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Myanmar Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan 2024 Addendum

June 9th, 2024  •  Author:   UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs  •  6 minute read
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Key Messages

• Escalating conflict across Myanmar is driving growing humanitarian needs, surging displacement, worsening food insecurity, grave human rights violations and deadly protection threats to civilians.

• The country is now littered with landmines and unexploded ordnance from the daily aerial bombardment that is being inflicted on communities in contested areas.

• Aid workers have proven their resilience in finding ways to overcome the heavy access blockages being imposed on their work. They have shown they are able to deliver, even in the most conflict-affected parts of the country through strong partnerships with local responders.

• Humanitarians reached 3.2 million people in 2023 and already in 2024, almost 950,000 people have received life-saving assistance in all corners of the country and under different areas of control.

• But this is not enough. Partners have capacity to do more but for this they require more resources and expanded humanitarian diplomacy with all parties and with Myanmar’s neighbours to secure facilitated access at-scale.

• The Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan is just 12 per cent funded almost half-way into the year.

• Without an urgent injection of funds aid agencies will soon be forced to make impossible choices about cuts to planned assistance that will risk the lives of millions of people in severe need.

Almost half-way through 2024, Myanmar faces a worsening humanitarian crisis characterized by escalating armed conflict, massive displacement, grave human rights violations and significant protection risks for its civilian population. After finalization of the 2024 Humanitarian Needs and Response Plan (HNRP) and related planning figures, the country entered a dangerous new chapter with fighting erupting across large swathes of the country, well beyond the levels expected for 2024. Systematic rights violations, breaches of International Humanitarian Law, denial of access to life-saving services, indiscriminate use of weapons in populated areas, and protection threats, including forced recruitment, have left the population in fear of their lives, with many fleeing for safety.
Access to vital services including health and education has been crippled by fighting in the most heavily affected parts of the country where these are needed most. The expansion of fighting since October 2023 and the implementation of a long-standing national conscription law have triggered unforeseen levels of displacement both within the country and across borders. This has brought a new regional dimension to the crisis that demands novel approaches to engagement with Myanmar’s neighbours. The total number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) has surpassed 3 million people as of June, which is equal to the original full-year projected total for 2024.
Brave aid workers have proven their ability to navigate this increasingly complex access landscape with changes in territorial control and are reaching people in need, even in the most conflict affected states and regions. Despite the changes in the operating environment and severe underfunding, humanitarian partners used diverse delivery modalities to reach 949,000 people with at least one kind of support once in the first quarter of the year, including almost 500,000 IDPs. However, expanded delivery and more comprehensive coverage of needs for those people we can reach is being undermined by underfunding and denials of sustained access. Urgent humanitarian diplomacy at the political level is required to reduce the human impact of the conflict and facilitate access to affected people. Humanitarian organizations have the capacity to do more in many parts of the country, but further expansion requires both additional funds and concerted political efforts to create a more conducive operating space for scale-up. More than 4.3m people targeted for support in 2024 had still not been reached with any form of assistance at the end of the first quarter and many will inevitably continue to miss out on support during the remainder of the year if the funding landscape does not improve, with devastating and potentially deadly consequences for vulnerable people. If additional funds were received, partners could immediately use the diverse access channels they have developed over the past three years, including working through local partners, to reach more people in desperate need and help communities prepare for and respond to new needs that will inevitably arise during the wet season.
Field colleagues are sounding the alarm about deteriorating humanitarian needs that have increased in both scale and severity as a result of the escalating fighting that is now also touching many urban areas.
This worrying trajectory in needs is currently difficult to quantify due to heavy access constraints, the lack of comprehensive needs assessments in conflict areas, and communications interruptions in many parts of the country, but the reports from frontline responders are unequivocal in their assessment of surging need.
Food insecurity is on the rise with 13.3 million people – almost a quarter of the population – now estimated to be in phase 3 or 4 insecurity. This is raising the spectre of deadly malnutrition if unaddressed. The impacts of food insecurity are geographically widespread with all but two States/Regions seeing a deterioration in conditions since April/May 2023. The cyclone and flooding season is now beginning and the impact of another major disaster similar to last year’s Cyclone Mocha would be catastrophic if repeated in the current conflict, access and funding environment. Renewed inter-communal tension in Rakhine is also worrying and requires concerted advocacy with all parties and communication with communities.
In the absence of comprehensive new data, the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group (ICCG) has focused here on providing an expert narrative analysis of the significant changes in the humanitarian landscape but has not undertaken a full HNRP revision with a new number of people in need (PiN), new targets and new requirements at this time. The ICCG has provided a new estimate of projected displacement through until the end of the year (now 3.6m) and it has been possible for one cluster (Food Security) to update its own sectoral number of people in need based on some newly available analysis, but all other numbers remain unchanged at the inter-sectoral level with at least 18.6 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and 5.3 million targeted for aid. The total financial requirement for this effort is US$ 994 million, aimed at addressing critical needs across multiple sectors. Currently, just 12 per cent of the required funds have been raised, despite the heavy prioritization and boundary setting exercise done at the end of 2023. Even tighter prioritization lies ahead unless additional funding urgently materializes.
While it is understood that some additional funding may be in the pipeline from some key donors, timing is critical, with partners already running low on resources in many areas. Fast-tracking of planned humanitarian funding commitments is now critical to avoid prolonging people’s suffering. Urgent and complementary investment in development activities is also imperative to reverse the unsustainable growth in humanitarian needs.

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