Over 750,000 People Displaced in Myanmar Since Coup

By The Irrawaddy 29 June 2022

Over 55,700 people have been displaced in Myanmar in June alone, as regime forces continue to raid and torch villages and kill civilians nationwide. In total, the number of internally displaced people (IDP) in Myanmar since last year’s coup is over 750,000, according to the latest figures released by the United Nations (UN) on June 28.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said in its Myanmar Humanitarian Update for June that the estimated number of IDPs has passed 758,000, including more than 250,000 children. 

In May, the number of IDPs was 694,300.

Myanmar had a large number of IDPs even before the coup, so the total number of IDPs in the country is now over 1.1 million, said UNOCHA. 

The military regime has employed air and artillery strikes in southern Myanmar’s Kayah and Karen states, while escalating its raids and the torching of villages in northwest and western Myanmar’s Sagaing and Magwe regions and Chin State since last month. All the affected regions are strongholds of armed resistance to the junta, with Sagaing suffering the most.

UNOCHA said that more than 18,058 civilian properties including houses, churches, monasteries and schools are estimated to have been destroyed since the military takeover.

“The level of destruction of civilian properties, particularly homes, combined with the seemingly never-ending fighting will very likely prolong the displacement of the IDPs and will further deteriorate their already fragile living conditions,” said UNOCHA in its June update.

The agency warned also that the suffering of people across the country will be prolonged as long as the current volatile security situation and its associated restrictions, such as bureaucratic processes and systematic blocks on access approvals, continue to hamper humanitarian access and delay the delivery of aid.

On Wednesday, the Karen National Union, the political wing of the Karen National Liberation Army, said that junta artillery strikes on Monday and Tuesday on areas it controls in Bago Region prompted more than 16,137 civilians from 30 villages to flee their homes.