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/Bangladesh
Fact Sheets


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Since 2011, ongoing violence in Burma has caused hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes. To help the people affected by the conflict, USAID has been providing humanitarian assistance throughout the country - focused primarily in Rakhine, Kachin, and Shan. In August 2017, renewed attacks in northern Rakhine led to increased humanitarian needs and a massive influx of more than 855,000 refugees into Bangladesh.

Key Developments

The UN released the 2020 Burma Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) in December 2019, requesting more than $216 million to provide humanitarian assistance to approximately 848,000 people during 2020. The UN plans to provide multi-sector assistance, including protection services for more than 833,000 people; outpatient health services for nearly 524,000 people; and emergency shelter support for nearly 130,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in central Rakhine State in Burma.

Relief actors identified lessons learned in preparation for the 2020 monsoon season following an analysis of humanitarian monsoon preparedness and response measures in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazar District during the 2019 June-to-October monsoon season, which adversely affected more than 83,500 refugees and displaced more than 17,000 people in the district. Lessons included the importance of maintaining drainage systems to reduce flooding and landslides, incorporating the potential flooding of the nearby Naf River into preparatory measures, and improving communication among first responders and Government of Bangladesh response personnel.

Rakhine Crisis

After a period of relative stability, the conflict intensified again in August 2017, following renewed attacks on checkpoints and police posts and subsequent military operations in northern Rakhine, prompting significant population displacement and humanitarian need. More than 855,000 people have fled to Bangladesh due to military operations and intercommunal violence in Rakhine. In addition to providing humanitarian assistance in Burma, USAID is providing food and nutrition assistance in 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.

Related Sectors of Work 

Last updated: March 13, 2020

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