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Myanmar Humanitarian Update No. 35 | 2023 Year in Review

January 12th, 2024  •  Author:   UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs  •  4 minute read
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HIGHLIGHTS AND KEY MESSAGES

  • 2023 drew to a close with continued intense fighting across vast swathes of the country, record displacement, and pervasive protection threats facing the civilian population.
  • The escalation in fighting since the end of October 2023 has persisted for more than two months and is the largest in scale and most extensive geographically since early 2021.
  • At the end of 2023, more than 2.6 million people were estimated to be displaced nationwide, with an estimated 628,000 people forced to flee since the intensification of fighting at the end of October.
  • Humanitarians continue to face heavy access constraints and bureaucratic impediment. More than 142 aid worker arrests and detentions by parties to the conflict were self-reported by humanitarian organizations between January and November 2023.
  • Advocacy continues for expanded access to conflict areas, especially in areas where bureaucratic impediments have accelerated since the conflict escalation at the end of October.
  • Humanitarians have stayed and delivered in 2023, reaching at least 2.5 million people with assistance in the first 9 months of the year and expecting to have assisted 3.1 million people by year’s end.
  • However, this reach is not as deep or sustained as planned due to gross underfunding of the response, leaving significant unmet needs that are flowing into 2024.
  • The 2023 Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan received just 32 per cent of requested funding in 2023, leaving a $600 million funding gap.
  • The 2024 Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan has been published identifying a record 18.6 million people in need, up from 17.6 million in 2023. The Plan prioritizes 5.3 million people for urgent assistance in 2024 for which $994 million is required. The Myanmar translation of the 2024 HNRP executive summary can be found here.
  • Nearly three years since the military takeover, the crisis in Myanmar risks becoming a forgotten emergency. The situation demands immediate and sustained international attention in 2024 to raise the funds required to alleviate suffering and save lives.

KEY FIGURES*

2.6M Total people currently internally displaced across Myanmar

2.3M 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

18.6M People in Need 2024

5.3M People targeted for assistance 2024

$994M Requirement 2024

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

2023 YEAR-END SITUATION OVERVIEW

Myanmar stands at the precipice at the end of 2023 with a deepening humanitarian crisis that has spiralled since the February 2021. The civilian population is living in fear for their lives, with coping capacities stretched to the limit. The crisis is now marked by surging displacement, a fragile security environment, profound protection threats and escalating unmet needs. The humanitarian situation remains grim at year’s end, largely fuelled by protection risks and conflict, compounded by a myriad of challenges, including food insecurity, a health system in crisis, disrupted education, huge numbers of people on the move amid fears for their safety, and the aftermath of Cyclone Mocha which struck Myanmar in May affecting 3 million people. Inflation and conflict are driving up the price of food, fuel, and other basic items, leaving vulnerable households hungry and in economic distress with increasing numbers resorting to negative coping measures to survive.

The final days of 2023 have been marked by continued intense fighting across a majority of states and regions, with civilians fleeing their homes often multiple times, in large part due to fears over attacks. As of 25 December, more than 2.6 million people estimated were displaced nationwide, with most surviving in terrible conditions, lacking adequate shelter, most often in informal sites and in desperate need of access to basic services such as clean water. People on the move continue to be exposed to escalating explosive ordnance risks, and those in situations of protracted displacement face intensification of their vulnerabilities over time.


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