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
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.