Myanmar/Burma: EU Commission allocates €15,5m in humanitarian aid to vulnerable groups and refugees
Summary: Myanmar/Burma: EU Commission allocates €15,5m in humanitarian aid to vulnerable groups and refugees (10 January 2007: Brussels)
The European Commission has allocated €15.5 million in humanitarian aid for vulnerable groups in Burma/Myanmar and to Burmese refugees along the Myanmar-Thai border. The decision will help address some of the basic humanitarian needs of around one million needy people in Myanmar. Aid will be provided in the health, food aid, nutrition, and water and sanitation sectors, as well as for the protection of certain threatened groups. It will also support humanitarian assistance to over 150,000 Burmese refugees along the Myanmar-Thai border who are almost entirely dependent on international aid. The funding is managed by the Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel.
Louis Michel stressed that “some regions of Burma/Myanmar are the scenarios of silent humanitarian crises, with many groups living in extremely vulnerable conditions. The Commission is firmly committed to providing humanitarian support to this forgotten crisis.”
The funding provided by the Commission through its Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), will support the following activities:
• Health: Basic health care is almost non-existent in many remote areas of the country, notably Northern Rakhine and Shan States. Therefore, the services that will be provided by ECHO’s humanitarian partner organisations will constitute basic, but often life saving, support for people who have often never seen a doctor in their lives. The programmes implemented will focus on early detection, followed by effective treatment with mobile clinics to reach remote villages and those who do not have access to local health facilities.
• Food aid and nutrition: Emergency food assistance and livelihood support will be provided in Eastern Shan State. In North Rakhine State, mobile Supplementary Feeding Centre teams will provide treatment to malnourished children, and pregnant and lactating women. For the children suffering from acute malnutrition, Therapeutic Feeding Centres will offer treatment and follow up treatment.
• Water and sanitation: Water and sanitation programmes will be carried out in remote areas of Shan, Mon and Kayin States as well as in Thanintharyi, Magwe and Yangon Districts. These will be implemented through the rehabilitation and installation of basic infrastructure, and working towards behavioural changes to reduce mortality and morbidity that are caused by water-borne diseases.
• Protection: The funding will help support the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in ensuring that vulnerable groups are respected and protected by the authorities and armed opposition groups in line with international humanitarian law. It will also continue to support UNHCR protection-monitoring activities on the Myanmar-Bangladesh border (Northern Rakhine State) and on the Thai/Myanmar border.
Burma/Myanmar has been ruled by a military regime since 1962. An On-going armed conflict between government forces and ethnic minority groups has led to an influx of over 150,000 refugees into Thailand, and an estimated 500,000 internally displaced people. The humanitarian aid provided by ECHO goes impartially to those who need it most, irrespective of their nationality, ethnic origin, gender or religion.
Inside Burma/Myanmar the health situation is particularly worrying, with an under-five child mortality rate of 108 per 1000 live births, the triple of neighbouring Thailand. The main causes of premature death are malaria, HIV/AIDS, acute respiratory infections and diarrhoeal diseases. Water and sanitation problems are also of particular concern: water-borne illnesses account for 50% of morbidity among young children, and, according to UNICEF, diarrhoea is the second most common cause of mortality among children under five.
Since 1992 the European Commission has provided over €106 million in humanitarian assistance inside Myanmar and along the Myanmar-Thai border
- Ref: EC07-004EN
- EU source: European Commission
- UN forum:
- Date: 10/1/2007
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