Conflict-torn state in Myanmar gains UK aid

A villager who has fled the fighting in Rakhine carries humanitarian supplies from the U.N. High Commission for Refugees. The United Kingdom has given $3.2 million in aid for victims of violence in Myanmar's Rakhine state. Photo by: UNHCR

The United Kingdom has responded to the international community’s call to aid victims of violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine state with a £2 million ($3.2 million) humanitarian assistance package.

Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening said more than 58,000 victims will benefit from “urgent” U.K. aid through a group of “trusted and independent” nongovernmental organizations. Among the assistance that will be provided over a six-month period are:

  • Better drinking water and household water storage for 42,394 people.

  • Safer hygiene practices for 58,418 people including 32,539 children.

  • Improved access to sanitation facilities and camps.

  • Access to malnutrition treatment for 5,000 children.

  • Provision for high-quality nutritional advice to 10,000 caregivers for infants and young children.

“We must act now to relieve the immediate suffering and to ensure that conditions do not worsen to cause further loss of life. But Britain cannot do this alone and we call on other donor countries to join in this relief operation,” Greening said.

Conflict in Rakhine has displaced more than 100,000 citizens since June, when violence first started. The latest reported outbreak of violence in the state on Oct. 21 has displaced more than 28,000 people and killed at least 76.

Representatives from the U.K. government continue to express deep concern over violence between Buddhist Rakhine and Muslim Rohingya communities. Minister of State for the Foreign Office Hugo Swire has called on the parties to cease the violence. He has also advised the government of Myanmar to “take all necessary measures” to guarantee security and ensure access to humanitarian supplies in the region.

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    Adrienne Valdez

    Adrienne Valdez is a staff writer for Devex, covering breaking international development news for the Development Newswire. Before joining Devex, Adrienne worked as a news correspondent for a public-sector modernization publication.