HARP-F COVID-19 Response Plan

Covid-19 cases have been confirmed in Myanmar. However, the actual number of cases is likely to be much higher than the official figure, due to the highly infectious nature of Covid-19, the fact that many cases are asymptomatic, the movement of people throughout Myanmar and neighbouring countries and the limitations of the detection and testing capacity within Myanmar.
Myanmar was already facing an acute humanitarian crisis before the Covid-19 pandemic; with 985,000 people needing humanitarian assistance and more than 273,000 people living in camp or camp-like settings across Kachin, Shan, Rakhine, Chin and Kayin states. The situation in many of these camps is dire, with overcrowding, inadequate WASH, health, protection, food and other key services not meeting core humanitarian and sphere standards.

Delivering humanitarian assistance in Myanmar is challenging with limitations in access caused by the political requirements for travel authorisation, the movement restrictions imposed on the Rohingya in Rakhine, the escalating conflict in Rakhine, Chin and Northern Shan states, and travel conditions during the rainy season. The Covid-19 movement restrictions will further limit humanitarian access. The Covid-19 virus is likely to have significant impact on Myanmar, not only in relation to health consequences but also to the economy. Efforts to reduce the transmission of Covid-19 through movement restrictions have already impacted livelihoods across the country, with many businesses stopping or shutting down completely, many migrant workers returning to Myanmar due to shutdowns in China and Thailand and many people facing a reduced or total loss of income. Over 400,000 IDPs and conflict-affected people remain dependent on humanitarian assistance from DFID via HARP-F to meet their basic needs, it’s imperative that this continues whilst also ensuring that we are limiting the transmission of Covid-19 and responding to additional needs caused by the outbreak.

This Covid-19 response plan details how HARP-F will continue essential humanitarian assistance, increase Covid-19 programming and limit the spread of the virus.

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Last Updated: 23rd May 2021

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