Asia Pacific Regional Humanitarian Update

Situation Report
Emergency Response
Bangladesh: The devastation left by a massive fire that broke out in the main Kutupalong section of the Rohingya Refugee Camps on 22 March 2021. (Photo: IOM)

Asia Pacific Regional Weekly Humanitarian Update 16-22 March 2021


A massive fire broke out in the main Kutupalong section of the Rohingya Refugee Camps on 22 March 2021 around 15:00 and rapidly spread through four camps (8e, 8w, 9 and 10), with early assessments indicating that at least 15 people have lost their lives, over 560 injured, and more than 45,000 people displaced with 10,000 shelters damaged/destroyed, with loss of critical infrastructure including nutrition centres, food distribution points and health centres. Displaced people have sought refuge in nearby camps and at various facilities. The response is ongoing to provide emergency food, shelter, water and sanitation, and health care to affected people, and to reunite separated children and families. Source: ISCG, WFP, Media


Over 2,500 people lost their shelter after a fire destroyed more than 660 houses on 17 March in the Tein Nyo displacement site in Mrauk-U Township in Rakhine State, which hosts around 3,300 people displaced by the conflict between the Myanmar Armed Forces (MAF) and the Arakan Army (AA). At least eight people were reportedly injured, including a child, due to the fire, which was accidentally set by a candle. The affected families are currently sheltering at the nearby monastery, school and a community quarantine center where they received urgent food and cash assistance, basic households materials and support to access water and sanitation services provided by humanitarian partners and the local community. Partners are looking at ways to provide more support, including shelter assistance, to the affected families, who are now displaced more than once in the last two years. At least 99,300 people remain displaced by the conflict between the MAF and the AA in 180 sites in Rakhine and southern areas of Chin states. Source: humanitarian partners


Thousands of residents in several towns of Maguindanao Province remain displaced following skirmishes between the military and an IS-inspired armed group. More than 48,000 people from 11 towns were affected by the clashes which started early morning of 18 March. According to latest Government reports, about 42,000 people are displaced of which 32,500 are in 42 evacuation centers while the rest are hosted by relatives/friends. The Bangsamoro regional government, supported by local authorities, conducted an assessment and noted the need for food, water, hygiene kits, latrines, emergency shelter and sleeping kits. The Mindanao Humanitarian Team is mobilizing relief items to support the local government response. Several of the displacement areas remain inaccessible due to the volatile situation. Source: BARMM MSSD, OCHA


Over 200,000 people have returned to Afghanistan from Iran and Pakistan since the start of the year, which is more than double the rate of return over the same period in 2019 and 2020. Additional waves of cross-border migration and internal displacement remain a risk due to escalating conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic. IOM, together with the Government, are delivering humanitarian assistance to returnees at major border crossings. However, limited funding is restricting the scale of operations. As of 21 March, the Afghanistan Humanitarian Response Plan for 2021 is 6 per cent funded. Last year saw the largest number on record for returnees, with close to 868,000 undocumented migrants returning from Iran (860,000 people) and Pakistan (7,900 people). Source: IOM