Burma

Displaced children using a water pump in Rakhine State, Burma.
Displaced children using a water pump in Rakhine State, Burma.
Brian Heidel/USAID


Key Developments

Violence between Muslims and Buddhists in Du Chee Yar Tan village, Rakhine State, between January 9 and 13 killed at least 40 Rohingya Muslims, according to media and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Some reports indicate the involvement of local police forces. The U.S. and U.K. embassies in Burma issued a joint statement on January 17 calling for all sides to cease violence and pursue durable solutions. On January 23, U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos and U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay separately issued statements requesting that the Government of Burma (GoB) launch a full, impartial investigation into the recent events. The U.S. Department of State issued a statement on January 24 reiterating the call for a credible investigation and encouraging the GoB to work toward a durable solution in Rakhine.

A fire broke out in the Mae La border refugee camp in Thailand’s Tak Province on December 27, followed by a separate fire in Ban Mai Nai Soi camp in Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand. The two fires resulted in one death, affected approximately 900 refugees, and damaged or destroyed an estimated 180 houses, media report. The Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), NGOs, and Thai community members provided humanitarian support to fire-affected refugees.

HUMANITARIAN FUNDING TO BURMA IN FY 2013*

USAID/OFDA

$6,050,000

USAID/FFP

$8,000,000

State/PRM

$37,618,964

Total USAID and State Assistance to Burma

$51,668,964

*These figures are current as of September 30, 2013

Background

Ongoing conflicts in multiple states of Burma have resulted in increased internal displacement and humanitarian needs in recent years. In June 2011, a ceasefire between the GoB and the KIO broke down, leading to an upsurge in conflict and associated displacement. In western Burma’s Rakhine State, several bouts of ethnic clashes starting in June 2012 resulted in casualties, property damage, and internal displacement. In Mandalay Region, clashes between Buddhist and Muslim residents of Meiktila city in March 2013 resulted in significant displacement and property damage in Meiktila and surrounding areas.

In addition, Burma faces a number of natural hazards, particularly cyclones, floods, and earthquakes. In May 2008, Cyclone Nargis made landfall in Burma’s Irrawaddy Delta, killing more than 84,000 people and devastating Burma’s agriculture sector and fishing industry.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: January 29, 2014

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