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 Sheets


Key Developments

While a recent historic parliamentary election and nationwide ceasefire agreement mark a period of positive developments in Burma, humanitarian needs in the country persist, primarily due to ongoing localized conflicts, prolonged population displacement, and continued vulnerability to natural disasters, such as floods and landslides.

In mid-December, the Burma Humanitarian Country Team—comprising representatives from the UN, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations—launched its 2016 Humanitarian Response Plan, requesting nearly $190 million to provide humanitarian assistance to an estimated 1 million people in need, including 620,000 people in conflict-affected Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan states.

To date in fiscal year (FY) 2016, USAID's Office of Food for Peace has provided $5 million to the UN World Food Program to distribute food assistance to internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other vulnerable populations in Burma. In addition, ongoing U.S. government funding from FY 2015 continues to support the humanitarian response to the complex emergency, including assistance to both IDPs in Burma and Burmese refugees and asylum seekers in neighboring countries. Separately from its assistance to conflict-affected populations, USAID contributed more than $5 million in FY 2015 for humanitarian flood-relief activities in Burma.

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: December 30, 2015

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