Burma’s government is making it harder to protect the most vulnerable against COVID-19.
For decades, the Burmese military has prioritised military spending over health spending, leaving Burma in a very weak position to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. Treating those that get ill, and the economic consequences of any lockdown, will be a major challenge for Burma’s government.
But at the same time, Aung San Suu Kyi’s government is making it even harder for some of the most vulnerable people in the country to receive aid and life-saving information.
Victims of attacks by the Burmese military, people forced to flee their homes and who lost everything, are being hit by a double blow of government restrictions on the aid they can get, and not enough aid from international donors, including the UK.
Refugees and IDPs in Burma are among the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and need our support. Please email Britain’s Department for International Development to ask them to take urgent action. ([link removed])
In Rakhine State in western Burma more than 100,000 Rohingya refugees have lived in squalid camps since their villages were attacked in 2012. The government severely restricts aid reaching these people, causing immense suffering and deaths. Ethnic Rakhine displaced by recent conflict are also impacted by restrictions on aid delivery. Even at this time of crisis, these restrictions are still in place.
In Rakhine and Chin State the government has also shut down internet access in an area where a million people live, stopping them from getting critical information about how to avoid catching the COVID-19 virus.
In the north and east of Burma, in Kachin State and Shan State, there are tens of thousands of people who fled Burmese military attacks who are also suffering from lack of aid, caused in part by government restrictions, and in part by lack of funding from international donors.
People living in close proximity in squalid camps, already suffering from lack of proper food, medical care and sanitation, are especially vulnerable to COVID-19. They need help now.
Please email Britain’s Department for International Development ([link removed]) asking them to co-ordinate with other donors to put pressure on the Burmese government to lift aid restrictions and the internet ban. Britain and other donors must also significantly increase aid to people who have fled conflict in Burma and are especially vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19.
Take action here. ([link removed])
Thank you so much for your support at this time of crisis.
Burma Campaign UK
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