Myanmar Humanitarian Update No. 26
HIGHLIGHTS & KEY MESSAGES
• Two years since the 2021 military takeover, humanitarian needs are on the rise and the operational environment is further worsening.
• 17.6 million people - nearly one third of the population - are estimated to be in humanitarian need in 2023.
• The humanitarian community has launched a $764m Response Plan for 2023. It prioritizes 4.5 million people with severe needs for life saving support, predominantly in conflict-affected rural areas.
• Heavy fighting, including airstrikes, tight security, access restrictions, and threats against aid workers have continued unabated, particularly in the Southeast, endangering lives and hampering humanitarian operations.
• As of 23 January, 1.2 million people remain displaced by conflict and insecurity since the military takeover in February 2021, bringing the total number of internally displaced people (IDPs) across Myanmar to more than 1.5 million.
• Since the pause in fighting between the Arakan Army (AA) and the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) in Rakhine, the access environment has slowly improved although the ceasefire remains fragile.
• Humanitarians are closely monitoring the impact of new NGO registration requirements on the delivery of life-saving support in 2023.
• Despite severe access constraints and drastic underfunding, humanitarians were able to deliver life-saving assistance to more than 3.9 million people in 2022.
1.5M Total people currently internally displaced across Myanmar
1.2M People currently displaced by clashes and insecurity since February 2021
330K People internally displaced due to conflict prior to February 2021, mainly in Rakhine, Kachin, Chin, and Shan
39K Civilian properties estimated burnt or destroyed since February 2021.
*Displacement figures fluctuate during any given month. These figures represent the number of people currently displaced. Cumulative numbers for returns and displacement are not always available.
Two years since the 2021 military takeover, the people of Myanmar continue to endure a political, human rights, health, economic and humanitarian crisis that has caused civilian casualties and a surge in displacement, pushed thousands into poverty, and exposed people to daily protection threats.
The 2023 Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) estimates that 17.6 million - almost one in three Myanmar people - are now in humanitarian need. Increasing numbers of people are now facing daily protection threats and are living in fear amid the violence sweeping the country. In 2023, protection risks including killing and injury due to heavy fighting and landmines and explosive remnants of war (ERW), arrest and detention, forced recruitment, and human trafficking among others, continue to prevail, especially in hard to-reach conflict areas. As of 23 January, 1.2 million people remain displaced by conflict and insecurity since the military takeover in February 2021, bringing the total number of internally displaced people (IDPs) across Myanmar to more than 1.5 million. With surging displacement, the resources of host communities and those on the move are being rapidly depleted. Nutritious food is becoming increasingly scarce and more unaffordable due to inflation. Parents are worrying about their children’s future prospects after years of missed schooling, while the sick are continuing to miss out on medicines and life-saving treatment because of health service interruptions. Stateless Rohingya people continue to face restrictions on their movement that have left them almost completely dependent on assistance for survival.
The grim situation outlined in the HNO makes a scaled-up, context-adapted, and people-centered humanitarian response essential in 2023 to prevent loss of life and reduce suffering. The 2023 Myanmar Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) requests US$764 million to reach 4.5 million people most in need of life-saving humanitarian support, predominantly in conflict-affected rural areas. The Plan is heavily prioritized and makes a compelling case for a more robust donor contribution to the response that will be delivered through a new fit-for-purpose coordination architecture and an enhanced localization strategy. The 2023 plan focuses on hard-to-reach rural areas and those with the most severe needs while being realistic about potential reach given access and capacity constraints. The Plan outlines the dire need for improved humanitarian access to conflict-affected areas and the removal of bureaucratic obstacles to the delivery of assistance. Heading into 2023, humanitarian organizations are facing an increasingly constrained operational environment. Bureaucratic and physical impediments to access are hampering the ability of humanitarian partners to provide protection and assistance. Humanitarians are closely monitoring the impacts of new NGO registration requirements introduced by the de facto authorities amid fears they will limit the ability of many organizations to deliver assistance and result in escalating unmet needs. The humanitarian community has proposed a six-month moratorium on implementation of the requirements to allow time to ensure services are not interrupted.