In the Kachin State, 17 years after the ceasefire was signed, conflict between the Birman Army and the Kachin Independence Army resumed in 2011, displacing more than 100,000 persons over the country. In 2020, more than 95,000 people still live in the 160+ camps in the Kachin State – half of them being located in areas where humanitarian access is limited. Although the camps inhabitants are displaced since 10 years and the security situation being relatively calm in 2020, most of internally diplaced persons are reluctant to go back. The situation indeed remains unstable – no peace accord was signed, and fighting is still ongoing in the neighbouring state of Northern Shan. There is still a very high risk of landmines and the population has little to no guarantees regarding their access to land and livelihood. Nonetheless, the COVID-19 situation has revived some intermittent dynamics of population displacement as some people did not feel safe in camps at that time and preferred to escape to a less populated village.
In the Rakhine State – one of Myanmar’s poorest and regularly exposed to natural disasters – conflict between Muslim and Buddhist communities broke out in 2012, displacing more than 140,000 people. Since then, the conflict varied in intensity. An all-time high was reached in August 2017, provoking the flight of 740,000 Rohingyas (Myanmar’s Muslim minority) into Bangladesh. Nine years later, an average of 126,000 Rohingyas still live in 23 Rakhine camps and between 400 and 600 of them live in villages. Their freedom of movement is very restricted. Since December, the conflict opposing the Birman Army to the Arakan Army – armed group affiliated to the Rakhine buddhist minority – resulted in the displacement of around 200,000 and restricted access to the North of the State.
Every year the Rakhine State faces an increased period of drought and many coastal villages are left with no water from March to June. This situation is particularly alarming in the Pauktaw camps, where the Rohingya people do not have any freedom of movement. In 2020, between climate change (sea level rises) and the COVID-19 situation, the dry season has been especially challenging for the population: more water than usual was needed to fight the spread of COVID-19.
The displaced persons living in Myanmar are extremely reliant on humanitarian help. This goes for water and food supply. Indeed, healthcare, education or livelihood access systems are barely existing. On top of that, the COVID-19 pandemic represents yet another challenge for the Myanmar population.
- 54.5 million inhabitants
- 26% poverty rate
- 145th out of 189 on the Human Development Index
opened in 2008
18 international staff
330 national staff
- Budget 6M€
SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL first intervention in Myanmar goes back to May 2008 as a response to the Nargis hurricane in the Delta region. Today, SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL Myanmar is present in the States of Kachin, Rakhine. We provide the communities impacted by the conflict – displaced persons, returnees and host communities – with access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) as well as food security and livelihoods.
In a context of extended humanitarian crises with people living in camps for numerous years, our team prioritises the dignity and access to basic services for the vulnerable population. To conduct our programmes, we work in cooperation with the communities and local partners. Most of displaced persons have lost their income source and have become heavily reliant on food assistance. SOLIDARITÉS INTERNATIONAL implements income-generating activities for the displaced persons, such as market gardening. Having a job or an activity enables them to gain independence – and to change their diet.
Throughout 2020, we have provided a response to the COVID-19 epidemic thanks to our expertise in water, hygiene and sanitation. We reinforced our sensibilisation activities on hygiene. All necessary measures were put in place: communication on social distancing, physical distanciation during the distributions, building of mobile hand-washing stations, intensification of the hygiene products distribution (soap, disinfectant), and diffusion of prevention guidelines through loudspeaker.
Access to basic services and infrastructures
34 513 beneficiaries
– Construction, renovation and maintenance of water points and latrines
– Improvement of latrines to address the needs of people with disabilities
– Construction of hand washing points
– Awareness workshops on hygiene, especially menstrual hygiene
– Distribution of hygiene kits
– Waste management and incineration
– Management and processing of liquid waste
– Improvement of a sludge treatment system
– Cash-for-work programmes aimed at repairing WASH infrastructure
– Distribution of farming tools
– Sanitation of flooded fields
– Training of farmers in pest control
– Fertiliser distribution
– Training in sack farming, vegetable gardens and hanging gardens
– Development of a vocational training programme
– Construction and maintenance of drainage canals
– Development of fish and crab production
MULTISECTORAL RESPONSE TO EMERGENCIES
122 890 beneficiaries
– Water distribution by boat and remote pumping during water shortage at the end of the dry period
– Water quality control
– Distribution of water treatment kits
– Distribution of ceramic water filters
– Food distribution
– Distribution of shelter and emergency hygiene kits
– Cash distribution
Should you have any questions, please contact Raphaëlle Goepfert.
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At head office