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

Nearly 606,000 people remain displaced throughout Burma as of May 16—an increase of approximately 48,000 people since March—due to ongoing violence and insecurity since February 2021, according to UNHCR.

Frequent and recurring displacement in southeastern Burma exacerbates the risks faced by IDPs during monsoon season, including flooding, landslides, and a lack of access to safe drinking water.

Government of Bangladesh continues Rohingya refugee relocations from Cox's Bazar District to Bhasan Char Island, a silt island in the Bay of Bengal, with more than 26,000 refugees relocated to the island between November 2020 and April 30, 2022, according to UNHCR.

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: May 26, 2022

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