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Myanmar: 3 million in need of humanitarian aid, 'world is watching' UN relief chief warns generals

News Agencies | Updated on: 9 November 2021, 8:25 IST

Growing conflict, insecurity, COVID-19, and a failing economy, has rendered some three million Burmese in need of life-saving humanitarian assistance across Myanmar, the UN Emergency Relief Coordinator said on Monday.

"The humanitarian situation in Myanmar is deteriorating", Martin Griffiths said in a statement, adding that "without an end to violence and a peaceful resolution of Myanmar's crisis, this number will only rise".

Since a military takeover on 1 February ousted the democratically elected Government, hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes due to violent crackdowns across the country.

At the same time, 223,000 Burmese remain internally displaced, including 165,000 in the country's southeast - adding to those already displaced in Rakhine, Chin, Shan and Kachin states prior to the takeover.

"Long-term displacement remains unresolved, with 144,000 Rohingya people still confined to camps and camp-like settings in Rakhine, many since their displacement in 2012, and more than 105,000 people displaced in Kachin and Shan, many for years", said the chief of the humanitarian affairs.

"I am also increasingly concerned about reports of rising levels of food insecurity in and around urban areas, including in Yangon and Mandalay," Griffiths added.

In recent weeks, Griffiths noted that the situation in the northwest has become "extremely concerning", with an escalation in hostilities between the Myanmar Armed Forces, the Chinland Defence Force in Chin state and the People's Defence Forces in Magway and Sagaing regions.

"More than 37,000 people, including women and children, have been newly displaced, and more than 160 homes have been burned, including churches and the offices of a humanitarian organization", he detailed.

Less than half of the $385 million required under the Humanitarian Response Plan and Interim Emergency Response Plan launched after the armed forces' takeover has been received.

"The people of Myanmar need our help to ensure that their basic rights are upheld and they can live with dignity", said the Emergency Relief Coordinator.

Urging all parties to "fully respect their obligations" under international humanitarian and human rights law to protect civilians and allow humanitarian assistance to be provided, including to those being forced to flee violence, Griffiths spelt out: "The world is watching".


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First published: 9 November 2021, 8:25 IST