Updating reporters at the daily press conference in New York, Stéphane Dujarric quoted aid workers as saying that “conflict, food insecurity, natural disasters and COVID-19” have left some three million women , children and men in urgent need of life-saving help and protection.
“This includes one million people who were in need at the start of the year, plus two million more people identified as needing help after the military takeover on February 1,” he said.
At that time, following a general election won by Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy party, the military seized control of the country and declared a state of emergency for a duration of one year.
As protesters took to the streets, security forces imposed curfews and other restrictions, resulting in widespread human rights violations, thousands of arrests and hundreds of deaths.
Displaced and vulnerable people
Since then, clashes between Myanmar’s armed forces, various ethnic armed organizations and the People’s Defense Forces have left some 219,000 newly displaced people, Dujarric said.
It comes as a recent wave of COVID-19 has exacerbated the dire humanitarian situation. At the same time, flooding in Rakhine and Kayin states left tens of thousands of people without water and sanitation.
“The UN reiterates its call on the parties concerned to ensure that aid can be scaled up to reach those affected by the continuing armed conflict,” the spokesperson said.
Despite the conflict and COVID, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and its partners have been able to provide water and sanitation to more than 33,000 people.
Mr. Dujarric also said that UNICEF continues to assist nearly 150,000 internally displaced people and others in Kachin, Northern Shan, Rakhine and Sagaing.
Meanwhile, the agency released a detailed account on Monday of the deteriorating situation in Mindat – located in southern Chin state, western Myanmar – which has been under martial law since May.
According to a UN humanitarian report, Mindat is one of the most affected places in the country, with the residents there is an urgent need for support.
Amid continued armed clashes and a devastating third wave of the pandemic, UNICEF told the story in a blog post by Hay Mar and her husband, who, like many others, decided to flee violence, forced to leave behind some of the most vulnerable – including elderly parents and very pregnant women.
“My mother-in-law could have run with us, but she said she didn’t want to. She wanted to stay home, ”said Hay Mar.
The family built makeshift shelters in the forest, which left them little protection from the monsoon rains.
A future of uncertainty
Two weeks after Hay Mar and her family left, she began to worry about her stepmother.
With her three children in tow, she decided to return to town.
Although her youngest was petrified when they returned, she said he was now slowly showing signs of overcoming the trauma and returning to the lively boy he once was.
While Hay Mar is happy to see positive changes in him, she doesn’t know how long this period of peace and quiet will last.
Like most of Mindat’s other children, her 12 and 17-year-olds have been out of school for almost two years – first because of the pandemic, then because of the life-threatening security crisis.
“If we live in this situation, how will my children grow up? I am very worried about their future. I just want to live in peace, ”she told UNICEF.