Myanmar faces humanitarian crisis with about 3 million people requiring assistance: UN


New York: Myanmar is facing a humanitarian crisis with about 3 million people requiring assistance, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on Monday.

OCHA said that Myanmar is facing a humanitarian crisis, exacerbated by the ongoing consequences of COVID-19 and events following February 1.

“About 3 million people require humanitarian assistance, including an additional 2 million people identified since 1 February this year. The most vulnerable remain families living in urban and peri-urban areas, mainly in Yangon and Mandalay, as well as people affected by conflict in south-eastern and western Myanmar,” the statement said.

It further said that more than 220,000 people have been internally displaced due to armed clashes as well as overall insecurity since 1 February. The areas most affected include Kachin, Shan, Chin, Kayah and Kayin states and adjacent townships in Sagaing and Magway.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the coup on February 1, when the Myanmar military led by Senior General Ming Aung Hlaing overthrew the civilian government and declared a year-long state of emergency. The coup triggered mass protests and was met by deadly violence.

OCHA in a statement said that the COVID-19 pandemic remains deeply concerning. As of 24 September, more than 455,000 cases and 17,000 deaths have been reported. It is likely that the numbers are higher due to low testing capacity in-country.

The UN and its humanitarian partners have been working to respond to the impacts of the ongoing displacement, growing food insecurity and COVID-19. However, continued challenges in accessing people in need remains a fundamental challenge due to ongoing insecurity, bureaucratic impediments and disruptions to the banking systems/cash liquidity issues, the statement said.

It further stated that despite the challenges, the humanitarian response continues. For example, since May, the World Food Programme has supported more than 800,000 vulnerable people in its large-scale urban food response in Yangon peri-urban areas.

Myanmar’s 2021 Humanitarian Response Plan, which requires USD 276.5 million to help more than 3 million people, is 47 per cent funded, leaving a deficit of USD 146 million, the statement added. (ANI)