Refugees displaced by conflict in Myanmar now more than 1 million ミャンマー紛争での避難民、100万人を突破

This is an edited version of an article by rfa.

The number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Myanmar has surpassed 1 million people for the first time in the nation’s history, including nearly 700,000 forced to flee conflict and insecurity since the military’s coup in February 2021, according to a new report by the United Nations. In the latest update, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said that the new estimate of IDPs includes around 346,000 internal refugees displaced by conflict prior to the coup, mainly in Rakhine, Kachin, Chin and Shan states.


In the report, it was stated that

“Various parts of Myanmar have witnessed an escalation in fighting, further entrenching the already fragile humanitarian situation.”


“The impact on civilians is worsening daily with frequent indiscriminate attacks and incidents involving explosive hazards, including landmines and explosive remnants of war.”



According to OCHA’s findings, thousands of IDPs who have already fled their homes are being forced to move for a second or third time, while more than 40,000 people have crossed borders into neighboring countries since the coup. Nearly 13,000 civilian properties have been destroyed in the fighting, which will complicate the return of refugees, even if the situation improves.


Adding to the threat of violence, the increasing cost of essential commodities, such as food and fuel is also a concern. The average price of diesel in mid-April 2022 was nearly 2.5 times higher than it was in February last year.


“This inflation has affected people’s purchasing power and is starting to impact on the work of several clusters, particularly food security and shelter, who depend on commodities to implement their humanitarian programming,” OCHA said.


To make matters worse, coastal areas of Myanmar — including Rakhine, Kayin, Kachin and Shan states — have been battered by strong storms and heavy rain since April.


2022年5月 下痢症状に苦しむ避難民の子ども PhotoCredit@Citizen journalist

While local and international humanitarian organizations have been made aware of the needs, transportation complications — largely due to weather or conflict — have made it nearly impossible for aid to be delivered.


“We are currently facing a shortage of food and tarps for shelter, as well as health problems,” said the resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity citing fear of reprisal. “It is the rainy season now and we are afraid of malaria, as we are living in the forests.”


The junta’s Health Ministry recently said it had recorded 1,516 cases of dengue fever leading to two deaths in Myanmar in the nearly five months from January to May 20, adding that it expects a significant increase in cases this year.


In Kayah state’s Phruso township, where clashes continue to occur frequently, an aid worker said that road closures due to weather have left more than 6,000 refugees dangerously short of food.


“We can’t use the main road [due to fighting] and the roads we are using to deliver food and essentials now are very bad. When it rains continuously, the cars can slip off the road. ”


Landslides and floods in Chin state’s Mindat township have also made travel difficult, residents said. Nonetheless, sources in the area told RFA that the military has continued operations in the area, ignoring the growing number of refugees.


2022年5月 Kayin州の避難民 PhotoCredit@Karen Information Center

International aid distribution 国際援助物資の配布

The NUG, along with the Karen National Union (KNU), Karenni National Progressive Party (KNPP), and the Chin National Front (CNF) ethnic parties, issued a joint statement calling on ASEAN and the United Nations to refrain from sending humanitarian assistance for war refugees through the junta, saying that doing so would recognize the legitimacy of an illegal government and prevent aid from reaching those most in need.


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