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Daily Noon Briefing Highlights: Myanmar - Syria - Yemen

27 Jan 2021

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A family at the War Taung site for internally displaced people in Kyauktaw Township, Rakhine State, Myanmar. © OCHA/Nancy McNally

Daily Noon Briefing Highlights – 27 January 2021

Myanmar

The UN and humanitarian partners issued the Humanitarian Response Plan for 2021 today, seeking US$276.5 million to provide humanitarian assistance and protection services for around 945,000 people in conflict-affected areas in Kachin, Kayin and eastern Bago, Rakhine and southern Chin as well as northern Shan.

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Myanmar, Mr. Ola Almgren, has highlighted that there are an estimated 336,000 displaced people in these locations, including 250,000 in protracted displacement.

He has emphasized that supporting progress towards durable solutions for those displaced, in close coordination with local partners and the Government of Myanmar, will be critical.

In 2020, the UN and humanitarian partners reached close to 250,000 people with essential health-care services. Some 930,000 people received food assistance and 200,000 were reached with specialized protection services.

Humanitarian organizations also provided nutrition support to more than 83,000 children and women, and shelter and essential household items for close to 240,000, as well as enabled access to safe drinking water for around 390,000 people and provided critical educational assistance for more than 75,000 boys and girls.

Despite these and other efforts, significant humanitarian needs must be addressed this year. Mr. Almgren has emphasized that the UN will continue to work closely with the authorities and local partners to extend humanitarian reach and ensure safe and predictable access to those in greatest need of help.

 

Syria

The UN remains concerned about the impact of the recent floods and winter conditions on vulnerable populations throughout Syria.

As of 26 January, more than 67,000 internally displaced people in almost 200 sites in north-west Syria have been affected, with nearly 11,500 tents either destroyed or damaged. One death and three injuries have been confirmed as a result.

Heavy rainfalls have also impacted internally displaced people elsewhere in the country, including in southern rural Tartous, where families have been forced to relocate. Heavy rains are also reported to have damaged tents in Al-Hol camp in north-east Syria.

Winter conditions are of particular concern for the estimated 2.2 million internally displaced people living in inadequate shelter conditions across Syria. However, reports indicate that the cumulative impacts of 10 years of crisis, including economic deterioration, frequent power cuts and limited heating fuel, are affecting the health and well-being of larger numbers of families across the country.

The UN, alongside humanitarian partners, is mobilizing additional assistance to support affected families.

As of 1 January, more than 1.6 million individuals across Syria were reached with winter-related assistance, including 850,000 in north-west Syria, over 250,000 people in north-east Syria and almost 500,000 people in Government-held areas.

Heating fuel and wood is reported to be in scarce supply, and when available, prohibitively expensive for families with limited incomes. The informal national average price of household gas has increased 36 per cent in the past six months. Across the country adequate shelter, heating solutions and fuel remain an urgent need.

The UN remains concerned that many vulnerable families are not sufficiently prepared for winter this year due to the continued funding gap of US$24.5 million for winterization efforts across Syria. More than 500,000 people could be unreached with winter assistance.

 

Yemen

The risk of famine continues to rise in Yemen, and around 50,000 Yemenis are already living in famine-like conditions today, with 5 million more just one step away.

With food prices at 150 per cent higher than the average before the conflict and the depreciation of the Yemeni rial, the threat of hunger for millions is a reality.

We must do all that we can to prevent widespread famine now. We need more humanitarian funding; greater support for the economy through foreign-exchange injections; and for the violence to stop.

To date, the 2020 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan has only received 56 per cent (US$1.89 billion) of the US$3.38 billion needed to fund to the aid operation.