Humanitarian Aid Has Yet to Reach Refugees in Myanmar
08/13/2022 Myanmar (International Christian Concern) – Myanmar has been riddled with conflict since last February, when the Burmese military, called the Tatmadaw, deposed the democratically elected government in a coup.
Ever since then, the humanitarian situation in Myanmar has continued to worsen, with thousands of civilians finding themselves internally displaced after their homes and villages were destroyed in military raids. In its attempt to quash pro-democracy forces, the Tatmadaw uses disproportionate amounts of violence on Myanmar’s citizens, especially those that do not agree with its Buddhist-nationalist agenda. Christians, therefore, make up a sizeable percentage of those who have been internally displaced.
Three months ago, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), pledged to deliver humanitarian assistance to Myanmar. At a May 6 meeting, ASEAN’s humanitarian assistance branch agreed to deliver aid to Myanmar under the supervision of the military regime, which would, in turn, distribute it to those in need.
However, recently aid workers in northwest Myanmar’s war-torn Sagaing region, told media outlet RFA that, as of Monday, August 8, none of the promised aid had been delivered there or to any other region with refugees in need. Chin, Kayah, and Kayin states, where most Myanmar’s Christians live, are also in desperate need of humanitarian assistance and have yet to receive it.
“ASEAN’s help hasn’t made it to Sagaing yet,” said Thet Oo, who is assisting victims of conflict with the People-to-People Program in the region’s Yinmarbin and Salingyi townships. “It’s been three months since their meeting, but nothing has come to Yinmarbin district at all.”
On August 3, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs announced that Myanmar had officially amassed a total of 866,000 refugees since the coup in February of 2021. Of the new refugees, 470,000 of them are from the Sagaing region, which sees the most frequent clashes between the military junta and pro-democracy forces.
Please pray for an end to the violence in Myanmar.
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