Over 18 million people in Myanmar need humanitarian relief, warns UN

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Over 18 million people in Myanmar need humanitarian relief, warns UN

Over 18 million people in Myanmar need humanitarian relief, warns UN

  • 18.6 million people in Myanmar need humanitarian aid.
  • 6 million children in Myanmar are in need of assistance.
  • Only 29 percent of the required funding was met in 2023.

The UN warned on Monday that over 18 million people, or one-third of Myanmar’s population, currently need humanitarian relief. To address this demand, the UN is requesting $1 billion in donations for next year.

According to the international organization, since the coup nearly three years ago, the humanitarian situation in the Southeast Asian nation has gotten worse.

“Myanmar stands at the precipice in 2024 with a deepening humanitarian crisis that has spiraled since the military takeover in February 2021 with the civilian population that is now living in fear,” said a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) published Monday.

The 18.6 million people who require humanitarian aid today are one million more than they were a year ago and 19 times more than they were before to the coup in 2020.

“Children are bearing the brunt of the crisis with 6 million children in need as a result of displacement, interrupted health care and education, food insecurity and malnutrition, and protection risks including forced recruitment and mental distress,” warned Marcoluigi Corsi, the UN’s interim humanitarian coordinator for Myanmar.

With nearly 2.6 million people displaced as of December 11 (up 1.1 million from the same period last year), including over 660,000 people displaced since late October due to the intensifying conflict between the military and ethnic minority fighters in the country’s north, the report focused particular attention on the issue of mass displacement.


The report condemned “systematic military violence against civilians” and stated that “conflicts and violence are expected to worsen in 2024,” which would only exacerbate the situation.

OCHA issued a request on Monday for $994 million in donations in light of the severe conditions to assist the 5.3 million people in Myanmar who have been designated as priority recipients of relief in 2024.

“We cannot afford a repeat of the gross underfunding seen in 2023,” when only 29 percent of required funding was met, Corsi said, pointing out that an estimated 1.9 million people who had been prioritized for aid in 2023 were not reached.

“Millions of lives are at stake and we all must do everything we can to prevent Myanmar becoming a forgotten emergency,” he said, even as the majority of UN international aid programs remain underfunded.

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