• 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

  • 3,560,000 People affected [?]
  • 107,000 People displaced [?]
  • 220,000 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 Kachin Independence Army (KIA) and the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw). While there has been limited active conflict and few armed clashes in Kachin since August 2018, the effects of seven years of conflict have resulted humanitarian needs, with limited humanitarian access in affected areas. In northern Shan state, intense fighting has occurred since January 2018. There are an estimated 7 ethnic armed organisations (EAOs), 20 militia groups, and 7 Border Guard Forces (BGFs) actively engaged in an armed independence movement against the Myanmar government.?

Several years of conflict in Kachin has 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, especially in northern Shan. 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 extremely vulnerable to shocks.?

Around 107,000 people are internally displaced across both states. In Kachin, some 97,000 people have been living in IDP camps since 2011. In northern Shan, displacement is often short-term, with 50,000 displaced temporarily since January 2018, though another 9,000 have lived in displacement since 2011. At least 37% of IDPs live in areas that are non-government controlled or contested.?

Latest Developments


There are no significant recent humanitarian developments. This crisis is being monitored by our analysis team.

ACAPS' team is daily monitoring the impact of COVID-19. Find more information related to the outbreak here.

Humanitarian Access


Insecurity and government restrictions constrain access for humanitarian organisations in Kachin and Shan states.

Since 2016, access to non-government-controlled areas has been severely restricted to foreign NGOs and UN agencies. The vast majority of requests to access these areas, which host an estimated 37% of IDPs, have been denied by the Myanmar government. While access for national organisations is not as restricted, in recent years, the process of travel authorisation is increasingly challenging, and subject to  delays in approval. Travel is often approved for government-controlled areas, but is frequently limited to the main towns, leaving people in remote areas unable to access humanitarian assistance.

Landmine contamination and unexploded remnants of war are a problem after decades of conflict. Movement is restricted due to the threat of injury by these devices as well as threat of extortion, forced labour, and arbitrary detention by the Tatmadaw and non-state armed groups. These restrict the ability for civilians to go to school, tend to their farms, and access other basic services and livelihood opportunities. This is further aggravated by displacement, particularly for those confined to camps since 2011, where access to basic services is extremely restricted.

Download the full Humanitarian Access Overview

Key Priorities


Protection: Landmines and shelling near villages is a severe protection concern. Additionally, protracted displacement in poorly built and crowded settlements increases 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 due to the conflict: approximately 37% of Myanmar’s illiterate population live in Shan state. Schools in northern Shan are damaged by shelling or 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 market because of  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. ?