The Burma Campaign UK welcomes the announcement by The Secretary of State for International Development, Douglas Alexander MP, to double British aid to Burma from £8.8 million this year to £18 million by 2010. Douglas Alexander made the announcement during the first debate on Burma in the House of Commons on Monday.
The Burma Campaign had condemned DFID’s failure to take action on any of the key recommendations made by the International Development Committee and has been calling on DFID to implement the recommendations of the Committee.
“We are delighted that DFID is finally listening and recognizes the urgent need for more aid to Burma,” said Zoya Phan, Campaigns Officer at the Burma Campaign UK. “However, this is just a first step. DFID now needs to implement all of the recommendations made by the International Development Committee, including funding for cross border aid, which is the only way to reach some of the most vulnerable people in Burma, and projects supporting human rights and democracy in Burma.”
The International Development Committee, a cross-party committee of MPs which scrutinizes the work of DFID, has called for key changes in DFID’s aid policy, including:
• A quadrupling of aid to Burma by 2013, taking aid from £8.8m to £35.3m a year.
• Providing cross-border aid in addition to in-country aid, to ensure aid reaches internally displaced people who cannot be reached through in-country mechanisms because of restrictions imposed by the regime.
• Funding projects promoting human rights and democracy, including exile based Burmese women’s groups and the trade union movement.
• Setting up alternative mechanisms to provide funding for HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB in parts of the country that the 3D fund can’t reach because of restrictions by the regime.
For more information contact Zoya Phan, Campaigns Manager, on 020 73244712.