5 million people prioritized for life-saving assistance in 2023.

KEY FIGURES*

1.5M People internally displaced across Myanmar

1.1M People currently displaced by clashes and insecurity since February 2021

330K People internally displaced due to conflict prior to February 2021, mainly in Rakhine, Kachin, Chin, and Shan

34K Civilian properties estimated burnt or destroyed since February 2021.

*Displacement figures fluctuate during any given month. These figures represent the number of people currently displaced. Cumulative numbers for returns and displacement are not always available.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

As 2022 draws to an end, humanitarian needs and protection concerns continue to grow across Myanmar, exposing many men, women, boys and girls to constant risks that threaten their physical safety and mental well-being. Almost two years after the military takeover, armed clashes, including the use of heavy weaponry, between the MAF and various Ethnic Armed Organizations (EAOs) and People’s Defence Forces (PDFs) in multiple states and regions are now a regular feature of daily life. Internal displacement and destruction of civilian properties have continued unabated, depriving more than 1.5 million people of safe shelter and dignified living conditions.

The economic situation remains fragile and has been further undermined by inflation that has dramatically driven up the cost of basic food items and fuel. According to the Food Security Cluster, 15.2 million people are severely and moderately food insecure heading into 2023, up from 13.2 million people at the same time last year. To survive this multi-dimensional crisis, affected and displaced people have resorted negative coping mechanisms, including lowering food intake, selling their assets, dropping out of school, engaging in risky migration and marrying their children off early.

Despite the dire humanitarian situation, access to humanitarian assistance continues to be undermined by the imposition of various administrative and physical constraints on the movement of people and goods. The humanitarian community is deeply concerned about new administrative requirements outlined on 28 October 2022 which establish a mandatory registration system for international and national non-government organizations (NGOs) and civil society organizations (CSOs). These new rules have the serious potential to reduce timely and effective delivery of humanitarian assistance to people in need in Myanmar and would severely impede the work of NGOs and CSOs who are the backbone of the humanitarian operation.

With rising needs, ensuring programme continuity and engagement of the NGO and CSO community is critical to ensuring no one is left behind as we move into 2023. The humanitarian community remains committed to staying and delivering for the people of Myanmar, but as they stand, the new requirements are likely to mean that many people in need will miss out on the support they require to survive in 2023. Given the consequences for millions of people in need, and the reality that the implementation infrastructure is not yet fully in place to facilitate the administrative steps outlined, the humanitarian community is proposing a six-month moratorium on any implementation of these new rules.

Such a pause would allow an opportunity for discussions at national and sub-national level and would allow space to discuss how to ensure that vital support to people in need is not interrupted.

Heading into 2023, conflict dynamics are expected to remain at the same level or worsen, especially in the Northwest and Southeast. It is estimated that 17.6 million people will be in need next year of whom 4.5 million have been prioritized for urgent assistance.2 Humanitarians are committed to meeting humanitarian needs of the population, providing food, shelter, health, water and sanitation, education and protection services to crisis-affected and displaced people across the country. However, both a lack of sustained access and of funding remain key obstacles. As of 28 December, the 2022 HRP is only 35 per cent funded, which amounts to only $290 million out of a total of $826 million required, leaving significant unmet needs which will flow on into 2023.3 A repeat of this level of funding in 2023 would have dire consequences and donors are urged to give generously in support of people affected by crisis in Myanmar next year.


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