Thursday, August 17, 2017

UN OCHA details country’s assistance needs for 2017

The humanitarian needs forecast for 2017 make for a lengthy, bleak list, according to a new UN report.

Of the 51.5 million people in the country, 6.4 million – or just over 12 percent – live in conflict-affected areas. Over 525,000 people are in need of assistance, including a large number of women and children who have been displaced by crises.

An estimated 218,000 people are currently sheltering in temporary camps in Rakhine, Kachin and Shan states, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs’ (OCHA) December 20 report.

Of this population, 78pc are women and children who face diminished service provision and the constant threat of violence and must rely on humanitarian assistance to survive, the report stated.

Entitled the “Myanmar Humanitarian Needs Overview 2017” (pdf), the report states that the majority of the country’s IDPs are found in Rakhine State, where 120,00 people “remain confined in camps” since intercommunal violence and deadly riots in 2012.

Movement restrictions in eight of the state’s townships creates an imbalance in service provision between the Muslim population and the rest of the state’s inhabitants, according to the report.

For the 78,000 displaced persons in Kachin State, and 11,000 in Shan State, the report said that “armed conflict has continued, causing pockets of new and secondary displacement and putting many civilians at risk, with allegations of continued human rights violations”.

Besides internal displacements, the report states that natural disasters remain one of the greatest areas of humanitarian concern in Myanmar.

“Historical data shows that there have been medium to large-scale natural disasters every few years. Since 2002, more than 13 million people have been affected by natural disasters, including three Category 4 cyclones, several major earthquakes, and in 2015 the country experienced the worst flooding in decades,” OCHA said.

Myanmar ranks 2nd out of 187 countries on the Global Climate Risk Index and is 12th out of 191 countries in the Index of Risk Management, it added.

OCHA’s office in Myanmar was established in 2008 in the wake of the devastating Cyclone Nargis and has remained ever since to focus on other sectors related to its core mandate.