ICRC in Myanmar: Looking back at 2021

  • This three-year-old from Myitkyina, Kachin State was born with a lower limb deficiency. He was able to get a replacement for his prosthetic leg at the Myitkyina Physical Rehabilitation Centre, which reopened in line with COVID-19 guidelines.
  • Floods. Landslides. Extreme weather events. These are just some of the challenges that can make it harder to reach families we work with. Despite a landslide en route, we were still able to complete a cash distribution for families living in Sadaung camp in Kachin State.
  • In 2021, thousands were displaced in Chin State, after fleeing clashes near their homes. With the Myanmar Red Cross Society, we helped families in Samee, Paletwa and Mindat with access to shelter, clean water and emergency rations.
  • Climate change affects everyone, but not equally. In Rakhine, we built elevated walkways around camps for displaced communities that were affected by flooding to improve sanitation and mobility.
  • Through our mine risk awareness and safe practices programme, we help communities affected by conflict in Myanmar avoid the risk of landmines and other explosive devices.
  • To reach families in need, our teams provide help from land, water and air. Here, dock workers load food and other essential items at Bayint Naung jetty in Yangon. These will be sent to our teams in Rakhine State, for delivery to communities.
  • Our programmes are designed with communities for communities. Our teams regularly consult families, listen to their needs and often, we discuss humanitarian principles and the work of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.
  • Mindful of the pressure the pandemic puts on those without a job, we worked with the Myanmar Red Cross Society branches in Kutkai and Namkham townships to start an income-generating programme for women who have been displaced.
  • Upon release from prison, as part of our Safe Return Home Programme, the ICRC meets with detainees and provides them with financial assistance and information for their journey home. Since 2020, all processes were adapted to ensure minimal risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • In any emergency, basic first aid skills can often help save lives, especially for those living in rural areas far away from hospitals or health centres. Since 2016, we have been supporting civil societies, weapon bearers and authorities to strengthen first aid and prehospital emergency care.
  • The Myanmar Red Cross Society and the ICRC teams helped families temporarily sheltering in churches and camps, providing better access to water and improving living conditions. We were also able to provide PPE equipment to Mindat District Hospital, helping prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will continue to support those in need as best we can, without discrimination.
18 February 2022

2021 was not an easy one for any of us.

The political situation, ongoing clashes and COVID-19 all made life harder for many across Myanmar. As we look back, we would like to thank our partners, the families we work with and all of you – with this support, we were able to help others.

Here are snapshots of what we were able to achieve together across the country.