Speaking to UN News, the organization’s top official in helping BurmaHumanitarian Coordinator and Acting Resident Ramanathan Balakrishnan described how people have been severely affected across the country since the junta took power on February 1.
#Myanmar humanitarian update:
▶ ️ More than 220,000 people displaced by conflict and insecurity since February 1.
▶ ️Thousands more impacted by recent floods.
▶ ️Humanitarian response is underway, but limited due to access issues and lack of funds.
– OCHA Myanmar (@ochamyanmar) July 30, 2021
“The situation in the country is now characterized by instability and deterioration of the socio-economic and security situation and to add to that we have a third wave of COVID-19[female[feminineMr. Balakrishnan said in an exclusive interview.
Emphasizing the continued nature of armed resistance to state security forces “in several ethnic minority areas,” including Shan, Chin and Kachin states, the UN official said more than 200,000 people had been uprooted there to this day.
In Rakhine State before the coup, the UN Humanitarian response plan stressed that around one million people, including internally displaced people, need urgent assistance, but “this number has only increased,” Balakrishnan insisted.
More broadly, “following the coup d’état, two million more have been identified as in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, and these were largely found in the urban areas of Yangon and Mandalay, ”he said, adding that the intensification of clashes and the worsening socio-economic situation were pushing“ hardships ”every day. tens of thousands of people “in a humanitarian space”.
Echoing concerns about rights violations by the United Nations Children’s Fund Unicef and others, Mr. Balakrishnan condemned the continued and widespread use of lethal force by the military against civilian protesters.
Going forward, the UN’s priorities include ensuring that millions of people do not fall further into hunger, the aid official said. “There has been an increase in the price of basic commodities for many people… reduced nutritional value of the food basket that people usually take when they replace their usual food with cheaper and more readily available items.
With regard to Myanmar’s health system, which is under extreme pressure due to the coronavirus crisis, as well as attacks on medical personnel and facilities in Myanmar – and a civil disobedience movement by some medical professionals – Mr Balakrishnan warned that even basic services had been disrupted across the country.
Alongside the Burmese people
In a message of solidarity, the senior aid official insisted that the UN remains determined to respect the will of the people of the country.
This despite limited access to parts of the country due to security concerns and disruptions in the banking system, which limited the UN’s ability to transfer funds to humanitarian partners responsible for delivering aid. .
“The UN will continue to denounce human rights violations and pledge to stay and provide life-saving humanitarian assistance to the people of Myanmar, in addition to sending the COVID-19 response, ”Balakrishnan said.