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Myanmar Humanitarian Update No. 32

September 8th, 2023  •  Author:   UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs  •  4 minute read
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This regular update, covering humanitarian developments up to 25 August, 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 in September 2023.

HIGHLIGHTS & KEY MESSAGES

  • Ongoing conflict and natural disasters have resulted in new displacement, civilian casualties, and destruction of civilian properties, intensifying the already fragile humanitarian situation in Myanmar.
  • More than 1.9 million people are now internally displaced in precarious conditions and requiring lifesaving assistance.
  • Heavy monsoon rainfall has triggered flooding in Rakhine and in the Southeast where more than 80,000 people have been affected since early August.
  • Transportation and distribution plans for the cyclone response in Rakhine have been approved and some relief items have been distributed. However, the overall humanitarian needs of cyclone-affected communities remain high and more assistance is still needed.
  • Humanitarian access restrictions have increased, notably in the Southeast and Kachin, further hindering timely and efficient aid delivery to affected and displaced communities.
  • Easing of access restrictions and provision of financial support are imperative for the humanitarian community to address urgent needs.
  • Eight months into 2023, the combined US$887 million Humanitarian Response Plan and Cyclone Mocha Flash Appeals remain critically underfunded, with only 25 per cent of the required funding received.
  • The Emergency Relief Coordinator, Martin Griffiths, visited Myanmar from 14 to 17 August to raise awareness of the situation in Myanmar and advocate for both expanded space for humanitarian operations and the removal of bureaucratic obstacles.

KEY FIGURES

  • 1.9M total people currently internally displaced across Myanmar
  • 1.6M people currently displaced by clashes and insecurity since February 2021
  • 306K people who remain internally displaced due to conflict prior to February 2021, mainly in Rakhine, Kachin, Chin, and Shan
  • 75K civilian properties estimated burnt or destroyed since February 2021

SITUATION OVERVIEW

Natural disasters have continued to impact Myanmar adding another challenge on top of active conflict, leading to an increase in displacement and additional hardship for affected people. Simultaneously, bureaucratic, and physical barriers continue to hinder humanitarian partners’ access to those in need, often posing safety and security risks for frontline aid workers. In Rakhine, regular humanitarian programming continues but the specific humanitarian cyclone response remains limited in scope. In August, the de facto authorities approved the transportation and distribution plans for cyclone-related assistance to Rakhine that UN agencies and INGOs re-submitted in early July for a second time. Initial distributions of existing relief items in Sittwe to cyclone-affected communities have been approved and food has been distributed to 12 villages during the reporting period with more expected to follow.

As part of ongoing advocacy at all levels for greater humanitarian access in conflict-affected areas, the Emergency Relief Coordinator, Mr. Martin Griffiths, visited Myanmar from 14 to 17 August and met with various stakeholders in Nay Pyi Taw. During his mission, he also visited Rakhine and met with Rakhine and Rohingya communities affected by both conflict and disaster, emphasizing the importance of placing people at the center of humanitarian action and urging the removal of all access restrictions for humanitarian partners.

Despite the ongoing operational challenges and financial limitations, Myanmar’s humanitarian community remains steadfast in its commitment to stay and deliver aid based on need. The 2023 Mid-Year HRP Dashboard (Jan-Jun 2023) highlights that more than 1.8 million people have been reached with humanitarian assistance in the first half of the year. However, the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) and Cyclone Mocha Flash Appeal remain severely underfunded at only 25 percent of the total requirement, undermining the provision of comprehensive assistance and adversely impacting vulnerable communities. Urgent and more generous funding is pivotal to alleviate suffering and enhance resilience of the people in the face of this multidimensional crisis.


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