Bi-Weekly Press Briefing Aid for Displaced in Myanmar UNHCR 11 February 2022
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Edited News | UNHCR

Bi-Weekly Press Briefing Aid for Displaced in Myanmar UNHCR 11 February 2022

The number of internally displaced people due to the conflict in Myanmar has doubled since last year’s military coup and currently amounts to more than 800,000 people, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) informed today while scaling up its emergency response to assist.

“Security is deteriorating rapidly across the country as fighting and armed conflict intensifies with no sign of abating”, said UNHCR’s spokesperson Matthew Saltmarsh speaking today at a news briefing at the United Nations in Geneva. “UNHCR forecasts an accelerating trend of displacements in the coming weeks and months”, he added.  

As conflict and insecurity is raging in many parts of the country, UNHCR and partners are stepping up operations and deploying additional resources to support as conflict intensifies.

According to Mr. Saltmarsh, “some 440,000 people have been newly displaced since February 2021, according to our data, adding to an existing 370,000 who had fled their homes previously”.

In the South-East of the country, Kayin, Kayah, Mon and Shan (South) states as well as Bago (East) and Tanintharyi regions collectively account for more than half of the 440,000 newly displaced civilians. Hostilities between various armed groups have triggered large-scale displacements. Kayin and Kayah states remain the most affected ones.

“Another conflict-affected area with pressing humanitarian needs is Myanmar’s North-West, where about 190,000 people remain displaced in Chin State, Magway Region and Sagaing Region”, said UNHCR’s Matthew Saltmarsh.

The displaced people are living in appalling conditions, many in camps and displacement sites, others with host communities, and some have crossed the borders with Thailand and India or have sought refuge in the jungle without adequate food, shelter, sanitation, protection or medical care.

UNHCR and partners distributed relief items including tarpaulins, ropes, blankets, kitchen sets, mosquito nets, buckets, sleeping mats, sanitary kits, COVID-19 personal protective equipment, solar lamps, and winterization kits for adults and children.

“Humanitarian access in many parts of Myanmar remains restricted due to insecurity, roadblocks and challenges in obtaining access approvals”, said Mr. Saltmarsh. ”As a result, host communities and local responders continue to play a leading role in assisting displaced populations”.

The humanitarian situation in Myanmar remains precarious with increased vulnerabilities linked to rising commodity prices, job and income losses, disruptions to basic services and prolonged insecurity. The majority of IDPs are consequently dependent on humanitarian support for survival.

“Some 600,000 stateless Rohingya in Rakhine State, including some 148,000 displaced in camps, villages and displacement sites, also remain highly vulnerable and require humanitarian support”. noted Mr. Saltmarsh.

In 2022, UNHCR requires a total of US$56.7 million to ensure adequate humanitarian assistance and support vulnerable communities.

-ends- 

  1. Exterior wide shot, United Nations Palace of Nations, Geneva. UN flag flying.
  2. Wide shot, press room UN Geneva.
  3. SOUNDBITE (English): Matthew Saltmarsh, Spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): “Security is deteriorating rapidly across the country as fighting and armed conflict intensifies with no sign of abating. UNHCR forecasts an accelerating trend in displacements in the coming weeks and months.”
  4. Wide shot, press room UN Geneva with podium speakers on the rear.
  5. SOUNDBITE (English): Matthew Saltmarsh, Spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): “Some 440,000 people have been newly displaced since February 2021, according to our data, adding to an existing 370,000 who had fled their homes previously.”
  6. Medium shot, masked participant listening with podium speaker on the TV screen on the rear.
  7. SOUNDBITE (English): Matthew Saltmarsh, Spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): “Humanitarian access in many parts of Myanmar remains restricted due to insecurity, roadblocks, and challenges in attaining access approvals. As a result, host communities and local responders continue to play a leading role in assisting displaced populations, demonstrating solidarity with each other by donating what they can.”
  8. Medium-wide shot, participating listening and taking notes.
  9. SOUNDBITE (English): Matthew Saltmarsh, Spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): “Some 600,000 stateless Rohingya in Rakhine State, including some 148,000 displaced in camps, villages and displacement sites, also remain highly vulnerable and require humanitarian support.”
  10. Medium shot, TV screen showing spokesperson, podium speakers on the rear.
  11. SOUNDBITE (English): Matthew Saltmarsh, Spokesperson for the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR): “Another conflict-affected area with pressing needs is Myanmar’s North-West, where about 190,000 people remain displaced in Chin State, Magway Region and Sagaing Region.”
  12. Wide shot, press room in Geneva. Participants listening with podium speakers on the rear.
  13. Close-up shot, masked participant listening besides the tripod of camera.
  14. Medium shot, one participant listening and another rising hand up to ask questions.
  15. Wide shot, masked participants sitting and listening.
  16. Wide shot, masked participant taking notes besides the tripod of camera.
  17. Medium shot, masked participants listening carefully.

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