Every week, we publish new highlights on recent humanitarian developments to enable crisis responders to prioritise based on the needs of affected populations.
Drought continues to affect southern Iraq, impacting people’s livelihoods and displacing over 83,500 as at mid-June 2023. The drought is resulting in increased river salinity and land degradation, reducing agricultural products and affecting the fishing industries. More than 60% of 1,000 farmers surveyed in Anbar, Kirkuk, Ninewa, and Salah Al-Din provinces also reported reduced cultivation and water usage in July–August. About 15% of women had lost their income by August 2023 because of the drought, compared to 6% throughout 2022. Food availability has decreased, increasing prices and making food items less affordable for people. Affected families likely need food, water, and livelihood assistance. (NRC 26/11/2023, USAID 30/09/2023, The New Arab 26/11/2023)
By the end of November 2023, the number of refugees from Ukraine in Belarus had increased to 37,000 from 22,000 in June. Most refugees came from conflict-affected oblasts, such as the eastern oblasts of Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Luhansk. 80% were displaced in 2022, and the number has continued to gradually increase in 2023. Based on the latest UNHCR survey conducted between April–September, around 35% were staying in rented accommodation, while 40% were with relatives. Cash assistance was reported as the most urgent need and preferred modality of assistance. Healthcare access was unaffordable for 80% of those surveyed. Among the main information gaps are the number of unaccompanied children displaced to Belarus from areas under Russian control in Ukraine and the full extent of the protection risks they are facing. (UNHCR accessed 28/11/2023, UNHCR 10/11/2023, UNHCR 19/06/2023, Conflict Observatory 16/11/2023)
As at 22 November, the escalation of armed conflict in Myanmar between the military junta forces and anti-military groups since late October has internally displaced more than 330,000 people, bringing the total number of IDPs in the country to over two million. Some of the newly displaced are sheltering in forested areas and paddy fields with very limited humanitarian access. The most affected states and regions are Chin, Mandalay, Rakhine, Sagaing, and northern Shan. Active fighting has blocked or severely restricted key transportation routes, including road and waterway infrastructure, and closed some airports, hindering humanitarian access, people’s movement to safer locations, and the supply of essential goods. Both the newly displaced and host communities need immediate humanitarian assistance, such as food, potable water, safe shelter, emergency healthcare, water purification tablets, medical supplies, shelter materials, dignity kits, protection support, and cash assistance. (OCHA 23/11/2023, IISS 20/11/2023, RFA 20/11/2023)