The Border Consortium Programme Report - January to June 2013

Report
from The Border Consortium
Published on 30 Jun 2013

Executive Summary - January to June 2013

In the first six months of 20 13 The Border Consortium has been actively working to make sure that programming for displaced and conflict-affected persons is delivered with an emphasis on preparedness for retum.This is in alignment with the Core Objectives ofTBC's Strategic Plan 20 13~20 17 and with the stated desire of many of TBC's donors to see an increased emphasis on preparedness in TBC's activities and programmes.

There has been progress in Burma/Myanmar towards the establishment of a national ceaseflre and political dialogue towards lasting peace and reconciliation.TBC is continuing to work closely with the refugee community while advocating that any retum to Burma/Myanmar must be voluntary and must take place in a manner that is safe and dignified. TBC's preparedness programming emphasises that refugees can develop relevant livelihood skills and capacities and advocate to address security and justice concerns to ensure a sustainable return and reintegration. After decades of investment in the refugee community. this is a crucial time for the international community to maintain its support in order to ensure that refugees themselves are in a position to help build Burma/Myanmar's prosperity and success.

Currently. the Government of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar. the Royal Thai Govemment. UNHCR. TBC our internat ional partners, and the refugee community itself all agree that conditions do not yet exist for the organised ret urn. Reports of armed clashes and human rights abuses. while markedly declining, continue in the South East As overall access improves to areas exposed to conflict, so too had there been an increase in land confiscation. Protection concerns relating to militarisation and the lack of access to justice have yet to be addressed. Burma/Myanmar's economy and infrastructure is not currently at a level that can absorb the repatriation of potentially hundreds of thousands of con fl icted~affected people.

The TBC database recorded 128.480 people living in the camps as of 30 June 2011 Of these. only 67.378 (52%) are registered with Mol and UNHCR. Overall there was a net camp population increase of around 300 people for the reporting period.

Food assistance continues to comprise the bulk ofTBC's expenditures and operations. In response to increased funding pressures for food aid and in an effort to give the refugee camp community a more direct role in managing their food and shelter supply. TBC has been preparing an expanded rollout ofits Community Managed Targeting (CMT) initiative.

The devastating fire in Ban Mae Surin in March of this year is a stark reminder of the dangers and precariousness in which refugees continue to live. A total of 37 people lost their lives and 2.300 left homeless in what was the worst tragedy to ever hit a refugee camp on the border between Thailand~ Burma/Myanmar. TBC and other NGOs continue to work closely with the camp in the aftermath of this tragedy. and TBC would like to reiterate our heartfelt condolences to everyone affected by the fire.