Serving Displaced Families In Hard-To-Reach Regions

More than 525,000 people in Myanmar are in need of humanitarian assistance. From the country’s eastern provinces to its coastline in the west, years of fighting have sent tens of thousands of families fleeing their towns and villages.

In Rakhine State, bordered by the Andaman Sea, communal violence that erupted in 2012 has filled camps with displaced families. In the mountainous northern and eastern province of Shan State, families have been scattered by battling among government and ethnic militias. Though the circumstances are quite different, both of these displaced populations are extremely vulnerable, with little access to basic healthcare and economic opportunities. Mortality rates for infants and pregnant women are high because most deliveries take place without assistance from trained medical professionals. Many children are malnourished. Violence threatens women and girls. 

Relief International serves these populations in the hardest-to-reach areas. RI is the only international organization with a continued presence in Rakhine’s Myebon Township, where many settlements are accessible only by boat. RI is also operating in Northern Shan State, where ongoing conflict continues to displace rural populations. 

Relief International, with funding from European Union Humanitarian Aid (ECHO), offers healthcare, protection, education and other assistance to the local and migrated communities in both of these regions. 

Addressing the most serious challenges facing these communities, Relief International has:

  • Provided nearly 43,000 people with outpatient consultations in RI clinics
  • Supported the immunization of 11,000 children
  • Established a Maternal and Newborn Health Care clinic and labor room in Myebon
  • Reached more than 9,000 people with health education activities
  • Created women’s and girls’ centers staffed with trained community health workers to provide safe spaces for survivors of gender-based violence.
  • Trained and supported local organizations in Shan to respond to displacement emergencies

As part of Relief International’s holistic approach, called the RI Way, part of this project addresses livelihood issues in local communities. RI provided cash transfers to farmers across 74 villages in central Rakhine, where floods destroyed crops and seed stocks in August of 2015. The funding supported farmers’ efforts to survive immediately after the disaster, and to purchase seeds and other necessities to restore their livelihoods.