Sat, 02 Dec 2023

UNFPA steps away from Myanmar's census amidst ongoing crisis

Khalid Umar Malik
21 Sep 2023, 17 GMT+10

NAYPYIDAW, Myanmar - The United Nations Population Agency has stated that it will not support the nationwide census that the Myanmar junta plans to conduct in October next year.

Despite ongoing crises caused by the regime's inability to subdue the country's armed resistance, the regime indicated last month that it intends to proceed with plans to conduct a nationwide census in the first two weeks of October 2024.

Myint Kyaing, the junta's immigration and population minister, met with Ramanathan Balakrishnan, the UN Population Fund's resident representative in Myanmar, in July and late August.

The junta's official announcements about these two meetings mentioned population statistics but provided no further details.

In an email to Myanmar Now on Tuesday, the UNFPA's Asia and Pacific Regional Office confirmed that the agency "does not have a role in the 2023/2024 census" and that it had communicated to regime authorities its "inability to support" the census due to current operational challenges.

Myanmar's most recent nationwide census, which cost approximately $74 million and was funded by Western donors, was held in 2014 under the supervision of the United Nations Population Fund. It was conducted over 12 days and included 11 million households.

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