The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said on April 28th that new clashes between Myanmar’s security forces and regional armed groups had displaced thousands of people across the country.
According to the report, there have been nearly 50 clashes between the Myanmar military and the Kachin State armed group, the Kachin Independence Army, including air strikes by security forces and mortar shelling by both sides, which have displaced nearly 5,000 people and destroyed some houses.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says about 800 people will return to their villages of origin within days, and an estimated 4,000 are still displaced and will seek refuge in different locations, including churches and monasteries.
This is the first time displacement has been reported in the northern state of the country since September 2018. Since 2011, Kachin State, Myanmar, has hosted more than 90,000 internally displaced persons for a long time.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs also indicated that humanitarians and local host communities were doing their utmost to provide emergency assistance to new displaced persons, despite operational challenges and insecurity.
In addition, in the northern part of neighbouring Shan State, escalating conflict since January has forced more than 10,000 people to flee their homes, nearly 4,000 of whom remain displaced. Hostilities have also increased in Karen and Burgundy since February, resulting in the displacement of nearly 40,000 people.
The report also notes that nearly 1 million people, more than two thirds of them women and children, are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection throughout Myanmar.
The United Nations and humanitarian partners have launched a $276 million response plan to reach nearly 950,000 people by 2021. However, now in the last week of April, only 12 per cent of the required amount was received.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs also said hunger and despair across Myanmar would worsen sharply as a result of the triple effects of pre-existing poverty, a pandemic and a continuing political crisis.
The United Nations World Food Programme estimates that as many as 3.4 million people in Myanmar will be hit by high levels of food insecurity over the next six months.
The agency said last week that there were already signs that families in and around Yangon had been pushed to the brink of despair. They had to eat fewer meals, eat foods with poor nutrition, take on more debt and barely survive. The agency is launching a new food aid program to help the most vulnerable.
UNICEF also warned that nearly a third of the country’s children’s families were in poverty before the new pneumonia pandemic, and that the current crisis was making matters worse. The Agency is working to support the most vulnerable children and families throughout Myanmar and to ensure that they receive assistance.