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WFP Myanmar Country Brief, January 2020

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Operational Updates

• Rakhine: Armed clashes between the Myanmar military and the Arakan Army, a Rakhine ethnic armed group, continued into January and showed no signs of abating after steadily intensifying for more than one year. WFP responded to new population displacements caused by conflict, reaching 12,450 newly displaced people across Rakhine.
In northern Rakhine, WFP assisted 115,300 conflict affected people in January with emergency food and nutrition assistance, including 2,760 pregnant and lactating women (PLW) and 17,130 children aged 6-59 months, from 161 Muslim, Buddhist and Hindu villages in Buthidaung and Maungdaw townships. In central Rakhine, WFP provided 129,200 foodinsecure people with food and cash assistance, in addition to the 26,500 children aged 6-59 months and 5,300 PLW who received fortified blended food. Following successful pilots in select locations in late 2019, WFP further expanded full cash rations in two internally displaced persons (IDP) camps, where markets are accessible and beneficiaries were willing to receive only cash. However, WFP could not assist hundreds of beneficiaries in Minbya Township due to an unstable security situation.

• Kachin: WFP assisted 44,700 displaced people with cash-based transfers. WFP is in the process of transitioning from cash in envelopes to electronic cash-based transfers for all beneficiaries in Kachin by the end of 2020. Through several cooking demonstrations, WFP provided 7,500 people with fortified blended food and demonstrated how to prepare nutritious meals, on top of the regular monthly nutrition assistance provided for 1,080 children aged 6-23 months and 1,640 PLW.

• Shan: Despite skirmishes between the Myanmar military and ethnic armed groups reported during the month, WFP distributed food and cash to 7,050 people displaced across northern Shan State. WFP’s nutrition assistance benefited 240 PLWs.

• Southeast: WFP supported 3,370 people to create sustainable livelihood assets with cash incentives for 12 projects in Kayah State. The completed projects include the construction of water ponds, irrigation canals and rainwater collection tanks, the renovation of dams and roads, as well as the development of terrace land. The projects not only provided job opportunities for vulnerable communities, but also bolstered their resilience to climate shocks.