© Photo: PiN archive

In February 2021, the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) ousted the National League for Democracy-led government, sparking strong civil unrest and a gradual escalation of violence across the country. The resulting turmoil has led to the breakdown of government services such as healthcare and education. The collapse of security further depressed the prospects of economic recovery following the multiple waves of economic disruption resulting from the containment attempts of COVID-19. The disruption of markets and financial services, as well as significant growth of hardship across all states and regions of the country, threatens to leave half of the country’s population below the poverty line.

The events of 2021 represent just a glimpse of Myanmar’s complex history, conflict, and sociopolitical dynamics. To aid the people in Myanmar to cope with complex crises People in Need has been providing humanitarian and development aid in Myanmar since 1997, and has since engaged in humanitarian, development, and civil society support initiatives.

Background of main areas where we currently deliver aid

Rakhine State

In Rakhine State, security operations in August-September 2017 by Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) led to the displacement of over 700,000 Rohingya, mostly to neighboring Bangladesh. The remaining Rohingya communities in Myanmar continue to face extreme hardship. In 2018, the escalation of armed conflict between the Arakan Army (AA) and MAF led to significant and rapid deterioration of security causing a new wave of displacement, predominantly affecting the Ethnic Rakhine population, and leading to a breakdown of systems and services in the conflict-affected townships. The escalation of conflict led to disruption of markets and increased movement restrictions, which further worsened the already dire financial situation of the internally displaced people (IDPs) as well as the local communities.

Kachin State

In Kachin State, the resumption of the armed conflict between the MAF and the Kachin Independence Army (KIA) in 2011 provoked mass displacement of civilians, almost half of whom are children. After two years of relative calm dating back to 2018, the conflict is re-emerging with frequent clashes between MAF and KIA, creating credible risks of driving the displacement beyond the current figure of 94,000 IDPs. The conflict-affected populations have limited access to basic services and livelihoods opportunities, as humanitarian actors continue to face access constraints which impacts their ability to deliver crucial aid.

People in need presence in Myanmar

People in Need (PIN) has been assisting the people of Myanmar since 1997. After Cyclone Nargis in 2008, PIN provided humanitarian assistance, and in 2012 established a permanent office in Myanmar.

At present, our programs focus on strengthening local civil society organizations and providing them with the necessary technical resources and funds to enable them to assist their communities. By introducing humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding approaches tailored for the local contexts through close cooperation with local actors we aim to help communities to cope and recover from man-made crises.

Additionally, where appropriate, PIN directly provides humanitarian assistance, mainly focusing on multisectoral humanitarian aid and education in conflict-affected areas of Rakhine and Kachin States

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