• Crisis Severity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 52,240,000 Total population [?]
  • 3,560,000 People affected [?]
  • 129,000 People displaced [?]
  • 861,000 People in Need [?]



The political and security situation in Myanmar’s northern Kachin state and eastern Shan state is complex. 

In Kachin, a 17-year ceasefire broke down in 2011, reigniting a decades-long conflict between the KIA and the Tatmadaw. While there has been limited active conflict and few armed clashes in Kachin since August 2018, seven years of conflict have resulted in humanitarian needs, with limited humanitarian access in the affected areas. In northern Shan state, intense fighting has taken place since January 2018 and has worsened since December 2020. In Shan state, there are an estimated seven EAOs, 20 militia groups, and seven Border Guard Forces actively engaged in an armed independence movement, both between one another and against the Myanmar government.?

Several years of conflict in Kachin have resulted in widespread food insecurity, disruption of government services, economic stagnation, and protracted displacement. Armed clashes, human rights violations, and landmine contamination pose a significant protection risk across both states. Access restrictions for humanitarian organisations and active conflict have eroded the coping capacity of communities in Kachin and Shan – two of the most impoverished states in Myanmar, and both extremely vulnerable to shocks.?

Around 105,000 people are internally displaced across both states. In Kachin, 95,000 people have been living in IDP camps since 2011. At least 36% of IDPs across the state live in areas that are non-government controlled or contested. In northern Shan, displacement is often short term. 34,600 people were temporarily displaced between January 2019–December 2020 because of active conflict – the majority were able to return to their place of origin within a few days. 9,800 people are in protracted displacement and have been living in camp settings since 2011. In south and eastern Shan state, over 9,000 are displaced.?

Latest Developments


No significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.

Key Priorities


Protection: Landmines and shelling near villages is a severe protection concern, limiting free movement and the ability of people to return to areas of origin. Protracted displacement and disrupted livelihoods also increase the risk of negative coping strategies, such as child marriage, risky migration routes, and recruitment into armed groups.?

Education: The education system in Shan is extremely weak because of the conflict. Approximately 37% of people aged 15 and over who are illiterate in Myanmar live in Shan state. Women are particularly affected, and over 60% of women across the state are illiterate. Schools in northern Shan are damaged by shelling or are used as bases by non-state armed groups and the Tatmadaw.?

Food and Livelihoods: Conflict and movement restrictions have weakened access to food supplies and agricultural production across Kachin and Shan. Farmers are unable to access their fields, and civilians fear going to markets because of the threat of extortion, forced conscription, and arbitrary detention by both the Tatmadaw and non-state armed groups. Climate-related shocks and economic stagnation have also undermined food security.?

Land availability: Large-scale deforestation in Kachin and Shan states has heightened the risk of soil erosion and increased instances of drought. This is likely to result in greater occurrences of landslides and water surface runoff, leading to flooding, as well as more general environmental degradation – with potential repercussions on livelihood sources, including farming and aquaculture.?