Aung San Suu Kyi once famously said, "We must hope for the best, but prepare for the worst". As this report is being written the first elected government for 20 years is being formed in Burma following the November General Election. The convening of parliament, new and more complex political structures plus the freedom of Aung San Suu Kyi herself, all offer hope of reconciliation and change; of a more constructive relationship with the international community, increasing humanitarian space and resolution of decades of conflict.
DALA THAYA, 31 December 2010 (IRIN) - Remittances to Myanmar continue to be a lifeline for communities strapped for cash and short of food throughout the country, according to researchers and migration experts.
While officially recorded remittances to Myanmar accounted for only 0.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) in 2009, a 2008 university study [ http://www.econ.mq.edu.au/Econ_docs/bew/Burma_Survey_Remittances.pdf ] …
The UN refugee agency is concerned over the circumstances of the return of some 166 Myanmar nationals seeking temporary protection from Thailand on 25 December, urging the Royal Thai government to adhere to the internationally accepted principle of non-refoulement (which prohibits returns to a situation of danger).
On Christmas Day, the Thai authorities asked the group of recently displaced from Myanmar to return to their villages from the Wa Lay temporary site, located at the Pob Phra District in Tak Province.
The group which included 50 women and over 70 children informed UNHCR …
This report covers the period 1 July to 31 December 2010
Programme purpose: To coordinate support to host national societies as they scale up their humanitarian work in line with Strategy 2020.
Programme summary: The Southeast Asia secretariat team based in Bangkok:
- Supports and guides country office teams in Cambodia/Lao PDR, Indonesia, Myanmar, Philippines, Timor-Leste, Thailand, and Viet Nam;
- Provides requested technical support to the above countries as well as national societies with no secretariat country presence (i.e.
By LAWI WENG Monday, December 27, 2010
More than 200 Karen refugees were forcibly sent back into Burma from Thailand on Saturday despite unstable conditions and fighting near their villages, according to border sources.
The Thai army forced refugees sheltering at a Buddhist temple and a Thai school in Pop Phra-District in Thailand's Tak Province back across the border, telling them the situation had become stable.
"They [refugees] are afraid of the Thai army and were forced back even though they dare not return to their villages," said Blooming Night Zan, the joint …
MUN RU SHAI, 24 December 2010 (IRIN) - Saw Kwe, a medical officer with the Democratic Karen Buddhist Army, pulls out a cardboard box full of Artesunate from among the rolls of gauze and drugs used for clotting war wounds.
The 15-year veteran, who has been shot and nearly blown up in past fighting, says the most common killers of civilians are found off the battlefields - not on them.
"The most deadly is malaria," says Saw Kwe, as he hands a packet of pills to a young mother in the Burmese border village of Mun Ru Shai.
BANGKOK, 23 December 2010 (NNT) - The Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister has announced that the first portion of compensation money, worth over 2 billion baht, will be handed to flood-affected farmers by the end of this week.
Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Teera Wongsamut disclosed that 89,801 farmers troubled by the recent flood would receive their compensation within this week, saying all branches of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) were fully prepared to disburse the funds of over 2 billion baht in total.
Published 16/12/2010 10:40
Six years after disaster struck Asia, the sizeable aid programme mounted by the Finnish Red Cross is nearing completion in those countries hit by the Boxing Day tsunami.
On December 26, 2004, an earthquake beneath the ocean floor off the west coast of Sumatra caused enormous waves. More than 200,000 people were killed by the tsunamis that swept across the Indian Ocean. At least 1.8 million people in southern and southeast Asia lost their homes. The disaster also affected Boxing Day celebrations in Finland, as 179 Finns were among those who lost their lives.
- The FAO Food Price Index continued to rise in November.
- International prices of wheat and rice increased significantly in November and early December. Prices of maize remained firm.
- In Asia, prices of rice further strengthened in the past month while prices of wheat remained high.
- In Africa, prices of cereals are declining or stable and at low levels in all sub-regions.
- In Central America, prices of beans are at record levels.
Friday, 10 December 2010 18:32 Mizzima News
Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - On the heels of the largest influx of Burmese refugees to Thailand in a decade, assistance organisations are calling for a global response in ensuring a holistic system of aid is in place for those displaced.
The Forum of Burma's Community-Based Organisations (FCOB), a consortium of more than 20 like-minded assistance groups based along the Thai-Burmese border, has written to supporters to pressure governments and aid organisations to work together in designing a concrete plan to deal with expected increased …
Chiang Mai (Mizzima) - Thai authorities near the border town of Mae Sot early on Tuesday and Wednesday strongly encouraged and in some cases forced hundreds of refugees back into Burma. The practice came despite calls from rights groups that those displaced by clashes between Burmese Army and Karen troops be allowed to stay until the fighting ends, aid workers and researchers working along the Thai-Burmese border said.
The Karen Human Rights Group (KHRG) reported that those who were forced to return included a large group of refugees who fled from the Burmese village of Phalu, about 12 …
Constanze Ruprecht - CNS
In late October 2010, a large group of people living in and around Mae Sot, Tak province were closing in on a terrible 'milestone' of sorts: all of them - over 60 migrant children, women and men - were living with HIV and taking antiretroviral (ARV) drugs, which they needed to stay alive.
This research, conducted in Haiti, Kenya and Thailand, was commissioned by the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP), and sought to capture the views of beneficiaries of humanitarian assistance on the effectiveness of measures put in place to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) by humanitarian workers. This study is a follow up to similar research, also on behalf of HAP, conducted by Lattu in 20081.
Thai Authorities Should Ensure Protection of Refugees Fleeing Conflict
(New York, December 4, 2010) - The Burmese armed forces and ethnic insurgents should act to protect civilians as fighting in eastern Burma intensifies, Human Rights Watch said today.
It is early morning in Wat Maha Wong, a Buddhist temple overlooking the muddy Moei River on the Thailand side of the border with Myanmar. Hundreds of ragged and exhausted people huddle on straw mats waiting for food and medical care. They are among some one thousand people who have fled a fresh outbreak of fighting in eastern Myanmar, formerly Burma, between an ethnic rebel group and government troops.
An Australian senator says sporadic violence is continuing in eastern Burma, near the Thai border, and says villagers are still fleeing into Thailand in their hundreds and sometimes thousands. But they are often being pushed back into areas of fighting by Thai soldiers and are forced to flee again days later. The Australian Greens Party senator, Sarah Hanson-Young, has raised the alarm after visiting the town of Mae Sot, a key crossing point for Burmese fleeing their country.
Each Of The 25 Kits, Which Contains Tools And Basic Materials, Serves 10 Families
PATTHALUNG, 3rd December 2010: Habitat for Humanity Thailand recently handed over shelter repair kits to 250 families affected by severe flooding in the south of the country.
In Kaonangkum sub-district, Pakpayoon district, Pattalung, families affected by severe flooding benefitted from HFH Thailand's distribution of shelter repair kits.
A women-operated community organization, assisted by USAID, provides protection and shelter to migrant women and children along the Thai- Burmese border
SAW was founded in 2000 by women living on the Thai-Burmese border. SAW supports women and children by providing shelter, health education, health care, counseling and vocational training for unskilled women. / Photo: American Jewish World Service.
"If SAW did not help us we would be in a very difficult situation.
New Delhi, 1 December 2010: Although new HIV infections show a downward trend in countries of the World Health Organization's South-East Asia Region, particularly India, Thailand, Nepal and Myanmar, HIV/AIDS is still a serious public health problem. Perhaps the most vulnerable group are children with HIV/AIDS, whose numbers have increased by 46% between 2001 and 2009.