With 1.2 million refugees originating from Burma and tens of thousands more uprooted inside the country, the Southeast Asian nation was the source of the fourth-largest population of displaced people worldwide at the end of 2017, a new report by the UN refugee agency.
Burma tops a list of countries where the ability of aid groups to reach people in need has worsened in the past six months, the Geneva-based research group ACAPS has said.
Buddhists in Burma on Wednesday blocked aid workers from visiting a camp for displaced Muslims in the central part of Arakan State, where the United Nations fears the spread of violence that has already displaced hundreds of thousands.
Two weeks since the Burmese government pledged to begin a process for the return of hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees who have fled to Bangladesh, questions about the practicality of a mass repatriation loom large.
Relief agencies struggling to reach hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims displaced by strife in northwestern Burma are facing rising hostility from ethnic Arakanese Buddhists who accuse the United Nations and foreign aid groups of only helping Muslims.
Around 120,000 displaced people, mostly Rohingya Muslims, in camps in Arakan State are not receiving food supplies or healthcare after the United Nations and aid groups suspended operations following government accusations of supporting insurgents.