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Asia and the Pacific: Weekly Regional Humanitarian Snapshot (5 – 11 March 2024)

March 13th, 2024  •  Author:   United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs  •  3 minute read
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Fighting continues in multiple areas of the country, with a deteriorating situation in Rakhine and new dimensions to the conflict in Kachin. In Rakhine, more than 300,000 people are now displaced and needs are increasing amid intensifying conflict between the Myanmar Armed Forces and Arakan Army. On 9 March, an artillery shell landed in a residential area in the Rakhine state capital Sittwe, killing at least 8 Rohingya civilians and injuring 12 others, including 5 children. This is the second time in two weeks that a shell has killed people in downtown Sittwe.
On 29 February, another shell landed near the town’s market and is believed to have killed at least 21 civilians and injured more than 30 others. In the face of increasing needs and movement constraints in Rakhine, humanitarians are continuing to provide life-saving aid, including food support and other vital assistance in affected areas, wherever supplies and access allow.


On 7-8 March, Intense rainfall overflowed the rivers and caused flooding across 9 provinces in Indonesia. In West Sumatra, According to Indonesia Disaster Management Authority (BNPB), floodings have affected the total of 39,000 people and reportedly claimed the lives of 30 people. Landslides were also reported in Gorontalo, Banten and Central Java, which resulted in 21 damaged houses and displacing over 13,000 people. Local government mobilized local resources to the affected areas.


A number of countries are currently being affected by the active and atypic El Niño event. Extreme conditions in Asia-Pacific associated with the event appear to be calming down outside of a few high-risk pockets, including Timor-Leste. Timor-Leste is forecast to experience below-average precipitation over the next three months, extending a prolonged period of dry conditions in the country despite the wet season, which is ongoing and expected to end by April. Here too the outcomes of rice and maize production require close monitoring to address any potential food security concerns. Timor-Leste’s second round of Integrated Phase Classification (IPC) Acute Food Insecurity analysis published last month revealed the fragility and deteriorating levels of food insecurity in twelve out of fourteen municipalities in Timor-Leste, amid successive climate shocks and soaring food prices. An estimated 360,000 people, around one in four of the population, are grappling with crisis levels of food insecurity (IPC Phase 3 or above); of which 18,500 people are facing emergency conditions (IPC Phase 4). The situation is predicted to worsen from May to September 2024 during the post-harvest season, traditionally seen as a period of improved food access. Predicted climate shocks will reduce crop yields, with a projected 19,000 people across six municipalities facing a further decline in their food security and pushing up the total number of people in emergency (IPC4) food conditions to more than 22,000.

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