Assistance for Myanmar
Foreign Minister Bob Carr yesterday, February 21, announced a further $2.5 million in emergency aid for Rakhine and Kachin States in Myanmar and to begin efforts to clear landmines from southeast rural lands.
Senator Carr said $1.25m would go towards shelter, clean water and sanitation in Rakhine State, where ongoing conflict had left more than 115,000 people homeless.
Senator Carr said he urged political and community leaders on all sides of the conflict to bring the violence to an end.
“In June last year I expressed Australia’s concern about the situation in Rakhine State when I met Myanmar President U Thein Sein in Naypyidaw,” Senator Carr said.
“The matter was also raised with Foreign Minister U Wunna Maung Lwin at the UN in New York in early October and again on October 25 during the Minister’s visit to Australia.
“I welcome President Thein Sein’s commitment to ensure increased security and accountability in Rakhine.
‘I urge the Myanmar Government to protect all communities in Rakhine State and to ensure emergency supplies are delivered safely to people in affected areas.”
Australia is the second largest bilateral contributor in foreign aid to the humanitarian crisis in Rakhine, with more than $4.25m committed to emergency aid.
Senator Carr said $750,000 would be provided to support access to clean water and sanitation in Kachin State and $500,000 to begin land mine clearance in southeast Myanmar. As a result of more than 60 years of conflict, Myanmar is one of the most heavily landmine-contaminated countries in the world.
“I’ve seen first-hand the work Australia does to support mine clearance in countries such as Laos,’ Senator Carr said.
“I’m proud to be able to extend this assistance to Myanmar to begin the process of mine clearance and to help restore rural lands for safe civilian use.”