Humanitarian Crisis Spiraling Two Years into Myanmar Coup

To mark two years since the February 1, 2021 coup by the military junta in Myanmar, Refugees International Director for Africa, Asia, and the Middle East Daniel P. Sullivan released the following statement:

“The two years of upheaval following the attempted takeover of the country by Myanmar’s military junta has left a path of devastation across the country. Myanmar’s unprecedented displacement and humanitarian need stemming from the coup is yet to plateau. Rather, as the UN predicts, fully one-third of the population is set to be in need of humanitarian assistance, and the numbers of people forced to flee their homes is set to rise precipitously from the current 1.5 million people displaced to more than 2.4 million in the year ahead. This does not count the million Rohingya refugees who were forced to flee the genocide that preceded the coup at the hands of the very same military leaders.

Two years into this nightmare, the United States and likeminded countries must step up pressure on the military junta, including through coordinated targeted sanctions on the junta and those supporting it, whether in the form of weapons, aviation fuel, or proceeds from the oil and gas sectors.

More immediately, to stem the tide of suffering unleashed by Myanmar’s military junta, it is essential that the United States and other donor countries press the junta for unfettered humanitarian access and support the local groups best placed to deliver aid throughout the country, including, vitally, across borders.

Without these measures, the people of Myanmar will be condemned to even more suffering at the hands of this regime.” 

For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact Refugees International’s Vice President for Strategic Outreach Sarah Sheffer at

Photo Caption: A village elder is standing in front of the village school destroyed by the army’s aircraft fire in Konethar village in Namhsan Township, northern Shan State, Myanmar on December 14, 2022. Photo by Mai Thomas/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images.