As of 14 March 2022, there were an estimated 889,900 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) across Myanmar, including 519,500 people newly displaced since the military takeover on 1st February 2021 and 370,400 IDPs in protracted displacement from previous crises. Civilians continue to bear the brunt of the conflict, which has further escalated in northwest and southeast Myanmar.
Women, children and people with disabilities are particularly vulnerable amid this economic and security crisis, which has exposed them to risks of exploitation and abuse. Learning has been disrupted for almost 12 million children due to widespread COVID-19 school closures. Needs that were unmet in 2020 and 2021 because of access constraints have directly contributed to escalating needs heading into 2022.
In a country that already had 980,000 refugees and asylum seekers who have fled to neighbouring countries since December 2020, the political, socioeconomic, and security crisis in Myanmar is fuelling growing humanitarian needs, with more than 14.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance.
UNHCR is “calling on countries across the region to offer refuge to all those fleeing for safety. It is vital that anyone crossing the border, seeking asylum in another country, is able to access it. Children, women and men fleeing for their lives should be given sanctuary. They must not be returned to a place where their lives or freedom may be at risk. The principle of non-refoulement is a cornerstone of international law and is binding on all states”.
The outlook for 2022 remains dire, with the key drivers of need – conflict, COVID-19, economic stress and statelessness – all continuing to negatively affect the population. The political and security situation is expected to remain volatile, with increased displacement anticipated. The general trend of price hikes of basic food items and agricultural inputs is expected to continue, reducing food affordability.
We unite our voices to Pope Francis: “I too kneel on the streets of Myanmar and say: stop the violence! I too extend my arms and say: let dialogue prevail!”
Institutional Websites and NGOs