The European Commission has announced a €9m aid package to support people affected by internal displacement in Myanmar.
The humanitarian aid allocation will be primarily distributed to families in the states most drastically affected by violence: Kachin, Rakhine and Shan. Of the €9m package, €2m will be distributed specifically to providing safe access to education at both primary and secondary school levels for children whose education has been disrupted by internal displacement in Myanmar. The remainder of the aid package will go towards improving conditions in camps, including providing water and sanitation infrastructure and repairing shelter facilities; as well as supporting measures to prevent and address gender-based violence in the region.
The state of Rakhine currently houses an estimated 600,000 Rohingya Muslims living in camps and villages. Rohingya in Myanmar, who have been subjected to a sustained campaign of official persecution, are officially stateless; and are essentially reliant on humanitarian assistance and support. Conflict between the Myanmar government and rebel groups in Kachin and Shan, meanwhile, has contributed heavily to internal displacement in Myanmar; with around 100,000 civilians forcibly displaced in the two states since 2011.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Christos Stylianides said: “The situation in Myanmar goes beyond the plight of the Rohingya refugees. We cannot forget the victims in Myanmar who have been displaced from their homes due to the ongoing violence in the country. The protection of civilians continues to be a top priority for the EU. The assistance I am announcing today aims to protect those most vulnerable who are deprived of basic rights. All parties to the conflict must respect international humanitarian law and grant unrestricted humanitarian access to all parts of the country.”
The EU has provided more than €249m in humanitarian aid and disaster relief to Myanmar since 1994, with operations directed at helping both residents affected by violence in the region and addressing the effects of natural disasters.