The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths has warned of the “worsening” humanitarian situation in Burma, stressing that more than three million people are in need of humanitarian aid “due to the growing conflict and insecurity, the coronavirus and the economic crisis”. .
“Without an end to the violence and a peaceful solution to the crisis in Burma, this number will only increase,” he said in a statement released on the occasion of the first anniversary of the general election on November 8, 2020, the results of which were announced in February by a Military coup canceled.
He recalled that since the February 1 riots, “Thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes as a result of violence in the country, with 223,000 internally displaced people, including 165,000 in the south-east of the country, among the significant numbers who are already displaced in the states of Rakhine, Chin, Shan and Kachin prior to the uprising.
Griffiths stressed that “the long-term displacement remains unsolved, with 144,000 Rohingya still imprisoned in camps and similar facilities in Rakhine, many after their displacement in 2012, while more than 105,000 people have been displaced in Kachin and Shan for many years”.
“I am increasingly concerned about reports of increasing food insecurity in and around urban areas, including Yangon and Mandalay,” he said, emphasizing that “the economic boom has made the situation in the north-west of the country extremely worrying in recent weeks”. in hostilities between the Army and the Chinland Defense Force in Chin State and with the People’s Defense Forces in the Magway and Sagaing regions.
In this context, he noted that “more than 37,000 people, including women and children, were displaced while 160 houses were burned, including churches and offices of a humanitarian organization”. “Attacks on civilians and civil infrastructure, including humanitarian workers and their facilities, are clearly prohibited under humanitarian law and must be stopped immediately,” he added.
“Humanitarian workers provide aid to the needy in Burma. This year they have reached more than 1.67 million people with food, cash and nutritional aid,” said Griffiths, who criticized the “extreme restrictions” on “humanitarian access”. bureaucratic obstacles on the part of the Bundeswehr. “
For this reason, he called on the army “and all parties” to ensure “safe, rapid and unrestricted humanitarian access,” while calling on the international community to increase funding for the Humanitarian Response Plan for Burma.
“The Burmese people need our help to guarantee their fundamental rights and to ensure that they can live in dignity. The world is watching. I urge all parties to fully respect their humanitarian law obligations to protect civilians and to ensure they can move. free to seek security when they need it and to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to those who need it, including those who have been fleeing the violence, “he added.