The UN has warned that the internal conflict in northern Myanmar is expanding, leaving more people displaced.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said that the fighting in the Southeast Asian nation has escalated since late October, “expanding from northern Shan State to Rakhine State, as well as the northwest and southeast.”
In a statement released late Tuesday, the UNOCHA said: “More than half a million people have been newly internally displaced by the violence. This is on top of the two million people who were already internally displaced.”
To meet their needs, UN chief for humanitarian affairs Martin Griffiths allocated $7 million from the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) “to help civilians displaced by the ongoing conflict in Myanmar.”
However, it added: “The $887 million Humanitarian Response Plan for the year is less than one-third funded (so far), at $254 million.
“Additional support is urgently needed to enable humanitarians to respond effectively and at scale to the escalating needs.
“The CERF funding will help humanitarian organizations get life-saving assistance to people whose lives have been uprooted by the conflict,” the statement said.
At least three ethnic armed groups, which have united under the so-called Brotherhood Alliance, are fighting the junta regime to take control of the region, while China has sought an immediate halt to attacks.
The groups are attacking junta forces, which rule the Buddhist-majority Southeast Asian nation. They have captured half a dozen towns and are now controlling more than 170 junta outposts.
Many people have been reported killed during the attacks.
China and India have expressed caution over the ongoing conflict. Beijing has banned its citizens from traveling to the region while it has also helped evacuate many foreign citizens who were stuck during the fighting.