Humanitarian Assistance Reaches People of Myanmar

WCRP/RfP Japan is deeply concerned about the deteriorating security situation in Myanmar. According to the United Nation’s OCHA(Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs), the number of people internally displaced in Myanmar since the military takeover in 2021 has crossed the half-million mark, reaching some 503,000 as of 28 February 2022. There are reports that the fighting is intensified in rural areas where ethnic minorities live.

Since the February 2021 military coup d'etat, the security situation in Myanmar has been worsening, and people have been put in poverty. In order to support the people of Myanmar in this humanitarian crisis, WCRP/RfP Japan had been collecting donations. By the end of 2021, people had donated more than 46 million yen. WCRP/RfP Japan began sending money to RfP Myanmar in September. The Myanmar Committee is using this money for humanitarian assistance.

There are two main humanitarian activities the Myanmar Committee is carrying out. One is the provision of daily necessities and hygiene products to people who have fallen into extreme poverty. The other is the socio-psychological support for those who are mentally suffering from the violent atmosphere in society.

After the coup, military violence and unjustified detentions occurred in many villages where ethnic minority groups live. People had to flee with their property, livestock, and belongings left behind to escape from this situation. Many women, including pregnant ones and children, went into the jungle searching for a safe place. They are living in temporary tents with inadequate food and clothing. The threat of the new coronavirus is also severe. The medical system has become highly hampered after the coup. Many people have not been able to receive treatment such as oxygen inhalation. Medical and nutritional supplementation is far from enough.

The Myanmar Committee distributes daily necessities and sanitary goods at religious facilities and community centers. They also visit people to hand those goods directly. Support items include food such as rice, cooking oil, eggs, beans, and fish, pandemic countermeasures such as alcohol sprays, hand gels, masks, and face shields, and medical supplies such as bandages, cotton, and medicine. So far, they have provided support to more than 250 households. The Committee plans to distribute items to 1,000 families throughout Myanmar, such as in Rakhine State and Kachin State.

As for the socio-psychological support, the Myanmar Committee holds workshops at Islamic and Christian religious institutions and carries out projects to care for the psychological damages caused by violence and build interpersonal relationships. Such workshops have been conducted about ten times in Yangon, Rakhine State, Kachin State, and Mandalay, among other places. They also hosted online seminars. About 90 people have participated so far.

The Myanmar Committee will continue providing supplies and holding workshops based on their support program. WCRP/RfP Japan will strengthen cooperation with the Myanmar Committee and carry out humanitarian assistance activities based on religious cooperation.