Burma/Bangladesh

Speeches Shim

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

Clashes across Burma have displaced hundreds of thousands of people following the February coup d'état, including nearly 267,000 people who remain displaced.

Humanitarian access in Burma remains limited by clashes, roadblocks, COVID-19 mitigation measures, and military-imposed restrictions which hinder the movement and delivery of humanitarian goods and personnel.

The Government of Bangladesh signs a memorandum of understanding with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in early October, establishing a framework of cooperation for humanitarian activities on Bhasan Char Island.

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.

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 03, 2021

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