The people of Myanmar are facing an unprecedented political, socio-economic, human rights and humanitarian crisis, the needs of which have escalated dramatically since the military came to power and a severe third wave of COVID-19.
According to a United Nations Humanitarian Needs Chart published on Friday by OCHA, the unrest is projected to have driven nearly half of the population into poverty by 2022, undoing impressive advances since 2005.
The situation has worsened since the beginning of the year when the military took over the country and ousted the democratically elected government. It is now estimated that 14 out of 15 states and regions are within the critical threshold for acute malnutrition.
For the next year, the analysis assumes that 14.4 million people will need some form of help, around a quarter of the population. These include 6.9 million men, 7.5 million women and five million children.
Price hikes, COVID-19 restrictions on movement, and ongoing insecurity have forced the most vulnerable people to adopt emergency strategies to buy groceries and other basic supplies.
The prices of essential housewares have increased significantly, making some groceries unaffordable. At the same time, Farm incomes have been affected by lower prices for some crops, higher input prices and limited access to credit.
The monsoon floods in July and August also affected more than 120,000 people, leading to crop failures and food insecurity.
According to the Humanitarian Office OCHA, the outlook for 2022 remains “bleak”.
The political and security situation is “likely to remain volatile,” and a fourth wave of COVID-19 is seen as an increasing risk due to relatively low vaccination rates and the emergence of new variants.
Prices are only expected to decrease slightly, while farm-gate prices are expected to remain low. As a result, consumer prices are expected to be higher and incomes are expected to fall further.
According to OCHA, the “The relentless stress on communities is having an undeniable impact on the nation’s physical and mental health, especially the psychological well-being of children and adolescents. ”
The risk and incidence of human trafficking, which will increase as early as 2021, is expected to further escalate.
Whole communities, including children, are displaced in conflict areas, increasing the risk that girls and boys will be killed, injured, trafficked, recruited and used in armed conflict.
In 2020 and 2021, the learning process for nearly 12 million children, almost the entire school-age population, was halted, and although schools have reopened, the prospect of a full return to classroom teaching remains slim for many.