The EU brings relief to vulnerable communities in Myanmar's restive states

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The European Commission has announced a humanitarian aid package worth €5 million to bring emergency support to vulnerable communities living in Myanmar's Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan states. This comes on top of the €40 million committed in May 2018 to respond to the Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh and Myanmar.

"The EU is committed to helping vulnerable communities living across Myanmar, who have suffered due to the long-running conflicts in the country. Our new assistance will reach the most vulnerable, who have been displaced by violence and those who cannot return to their homes. All parties to the conflict must respect the principles of international humanitarian law and grant unrestricted humanitarian access to all parts of the country," said Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides.

The EU's assistance will address the most urgent needs of communities in Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan states, providing them with humanitarian protection and emergency shelter, food, water and sanitation assistance. Humanitarian needs are of particular concern during monsoon season, as most displaced communities live in overcrowded camps with poor shelters that are vulnerable to torrential rain.

Myanmar's Kachin and northern Shan states have witnessed the protracted forced displacement of over 106 000 civilians since conflict between the government and rebel armed groups erupted in 2011. Violence has significantly escalated since the beginning of 2018, leading to some of the most widespread displacement across the two states in recent decades.

Following the 2017 exodus to Bangladesh, it is estimated that up to 600 000 Rohingya still live in Myanmar's Rakhine state, where they are either confined in their villages, or internally displaced in camps. They do not enjoy freedom of movement, legal status, or social services, and they remain largely dependent on humanitarian assistance to meet their most basic needs.