Britain has pledged emergency food, drinking water and shelter to help people displaced in Rakhine State in western Burma.
Minister for International Development Alan Duncan and Foreign Office Minister for South East Asia Hugo Swire today announced a £4.4 million package of humanitarian support for people displaced by violence and facing the additional threats of the rainy season and approaching storms.
Britain’s package of emergency assistance will provide:
nearly 80,000 people with access to safe drinking water and improved sanitation facilities
malnourished children aged 0-59 months with treatment for acute malnutrition in rural camps
hygiene kits to nearly 40,000 people
Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan said:
Thousands of people displaced by violence in Rakhine State are currently extremely vulnerable. With the first tropical storm of the cyclone season due to hit the area this week, it is imperative that we respond to the unfolding humanitarian crisis.
British support will not only meet the immediate food, water and medical needs of the displaced, but give people protection from the elements for the future. The plight of the people of Rakhine State must not be ignored.
Foreign Office Minister for South East Asia Hugo Swire said:
The UK has consistently led the way in providing aid to Rakhine State providing over £2 million in humanitarian aid since the unrest in the state last year. When I visited Rakhine in December 2012 I called for action from the Burmese government and the international community. There has been some progress but 140,000 people still live in temporary shelter that will be unable to withstand the oncoming rainy season. The Burmese government and the international community through the UN must step up to the plate.
The UK recognises that other problems remain and will not be resolved overnight. The recent Human Rights Watch report outlines some horrific accounts of violence and intimidation; we have consistently said to the Burmese government that there can be no impunity for those guilty of acts of violence.