Burma

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

Latest Burma Fact Sheet


Key Developments

Thousands of migrants from Burma and Bangladesh have become stranded in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea since May, increasing media and international attention on displacement and human rights issues in Burma, particularly relating to Rohingya Muslims in Rakhine.

On May 21 and 22, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken met with Government of Burma (GoB) officials and civil society leaders in Burma’s capital city of Naypyidaw and Yangon city to discuss the humanitarian situation in Rakhine. At the meeting, Deputy Secretary Blinken urged regional actors to reduce the number of displaced people fleeing the country by improving living conditions at camps where internally displaced persons (IDPs) are living.

Relief agencies expect monsoon rains, which typically start in June and can continue through October, to increase the vulnerability of IDP camp residents in Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan. An estimated 40,000 IDPs in Rakhine live in camps within 500 meters of the coastline, making them particularly vulnerable to heavy rain and flooding, the UN reports.

To date in FY 2015, USAID has provided nearly $14 million in humanitarian assistance to support activities that strengthen IDP camp management, facilitate access to food and safe drinking water, and improve the health, nutrition, and livelihoods of vulnerable populations in Burma. Additionally, State/PRM has provided nearly $29 million to support Burmese IDPs in Burma and Burmese refugees and asylum seekers in neighboring countries.

HUMANITARIAN FUNDING TO BURMA IN FY 2015*

USAID/OFDA

$3,961,472

USAID/FFP

$10,000,000

State/PRM

$28,973,484

Total U.S. Government Assistance Burma

$42,934,956

*These figures are current as of June 19, 2015

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.

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Last updated: June 22, 2015

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