Support refugees from Burma: Put rice in the pot

from The Border Consortium
Published on 30 May 2008 View Original
Today more than 140,000 refugees from Burma are living in nine camps along the Thailand Burma border. Unlike most other situations around the world there is no United Nations-coordinating mechanism responsible for these refugees. The Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC), a non-profit organisation, provides all of the food to these camps and must raise its own funds. Rice is the main ingredient of the refugees' food basket, the price of which has been seriously affected by the global food crisis.

During 2008 rice prices have more than doubled. Unless more funds can be raised quickly to cover the increased cost, TBBC will have to cut the refugee food rations to as little as 50% of the international minimum standard required to sustain life.

World attention is currently focused on the victims of cyclone Nargis and once again, we are witnessing the incapacity and unwillingness of the military junta to respond to the needs of its own people. The people of Burma have suffered decades of human rights abuses, civil war and economic mismanagement and for 24 years TBBC has been providing assistance to those who have had no choice but to flee to the border.

These refugees must not be forgotten. Before fleeing to Thailand, they suffered serious human rights abuses including forced labour, rape and torture and most have lost everything they owned as their villages were destroyed by the army. The refugees from Burma are confined to camps but if TBBC cannot support them with adequate food, they will be compelled to leave the camps, risking arrest, abuse, exploitation, and possible deportation back to Burma. We can expect to see serious malnutrition and health problems within a matter of weeks. Children, pregnant women and the elderly are most at risk.

We are appealing to all traditional donors including governments to help us through this crisis. But we are also challenging ourselves as staff, friends and families. We believe that the huge network of family and friends will make a difference.

We are setting ourselves a target of Thai baht 1.6 million (USD 50,000, EUR 32,000, GBP 25,000) by the end of June. That would be enough to provide rice to 1,000 refugees to the end of 2008.

A contribution of just baht 300 (US$10, € 6, £ 5) would cover the cost of rice for one refugee for a whole month, baht 1,800 (US$60, € 36, £ 30) for the entire second half of 2008.

We can make a difference - even a little means a lot.

Donations can be made in any of the following ways

You will be able to follow the funding progress on our website under TBBC Family and Friends Appeal. Unless you request anonymity by sending us an email or message with your donation, we will list you (but not the amount donated) as a 'Friend of TBBC' on the website.

1. Website
By credit or debit card via TBBC website

2. Cheque
Mail cheque, bank draft or money order payable to Thailand Burma Border Consortium, preferably in Thai baht, US dollars, Euro or UK Pounds to:

Thailand Burma Border Consortium
12/5 Convent Road
Silom, Bangrak,
Bangkok 10500

3. International Bank Deposit or Transfer
Transfer to one of the following accounts:

Standard Chartered Bank, London
SWIFT code: SCBLGB2L, IBAN: GB52 SCBL 6091 0412 544415, Sort Code: 60-91-04
Account Name: Thailand Burma Border Consortium
a) US dollar account No. 01 01 254441550
b) Euro account No. 56 01 254441596
c) UK pound account No. 00 01 254441501 (12544415 if depositing within UK), or to
d) Thai baht account below.

4. Thai Bank
Deposit or transfer (if by ATM transfer, please email us details) to:

Siam Commercial Bank, Bangkok, Surawong 2 Branch
Account Name: Burmese Border Consortium
Account No. 064-2-15287-3

If you wish TBBC to acknowledge your donation, please provide TBBC with a copy of the money transfer or deposit slip, with your name and address.

Thank you.