KACHIN STATE, Myanmar – Since the armed conflict in northern Myanmar’s Kachin State intensified in December, nearly 7,000 people have fled the area, often amid shelling and airstrikes. Among the people on the run are 260 pregnant women. Many of them are sleeping on the roadside, unable to find shelter. Their needs are acute.
The area is highly militarized, and ongoing fighting and unsafe routes restrict access to the people in need.
Through work with local humanitarian partner Health Poverty Action, UNFPA has delivered reproductive health care, clean delivery kits and dignity kits – which contain essential hygiene supplies including soap, sanitary napkins and clothing – through the lines of fire to pregnant, breastfeeding and vulnerable women.
Women are under threat of violence, including sexual violence, both in daytime and at night. High-risk situations include having to manage sanitation and menstrual hygiene without shelter, privacy or protection.
Women and girls at risk of assault
While many people on the run remain unaccounted for, some have arrived at camps away from the fighting. There they are staying in halls without partitions and sleeping on concrete floors.