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 Sheets

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Key Developments

Insecurity in northern areas of Burma’s Rakhine State, including attacks on checkpoints and police posts in northern Rakhine and subsequent military operations, has prompted nearly 620,000 people to flee Burma to neighboring Bangladesh since late August, according to the Bangladesh-based UN Inter-Sector Coordination Group—a humanitarian response coordinating body, comprising UN agencies, international non-governmental organizations, and other stakeholders.

Access constraints, including Government of Burma restrictions and insecurity, have limited or prevented relief actors from accessing affected populations in central and northern Rakhine, particularly in northern Rakhine’s Buthidaung, Maungdaw, and Rathedaung townships, the UN reports.

On November 15, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced an additional $47 million in U.S. government funding from U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration to respond to the crisis in Rakhine and related humanitarian needs in Burma and Bangladesh.


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: November 20, 2017

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