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Violence spreads across more than two-thirds of Myanmar, exacerbating the need for humanitarian aid.
Asia Pacific World News

Violence spreads across more than two-thirds of Myanmar, exacerbating the need for humanitarian aid.

According to media reports, there is a group of well-armed ethnic militias and the People’s Defence Forces (PDF) who are fighting against the military. This group supports the National Unity Government (NUG) and is against the military coup that took place in February 2021.

Telecommunication blackouts

The UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported a sudden update stating that approximately 578,000 people have been displaced since October 26th. However, they also noted that verifying these numbers is challenging due to unrecorded returns, multiple displacements, and communication disruptions.

Furthermore, it has been reported that a total of 363 civilians, including women and children, have lost their lives and 461 others have been injured in the past six weeks.

The Office stated that there is a growing danger to civilians due to ongoing armed fights, airstrikes, landmines, arrests without reason, and blockages on roads. These events are also hindering the transportation of necessary supplies and the ability of individuals to find safe havens.

The verification process is becoming more difficult due to telecommunication outages in areas affected by conflicts, according to the source.

Rising humanitarian needs

Per OCHA, the top priorities in conflict-affected regions are food, shelter, hygiene, basic healthcare, and protection.

Since the military overthrew the democratically elected government in February 2021, the recent displacements have resulted in a total of approximately two million people being forced to leave their homes.

Religious groups and community responders, working with aid organizations, are actively supplying essential and life-saving aid to displaced and impacted communities whenever feasible.

Challenge to respond

Besides facing difficulties with access, the shortage of funds and quick depletion of resources are further complicating the circumstances.

The current plan for humanitarian response in Myanmar for the year 2023 has a goal of raising $887 million to assist the 4.5 million individuals who have been most severely impacted in the nation. However, it is currently only 29% funded.

In light of this situation, the United Nations’ CERF has authorized a $7 million emergency fund to offer crucial assistance to those who have been greatly impacted by the ongoing conflict.

Additional assistance is necessary in order for aid workers to efficiently and comprehensively address the increasing demands.