May 17, 2012

Burma Campaign UK today welcomed Early Day Motion 2719 on Burma tabled by members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Democracy in Burma (APPG Burma). 66 MPs across all parties, called for the continued increasing of UK aid to victims of conflict in Burma. An Early Day Motion (EDM) is a kind of parliamentary petition.

This motion welcomes the continued increase in UK aid to Burma, the visit to Burma in 2011 by the Secretary of State for International Development and political reforms made by the government of Burma.

The British MPs also express concerns about the people displaced last year in Burma by conflict and human rights abuses, which doubled to almost 150,000 and alarm that the government of Burma is continuing to block humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of people in conflict zones.

The motion expresses deep concern that refugees in camps in neighbouring Thailand who have fled conflict are facing cuts in rations of 22 per cent, which could cause increased malnutrition in children.

The motion calls on the British Government to increase aid to populations displaced by conflict, including significant increases in cross-border aid, which can be the only way to access large numbers of displaced people and refugees in Thailand-Burma border areas.

Since 2007, the International Development Committee of the British Parliament has called on DFID to increase cross-border aid. This motion expresses again that the British Parliamentarians genuinely want DFID to increase cross-border aid.

“Andrew Mitchell should not ignore the call from British MPs to significantly increase funding for cross border aid,” said Mary Hla, Campaigns Officer at Burma Campaign UK. “This is the only way to support the basic needs of IDPs and refugees in conflict zones. If DFID stands for fighting global poverty and development, they should not let children die in the jungle with malnutrition. Cross- border aid is the only hope for IDPs and refugees in Thailand-Burma Border areas, DFID should not neglect them by providing limited funding which does not come close to meeting their needs. Andrew Mitchell once said that Britain has not forgotten the people of Burma, who have suffered from horrific human rights abuses for decades, he will build up civil society, local charities, village groups and their representatives to push for change. If he is genuinely keen to help Burma, he must respond to the call from British Parliamentarians.”

Early Day Motion 2719
That this House welcomes the continued increase in UK aid to Burma and the visit to Burma in 2011 by the Secretary of State for International Development; further welcomes political reforms made by the government of Burma; is, however, deeply concerned that the number of people displaced last year in that country by conflict and human rights abuses doubled to almost 150,000; is alarmed that the government of Burma is continuing to block humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of people in conflict zones; calls on the British Government to increase aid to populations displaced by conflict, including significant increases in cross-border aid which can be the only way to access large numbers of displaced people; expresses deep concern that refugees in camps in neighbouring Thailand who have fled conflict are facing cuts in rations of 22 per cent. which could cause increased malnutrition in children; looks forward to free and fair elections with the participation of Aung San Suu Kyi and her party; and calls on the Government to significantly increase funding for Burma to support food and shelter for refugees.


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