Burma/Myanmar: Aid Needed

Appeal 2017

Around 120,000 men, women, and children live in refugee camps for “internally displaced people” in western Burma/Myanmar (Burma). Many have lost their homes due to sectarian violence and flooding.

Diaconia has been working in the camps since 2014. We have prepared fire-prevention trainings, distributed humanitarian aid packages for families, provided educational materials for students and teachers, and have repaired 9 camp schools.

What Do We Want to Accomplish?

With your donations, we hope accomplish this in 2017:

  1. Reconstruct 5 Schools.
  2. Provide school materials for 1000 students.
  3. Provide teaching materials for 75 teachers.
  4. Distribute hygiene kits to 1000 children.

And more...

Conflict between ethnic and religious groups.

In 2012 an estimated 143,000 Rohingya Muslims and other ethnic minorities were forced to flee their homes because of sectarian violence. Many those who fled now live in refugee camps for internally-displaced people in the western state of Rakhine in Burma. Over 95% of the residents of the camps are Rohingya Muslims--a minority group that was recently named by the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner as the world’s “most persecuted minority.”

Rohingya

The Rohingya suffer from numerous forms of political and social oppression and discrimination and are denied citizenship. The government officially claims that the Rohingya are “illegal Bengali migrants” even though many Rohingya have lived in the country for generations, sometimes centuries.

Camps        

 

Rohingya refugees live in improvised camp shelters called longhouses. Those living in the camps have little access to basic public services (food, water, transportation). In the camps, they have limited opportunities to go to the villages and are therefore unable to obtain health care, education, or work. They are dependent upon international humanitarian aid for survival.  

Typhoon and Flooding

In 2015, the humanitarian situation was made worse by a typhoon that completely inundated Rakhine state. Over 96, 165 people had to evacuate their homes. The typhoon didn’t spare the camps either: one camp in the region of Sittwe was damaged. Over 76 camp schools were destroyed, while over 400 schools and buildings had to be repaired. Thousands of children lost their ability to receive an education--an education that was already compromised from living in the camps.

The Government Faces Serious Problems.

In March of 2016, a new democratically-elected government took power. One of their main goals must be to find a solution to the long-term violence that has been perpetuated against the Rohingya, and they must recognize the civil rights of the Rohingya people. In addition, they should also work to better prepare the region to cope with future natural disasters.

Recent reports of state-sponsored violence, however, do not bode well for peace. In the fall of 2016 and early winter of 2017, over 66,000 Rohingya have once again been forced to leave their homes. The need in this region is greater than ever.

120,000 Refugees

Long-term solutions for many of the 120,000 Rohingya and other displaced people living in refugee camps (51% of which are women) are hard to realize. The Rohingya do not enjoy freedom of movement, are denied access to markets, and are unable to work. They rely on the generosity of their global neighbors to survive.

We at Diaconia will continue to serve them and meet their needs.  And we want you to join us. Consider donating today.


 

Jeremy Ault