Humanitarian Assistance to Burma/Myanmar
The term "humanitarian" is used in a broad sense to cover
assistance in conflict zones as well as natural disasters and other situations which produce health, livelihood and other crises.
Bilateral humanitarian assistance
British humanitarian assistance
|Title:|| ||Mark My Words
|Date of publication:|| ||February 2009|
|Description/subject:|| ||"British ambassador to Burma, Mark Canning, talks to The Irrawaddy about the role of the UN and Asean in Burma, the Cyclone Nargis relief effort and his expectations for the election in 2010..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||"The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 1|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||16 February 2009|
|Title:|| ||Tenth Report of the Select Committee on International Development
|Date of publication:|| ||18 July 2007|
"One of the most shocking aspects of Burma's political and humanitarian crisis is the forced displacement of its own people. This crisis-stricken country, which suffers from immense poverty and pernicious human rights abuses, receives the lowest aid of all Least Developed Countries. We believe that this level of assistance is unacceptable and that international donors must find ways to increase funding to the growing numbers of very vulnerable people. In particular we believe that UK aid to Burma should be scaled up substantially, in addition to the existing planned increases in funding, given the UK's prominence in this area.
Funding aid work in Burma is fraught with difficulties, but aid can be effectively targeted and implemented, and constraints addressed, if there is sufficient commitment by donors. DFID has quadrupled its budget for Burma over the last six years, from £2.3 million to £8.8 million, and should quadruple its overall aid budget to Burma again by 2013.
As one of only four donors with a staffed office in Burma, DFID is in a leading position to assist Burmese Internally Displaced People (IDPs) and refugees. DFID's support to community-based organisations is particularly important in developing locally 'owned' responses to displacement, and this should be increased.
The UK's expansion of aid for Burma should include specific funding for cross-border assistance. Whilst providing aid in this way is far from ideal in terms of neutrality or safety, it is the only way to reach very vulnerable IDPs located throughout Burma's conflict border zones, including those areas that border Thailand.
DFID's plans fully to relocate management of its Burma programme from Bangkok to Rangoon will impair its work. We believe that, in order to work independently of the Burmese regime, to fulfil a co-ordination role, to support non-governmental organisations (NGOs) based in Thailand and to engage with cross-border and refugee assistance on the Thai-Burma border, at least two senior, full-time members of DFID staff should be retained within the Bangkok Embassy.
An urgent priority is assessing where IDP needs are most critical. DFID needs to support the UN in carrying out a mapping exercise of gaps in the aid provided to IDPs. It should communicate better about its own programmes of support, and promote information-sharing and the development of robust co-ordination mechanisms.
DFID must be a more visible presence at the Thai-Burma border and must engage far more with refugees' needs. The UK Government should step up negotiations with the Royal Thai Government (RTG) on education and employment opportunities for refugees, and with the RTG and third countries on resettlement policies."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||(UK) Select Committee on International Development|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||06 July 2008|
Cross-border assistance (border-based agencies)
Increasingly seen as complementary to the INGOs registered with the Government
|Title:|| ||DO NO HARM: CROSS-BORDER AND THAILAND BASED ASSISTANCE TO REFUGEES, IDPS AND MIGRANTS FROM BURMA/MYANMAR-REPORT ON FINDINGS FROM CONSULTANCY
|Date of publication:|| ||27 April 2012|
"Norway has supported cross-border assistance to the Back Pack Health Worker Team since 1998 and Thailand-based humanitarian assistance to the Mae Tao Clinic since 2005. Such support has been consistent with Norway's commitments to advance humanitarian principles in conflict and disasters and to ensure that people in need receive necessary protection and assistance.
In 2010, Norway decided to cut cross-border assistance citing accountability concerns and difficulties of monitoring such assistance. In 2012, NCA was informed by MFA of an impending cut in all cross-border and Thailand- based assistance, due to positive political changes in Burma/Myanmar and improved access from Yangon to border areas of Eastern Burma/Myanmar.
NCA is concerned about the impact of such a decision. NCA therefore hired a consultant in order to verify the impact of a cut in assistance on access to services for rights holders in border areas and for local peace building efforts, and to assess whether such a cut stands at risk of violating humanitarian principles of Do No Harm. NCA further notes that other concerned parties, most recently the European Parliament, have instead called on the Burmese government to allow cross-border assistance to take place. NCA also has reason to believe that an abrupt cut in assistance to refugees, internally displaced people and migrants at this stage
would not be conducive to the ongoing peace making efforts of the Burmese government and ethnic armed groups in the country.
Over a period of three weeks in April 2012, the consultant conducted 35 single interviews and/or group interviews with respondents in four locations (four in Bangkok, 18 in Yangon, seven in Mae Sot and six in Chiang Mai). Two additional sources were contacted by email. The respondents belonged to the following categories: (1) Representatives of the UN system in Burma/Myanmar, including the UN Resident Coordinator; (2) Representatives of INGOs working in Burma/Myanmar and/or along the border; (3) Representatives of national and local NGOs in Burma/Myanmar; (4) Representatives of FBOs/CBOS in Burma/Myanmar and along the border; (5) Representatives of ethnic health authorities in border areas; (6) Three medical doctors with experience working with border-based health providers including two doctors from the Thai healthcare system, and (7) One independent evaluator of one border-based health provider. The consultant also attended one meeting of the Coordinating Committee for Stateless and Displaced Persons in Thailand (CCSDPT) and one press conference on the situation in Kachin State organized by Human Rights Watch, both in Bangkok1.
This report is a case study focusing primarily on the provision of healthcare services. However, NCA believes that many of the considerations and concerns raised in the report also apply to other service deliveries and that the potential consequences of a cut as described in this report would also apply to other sectors.
By seeking to gain better understanding of current dynamics of aid in the political and peace reforms in Burma/Myanmar, NCA hopes this report will contribute to the transition towards peace and reconciliation for local communities in Burma/Myanmar..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Norwegian Church Aid (NCA)|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (175K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||06 May 2012|
|Title:|| ||Statement on Peace and Development in Burma
|Date of publication:|| ||10 April 2012|
|Description/subject:|| ||Statement edorsed by 35 humanitarian organisations (Burmese, Shan, Mon, etc.) working on the Burma-Thailand border...
"With international donors preparing significantly increased humanitarian and development assistance in
order to promote peace in Burma, we are very concerned that cross-border aid to marginalized and
vulnerable populations is being limited or cut at this crucial time.
Even while the cease-fire process is being carried out with separate ethnic armed groups, fighting is still
taking place with the Kachin Independence Organization (KIO), resulting in fresh displacement of tens of
thousands of people internally and outside the country. Even though some level of agreement has been
reached with some ethnic armed groups, human rights violations are continuing in all ethnic areas under
the new Army-backed government of U Thein Sein, including land confiscation, forced relocation, forced
labour, extortion, and restriction of movement, rape and intimidation..."|
|Source/publisher:|| ||Ethnic Community Development Forum (ECDF) and 34 other groups|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (27K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||06 May 2012|
|Title:|| ||The Need for Border-based Aid
|Date of publication:|| ||October 2009|
|Description/subject:|| ||Humanitarian agencies in Rangoon cannot supply aid to eastern Burma. Whether they like it or not, cross-border aid from Thailand must continue...
"While Burma’s eastern border region remains embroiled in civil war, it is the rural villagers, especially those suspected of being sympathetic to ethnic insurgents, who bear the brunt of the conflict.
Over the past 25 years, tens of thousands of Karen, Mon, Karenni and Shan villagers have fled to refugee camps in Thailand. Many more have remained in eastern Burma, but live in the jungle in temporary camps as internally displaced persons. Their numbers continue to grow every year.
Fortunately, there are international agencies, local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and community-based groups in the region that are actively involved in supporting those affected on both sides of the border.
They often face unfair criticism from governments and international NGOs that believe humanitarian aid must be channeled through official lines inside Burma, usually through offices in Rangoon.
Those agencies assert that being legally entitled to work they can help a greater number of people, including those in the Irrawaddy delta who were affected by Cyclone Nargis last year.
Over the past 10 years, we have seen humanitarian aid, emergency relief and resources gradually moving away from the Thai-Burmese border and into Rangoon..."|
|Author/creator:|| ||Aung Zaw|
|Source/publisher:|| ||"The Irrawaddy" Vol. 17, No. 7|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||28 February 2010|
Private sector assistance
|Title:|| ||Private Sector and Humanitarian Relief in Myanmar
|Date of publication:|| ||October 2011|
|Description/subject:|| ||A study of recent practices of business engagement in humanitarian relief to assess
the potential, modalities and areas for future cooperation|
|Format/size:|| ||pdf (537K)|
|Date of entry/update:|| ||17 February 2012|